A Tale of Two Silcas - (My Highly Subjective, Non-Scientific Comparison)

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Dansky, Sep 14, 2013.

  1. Dansky

    Dansky New Member

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    First off, I restarted my search for a classic floor pump after deciding to part with a Lezyne Classic that I'd owned for the past year; the lower volume of air output and thread-on flip chuck just really didn't do it for me. Too screwy, if you'll pardon the pun.

    So then I decided to compare a couple of Silca Super Pistas; one old, one new. I ordered a new 76.30 Super Pista online a few weeks back, then purchased an older used one (unsure of its vintage) on ebay so as to compare them both and keep the one I liked best. The white and blue one is new, the b+w version is older.
    [​IMG]


    New Silca Positives
    The big brass 30.0 presta/schrader chuck is hefty, impressive-looking, and very easy to use. I decided to get smooth valve stem tubes for my road bike and shoot a bit of silicone lube into the chuck before using it the first time. I'm not sure why so many other folks have issues with this chuck, but it's a simple pleasure to use.
    [​IMG]


    The handle is another pleasant nod to the past. I'm a sucker for vintage touches, and I appreciate the tactile feel of a wooden handle much more than anything made of plastic. On that note, the leather pump plunger (besides being inexpensive to replace and easy to find) is another bonus.

    The volume of air that this pump moves is good, as well. I didn't do any objective testing until I received the older Super Pista to compare.

    New Silca Downsides
    The base is plastic, which is a disappointment indeed. I understand Silca's need to keep costs down and compete with other manufacturers, but still. No matter how you slice it, the cheap feel of the base diminishes the overall impression of this pump completely. I spoke to a sales rep the other day that informed me that Silca has completely discontinued the use of metal bases, and has been quietly rotating in their stock with "composite" ones. Ugh.
    [​IMG]


    The pump shaft rattles. Significantly. As seen in the photo below, it appears that the air inlet is now designed in a sort of periphery around the shaft opening in the closure cap. An interesting idea for improving air-intake I suppose, but the very noticeable rattling whenever you even touch the pump is another minor downside. If I had to hunt with this thing, the deer would be living out their natural lives in peaceful harmony.
    [​IMG]


    Another point: You can easily hear the end spring sliding up and down inside the pump, whenever you tip it. I realize that some thick grease found on the older Super Pista end spring seemed to be keeping it quiet and immobile. Not a big deal to me, but it's another difference.


    The Vintage Silca
    As you can guess, I like nearly everything about this pump. The action is buttery-smooth, and everything about it simply feels really solid, quiet, and stable. My only concern - and it's a big one- is the volume of air that this pump moves. It literally takes double the amount of strokes to fill the same volume as the new pump. I dissembled the pump and flexed/regreased the leather plunger in Park Tool Polylube 1000 grease as seen in a YouTube how-to video by a bike mechanic. Careful to keep the shape of the plunger correct when reinstalling it, the pump made a very-satisfying "zwoop" sound as I lowered it back into the air chamber. Here is a shot of the older style closure cap and air inlet.
    [​IMG]


    Things are still just as weak in terms of air volume output. Either the leather plunger needs to be replaced entirely, or I'm probably missing something. Or this older version simply cannot pump nearly the same volume of air per stroke as the new model. The air intake ports are more numerous in the new version, which also has a slightly larger pump chamber, both in terms of height and width.

    I'm definitely no expert, and would appreciate any ideas and/or feedback.
     
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  2. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    Well, Silca was just sold to Josh Poertner, former tech director at Zipp, and will now be made in Indianapolis. Perhaps there are changes in store for the pumps.
     
  3. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    "If I had to hunt with this thing, the deer would be living out their natural lives in peaceful harmony."

    I hererby award you 1500 internets for your deer hunting metaphor! Most excellent!

    Thankfully, when I was a much younger man with a few bucks (get it?!) to spare, I had the foresight to buy a lifetime supply of Silca pumps, both frame and floor. I am, indeed, a happy man with vintage Silcas in many colors and chrome plating!

    Good luck to both of us this coming deer season.
     
    Dansky likes this.
  4. Volnix

    Volnix Well-Known Member

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    Ok, I am curious so I am gonna ask...

    What do you do with the deer after you "light them up"?

    Pigs I do get it coz they are tasty, but why deer???
     
  5. Dansky

    Dansky New Member

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    Quote: Originally Posted by Volnix .
    Ok, I am curious so I am gonna ask...

    What do you do with the deer after you "light them up"?

    Pigs I do get it coz they are tasty, but why deer???



    I gut them and eat 'em. Taste just like venison.
     
  6. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Deer is good eatin'! I have most of mine made into sausage...spicy sausage. Deer meat is lean and nothing better comes off the grill! Strip steak in the smoker, deer jerky...mmmm!
     
  7. Dansky

    Dansky New Member

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    Quote: Originally Posted by CAMPYBOB .
    Deer is good eatin'! I have most of mine made into sausage...spicy sausage. Deer meat is lean and nothing better comes off the grill! Strip steak in the smoker, deer jerky...mmmm!

    It sure is, although it's been a number of years since I last hunted. Used a .50 cal flintlock rifle (from a kit), and had some amazingly good steaks, chops, and sausage. This is now making me hungry.
     
  8. Volnix

    Volnix Well-Known Member

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    Never had deer... [​IMG]

    A co-student of mine was telling me that he went to Italy once and had fresh Tortellini filled with boar meat... [​IMG] Sounds tasty.....

    [​IMG]
     
  9. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Bambi is as good as really good beef. Backstrap steaks right off the grill while you are still dressing and cutting up a deer has to be tasted to be believed. A simple salad, a baked potato and a deer steak...don't know if it gets any better!

    Dansky, you bet a CVA or Knight kit front loader will bring them down better than the slug guns we are restricted to. We have a primitive season, but I don't take advantage of it. My 870 will reach out maybe 75-100 yards reliably. Muzzle loader technology and the newer loads/powder/lubes will make 125+ yard shots much easier. I used to go over into Pennsylvania to rifle hunt, but I haven't done that in years, myself. This season, it will just me and the old 870, down behind the barn in a ground blind (warm, dry and with coffee!).
     
  10. Volnix

    Volnix Well-Known Member

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    Quote: Originally Posted by CAMPYBOB .
    Bambi is as good as really good beef. Backstrap steaks right off the grill while you are still dressing and cutting up a deer has to be tasted to be believed. A simple salad, a baked potato and a deer steak...don't know if it gets any better!

    Dansky, you bet a CVA or Knight kit front loader will bring them down better than the slug guns we are restricted to. We have a primitive season, but I don't take advantage of it. My 870 will reach out maybe 75-100 yards reliably. Muzzle loader technology and the newer loads/powder/lubes will make 125+ yard shots much easier. I used to go over into Pennsylvania to rifle hunt, but I haven't done that in years, myself. This season, it will just me and the old 870, down behind the barn in a ground blind (warm, dry and with coffee!).


    Why dont you just buy the meat? [​IMG] It wont have any buckshot in it anyway...

    Ah wait... I know why... [​IMG] "That gun is no good" [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Dansky

    Dansky New Member

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    Quote: Originally Posted by CAMPYBOB .
    Bambi is as good as really good beef. Backstrap steaks right off the grill while you are still dressing and cutting up a deer has to be tasted to be believed. A simple salad, a baked potato and a deer steak...don't know if it gets any better!

    Dansky, you bet a CVA or Knight kit front loader will bring them down better than the slug guns we are restricted to. We have a primitive season, but I don't take advantage of it. My 870 will reach out maybe 75-100 yards reliably. Muzzle loader technology and the newer loads/powder/lubes will make 125+ yard shots much easier. I used to go over into Pennsylvania to rifle hunt, but I haven't done that in years, myself. This season, it will just me and the old 870, down behind the barn in a ground blind (warm, dry and with coffee!).

    CampyBob, I sense you're a kindred spirit. My weapon of choice was a Tennessee mountain rifle by Dixie Gun Works. Built it back when I was in the height of my USMC rifle coaching days. Came in handy when I was a hungry college student in southern Illinois.
     
  12. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    USMC rifle coach...you know Lew Tippie? Lew shot for 20 years with the USAMU, then went over to the USMC and shot for them prior to retiring. A regular at Camp Perry.

    My preferred boom stick is an Enfield Lock factory built Eddystone Arsenal 1917 sporter in .30-'06 with an old Redfield on top. It must have been a lend-lease reworked as a civvie sporter. It carries the 'three stacked muskets' Enfield proof and a 1950's Brit firing proof.

    Ohio is mainly a slug gun state, with straight-walled pistol caliber handguns and muzzle loaders also used. Our herd size is beyond huge...there's more deer than before the white man set foot on Ohio soil...it's at a nuisance stage. They doubled the length of the season a couple of years ago, but frankly if they allowed a double season for five years we couldn't put a dent in the herd size.

    Unfortunately, the herd CAN put a dent in thousands of cars and trucks every year.



    "Why dont you just buy the meat? [​IMG] It wont have any buckshot in it anyway..."

    Every American male should know how to hunt, dress and butcher. Hunting is enjoyable and like cycling it's healthy exercise. Try lugging a field dressed buck out of an Ohio ravine full of multiflora and fallen timber and you'll find out just what kind of condition you are really in!

    Deer are not hunted with buckshot. They are tough animals. It takes an accurately placed slug to bring down a whitetail deer. Think of a chunk of lead weighing about one ounce (that's...uh...er...carry the twelve...) or 28.35 grams travelling 1450-1550 feet per second (you can convert to meters per second yourself!). One large chunck of lead to dig out of the carcass...if it doesn't go thru/thru.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Dansky

    Dansky New Member

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    Campybob,
    I didn't know Lew Tippie, as I was not on the official rifle team, unfortunately. Due to my qualification scores, I was able to do some coaching on the range for the regular rifle qualifications that we grunts had to do annually. Got me very interested in marksmanship for a number of years, but the only "boom stick" I've kept is a 1911 m96 swedish mauser (6.5 x 55) from the Carl Gustafs Stads Gevärsfaktori. I agree about the overabundant deer issue in the midwest. Not having enough natural predators remaining (wolves), our indigenous deer population in Illinois - particularly the southern part - has been off the charts for years. There are simply too many of them, so they tend to suffer starvation and/or regularly end up as a large stain on the highways.

    Getting back to my floor pump comparisons, I should add that I've also been looking at the Zéfal Husky, and have a few more observations.
    [​IMG]

    It's very solid, with a good smooth operation. Good volume of air transfer, and no annoying rattling coming from this thing. Another nice wooden handle, and a cast iron base.
    Now, there's a crazy concept...are you listening, Silca? The rather awkward head that came with the Husky was clumsy for me to use for my presta valves. I decided to say "sayonara," to it, and swapped it with a hirame track pump head, as I see this pump as a keeper.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    My only quibble is the flimsy plastic gauge; it literally feels like a toy, especially on such an overall solid-feeling pump. The plastic red indicator needle moves too easily, and just using the pump causes it to move inside the gauge slightly.
    [​IMG]
     
  14. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    "but the only "boom stick" I've kept is a 1911 m96 swedish mauser (6.5 x 55) from the Carl Gustafs Stads Gevärsfaktori."

    I have a pair of M1896 Swedes. I believe both a Carl Gustaf manufactured. They were $69 at the Ohio Gun Collectors Association shows about 20 years ago. Fantastic shooters! Next to the Swiss K31's, the most accurate mils-surps in my collection. 1900 and 1904 builds IIRC.

    I'm still using (Schraeder valve duty) an old Japanese Medai floor pump I bought about 1974. http://www.bikepro.com/products/pumps/medai.html There is a Chinese clone of it also being sold today. I give the Medai versio a 5-star rating for its long service life, if nothing else.

    The Japanese version is now selling for about $30-$40, if you can still find them. The Chinese clone is around $20.

    [​IMG]
    The base is cast steel, as is the foldable foot pad. Keep the leather greased and it will outlast many bicycles!

    I should include a link to the $20.50 Sunlite Chinese version: http://store.qbike.com/sunlite-pump-floor-gauge-tank-0-140psi.html

    [​IMG]

    These basic pumps do not have the styling of a Lezyne SKS or Rausch, but they are functional and inexpensive enough to toss in the car on race morning without worrying if it gets scratched.
     
  15. Volnix

    Volnix Well-Known Member

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    Quote: Originally Posted by CAMPYBOB .

    "Why dont you just buy the meat? [​IMG] It wont have any buckshot in it anyway..."

    Every American male should know how to hunt, dress and butcher. Hunting is enjoyable and like cycling it's healthy exercise. Try lugging a field dressed buck out of an Ohio ravine full of multiflora and fallen timber and you'll find out just what kind of condition you are really in!

    Deer are not hunted with buckshot. They are tough animals. It takes an accurately placed slug to bring down a whitetail deer. Think of a chunk of lead weighing about one ounce (that's...uh...er...carry the twelve...) or 28.35 grams travelling 1450-1550 feet per second (you can convert to meters per second yourself!). One large chunck of lead to dig out of the carcass...if it doesn't go thru/thru.

    [​IMG]

    Ok I am not a gun nut (I was carrying one for 8 months in the "disney world from hell" and got fuckin fed up with them. I totally shot maybe 50 shots with a G3 rifle and I even know how to toss it around like these rythmic gymmastic babes... [​IMG]

    But... As every mentally healthy not too old guy I -would- buy some guns just for the fun of it [​IMG] My currently favorite ones are:

    1. HK Mark23
    (preferably with a 12round magazine) Since I am considered a "civilian" I cannot purchase it. The only way to purchase it is to prove that my life is in danger from terrorists or something and even then I would probably just be able to buy the 10 round magazine one. But I think that except the magazine everything else is the same...

    [​IMG]
    2. A Mossberg Mariner 590 (inox stainless, oiling firearms, allthough fun when they are in a good state its frustrating when you find that tiny bit or rust starting somewhere, I remember cleaning a rifle once that looked like it was pulled out of the Titanic!)

    With full plastic stock (wood kinda chips when you are doing rythmic gymnastics with it [​IMG]). Now that -I can- buy but I will have to keep a limiter in it to limit it to only hold 3 rounds. If I remove it and get inspected... "Bye bye Kansas [​IMG]"
    [​IMG]

    3. Now that I absolutely cannot buy but damn I would get one: M16-a2. Yeah yeah I know ar15's and m4's are good too but I dont like em [​IMG] Kinda feel "too" light... (Maybe thats why they are a favorite in mass shoutout incidents [​IMG])

    Since the m16 is light too I would take it with a 30 round magazine. [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And finally, something for cycling:

    Would fit nicely in the jersey pockets:

    4. Walther PPK or maybe an HK usp compact:

    "Are you honking to me??? I dont see anybody else cycling in the middle of the lane under the influence, so you must be honking at me! [​IMG]"
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I think I can get the PPK in Omega Pharma colors too [​IMG] That one might be a replica though...

    [​IMG]

    Any opinions about these firearms? [​IMG] Or my psych-condition? [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  16. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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  17. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    I have not seen the new Serfas top-of-the-line pump yet, but...it's shiny! Looks good...braided stainless hose sheath. $120 MSRP.

    https://www.serfas.com/products/view/699/referer:products%7Cindex%7Cpumps%7Cfloor-pumps

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Dansky

    Dansky New Member

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    Thanks; those Birzmans appear very well designed. Alienator suggested one last summer, when I was looking at the Lezyne. Looks like the Birzman version has a better head design with their coupling style of chuck.
     
  19. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    The Birzman chuck seems overly complicated to me, but I'll bet it works well. I've never had a problem with my old Silca chuck and I'm stretching the memory banks here, but I think it's still on the OEM rubber seal.

    Other than longevity, the feature I like most about the Silca is the fast on/off feature. It's usually the last 30 seconds of getting ready for a ride and I'm running late to meet the boys...Crap!...tires still need aired up. Silca speed and simplicity to the rescue.

    If I ever manage to kill all my Silcas...aw hell, let's just say that if the spirit moves me and my eyes glaze over while looking at a Birzman or a Sefas...<Wayne's World Voice> Oh yes! It shall be mine!
     
  20. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Every one of those firearms are excellent choices. No junk there! I'm not a fan of very large frame polymer pistols, but the H&K USP series is among the best. Walther PP, PPK and PPK/S are all very nice, classic pistols. PPK/S for deep concealment and PP for social work.

    The Mossberg 590 is much better quality and durability than the newer, cheaper 500 IMO. The Marine coat option is a nice touch. Parkerized or nickel...you can't go wrong.

    The AR15/M16? What's not to love? Lightweight. Modular. Configurable. Interchangeable uppers. A variety of furniture. Multi-caliber options. It's the Barbie Doll of men's firearms. Simply one of the finest semi-automatic designs ever fielded. Low recoil. Fast follow up shots. Styling that causes liberal pukes to wet their beds. Every homes needs at least four.

    As for the G3, I love it. Yeah, the ergonomics are quirky and the delayed roller locking mechanism is typical German...over-complicated and expensive to manufacture and maintain. Still, even with the near useless rear notch on the sight turret for Battle Zero, if you zero to 200 meters and use the aperture hole, it is one of the most accurate of the 7.62 x 51 (.308) Battle rifles. .308...turning cover into concealment!

    Psych condition? Hell, you're living in Greece and haven't burned down the parliament yet? You're good to go. In America, you could own a bazooka, two field howitzers on your lawn, a Mil-Surp Sherman tank in your garage and a restored Russian Mig 25 on your back yard runway and no one would say shit to you.
     
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