The World’s Best Bike Pump is Made in Indianapolis

A veteran of Zipp cycling tires shifts gears to design the world’s best bike pump.

August 2016Add a comment

Josh Poertner with his $450 Silca SuperPista Ultimate bike pump.
Josh Poertner with his $450 Silca SuperPista Ultimate bike pump.

The price of the Silca SuperPista Ultimate bike pump isn’t missing a decimal point—it really does cost $450. And the Indianapolis outfit that creates the high-performance tool—one cyclists use before every ride—is selling thousands of them. Some customers have ordered two, just to put one of the refined objects on display.

Silca was started in Italy nearly a century ago. Josh Poertner bought the company in 2013, moved production to Indy, and upgraded its signature bike pump. The former technical director for Zipp Speed Weaponry, a local manufacturer of high-end bike wheels, Poertner had built his career on convincing athletes of the benefits of impeccably designed products. “Our strength is finding those little details that no one else is looking for because they think the current products are good enough,” Poertner says.

The pump’s 62 precision-engineered parts carry a 25-year warranty, and its seven-pound weight makes it supremely stable. The tool won best new product in 2014 at North America’s largest bike show—since then, Silca has debuted an even fancier version. Renowned bike builder Dario Pegoretti’s handpainted limited editions sell instantly online for $1,200. “We’re a niche inside a niche inside another niche,” Poertner says. “But it’s working for us.”

IN HIS STUDIO

Components on Josh Poertner’s $450 floor pump include rosewood handles, a high-pressure hose found in racecars, and a leather part from a Maserati supplier. “Sometimes I think, It’s kind of amazing that it doesn’t cost more,” he says.

BUY IT

SuperPista Ultimate floor pump, $450, silca.cc or The Bike Line in Carmel and Broad Ripple.

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