Since 1917, SILCA has been the global leader in high-performance pumps for cycling. And if we had to choose one pump to which we owe that reputation to it would be this one, the Pista Floor Pump. If you’ve been around the sport of cycling for any length of time, you’ve likely seen this pump with a Molteni orange barrel. That’s because, during the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s the orange Pista was the pump that shop mechanics used because of its rebuildability; the pump that the European pro mechanics preferred because of its flat profile; and the pump that cyclists around the world bought knowing that it would be the last floor pump they ever needed to buy.
In 2017, we took all of the qualities of the original Pista and introduced a re-engineered, limited-edition version of the pump with the iconic Molteni orange barrel to celebrate 100 years in business. These modern orange pumps were initially meant to be a limited-release product to celebrate our heritage, but the positive response and demand for the product has continued. As we’re now in our second century of making of high-performance pumps, we’re pleased to make Pista part of our permanent floor pump line-up and will offer it in a modern red livery moving forward.
The modern Pista preserves the beautiful aesthetics of the original but improves on the design in some very important ways. The gauge has been updated to a much higher precision; the handle is a reincarnation of the original but is now made with Ash wood instead of Bakelite, and the steel barrel and piston shaft are upgrades in quality and durability from the original.
At the request of Fausto Coppi's mechanics in the late 1950's, the team at SILCA set out to design a pump that would take the best attributes of each style of pump and combine them into one. The result, launched in 1962, was a design so elegant and timeless that it came to define the entire category of 'Track Pumps' ('Pista' is Italian for 'track' after all.) The original Pista paired a steel barrel with a 3mm thick leather piston washer, solid brass internal valves and the now iconic oval handle with two grooves for holding the hose that allowed the pump to lay flat in a travel bag or the trunk of a car. These pumps were prized by professional mechanics around the world for their durability, dependability, and accuracy.
With the launch of the new Pista, we have tried to capture the magic of the original while continuing to improve function and durability. This Pista upgrades the original Celluloid handle to a more classic lathe turned Ash wood and upgrades the chuck assembly to include Presta and Schrader compatibility plus a new bleed button to make chuck removal easier. We've also upgraded to a 3% accurate gauge fully protected in an aluminum base housing. Additionally, we've added self-lubricating internal guide surfaces to make it smoother running and more efficient than any pump before.
What hasn't changed are the critical components that make SILCA pumps so durable and dependable. This Pista uses a 3mm thick leather piston washer and solid brass internal valve assembly which have been produced in the same factories in Milan, Italy since 1947. These critical components are the heart of the pump and have demonstrated more than 70 years of flawless performance under the harshest conditions, so it only seems fitting that we continue to use them.