Silca has been around for a long, long time—longer than you, your parents and maybe even your grandparents. Founded in 1917, Silca was an innovator from the start and was the first to put gauges on its pumps and use plastics in their construction. More recently, and in an ironic turn of events involving the stigma against cheap, disposable items, Silca was one of the companies that led the trend back to using wood and metal in construction instead of plastic.
The company has always been focused on creating heirloom pieces intended to last for decades—Silca still offers replacement parts for pumps going back decades. The pump Granddad bought when color TV wasn’t around yet might not be salvageable, but the one Dad bought when Saturday Night Fever came out can probably be made (nearly) brand new.
Silca also makes tools, packs and a host of other bike-related paraphernalia with the same ethos in mind. Silca products are always of shop-quality standards, made to hold up to abuse in the garage or on the trail.
Silca Pista Plus and SuperPista Pumps | $145-$275
Before you run off screaming of corporate demons trying to steal the cash from your wallet, take a minute to remember that Silca makes pumps that last a lifetime—or even longer. As long as you don’t run the thing over with your car, parts that wear out can probably be replaced or at least fixed.
The Pista line of pumps are the only floor pumps Silca makes and are designed more like suspension forks than tire pumps. They use IGUS linear bearings in the main piston for durability and smoothness, and the vast majority of the construction is either metal or wood (in the case of the handle).
The Pista Plus pump is an upgrade over the regular Pista Pump in that Silca redesigned, well, basically everything. Most noticeably though, the base is wider for more support, a new, larger gage is installed and a longer hose is used. The new hose allows the use of any thread-on type air chuck, while still ensuring that the hose can be attached to the pump so as to avoid it flapping in the proverbial breeze during transport.
The SuperPista has all the bells and whistles—which we would hope for in a pump that costs as much as this one does at $275. The digital gauge of the SuperPista is claimed to be accurate to 1 percent, even though it goes up to 220 psi. No mountain bike (or really any normal bike for that matter) requires that high of pressure, but with a digital gauge that accurate this might be a pump that works for dialing in your fat bike’s pressure one day and your road bike’s the next. With the amount of high-volume pumps touting low-pressure gauges cropping up, it’s commonplace to see two floor pumps in a household—one for mountain bikes and one for everything else. The SuperPista could be a potential solution to pare things back down, that is as long as you don’t mind eating ramen for a week or two to offset to initial cost.
Silca Ypsilon Y-Wrench | $36-$108
Silca took a unique approach to the classic y-wrench with the new Ypsilon. The y-wrench could make a case for being one of the most widely used tools in the bike industry—it’s a tool you’ll find one (or two) of in just about every shop and garage. Traditionally, a 4-5-6 millimeter hex key layout is used, but there’s a plethora of combinations to chose from. In some shops, you might even find three or four different y-wrenches within arm’s reach of the stand just to ensure that all the most common hexes and Torx heads are quickly accessible.
Silca’s Ypsilon has 4-millimeter and 5-millimeter hexes for two arms, while the third arm accepts 1/4-inch bits. The bit collet is magnetic and can accept any 1/4-inch bits. Silca’s design lets you customize what you’d like to have close at hand, whether it be the a classic 4, 5, 6-millimeter pattern, 4, 5, T25 or even something as weird as a 4, 5, No. 2 Phillips combo. Heck, you could even attach the internet sensation Gator Grip socket to the Ypsilon if you wanted (but we don’t know why you would).
The other unorthodox innovation that Silca has taken with the Ypsilon is the way they’re offering it (and the prices derivative thereof). The Ypsilon is availible in three options. For $108 you can take home the Ypsilon, a custom birchwood box and a range of hex, Torx and screw bits that sit in a customizable foam insert. If you just want the tool and bits but not the beautiful box, that’ll run you $74. Already spent most of your budget buying a fancy new floor-pump? The Ypsilon with no bits can be acquired for $36 which, after reading about Silca’s other new offerings, sounds downright affordable.
To learn more about Silca tools and pumps, head over here.