For over three decades this Silca Pista bicycle floor pump has been in continuous use. With only a few leather washer and rubber valve seal changes, plus some grease, there's been no other maintenance required. The hose clamps were changed once and that's it, a tool that just works. Servicing the pump requires the most basic tools that could be found anywhere, and a couple of the operations removing threaded ends can be performed by hand. Since the day this pump was assembled at the factory the valve housing had never seen the light of day, and even now it was only exposed for the photographs.
Bought from Woolys Wheels in Paddington mid 1981, the gauge shows a date of manufacture in December 1979. In it's first few years this Pista Silca travelled the globe, packed in the bottom of bike boxes, into team cars, hotel rooms, pumping air into tyres at velodromes and road races. Pumps are something you pay little attention to, as ubiquitous as they are, yet this one survived since the 80's and it's still going strong.
Sure the paint has a vintage and well-worn patina, which last week caused a friend to go leap up and down then turn cart-wheels when he caught sight of it. A pump like this one, the perfect shed companion for your old steel bike.
Felice Sacchi hit on a winner when Silca SRL was founded in 1917 in Milan Italy. Revolutionary use of a leather cup washer lead Silca to prominence, achieving higher air pressures than possible with other designs of the era.
Silca defined the classic cycling pump with it's Impero frame pumps and Pista floor pumps becoming icons of Italian manufacturing flare. In 1982 Silca lead the way once again with the industry’s first valve controllable CO2 inflator. Up to September 2013, Silca was the oldest Italian company in the cycling industry to remain in continuous family ownership. Felice’s grandson Claudio Sacchi has been at the helm since 1989 and is affectionately known as Mr. Silca .
Now Joshua Poertner, former Technical Director of Zipp Speed Weaponry has purchased Silca with plans to relocate the company including all production to Indianapolis. Josh said “I am both thrilled and honored to be entrusted with this great and historic brand. To me Silca has always represented passion, craftsmanship, and timeless functionality. I look forward to merging these values with advanced engineering capabilities and US manufacturing here in Indianapolis.”
With Josh's technical expertise, we can be assured that going forward, the reliable and basic operation of the legendary Silca pump will be enhanced, leaving no doubt that Silca will remain the pump of choice and grace the workshops of cycling devotees for decades to come.
Note : July 2014, since we published this post we've had a few enquiries from various Silca pump owners, wanting to find either replacement parts for their old Silca pump or help with how various components work. Any questions can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org or go to the Silca website http://silca.cc/ Alternatively you can use our contact form and we'll forward your enquiries to Silca, or use the comments below to ask your questions. If you're an Australian customer the Aussie Silca distributor Echelon Sports can answer your questions too.