Silca Superpista Digital pump review.

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
RocketRacing
Posts: 563
Joined: Thu May 10, 2018 2:43 am

by RocketRacing

So I got a silca pump. I put this in my bike build thread, but figured i would share it seperate for general interest.

Listening to the Marginal Gains podcast, and reading Silca’s blog on the science and importance of tires... i figured tire pressure was pretty key... so why not get a proper pump?!?

My theory is a scientific one. When it comes to data, the old saying in research is “$h!t in = $h!t out”. With many pumps having huge error (+/-5% easy), i figured i needed to start with good data. Plus... even if my pump were accurate, it is not uncommon for the chuck to release pressure upon chuck disengagement.

Enter the silca superpista digital.
278CF915-DF12-4A61-BA2B-7E44FD318409.jpeg
A509965D-645F-4AED-9F77-C4C0592328BA.jpeg
C2E63770-4B5E-492D-A026-B81E689A0CC6.jpeg
98C05DAF-191C-4C46-A351-983569549A86.jpeg
A08EE540-02AC-4167-A9D0-FE1309479127.jpeg
So you can say what you want about price. But i will say, why are you using a 50-100$ pump on your 3000-8,000$ bike? To spend that kind of money money on a bike, you are going for marginal gains, weather you know it or not. A 8k bike is not 4x faster than a 2k bike. Ideal pressures might be worth that extra 6k.

You don’t put wallmart oil in a Ferrari.

Anyway... this thing is gorgeous. Money can’t buy happiness, but it sure buys a smooth feeling pump. Words to not describe, but the pump action is butter smooth. It is like a ford vs a porsche. You don’t appreciate how much better one feels until you drive it.

The design is great also. There is a magnet on the base to secure the chuck (or to place metal tools/parts so they do not roll away), and on the side of the digital screen. And the magnet is strong. Awesome!!!

The hero chuck is all metal, and an easy one hander to put on. The thumb lever locks it in, so no need for a two hand operation. This is BY FAR the best chuck i have ever used by a huge margin!!! And basically no air escapes putting it on, or taking it off (my only skepticism of a super accurate pump). It also needs minimal valve stem to grip on... and apparently it grips to 300psi. You can get these as upgrades for your own pump. I think they are worth it!

My only criticism is that it does not have a bleed valve/button. But the pump is so accurate, you should not need to do blow off unless you are pumping the thing like a circus monkey!

So now to the pump. It has a digital color screen and an auto on/dim/off feature. You can preset your desired pressure. Visibility is great (no analogue gauge at your feet), and it displays pressures to 0.1. The pump is raited at +/-1% accuracy. Silca told me that that is for 100psi plus. As pressures are lower, accuracy increases. So when i put 3psi in my fat bike tires, accuracy is +/-0.25% give or take! Not bad at all. The joe blow fat pump, and road pump, are going in the closet.
DC501F0E-3C08-409A-B1D6-E0A5B69B14C0.jpeg
Back to design. Everything is metal. Except the handle, which is wood. The pump is well weighted in the base, and would be hard to knock over.

Oh yeah, the Silca owner is Josh P. He is an ex zipp engineer heavily involved with their aero rim design. The shaft of the pump is an airfoil shape. I presume this is a “tip of the hat” to his previous work with zipp. Very cool detail.

So i have the most aerodynamic floor pump on the market.

In summary, this thing exceeded my expectations, even for the money spent. The thought put into design, and final execution is impressive.

I was that guy who said “why would anyone spend this much on a bike pump.” I now understand... and have become the guy that would have nothing less. When people are on their 2nd, 3rd or 4th pump in 10 years, this one will still be warrantied for years to come.
2C9EF787-1FC9-4886-8AEB-55FAE8CDB719.jpeg
I also got the silca “speed shields”. Marginal gains to the max. Round objects are not aero. And an airfoil shape has the same drag as a round shape 1/10th the diameter. Think about that.

So what i will do here is put on a shorter valve extender that makes my valve stem almost flush with the speed shield. The silca hero chuck only needs 10mm of valve to grip properly.

So why not skip the speed shield and just have minimal valve poking out? The answer is because these are also wheel balance weights. You put the second one opposite the valve stem. You remove small weights inside it until your wheel is balanced. Marginal gains, but pretty cool, and not a bad thing for high speed stability (minimizing vibration - aka wasted rolling energy), and rolling efficiency.

by Weenie


kode54
Posts: 1559
Joined: Tue May 23, 2006 9:39 pm

by kode54

Nice write up. I have one that I got on sale. I like the digital scale on top so i can actually see it (failing eyes). I have an Efficient Velo pressure gauge that I use to make sure the pressure is accurate...and the Silca is very close. Great pump.
- Parlee Altum + DA9150 + Enve SES 4.5 Ene carbon hubs
- Parlee ESX + DA9150 + THM SRM PM + Enve SES 7.8 carbon hubs
- Moots Vamoots Disc RSL Titanium + DA9170 + Enve 4.5AR CK CL hubs
- Argonaut Spacebike 2.0 + DA9170 + Enve SES 5.6 DT Swiss 240 CL hubs

RocketRacing
Posts: 563
Joined: Thu May 10, 2018 2:43 am

by RocketRacing

kode54 wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 4:51 pm
Nice write up. I have one that I got on sale. I like the digital scale on top so i can actually see it (failing eyes). I have an Efficient Velo pressure gauge that I use to make sure the pressure is accurate...and the Silca is very close. Great pump.
Yeah, their more traditional superpista is alparently a bit more accurate still, but with an analogue gauge at the feet, i figured that alone (human eyes) would hurt accuracy.

Of interest, currently the pump is cheaper by a good margin on the silca site (where i got it) vs other online vendors (crc, etc).

scb
Posts: 191
Joined: Wed May 27, 2009 4:16 pm

by scb

I've had one for a couple of weeks and am really impressed. Looing at their Viaggo for travel.

joshatsilca
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu Feb 21, 2019 4:52 pm

by joshatsilca

Thanks for the kind words RocketRacing.. glad to hear that you love your pump!!

The reason that there is no bleed valve is that we are not holding the presta core open during inflation, so a bleed button would only release hose air which is not necessary with the HIRO chuck. We found in testing that to properly bleed the tire with an open presta, we could not repeatably release the chuck without losing 2-4psi of air pressure at 80psi from the tire. The alternative is to then have a mechanism to allow the user to open the presta/close it with the chuck in place, but running this setup at the local velodrome for a few months taught us that people were incredibly confused and frustrated by the whole operation, doing it wrong more often than not, losing track of the steps, etc.. the thing needed a full page laminated description card to use and still was hard to use!!

Maybe eventually we'll sort that piece of it out, but in the mean time, glad to hear you are happy with the rest of it!

As for the sensor and gauge, yes, this is a +/-1% digital sensor setup, but we bias the curve fit for the sensor to be more accurate down low. The sensor output is a sort of lazy 'S' shape, so traditional gauges curve fit for the middle of the range, we offset that slightly so that we have greater accuracy down low, then drift to higher accuracy at higher pressures.. so in this case you get ~0.5% accuracy at CX/Gravel pressures drifting to 2+% at 220psi where it matters much less.

All the best
Josh
Owner of SILCA
Check out my Tech Blog: https://blog.silca.cc
Stories of the Tech behind the Tech: https://marginalgainspodcast.cc

coresare
Posts: 58
Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2015 8:19 am

by coresare

I have the Silca Superpista Ultimate with their Hiro chuck. Saying the action of pumping is smooth like butter is a bit of a stretch imo. Don't get me wrong. I don't regret getting it, but unless you had some super crappy pump, the smoothness of the stroke isn't that noticeable. Also when you lift the pump up past the last couple inches or so it catches a bit so I avoid lifting up all the way. My gauge is also stuck at 20 psi even when not attached to a bike, but luckily Silca is sending me out a replacement gauge. As far as the magnet being super strong I don't know if I got a dud, but I have to make sure the hose is very taut going over the handle and onto the dock for it to stay or it just pops off when using the regular presta chuck. I feel like they cut the hose a tad too short on mine. I'm not one to sugar coat things, but I've used some cheaper pumps like from Topeak and they work very well also including the chucks. How accurate they all are is something hard for most of us to actually ever be able to measure.

savechief
Posts: 345
Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2011 2:36 am

by savechief

I should hopefully be picking up my Superpista Digital from my LBS tomorrow or Friday. I'll be glad to retire my 4 year old Lezyne.
Time VXRS Ulteam (7.16 kg)
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=120268

RocketRacing
Posts: 563
Joined: Thu May 10, 2018 2:43 am

by RocketRacing

coresare wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 8:10 pm
I have the Silca Superpista Ultimate with their Hiro chuck. Saying the action of pumping is smooth like butter is a bit of a stretch imo. Don't get me wrong. I don't regret getting it, but unless you had some super crappy pump, the smoothness of the stroke isn't that noticeable. Also when you lift the pump up past the last couple inches or so it catches a bit so I avoid lifting up all the way. My gauge is also stuck at 20 psi even when not attached to a bike, but luckily Silca is sending me out a replacement gauge. As far as the magnet being super strong I don't know if I got a dud, but I have to make sure the hose is very taut going over the handle and onto the dock for it to stay or it just pops off when using the regular presta chuck. I feel like they cut the hose a tad too short on mine. I'm not one to sugar coat things, but I've used some cheaper pumps like from Topeak and they work very well also including the chucks. How accurate they all are is something hard for most of us to actually ever be able to measure.
How about smooth like margarine. Just saying what I feel. My other pumps (topeak, leyzine, blackburn) are decient pumps, but plastic fantastic and there are more creaks and groans in the pumping process. I hve never had my pump catch at the upper limit of the stroke, but maybe i do not go there often as i am 5’7.

RocketRacing
Posts: 563
Joined: Thu May 10, 2018 2:43 am

by RocketRacing

joshatsilca wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 7:41 pm
We found in testing that to properly bleed the tire with an open presta, we could not repeatably release the chuck without losing 2-4psi of air pressure at 80psi from the tire.

All the best
Josh
I am not sure that i fully visualize the process internally with the presta valve, but i will ask a Possibly very dumb question. When removing a chuck, lets say for my silca pump, is that air that escapes from the pump, bike, or sometimes both.

If it is loss of tire air, do you have any tips to minimize loss? I think i have found a good setting for the hiro adjustable clamp that balances grip, and ease of insertion/removal.
Last edited by RocketRacing on Thu May 09, 2019 7:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

jlok
Posts: 913
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2015 3:30 am

by jlok

Does the chuck work with TT disc wheel? I find the Silca adaptor that comes with my TT wheel hard to use as the head is too large for the disc wheel valve cavity. Finally settled on Lezyne ABS1 Pro L chuck, works 100% no air leakage. I no longer hate latex tubes on TT disc wheel.
Litespeed T1sl Disc / BMC TM02 < Giant Propel Advanced SL Disc 1 < Propel Adv < TCR Adv SL Disc < KTM Revelator Sky < CAAD 12 Disc < Domane S Disc < Alize < CAAD 10

mattr
Posts: 4483
Joined: Fri May 25, 2007 6:43 pm
Location: The Grim North.

by mattr

RocketRacing wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 5:43 am
I am not sure that i fully visualize the process internally with the presta valve, but i will ask a Possibly very dumb question. When removing a chuck, lets say for my silca pump, is that air that escapes from the pump, bike, or sometimes both.
Generally speaking, unless you knock the core of the valve by bending/twisting the head off instead of pulling it axially along the valve, all the lost air will be from the line. I've not used/had/borrowed/played with any decent pump, with a decent head over the last 10 years that actually mechanically depresses the valve core. Unless you have one of the pumps that you can use to let the tyre down........... which seems (to me) to be a pretty pointless exercise.

Schräder is a different matter altogether.

hambini
Posts: 430
Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2016 8:13 am
Location: Bristol UK / Cologne, Germany

by hambini

If the presta core centre is not pressed down, the pressure reading on the gauge will always read low. A presta valve is in effect a non return valve.

For air to enter the tube, the air pressure generated in the pump must exceed the tube pressure, this opens the non return valve and pumps the tyre up. This is why the tyre fills quite quickly initially but then becomes more difficult.

If the presta core is pushed down, it's non return valve nature is negated and you will get an accurate reading of tyre and hose/pump pressure.

Also if anyone actually cares, the pressure you get will increase as you go up the side of a mountain because it's a gauge pressure and not an absolute pressure.

I'm being pedantic but it's to make it clear.
Hope that helps
Hambini

MrMagura
Posts: 85
Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2018 7:38 pm

by MrMagura

coresare wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 8:10 pm
I have the Silca Superpista Ultimate with their Hiro chuck. Saying the action of pumping is smooth like butter is a bit of a stretch imo. Don't get me wrong. I don't regret getting it, but unless you had some super crappy pump, the smoothness of the stroke isn't that noticeable. Also when you lift the pump up past the last couple inches or so it catches a bit so I avoid lifting up all the way. My gauge is also stuck at 20 psi even when not attached to a bike, but luckily Silca is sending me out a replacement gauge. As far as the magnet being super strong I don't know if I got a dud, but I have to make sure the hose is very taut going over the handle and onto the dock for it to stay or it just pops off when using the regular presta chuck. I feel like they cut the hose a tad too short on mine. I'm not one to sugar coat things, but I've used some cheaper pumps like from Topeak and they work very well also including the chucks. How accurate they all are is something hard for most of us to actually ever be able to measure.
I just bought the Silca SuperPista Ultimate Hiro as well, and have a similar experience.
The hose is obviously too short.
Something you'd think got caught in the final quality control, of a $450 track pump.
Reality seems to be that they have decided spending $2, on actually making 100% end quality control, hurt the profit margin, and simply ship a box of parts, letting the end customer deal with the rest.
The Hiro head also doesn't fit the magnet base, as the edge around the magnet, is taller than the tip of the chuck is protruding from the head, meaning that unless it's placed very accurately, the magnetic tip won't reach the magnet.
One would think that after, and I quote:

"18 months of testing, use and abuse at the top levels of racing"

.......that someone would have managed to iron out the most obvious design flaws. I'd be extremely curious to have a couple of names of the mechanics that were involved in this rigorious and long test, besides Stevie Wonder that is.

joshatsilca
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu Feb 21, 2019 4:52 pm

by joshatsilca

RocketRacing wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 5:43 am
joshatsilca wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 7:41 pm
We found in testing that to properly bleed the tire with an open presta, we could not repeatably release the chuck without losing 2-4psi of air pressure at 80psi from the tire.

All the best
Josh
I am not sure that i fully visualize the process internally with the presta valve, but i will ask a Possibly very dumb question. When removing a chuck, lets say for my silca pump, is that air that escapes from the pump, bike, or sometimes both.

If it is loss of tire air, do you have any tips to minimize loss? I think i have found a good setting for the hiro adjustable clamp that balances grip, and ease of insertion/removal.
The presta valve core is essentially a one way valve, so the air you hear when you remove the hose is hose/gauge air and not tire air.

Hambini mentions that the hose side of the presta is always lower than the tire, this is true, the air flows into the tire with each stroke and then begins to backflow to equalize the entire system which is when the valve closes. We've measured this to be ~0.1-0.25psi difference.
Owner of SILCA
Check out my Tech Blog: https://blog.silca.cc
Stories of the Tech behind the Tech: https://marginalgainspodcast.cc

by Weenie


joshatsilca
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu Feb 21, 2019 4:52 pm

by joshatsilca

MrMagura wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 12:38 pm
coresare wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 8:10 pm
I have the Silca Superpista Ultimate with their Hiro chuck. Saying the action of pumping is smooth like butter is a bit of a stretch imo. Don't get me wrong. I don't regret getting it, but unless you had some super crappy pump, the smoothness of the stroke isn't that noticeable. Also when you lift the pump up past the last couple inches or so it catches a bit so I avoid lifting up all the way. My gauge is also stuck at 20 psi even when not attached to a bike, but luckily Silca is sending me out a replacement gauge. As far as the magnet being super strong I don't know if I got a dud, but I have to make sure the hose is very taut going over the handle and onto the dock for it to stay or it just pops off when using the regular presta chuck. I feel like they cut the hose a tad too short on mine. I'm not one to sugar coat things, but I've used some cheaper pumps like from Topeak and they work very well also including the chucks. How accurate they all are is something hard for most of us to actually ever be able to measure.
I just bought the Silca SuperPista Ultimate Hiro as well, and have a similar experience.
The hose is obviously too short.
Something you'd think got caught in the final quality control, of a $450 track pump.
Reality seems to be that they have decided spending $2, on actually making 100% end quality control, hurt the profit margin, and simply ship a box of parts, letting the end customer deal with the rest.
The Hiro head also doesn't fit the magnet base, as the edge around the magnet, is taller than the tip of the chuck is protruding from the head, meaning that unless it's placed very accurately, the magnetic tip won't reach the magnet.
One would think that after, and I quote:

"18 months of testing, use and abuse at the top levels of racing"

.......that someone would have managed to iron out the most obvious design flaws. I'd be extremely curious to have a couple of names of the mechanics that were involved in this rigorious and long test, besides Stevie Wonder that is.
So every pump is 100% assembled to completion and then used to inflate a test tire and check gauge accuracy.. it is all done by the same guy for the last 4 years. QC issues are still absolutely possible but are rare. The hose seems short as the length is based around squeezing the hose together at the handle to make the length to get the chuck to dock in the magnet. If you pull on it to get the chuck docked it doesn't work as well.. the design is such that you don't have to bend over to dock it, you just let it hang, squeeze the hose either side of the handle and the magnet should pull it in. When you pick it up, just hold thumb pressure on the hose at the handle and the thing will stay docked while you walk with it or whatever.

Just looked and our video showing this is missing from the SILCA website.. we've just updated the site over the last few months, I will get it up again and link it here.
Owner of SILCA
Check out my Tech Blog: https://blog.silca.cc
Stories of the Tech behind the Tech: https://marginalgainspodcast.cc

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post