|The shop where I purchased this pump ended up being my first bike shop gig.|
This floor pump was sold at a bicycle shop that once existed in downtown Cedar Falls, Iowa, and was where I was doing my trading at the time. This would have been in the very early 1990's and back in the days when I was a jeweler. Yep! A suit wearing, diamond slinging, gold fabricating bench jeweler and salesperson.
I had purchased a Klein Attitude in 1992 and the shop owner, Tom, said I needed a floor pump. Okay then, which one? And of course, Tom being Tom, a guy that was all into the cycling tradition and anything Italian, pointed at a row of colorful Silca floor pumps and said, "One of those will do!" And of course, he said the coolest one was the celeste colored one because that was the color of Bianchi bikes, and...........
To be honest, his enthusiasm for old road bike history, while mildly interesting, was loosing me. I got the celeste colored one because he said it was 'cool'. Really. That was the only reason. I liked Tom and figured, why not? They all will get the same job done, and whatever color the pump was did not really matter to me.
So......that's the back story on how I got this pump.
It worked really well, by the way. A great pump, but for one small, super-irritating trait. It would fall over at the least provocation at the most inconvenient times. Once, while in my "Lab", I was trying to pump something up and was getting frustrated with the short hose and the thing tipped over and...... What came next, I'm not proud of, but I grabbed that pump and launched it across the room in a fit of rage. Well, it landed in such a way that it damaged the gauge and it wouldn't work. Boy! Did I feel stupid! Now I couldn't get anything done and I had a busted pump.
|The old gauge in the foreground and the pump in pieces on my bench.|
So, I got a new gauge, and at the time, since I was working in a shop, I didn't bother with the small parts since that shop stocked them. Now that I am in between jobs, I'll have to wait a bit, but I was able to start the restoration process and install the new gauge in the meantime. The nice thing about a product like this Silca pump is that it was designed to be serviced and it was designed with high quality parts and pieces. Originally they had hardly any plastic parts, being made mostly with steel and brass where it matters. I was told once as a little shaver that this was the difference between the European philosophy on things and the American one. Euros buy for a lifetime, Americans buy to save money. Hmm.....just what I was told then, and I have no idea if that holds any validity, but it does line up with this Silca pump's design, and it was made in Italy, so.....maybe.
|The brass bits were soaked in Muc-Off Bio-Degreaser and scrubbed with a wire brush.|
|I scrubbed the base with Muc-Off MO-94 and this stiff bristled pink brush.|
|The real deal.|
|Rats! A bad nylon spacer and a worn out piece of rubber instead of the good old leather.|
Fortunately, Silca still offers the proper leather and washer parts that the plunger originally was designed to have and with which I can retrofit to this pump. That will be a better deal than this set up and easier to maintain.
Once that was discovered I went ahead and cleaned up the barrel of the pump with Muc-Off Silicone spray which cleans and leaves the painted surface looking shiny and "newer" than it did. It will never look "new" again since the paint has changed to a bit of a greener hue over time. That's just cool patina there, so I am not bothered by that. The main thing here is that my decal, which is not clear coated over, is still intact, so I have that nice older "Silca" brand proudly displayed on the barrel in great shape.
Once I get the bits for the plunger I'll reassemble the pump and it should be good to go for several years of use. Since the base of this pump is so minimal, and it is prone to falling over, one would think, "why bother fixing it?" Well, while it is true that the pump's base is not stable, it was made that way for a reason, which I did not know about until recently. See, apparently it was designed this way so the pump could stow away in a bag easily, making it portable, and thus it was meant to be taken to destinations where a ride might begin. Say, a race, or tour, or whatever.
So, with that in mind, I decided that once I get this one back up and running it is going in the "Truck With No Name" in a bag to protect it and it isn't coming out. That way it will be there whenever I go somewhere to ride so I can top off my tires. I'll follow up on this once I get everything to finish the job with, which, by the way, will include a new hose and pump head, since I stole those bits off this pump years ago!