Cyclist gift idea: Silca Pista Plus Floor Pump

Check out the Pista Plus Floor Pump from Silca if you’re shopping for a cyclist (or yourself) this holiday season. Silca has been “the” pump to have since 1962, and their overall design and feature set hasn’t really changed much. That’s because a Pista is built to last a lifetime, and can easily be serviced by the user. But the Pista Plus does improve on the Pista in a few notable ways.

Silca Pista Plus Floor Pump

Silca Pista Plus Floor Pump

The base

Yes, it’s all about that base. The original Pista was designed to be used with a single foot. While this made it a bit more compact, it wasn’t super stable. So the Plus here is for the extra stability from the new base, which allows for both feet, if desired. Note the high contrast, 220 PSI face on the large 64mm gauge as well. It’s accurate to within 2%, and very readable.

Silca Pista Plus Gauge

Silca Pista Plus Gauge

The handle

Although the cigar-shaped handle of the Pista was comfortable, the Pista Plus adds extra style and comfort. Check out the new handle, lathe-turned from ash, a wood so durable, it’s also used for baseball bats. Great ergonomics, good looks, and should outlast the owner.

Silca Pista Plus Ash Handle

Silca Pista Plus Ash Handle

The chuck

There is a lot to like about this simple, yet elegant chuck. First, the machine work is easy on the eyes, and the hands. That knurling makes an ideal gripping surface. You’ll notice it’s for Presta valves, but don’t panic. Simply unscrew the end to reveal the Schrader chuck. Got disc wheels? No worries, there’s a chuck available (at an extra cost) for them too. And the designers moved the clamp for the hose, so whichever chuck you choose, it stays in place when not in use. There’s even a handy little bleeder valve built in too, in case you need to let out some air.

Silca Pista Plus Chuck

Silca Pista Plus Chuck

Using it

If you’ve never used a Silca pump before, it might feel different. Inside the steel barrel is a 28mm Italian 731 leather washer, and German Igus linear bearings. Most other pumps have a plastic guide on the barrel, and a rubber plunger. Both of which will wear out, and can also add extra friction, which means more work. The Pista Plus is smooth, but feels a little mechanical. I had no issues getting over 100 PSI with little effort. The smaller barrel makes it easy to get high pressure, but does require more strokes for higher volume tires. Either way, it makes quick work of tire swaps, flats, or just topping up tires.

Schrader, Presta

Schrader, Presta

Warranty

Silca offers a warranty unlike any other, in just about any business. Read about it here. Short version: They’ve got your back. And with some products, they’ll even cover the stupid things we’ve all done at least once. I should note that I bought a spare hose, chuck, and even the leather washer for my old Silca Pista. After 14 years of use, it disappeared. But all original parts still worked when it went missing. So whoever stole my pump may need to rebuild it, but I never had to. Silca really is a “lifetime” purchase, and the Pista Plus is no exception.

Whether you are interested in the Pista Plus, the original Pista, or are considering the new digital version, you can find them all at Silca.cc.

A special thanks to Silca for sending out their Pista Plus for this review. I had some other pumps banging around the garage, but I know that the Pista Plus will outlast them all.