Silca has a reputation for making super-high-quality tools and accessories, with the associated high prices such quality commands. The Silca Superpista Digital Floor Pump is no exception. It's the most expensive track pump we've ever tested, but it is extremely nice to use, with a solid build quality, it's highly accurate and it offers a few neat tricks up its barrel.
- Pros: Build quality, amazing to use, accurate
- Cons: You could buy a bike for the same price
You can trace the DNA of this pump back 30 years. Remember the iconic orange pumps the company was famous for? Every part could be replaced when it wore out, ensuring it would last a lifetime, and it was a lovely tool to use.
The Superpista is the third-generation pump and is handcrafted with an aluminium barrel, steel piston shaft, large aluminium base and an ash wood handle. Atop the barrel is a digital pressure gauge, and the long rubber hose is capped with the company's HIRO chuck, an all-metal design with a large lever and compatibility with all valves.
Both the weight of the pump and the three-legged base ensures huge stability. It doesn't move about when you're using it and it's not going to fall over easily without a hefty push; this lets you concentrate on inflating the tyre, not worrying about ensuring the pump doesn't topple over.
The wooden handle is ergonomic and the pump action is silky smooth through its stroke. Inside the pump is a full metal shock piston design with an Italian leather plunger washer and German Igus linear bearings, which creates that smooth action that requires only the lightest pressure. There's also no build-up of pressure as you near your target pressure, a problem that can afflict cheaper pumps. It makes inflating tyres a breeze.
The rubber hose is a generous length and loops around a hook on the base, with the metal chuck snapping onto a magnet dock just below the pressure gauge, making tidying up the hose after use much easier than other track pumps. My only criticism is that the hook could be on the front of the pump rather than the rear as this is where the hose naturally falls after use.
A key feature of this third-generation track pump is the digital pressure gauge powered by a single 2032 coin cell battery. The display is bright and crisp with large digits so it's really easy to see when you're standing over the pump – no squinting at a tiny gauge on the base here. You can flick between PSI and bar readouts depending on your preference while you're using it. It's rated for up to 220psi or 15.1 bar, so plenty for most applications including track bikes which run the highest pressure of any bicycles.
One neat feature of the pump is being able to set a target pressure alert, like for car tyres at the garage. By pressing the '+' or '-' buttons you can set your desired pressure and then just pump away until you get the alert. It's a useful feature and does make tyre inflation a little easier, but I can see it being more appealing to mechanics who have to inflate the tyres on a lot of bikes on a regular basis rather than a home mechanic with just one or two bikes to maintain.
As I've said, the HIRO chuck is a solid all-metal design with a large flip handle. Push the chuck onto the valve, press the smoothly operated lever shut, and the chuck is firmly locked into place. It worked perfectly every single time, never came loose and never allowed air to escape or leak. If only all chucks worked as nicely as this.
The pump is also very accurate. Silca claims it's accurate to 1%. I've used a variety of pumps over the years and you'd be surprised how much accuracy can vary. Every time I tested the Silca it was completely accurate to a single psi or less.
This pump is so expensive there are literally no rivals in this price range to compare it with. You could probably pay someone to come around and inflate your tyres for less money.
Why pay £275 for a track pump? Nearly every pump out there will do the main job of inflating your tyres to the desired pressure, but what you're paying extra for with the Silca is a huge step up in the build quality, materials, attention to design and sheer loveliness of operation. It's a joy to use, and if you have a penchant for really nicely designed products that clearly aren't built to a cheap price and will last forever, you won't be disappointed. I've been through many pumps in my many years of cycling, and many have failed along the way, but there's nothing about this Silca that suggests you won't be able to pass it on to your grandchildren.
The most expensive track pumps tested on road.cc that come anywhere close to the Silca are mostly the special tubeless inflators, like Lezyne's Digital Pressure Over Drive (£140), but that's a pump for inflating stubborn tubeless tyres. Another cheaper alternative, though still pricey, is the Truflo Digitrack at £99, which also provides good performance and features a digital pressure gauge.
Silca track pumps have always been highly respected and sought after; they're lovely to use, reliable and easy to service, and you can replace parts when they wear out. This latest version is a joy to use, from the magnetic dock for the chuck to the chuck itself, which is the best I've ever used, and the bright and clear pressure gauge. Yes it's expensive, but it's very much not a disposable item; it'll last a lifetime.
Expensive, but a joy to use – the last track pump you'll ever buy
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Silca Superpista Digital Floor Pump
Size tested: One
Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
The Silca SuperPista Digital Floor Pump combines the best of traditional Silca quality and ergonomics with an easy-to-read top-mounted digital gauge accurate to 0.5psi and complete with audio alarm – making the SuperPista Digital much easier to monitor accurate tyre pressures
This third generation Silca SuperPista combines all of the handcrafted elements which have made SuperPista the go-to pump of the ProTour for more than 30 years, with our two most mechanic and consumer requested features: a high accuracy digital gauge, and gauge readout located at the top of the barrel for easier reading.
Built more like a suspension fork than a traditional pump, the SuperPista combines a full metal shock piston design with the classic Italian leather plunger washer and German Igus linear bearings to create the highest efficiency, smoothest running SuperPista to date.
The oversized aluminium base provides more than 2x the stability of other designs while still being optimized for use with cycling shoes. The lathe turned Ash handle is a geometric copy of the SuperPista Ultimate handle and provides the ultimate in comfort and ergonomics.
A first for Silca pumps, the SuperPista also utilizes a top-mount hose design with top mount magnetic chuck storage. This puts the chuck right at the hands of the user reducing back strain and eliminates bending over to access or store the chuck. As with the Ultimate pump, the SuperPista now comes standard with the multi-award winning Hiro chuck. This full metal chuck was originally designed for ultra-high pressure track use, but mechanics have since found that they prefer it for its compact size, adjustability, and extreme holding ability on all valve and valve extension designs.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
High-mount 1% accurate digital gauge with backlight, adjustable pressure alarm and adjustable pressure units
Full-size Ash wood handle with secure carrier strap
High-efficiency 28mm SILCA leather plunger piston design
Brass air check-valve assembly
Alloy barrel with plated steel piston shaft
Long filler hose with integrated Schrader chuck
Hiro locking-lever Presta chuck with magnetic dock
Rated to 220psi
It's damn expensive, no doubt about that, and there are many cheaper track pumps that inflate tyres just fine. But it's the way the Silca does it that ensures it's a step above all rivals; the fact it's fully serviceable and will likely last a long, long time. Products aren't bad value just because they're expensive if they genuinely offer better performance than cheaper rivals.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Makes inflating tyre a joy – you'll be going around looking for bikes with flat tyres just for an excuse to use it.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Build quality and how lovely it is to use.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
There's nothing else that even comes close to it on price.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
Some products are easy to score, some are very tricky, as is this Silca pump. The high price makes it impossible to recommend on a pure value for money basis as there are lots of cheaper pumps that do a fine job of inflating tyres, but it's the way the Silca has been designed and constructed that makes it a joy to use. If money's no object it's a 10; otherwise, it's simply very good.
About the tester
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, mountain biking
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.