A good air pump, even one that gets heavy daily use, my mechanical mentor once told me, should last a decade or more. By “good air pump” he meant Silca. And by “or more” he meant “or two”.
I’ve owned several Silca pistas and superpistas over the years. I’ve bemoaned the resin bases. Cheered the limited edition colorways and return of wooden handles. I’ve rebuilt them dozens of times, and except in the case of the pump that fell from the roof of a six story building (don’t ask) – have not yet lived to see one die. Sometimes, as a housewarming gift to the next tenant, when moving from an apartment, I will leave a freshly rebuilt Silca in the closet. This is a much better gift than a ficus or a goldfish.
I hate selling floor pumps that aren’t Silcas, because I know that, sooner or later (and admittedly with some of the newer, nicer designs, it’s later) – they will die. They will die an unaspirated, exasperated death: bursting a gasket, tearing a hose, or sometimes decoupling from a poorly welded base. And other pumps, no matter what the manufacturer tells you, are simply not rebuildable. Silca pumps, on the other hand, are a joy to rebuild. In fact, since you can count the constituent parts of a Silca pump on one hand, they are also quite simple to rebuild.
Some of the Tatitos were complaining last week that the race-day superpista wasn’t working properly. Sure enough, this 1996 model was in need of a fresh leather (!) plunger and a presta rubber grommet. It’s been fixed now, and quite honestly this is a shame. It’s a shame because it’s cross season, and not track season, and it won’t be able to prove it’s mettle by bringing a tubular to 10 bar in a couple dozen strokes.