This week, Silca announced the release of a new inflation tool that is supposed to keep some of the best functional attributes of the Super Pista Ultimate, but with a more down-to-earth attitude -- more stealth, less bling -- a little less "Ultimate." In fact, the name is exactly that: The Super Pista. Period. Price is listed at $235.
The regular Super Pista tones down some of the more "boutique" features of the Ultimate, but keeps a lot of the attributes that make the more exclusive sibling work so well. The shaft, piston, bearings, and plunger are either the same or very similar to the Ultimate. It's all metal, no plastic, made to work smoothly and last darn near forever.
There are several features that help keep the price somewhat below the stratosphere.
|Instead of the beautiful rosewood handle with stainless steel center and end sections, the regular Super Pista uses a one-piece carved beechwood handle, lacquered in matte black. No steel accents. The size and shape is still similar to the Ultimate.|
|The wide, stable base has a similar size and overall shape to the Ultimate, but the pressure gauge is built into the base, rather than "floating" above it. Also, instead of the magnetic dock for the chuck, there is a cradle to clip it in place.|
|The "regular" Super Pista uses a 3" high accuracy gauge (claimed to be accurate to within 2%), but there is no "low pressure" option for high-volume tires as there is with the more expensive version.|
|The new press-on chuck has a pressure relief button to fine-tune air pressure.|
I'll still be holding on to my Columbus-tubed classic for a while (teacher's salary, remember), but a new Silca replacement doesn't seem quite so out of reach anymore.