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Rebuilding a Silca Pista Floor Pump - Worth it?

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Rebuilding a Silca Pista Floor Pump - Worth it?

Old 08-14-15, 09:03 PM
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dwmckee
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Rebuilding a Silca Pista Floor Pump - Worth it?

My 1990 Silca Pista floor pump has finally become unusable. Gauge is erratic, barrel seal and one way valve are unreliable now too. Is it worth the $45 in parts to rebuild it? I did not pay anything like that for it when it was new. All I have done for it in the past 25 years has been to replace the fill valve gasket a few times and lube the barrel so it has been a good pump, but it is getting a bit dated looking compared to the sexy new ones.

Silca has some really nice pictures of the new parts on their site. Makes you want to just buy the parts just because they look so nice!
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Old 08-14-15, 09:23 PM
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Silca is now under new ownership and their pumps have gone WAY upscale. How about a basic floor pump is now $450 and special "Artist Editions" go for up to $1200? (Actually, went for, they are already sold out.) Repair parts for the older pumps also seem to have gone up as for example the rubber washer for the bell-shaped Presta pump head that used to be $3 is now $9.

If you can still source all of the needed parts for $45, I'd say go for it. Your old pump may be come a valuable collector's item in the future.
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Old 08-15-15, 08:40 AM
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My Old 80's one still works .. I wonder what happened to the people and their families back in Italy , now that the gentrification Takeover,
moved the company .

might be some parts in old sellers inventories to use your searching web talents.
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Old 08-15-15, 08:52 AM
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I was recently using my 80's Silca to make a point to my non-cycling friend. I was mentioning that they don't make stuff like they used to and for a very good reason. Silca pumps were so overbuilt that with only modest service they can last 30 years and still work. But company's that make products that last that long better be able to follow up with something else to sell when initial interest runs out because otherwise they wont be seeing those "first buyers" again for a very long time. The Silca Pista was both an engineering triumph and marketing disaster.

Repair your pump. It's a piece of cycling history.
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Old 08-15-15, 11:46 PM
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The biggest aspect of floor pumps that I see feed back on is the chuck style. So if you're happy with the Silca chuck or are willing to splice in a different kind then rebuilding the piston seal is well worth it. But I don't see much value in replacing a pressure gage. It's not hard to determine a correction factor and remark the dial. Andy.
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Old 08-16-15, 08:09 AM
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Is the gauge really bad or just reading erratically because the check valve, etc. are leaking? Unless mechanically damaged, gauges are pretty bullet-proof.
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Old 08-16-15, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by dwmckee View Post
it is getting a bit dated looking compared to the sexy new ones.
Apply Captain Fast logic: "The latest and most expensive hardware is always more desirable than last seasons' obsolescent stuff."
You are long overdue for a more "sexy" pump.

-Bandera
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Old 08-16-15, 04:26 PM
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You can clean up the check valve and replace the o-ring. A new leather gasket will make it as good as new. Mines about 21 years old and still works.
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Old 08-16-15, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by dwmckee View Post
My 1990 Silca Pista floor pump has finally become unusable. Gauge is erratic, barrel seal and one way valve are unreliable now too. Is it worth the $45 in parts to rebuild it? I did not pay anything like that for it when it was new. All I have done for it in the past 25 years has been to replace the fill valve gasket a few times and lube the barrel so it has been a good pump, but it is getting a bit dated looking compared to the sexy new ones.

Silca has some really nice pictures of the new parts on their site. Makes you want to just buy the parts just because they look so nice!
The sexiest air pumps come from Italy.
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Old 08-16-15, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by FRANK CANNON View Post
The sexiest air pumps come from Italy.
Debatable, but what isn't is that this form of air pump chemically changes the out put. Our bike pumps don't. Andy.
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Old 08-16-15, 08:20 PM
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Originally Posted by FRANK CANNON View Post
The sexiest air pumps come from Italy.
So do many of the least reliable.
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Old 08-17-15, 09:06 PM
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Attached is an owner's manual for the Silca Pump. I found the manual online about a year ago.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf
SILCA BIKE PUMP.pdf (419.8 KB, 135 views)
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Old 08-18-15, 09:02 AM
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I'd start by trying to clean the check valve. It's pretty easy to disassemble, and it seems to collect dried oil and turn it into gunk. Soak everything in mineral spirits, put some clean oil on, and reassemble. If the pump works then, go ahead and rebuild the rest of it.
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Old 08-18-15, 10:38 AM
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When I replaced some parts for my Medai Top Super Japanese pump from the seventies I learned that the threadings for pump parts are pretty much standardized. You may be able to find parts for less money than Silca sells them for. I was able to find a hose with a chuck that I prefer to the original.

Medai Top Super Pump - Bicycle Parts at discount prices / the Buyer's Guide / Bicycle Parts at their finest! / Professional Bicycle Source / Bike Pro
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Old 08-18-15, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
I'd start by trying to clean the check valve. It's pretty easy to disassemble, and it seems to collect dried oil and turn it into gunk. Soak everything in mineral spirits, put some clean oil on, and reassemble. If the pump works then, go ahead and rebuild the rest of it.
I agree with this, but I tend to try to rebuild everything before replacing.

If this works all you would probably need to replace would be the seals...
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Old 08-18-15, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by dwmckee View Post
Silca has some really nice pictures of the new parts on their site. Makes you want to just buy the parts just because they look so nice!
I bought a presta head from the new Silca. Here's what their marketing sez:

'We felt the need to re-imagine this most iconic of cycling tools as an heirloom quality objet d'art. The utmost care has been taken to machine the part using mono-crystaline diamond tooling to get the perfect surface finish, while the final feel of the part benefits from an investigation into more than 20 different styles and depths of knurl so that it will feel 'just-so' in your hands as it provides a lifetime of useful enjoyment.'

Yeah, okay, whatever, YMMV, but the one they sent me hadn't been deburred after machining. Works just fine, but feels sorta nasty cheap made-in-China-in-1987-ish in the fingertips. Every time I touch it I think, 'Paid too much.'

...getting a bit dated looking compared to the sexy new ones.
Ah, those polished stainless and wood Arundel, Birzman, Lezyne, Silca, Velowurks, etc. pumps, re-fitted with Hirame heads: lovely! - but of course the cool kids are inflating with tanks of nitrogen now.

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Old 08-18-15, 08:45 PM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
I'd start by trying to clean the check valve. ... Soak everything in mineral spirits, put some clean oil on, and reassemble. If the pump works then, go ahead and rebuild the rest of it.
Which "clean oil" would you recommend using at the check valve??
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Old 08-18-15, 09:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
The biggest aspect of floor pumps that I see feed back on is the chuck style. So if you're happy with the Silca chuck or are willing to splice in a different kind then rebuilding the piston seal is well worth it. But I don't see much value in replacing a pressure gage. It's not hard to determine a correction factor and remark the dial. Andy.
It varies more than 30 PSI different from stroke to stroke. Not usable at all.
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Old 08-18-15, 09:25 PM
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
Is the gauge really bad or just reading erratically because the check valve, etc. are leaking? Unless mechanically damaged, gauges are pretty bullet-proof.
Can a bad check valve cause the crazy pressure readings I see? I wish I saw that before I ordered the parts...
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Old 08-18-15, 09:27 PM
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Originally Posted by tjkoko View Post
Attached is an owner's manual for the Silca Pump. I found the manual online about a year ago.
Thanks, this will be helpful
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Old 08-18-15, 10:04 PM
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Pressure gages usually are pretty consistent WRT them selves stroke to stroke. But the other aspects of the air delivery system can and do have variations. Like sticking valves, both check and tube. Or the chuck's sealing on the valve stem can vary with the hose movement and pressure. It's common to see a pressure readout that is high while pumping in air, then briefly stabilizes before bleeding down on the up stroke. A sticking or rusty check valve only further confuses this cycle. Andy.
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Old 08-19-15, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by tjkoko View Post
Which "clean oil" would you recommend using at the check valve??
I'd probably use Phil's Tenacious Oil, because that's what's in my garage. 10W40 motor oil would also be good. I'd skip bar chain oil, because I don't want something that sticky in the check valve, and many of the light use chain oils because I don't want the residual paraffin in there either.
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Old 08-19-15, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
I'd probably use Phil's Tenacious Oil, because that's what's in my garage. 10W40 motor oil would also be good......
10W40 synthetic or nonsynthetic********** What about 3 in 1 Oil which is considered a light machine oil********** Mineral oil????

Last but not least, what about using Park Tool CL-1 lubricant?

Last edited by tjkoko; 08-19-15 at 09:08 AM.
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Old 08-19-15, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by tjkoko View Post
10W40 synthetic or nonsynthetic**********
Yes
What about 3 in 1 Oil which is considered a light machine oil**********
No, it'll harden with age
Mineral oil????
For you or the pump**********
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Old 08-19-15, 09:10 AM
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10W40 synthetic, yes or no**********

10W40 conventional motor oil, nonsynthetic, yes or no????

Mineral oil which is baby oil without fragrance, yes or no???

Park Tool CL-1 lubricant, yes or no???

And let's omit the facetiousness, okay.

Last edited by tjkoko; 08-19-15 at 09:39 PM.
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