Article & images by Nick Salazar
Pista Floor Pump
The venerable Italian-cum-American brand, Silca, has done some in recent years, delivering some fine high-end tools to the discerning consumer. Lately, brand owner and former Zipp engineer Josh Poertner has been broadening the offerings both to expand Silca's horizons, and also to help the rank-and-file consumer take advantage of Silca's exquisite products. Today, we look at three new products. First up, the "plebitization" of Silca's flagship product, the pump, shown here in its un-super, un-ultimate form, the Pista.
The Pista delivers all the engineering precision and "it-just-works" design ethos of Silca's other products, while trading some of the extreme materials choices and expensive manufacturing processes for more economical options. Instead of a massive, weighty floor plate, Pista has a modest plate designed to save space, weight, and cost, while remaining eminently functional. Instead of the Kevlar-reinforced hose designed to withstand thousands of PSI and last 200 years, it uses a simple rubber hose designed for day-in and day-out use.
At the same time, the Pista delivers all the functionality of its older brother, while costing about 70% less. It features Silca's super-accurage gauges (accurate to within 3%), their wonderfu(here in aluminum instead of stainless steel), and an integrated Scraeder chuck for attaching other accessories or just inflating your gravel rig. In comparing it to its older siblings, we've already noted the downgrades it makes in terms of materials and design. But it has one major advantage, which is that it is very light and compact.
The Pista isn't necessarily meant to be the Pro Tour Mechanic's secret weapon, or your bike shop's stalwart tool - it's the cyclist's economical, go-to pump for home use and travel. My biggest gripe is that the single-foot design of the base is decidedly unstable, and meant to be always used with a foot holding it steady. Of course, that single-foot design is also what helps it be so compact, laying flat with ease. It's an advantage for travel, and a disadvantage for home use. If I were looking for a travel pump, this is clearly a first choice. For regular home use, I'd take a hard look one step up on the ladder, at Silca's $235 SuperPista - still much less expensive than the "Ultimate" edition of the same pump, but with the same footprint.
Okay, 'nuff said here. Let's take a look at Silca's next goody: an update on their unique T-Ratchet + Ti-Torque tool.