What do you buy for the cyclist who has everything? Answer: the Silca Superpista Ultimate
This ‘Best in Show’ track pump doesn’t come cheap with a price tag of £300.
If you don’t own a Silca track pump, you more than likely know someone who does. Their sturdy, colourful, metal-barrelled contraptions have been gracing cyclists’ sheds, workshop floors and village hall car parks for years. With quality looks and replaceable parts, they are prized for their longevity and might be passed down from one generation to another.
But having been run for 96 years by the Sacchi family in Italy, the company was last year sold to Joshua Poertner, the former technical director at Zipp. Production upped sticks to Indianapolis, home of the US race car industry, and to relaunch the brand — while maintaining its legendary standards of quality and durability — it has made the most exquisite track pump we’ve ever seen.
The SuperPista Ultimate recently won the best in show in Interbike, and — have we mentioned? — it’ll set you back £300.
But what a classy piece of engineering it is. Employing a laboratory-quality gauge, aerospace grade hose technology and a hand-turned rosewood handle, everything about it exudes class. And while the footplates are designed to accommodate all kinds of cleats and the literature promises the sturdiest, weightiest unit on the market, maybe the pump’s most satisfying feature is the magnetic chuck that snaps the nozzle into a tidy place.
Whether you’d ever choose to part with £300 for such luxuries in a track pump can of course only be a matter of personal opinion. But should you do so, you may want to take extra care over who you lend it to before sign-on.
Q&A: Joshua Poertner, President of Silca
£300 for a track pump?! Is there a market for it?
Absolutely! I know from my personal experience working with pro teams all over the world that pumps can be a massive frustration for pro mechanics and athletes alike. I’ve witnessed the untimely deaths of beautiful shiny new pumps at the wind tunnel, at Paris-Roubaix, in Qatar, and local time trials. I know that the price is high, but am confident that there will always be a market for a finely handcrafted tool that is beautiful, functional and built to last forever.
Has being based in the home of the US race car industry had an influence on the technology that’s gone into this product?
Certainly. We are very fortunate to see all sorts of products and ideas from auto racing, medical, and aerospace industries through our local supply base. It helps too that the racing industry thrives on honest and accurate feedback. We have customers who are drivers and mechanics and they come back to us with the most amazing feedback on what works, what could be improved.
Silca is something of a classic brand. How did you end up buying the company?
I purchased the company from Claudio Sacchi, who was the grandson of the founder. Claudio was very sick and looking for somebody interested in carrying the company forward, but who was also interested in supporting the history and historical components of the brand.
Will you be producing any other models?
At the moment we aren’t yet able to keep up with demand on this one.