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Frame Pumps(8 posts)

Frame PumpsJames_M
Apr 13, 2003 2:21 PM
Does anyone make a good quality frame pump with a classic look? The only one I saw was the Silca model which I read was not all that great. I remember when I was a kid (early 80's) my dad had a few pumps that worked really well but were not sure what they were. I just want kind of a classic look to throw on my old Trek.
re: Frame Pumpsdesmo
Apr 13, 2003 8:16 PM
The current Silca's are pretty cheese-y but they can be made to work well and do look cool. They're very cheap so it's worth trying one. The key is to take it apart when you get it and "work" the leather plunger with oil and kind of fold it back on itself to make sure it's making a good seal in the chamber. It's no Zefal HP, but you can get an honest 100 lbs. out of one. If you can find a nice vintage one with a steel Campy head, that would be ideal.
re: Frame Pumpstarwheel
Apr 14, 2003 5:49 AM
Silca's were the classic frame-fit pump, I believe, and you can still buy them. Not sure if they are still available in all sorts of matching colors as they used to be, but you sometimes see them for sale on eBay in various colors. Another option, if you're really serious, is to buy a good quality pump like a Zefal or Blackburn and have it painted to match your frame. Kind of expensive, but worth considering if you ever order a custom frame because you can have it painted at the same time as the bike.
Silca, the one and onlyboneman
Apr 14, 2003 6:57 AM
I've used Silca's since the early 70's and still use some from that era. If used properly, they do not break and with a little bit of lubricant on the washer, will be very effective and capable of over 100psi.

The new one's do not have separate valve heads, are available in only white, black and chrome (which wears off FWIW) and I've not used these.
Silca looks good, but Zefal will pump up tires...Silverback
Apr 14, 2003 7:53 AM
FWIW, I've never understood that Silca fascination. They do look cool, but I've never been able to get them to work worth a d**n. The first time I tried one, I put it on the tire and the handle flew back and the pump exploded--just BANG, pieces of plastic the size of quarters all over the shop. I took it back and the LBS owner gave me a new one and a seminar on how to use it, but I finally gave up. It never came close to working as well as a Zefal hpX.
Silca looks good, but Zefal will pump up tires...eddie m
Apr 14, 2003 11:27 AM
Silca is the obvious choice for the classic Italian retro classic look, and if you can find one with an old steel Campy head, they are excellent for clubbing dogs. Carry a Blackburn for actually inflating your tires.
Silca looks good, but Zefal will pump up tires...M_Currie
Apr 14, 2003 3:19 PM
I've actually been using the same Silca Impero for the last 14 years, and have actually inflated many tires with it. The first thing you need to know is that the original Silca head was junk, and the Campy head is a vast improvement. The second thing is that you must hold the tire and pump right so as not to snap the valve stem off. Getting pressure in requires a lot of body english. I put the valve at the top, brace the top of the wheel and the pump head against a tree, fence, guardrail, etc. and then, while holding the head to the tire with my left hand pump with my right. With persistence and careful placement, you can get 100 pounds in. With the Campy head and a filed-out depression at the handle end, this is the only pump that will stay on my Cannondale without pegs or straps.
Silca looks good, but Zefal will pump up tires...DeRosaOrBust
Apr 17, 2003 11:47 AM
I used a silca all thru the 80's (with the original crappy plastic head) I never had any problems with it. It always worked. I will admit that the Zefal pump was a better pump. However, the silca was much better looking and most of the early Zefal's required a metal mounting bracket which you just didn't put on a 1985 Colnago Mexico.