Silca Pista Plus Floor Pump review
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Silca Pista Plus Floor Pump review

Sep 05, 2023

The Pista Plus oozes style, but is the high price justified?

This competition is now closed

By Will Poole

Published: August 28, 2023 at 4:00 pm

Silca’s Pista Plus pump combines masterful craftsmanship and the search for practical perfection.

Its attractive wooden handle and steel body are indicators of a high-quality piece of kit that functions well.

Depending on where you are in the world, the Pista Plus sits somewhere in the middle of a range spanning from ‘expensive’ to ‘really expensive’, so does it justify the price tag?

Standing 64cm tall, with World Championship stripes running around the barrel from the motif on the front, the gloss grey paint sets off the wood of the 22cm-wide Ash wooden handle beautifully.

Bearing the Silca crest at either end, the handle has tapered grips but remains round along its length.

Fully extended, the height is 109.5cm with a stroke length of 45.5cm.

The 20.6×16.5cm base houses the 55mm-diameter gauge, and a 102.5cm hose rises from the base between the pump body and the gauge.

The Pista Plus weighs 1,575g.

Silca has admirably done away with plastic for the entire construction of the Pista Plus.

The lathe-turned Ash handle, steel body and aluminium base are augmented with brass fixtures and replaceable leather gaskets.

Silca states it wants this pump to outlast the rest of your kit, and it might very well get its way because many of the parts are available as replacements.

The valve system enables Schrader compatibility with the chuck removed, but that also loses the bleed valve useful for fine-tuning pressure, which is built into the Presta-only chuck.

That Schrader valve is, in fact, only supposed to be for attaching Silca’s various other adaptors. Somewhat confusingly, it includes a specific Schrader adaptor too, so it can stand prouder of the chuck.

While the gauge is not the largest, its red face and clear numbering make it easy to read despite the gauge being located on the base.

Silca claims accuracy within +/- 2 per cent (which is in the ballpark of industry standard) and my testing seems to corroborate that. So far as the gauge allowed, it agreed with my digital benchmark gauge.

29×2.4in mountain bike tyres required 36 strokes to reach 20psi, a 700 x 40c gravel tyre went up to 50psi in 35 strokes and a 700 x 26c road tyre got to 80psi taking 25 strokes.

These are modal figures taken from a number of attempts at each tyre size, measured with the same pressure gauge.

While the hose length would reach the valves of a bike suspended in a bike repair stand, the in-line nature of the chuck means you effectively need more hose length than average to engage with those valves.

Hose storage comes in the form of a simple groove in the middle of the Ash handle and a barrel-mounted dock for the head, which secures the handle when not in use.

The aluminium base also bears the Silca crest, while the underside has braces for support. That said, those braces did occasionally result in the pump not sitting securely on uneven surfaces.

However, in certain other situations, such as on softer ground, it did not sink in so readily.

The Silca Pista Plus is an excellent tool for pushing air into tyres. However, few will manage to justify the cost despite that performance.

If style and functionality trump bang for buck, the Silca Pista Plus is worth your attention.

This pump was reviewed as part of BikeRadar’s 2023 pump review. The other pumps tested were:

Workshop manager

Will Poole is BikeRadar’s workshop manager. As a Cytech Level 3-qualified mechanic charged with running one of the busiest workshops in the UK, Will knows almost everything there is to know about bike setup and component configuration. He has ridden and raced road and mountain bikes for more than 25 years, and can often be found ripping up the trails of south Wales. Will is also a regular contributor to BikeRadar and our sister titles, Cycling Plus and Mountain Biking UK magazines, putting his experience as a rider and mechanic to use by testing the latest bikes and product to their limits.