Silca’s Joshua Poertner is a unique figure in the cycling industry. A man with a fascinating background in carbon wheel development with Zipp Speed Weaponry, Poertner brings a rare blend of engineering skill and philosophical nous to product design, and importantly, testing. A keen intellect, the man is intimately familiar with the interplay between human perception and technology. That is, he understands the degree to which perception biases our interpretation and evaluation of technology. When developing wheels, what feels fast isn’t always truly fast. Rigorous application of the scientific method is vital to separating fact from fiction.
As head of Silca, the storied brand many veteran cyclist grew up with, Poertner brings his penchant for quality and meaningful innovation to the tire pressure domain. Behind Poertner, Silca took a page out of Tesla’s book in 2014, releasing their SuperPista Ultimate floor pump at the dawn of their re-birth, Poertner having purchased the flagging brand in 2013. Much like Tesla’s release of their Roadster in 2008, the Ultimate was intended to establish Silca as the most innovative brand in air-pressure domain. But like the Roadster, the Ultimate was not the end-game. Rather than aim to occupy the upper echelons of the cycling market, selling pumps to doctors, lawyers, dentists, and bankers, Silca and Tesla aim to make their technology accessible to ‘the masses.’ That is, ‘regular’ people.
Both, in my view, importantly, share the same perspective regarding innovation: planned obsolescence is NOT their model. Rather, their products are intended to last for years upon years of use. Invest once, grow old together.
Today’s release of Silca’s SuperPista marks their bold move into the mass market, where their pump will fall within reach of millions of cyclists across the world. Trickling down design elements from the Ultimate model, the $235 US SuperPista shifts from stainless steel construction to aluminum, and drops from 1% gauge acuracy to 2%, which is still more accurate than any competitor. Production is carried out in Taiwan, in contrast to the Indianapolis construction of the Ultimate models.
But part of the trajectory we are seeing in cycling that is vital to Silca’s approach is a heightening awareness and understanding of the importance of tire volume and pressure for safety and performance. You can read about this topic in this post from March. I’ve noted that really supple tires require more careful inflation to achieve the riding characteristics desired, and reliable technology for inflating and measuring their pressures through time is vital. The SuperPista brings the accuracy we all benefit into reach.
Originally launched in 1989, the SILCA SuperPista was a game changer for the pro mechanic and home mechanic alike. It’s large, ergonomic wooden handle and 50mm of additional stroke changed the perception of what a pump could and should be, taking the focus from the highest possible pressures, to faster inflation to more reasonable pressures. SILCA now introduces a revamped SuperPista, the high performance little brother of sorts to the SuperPista Ultimate pump introduced nearly two years ago.
Made using 100% Aluminum construction (not a single plastic component), with an exceptionally wide base for stability, the SuperPista is a user friendly pump with modern-classic styling. Borrowing many features from the Ultimate like the oversized shoe friendly base geometry, full-grain leather gasket, and IGUS (™) linear bearings for ultimate smoothness, this pump is highly engineered to stand the test of time. The new SuperPista features a solid wooden handle and a larger gauge, making accurate pressure a breeze to execute.
- Full Aluminum construction with full aluminum internals and brass check valve (NO plastic)
- 75mm (3 inch) Gauge Face with ultra-high contrast printing for improved readability
- 2% Accuracy gauge (compare to 5% industry standard) for more accurate pressures
- 5 Axis Machined Kiln Dried Beech Wood Handle for perfect ergonomics
- Shoe Friendly base with special elastomer feet safe for all floor surfaces
- Full aluminum Suspension Fork Piston with IGUS Glide Rings
- 3.5mm Thick Full-Grain leather gasket. Produced by the same vendor since 1946!
- Thread on 7075-T6 Schrader Chuck
- Push on-push off Presta Chuck with SILCA’s famous 242 Gasket
- Presta Chuck Pressure Relief Valve
- SILCA Lifetime Warranty
- $235 USD
We are proud to be partnered with Silca. Their ethos resonates with ours, and we wish them every success. They are generously supporting our Ride of the Damned in providing prizes for our raffle, and we will have their Ultimate pumps with us in our support vehicles for riders to use before roll-out and perhaps out on the road if un/lucky.