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Silca Prista Bicycle Floor Pump

2017 marks 100 years since the Silca brand has been producing bicycle tools.  With that in mind Silca (https://silca.cc) thought it would be a great time to reintroduce the Silca Prista Bicycle Floor Pump.

Prista Floor Pump

SILCA HISTORY

SILCA was founded in 1917 by Felice Sacchi just outside of Milan, Italy.  The company innovated and grew quickly by innovating as the first company to put gauges on pumps, the first company to produce a true ‘high-pressure’ frame pump, the first to work with the revolutionary lightweight material plastic after the end of WWII.  More recently, the company was first with a valve controlled CO2 inflator, and with some irony, the first to move away from plastics and back to wood handles.

By 2013, SILCA was the oldest company in the bicycle industry to have been continually owned by the same family.  In August of 2013, Claudio Sacchi, grandson of Felice, sold the company to Joshua Poertner who had been the Technical Director at Zipp Speed Weaponry and of course a lifelong SILCA fan.

SILCA’s current headquarters is located in Indianapolis Indiana and can be reached at: sales@silca.cc or by phone at 317.964.0592.

SILCA PRISTA BICYCLE FLOOR PUMP

PUMP FEATURES

  • Durable, high strength Steel barrel
  • Compact Ash wood handle with hose guides
  • High efficiency SILCA leather plunger piston design
  • Brass check-valve assembly
  • Long filler hose with integrated Schrader chuck
  • Push on alloy Presta chuck with bleeder valve
  • Rated to 220psi
  • Retail: $125
  • Prista Travel Bag Retail: $90

THE STORY OF THE TRACK PUMP

At the request of Fausto Coppi’s mechanics in the late 1950’s, the team at SILCA set out to design a pump that would take the best attributes of each style of pump and combine them into one. The result, launched in 1962 was a design so elegant and timeless that it came to define the entire category of ‘Track Pumps’ (‘Pista’ is Italian for ‘track’ after all).

The original Pista paired a steel barrel with a 3mm thick leather piston washer, solid brass internal valves and the now iconic oval handle with two grooves for holding the hose that allowed the pump to lay flat in a travel bag or in the trunk of a car. These pumps were prized by professional mechanics around the world for their durability, dependability and accuracy.

 

Pista_Base_presure guage

Custom_Pista_bag

IMPORTANCE OF TIRE PRESSURE

So why is tire pressure important?  When you think of your bike, the tires are the only thing contacting the road.  Flat tires serve to create friction and more surface area.  Properly inflated tires reduce both surface area and friction making for a faster ride.

Another reason to inflate tires is to prevent flats and damage to a wheels’ rim.  When cycling on the road, debris can quickly cause a flat if tires aren’t inflated to the proper pressure.  Pinch flats and snakebites are common issues with tires that aren’t inflated correctly.

Having an accurate pump gauge like the Silca Prista enables you to accurately calculate tire pressure each and every time you inflate a tire.

ADVANTAGES OF A FLOOR PUMP

The biggest advantage to a floor pump is it’s ability to quickly pump up a tire.  Most bicycle shops will usually have 2 to 3 floor pumps available to both mechanics and shop goers.

Floor pumps also tend to be more accurate simply because of the gauge size.  While hand pumps are also useful in certain circumstances, their size limits the use and ability to display accurate pressure.

WHY BUY A SILCA FLOOR PUMP?

Silca is world renowned for making top quality pumps.  Ask any mechanic about Silca pumps and they might get all giggly…well at least the older ones will.

Most pumps made today use a plunger with a rubber O-Ring, which after many uses can overheat and then lose it’s seal causing air to leak out with each pump.  The end result is a pump that doesn’t work as good as the day you bought it.  In many cases it simply will stop working.

Silca’s answer to this problem was to go old school and use a greased leather plunger.  The benefit is the plunger lasts longer, slides smoother and takes longer to lose it’s sealing properties.  If and when it does, the pump can be disassembled and re-greased or replaced with a new seal.

Another nice touch with the Silca floor pumps is the wooden handles.  Yes they opted to nix plastic for wood, which gives them a really nice feel.

BOTTOM LINE

If you want to get a super cool pump with a long lineage of great pumps, you will be very happy with the Silva Prista Bicycle Floor Pump.

 

 

About The Author

Tom Crandall

Tom has been writing about photography, cycling, running and fitness since 1988, covering everything from the product reviews to the latest in fitness trends. Tom is the Editor-in-chief of GearMashers.com, 10KstepsDaily.com, EndTheTrendNow.com, AntiqueOutings.com, MiniatureReview.blogspot.com and a few other publications, he began racing in college while getting an Information Resource Management degree at George Mason University. Based in the photography and cycling-crazed city of Austin, Texas, with his wife Kathleen and pug Olaf, Tom enjoys running, walking or riding most every day.

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