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Silca Pista Plus Review

This great looking pump has a few too many issues, especially considering the price tag.
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Price:  $145 List | $145.00 at REI
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Sleek look, steel tripod base, reliable
Cons:  Small gauge with accuracy issues, rather slow inflation
Manufacturer:   Silca
By Mark Schanzenbach ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jul 15, 2019
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67
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#11 of 18
  • Ease of attachment - 25% 7
  • Stability - 20% 9
  • Inflation Speed - 20% 7
  • Accuracy - 20% 5
  • Gauge - 15% 5

Our Verdict

The Silca Pista Plus is a sleek little track pump with a nice tripod base, wooden handle, and a subtle gray paint job. The issue with this pump is, unfortunately, its gauge; it's rather small, the casing casts shadows on the face of it, the color scheme is difficult to read from afar, and we found its readings to be off by as much as 7 PSI.

For a sexy track pump with a tripod base and wooden handle at less than half the price, we're still directing our attention toward the Lezyne Steel Floor Drive. Our Editors' Choice Blackburn Piston 4 will also take care of all the needs this pump tries to meet, but with a less fussy pump head and a more accurate gauge.


Compare to Similar Products

 
This Product
Silca Pista Plus
Awards  Editors' Choice Award  Best Buy Award  
Price $145.00 at REI
Compare at 2 sellers
$59.95 at Competitive Cyclist
Compare at 2 sellers
$49.95 at REI
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$49.06 at Amazon
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$59.99 at Competitive Cyclist
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Sleek look, steel tripod base, reliableAnyValve head, long hose, large clear gauge, highly accurate, steel tripod baseMetal base, good gauge, accurate, good value.Inexpensive, durable, metal tripod base, large accurate gauge, HV/HP switchABS1 flip-thread chuck, steel barrel and base, wooden handle, long hose, durability, stylish appearance
Cons Small gauge with accuracy issues, rather slow inflationHose doesn't hold down pump handleOdd base shape, heavier than most, short hose.Clumsy pump head design, plastic gauge caseGauge accuracy issues
Bottom Line This great looking pump has a few too many issues, especially considering the price tag.This excellent pump impressed us on every level and wins our Editor's Choice award for best floor pump.Built to last, this affordable model performs above its list price.Our Best Buy award winner, this pump offers excellent all-around performance at a very reasonable price.A stylish pump with quality construction and good performance.
Rating Categories Silca Pista Plus Blackburn Piston 4 Topeak JoeBlow Sport III Crankbrothers Gem Lezyne Steel Floor Drive
Ease Of Attachment (25%)
10
0
7
10
0
10
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
8
Stability (20%)
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
6
10
0
9
10
0
9
Inflation Speed (20%)
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
8
Accuracy (20%)
10
0
5
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
6
Gauge (15%)
10
0
5
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
8
Specs Silca Pista Plus Blackburn Piston 4 Topeak JoeBlow... Crankbrothers Gem Lezyne Steel Floor...
Max PSI 220 220 160 160 220
Weight 4.8 lbs 3.8 lbs 3.7 lbs 4.0 lbs 3.8 lbs
Height 25 in 25.9 in 27 in 25.2 in 25.8 in
Hose Length 43 in 42.5 in 30 in 36 in 48 in
Tubeless Recommended? No No No No No
Accessory inflators included? No No Yes Yes Yes

Our Analysis and Test Results

Silca bike pumps, the classic track pumps built in Italy for nearly 100 years, are now manufactured in Indianapolis since they were bought by an American company in 2014. We were excited to try out one of these new models. The Silca Pista Plus has a classic, sleek look to it with a steel base and barrel, wooden handle, and minimalistic design.

Performance Comparison



Stability


The base of the Pista Plus is a steel tripod, and each leg is 2" wide, but only 3.5" long, which helps it maintain one of the narrowest profiles of any pump we've tried. Despite the narrow base, we found this pump to be quite stable. Steel tripod bases tend to be quite successful in this area, and this one has the added benefit of the gauge living right on the front leg of the base. This isn't always an ideal design for reading the actual gauge, especially when it's rather small (more on that below), but it does help the pump stay upright.

The wide legs give a nice surface to stand on while pumping, and the pumping motion is very smooth. It feels like a high-quality pumping experience, with not much wobbling when the pump is in motion.

Ease of Attachment/Detachment



The detachable presta valve works well  but we're concerned about keeping track of it.
The detachable presta valve works well, but we're concerned about keeping track of it.

The Pista pump head accepts Schrader in its pure form and twists down to attach to Schrader valves, which is a natural enough process. It then has a screw-in chuck for Presta valves. When using Presta, one only has to push the head down hard onto an open valve…and start pumping away. There is no additional locking mechanism to engage; it just goes on and works. It does take a pretty hard push to get it on, and a hard yank to remove it, which feels concerning. Another concern here is that the Presta chuck fully detaches from the head, with nowhere to put it while you're pumping Schrader. For anyone who switches between valve types with any frequency, it would be all too easy to misplace or leave behind the Presta chuck and find oneself S.O.L.

Gauge


A small gauge with questionable color choices  there's room for improvement here.
A small gauge with questionable color choices, there's room for improvement here.
The Pista Plus gauge maintains a classic look, but it might do well to consider an update. The gauge is a mere 2.5" wide, with smallish black PSI numbers on a red background (the bar measurements are white on gray). The needle is also black and is mostly hovering above a dark gray surface, which doesn't help it to stand out much. The printed face of the gauge is set deep beneath the top surface, and the thick black edges of the gauge case tend to cast a strong shadow across the PSI readings. The gauge is also set into the front of the base, all the way down on the ground, far away from the eyeballs of the pumper.

The numbers themselves are clear enough, and the gauge is well-built with a solid metal case around it. The gauge on this pump also screws off for replacement purposes, which could be a nice feature, but we don't recommend trying this unless you're committed to going all the way: we unscrewed and removed the gauge, then could never get it to sit straight again. Screwing the gauge down tight after removing it leaves it turned about 70 degrees counterclockwise from its original position. This certainly smells like user error, but on the other hand, if a part is very easy to remove, it should be reasonably easy to reattach.

Inflation Speed


A lovely wooden handle feels great in the palms.
A lovely wooden handle feels great in the palms.

A track pump focuses more on reaching high pressures than getting there quickly, but we found the inflation speed to still be perfectly passable with the Pista Plus. It took about 24 pumps of the handle to get from 20 to 80 PSI, which is a few pump strokes more than the fastest pumps, and about on par with the budget models such as the AerGun or BV. It's not breaking any speed records, but that isn't its job. It does have the advantages of a comfortable wooden handle and a smooth pumping motion to help those pump strokes really fly by.

Accuracy


In addition to imperfections with the gauge itself that we've covered above, this pump also suffered from some significant accuracy problems. We actually found this to be more apparent at higher pressures, which should be a specialty for this pump — we noticed differences as high as 7 PSI from our independent gauge. 7 PSI isn't necessarily a catastrophic difference for casual riders, but this is a $150 pump presumably aimed at higher level road racers, and 7 PSI can make an important difference for folks trying to get every last bit of speed out of their ride.

The base of this pump is one of its highlights.
The base of this pump is one of its highlights.

Best Applications


As we've mentioned above, this pump is primarily designed for very high-pressure track tires, and pumping up high-pressure tires will certainly be the best use for this pump. It's well-made with a heavy-duty steel barrel and base, so it could do well in a situation where it sees frequent use, especially if it's seeing Presta valves exclusively on high-pressure tires. An independent gauge may be a good secondary investment though.

Value


As one of the most expensive pumps we've reviewed, it would need to rank very highly in our test results to be considered a good value, and unfortunately, our testers didn't find that to be the case. While it's far from a terrible pump, it does have a rather poor gauge with some accuracy issues, and its strengths are shared by plenty of thriftier units.

Conclusion


Silca's Pista Plus floor pump is a great looking pump with a classic design, made mostly of steel with a gorgeous wooden handle. The base is strong and stable, and it can reach very high pressures — there are definitely perks! Its test results were not impressive in general though, especially related to the gauge's design and accuracy. For the high price it's difficult to recommend this model.


Mark Schanzenbach