Silca’s New Made in the USA Impero Ultimate Frame Pump May 18, 2015

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I tend to get giddy about projects, especially those which were born in the USA, or at least in this case resurrected. Silca’s a company with its roots deeply embedded in cycling history. For over 100 years, this company has been a part of inflation technology (yes, I just said that). After the name was purchased and relocated to the USA, things have been changing rapidly. For the better.

That $400 floor pump caused a bit of a ruckus, as did the $40 air chucks yet for some reason the thought of a $165 frame pump doesn’t seem like a huge leap. Especially when you consider the detailing and that a made overseas Topeak or the like is still $50. The Impero Ultimate has been reborn. It’s a beast of metal, with no plastic parts and it’s machined in the USA. Best of all, it comes in BLACK!

Without me slobbering too much here with copy, why don’t you just check out the specs and more photos below, or order one at Silca. I just did.


In the 1920’s SILCA revolutionized roadside inflation with the creation of the Impero Frame Fit Pump. These early pumps used the revolutionary material ‘Duraliminium’ (2000 series aluminum) to replace steel. Within a few years SILCA pumps could be found on the bicycles of more than 80% of the professional peloton which was then still fully self supported. Over the next 70 years the Impero would be the most widely used frame pump in the world, introducing further technology advancements, first changing the barrel to Celluloid and later moving the handle and head to Plastic in the 1960’s.


For 2015 we are thrilled to introduce Impero Ultimate, the merging of high tech modern materials and manufacturing with the full aluminum construction and durability that was a hallmark of the original Impero.

Impero Ultimate features a high tech head gasket with unique 2-stage seal to provide ultimate sealing and holding even when compared to lever chuck designs. Solid aluminum head with brass check valve ensures a lifetime of flawless use, and fully aluminum barrel, handle and piston rod result in a pump that is both competitive in weight with plastic designs while being significantly stronger, smoother and more durable.

Unique FlexWing Silicone bumpers on the head and handle tip are designed to handle tubing diameters from 1″ (25mm) to 2.5″ (64mm) using a unique flexible outer wing which adjusts under pressure. An additional Silicone bumper on the main barrel protects paint, eliminates vibrations and noise, and also acts as a compression lock against the pump handle to keep it from moving unless you want it to.

Impero Ultimate is Manufactured in the USA using Alcoa Aluminum extrusions and bar stock. Impero uses a 19mm diameter leather piston custom manufactured by the same supplier in Milan who has supplied SILCA leather since 1947, and the brass check valve is a modified version of the check valve used in the SuperPista Ultimate.

Impero Ultimate represents the Ultimate in design, functionality, security and longevity.


FlexWing Technology Fits Tube size between 1″ (25mm) and 2.5″ (60mm)
Silicone Bumpers for secure fit and Ultimate Paint protection
Most efficient Inflation of any Portable Pump (112 strokes = 100psi size Small)
2 Stage Sealing Advanced Elastomer Head – No fussy lever to mess with.
100% Full metal construction – No plastic parts to break, bend, slip or rattle
Weights: SM: 256gm M: 267gm L: 278gm XL: 289gm

  • hans

    the XL size fits a maximum tube length of 56cm? so when are they releasing the XXL and XXXL sizes?

    • James Norman Woodley

      its probably an inside to inside measure rather than a center to center…

    • I think that’s inside to inside. Not sure though. confirming… when mine gets in the mail, I’ll holler at you buddy.

      • hans

        ah, that makes more sense. sure does look classy!

      • super curious how this will work with a 60/61cm frame, specifically 61cm AC Macho King

  • HurlEverstone


  • David Spiva

    Oh boy.
    Any word on if this is presta only or shrader/presta combo?
    I’ve been looking for a good full sized frame pump for my touring bike and haven’t been happy with any of topeak or blackburn options.
    Can’t really top Silca in that department.

    • hans

      i just replaced my zefal hpx that i’d had for at least 15 years. it only needed replacing because i stepped on the thing right as it fell outta my hand and it bent at such a weird angle i couldn’t get it right again. otherwise it’d still be in use. highly recommended. and all your friends with mini pumps and CO2 will buy you beers at the end of the ride. i don’t think they make them in black any longer though.

      • Sean Curran

        Wish they still made them in black. I just ordered a topeak, and wasnt so stoked on it to be honest, now atleast I know what I’ll be replacing it with when I have the money. Silca did a good job keeping the price reasonable on this.

  • Tony Clifton

    Yeah, but does my Campy pump head fit it?

  • Dylan Buffington

    I wish I got more flats.

    • Didn’t you ride like 10 miles on a flat? Also, I giggled at this comment!

      • Dylan Buffington

        I don’t know what you’re talking about John.

  • Ultra_Orange

    So when are they coming out with other color wares like they did back in the day?I’ve got matching slice pumps for 3 of my bikes. Damn I wish I could get this and the floor pump though.

  • scottmbobbitt
  • Erik B

    There doesn’t seem to be any long term review of this thing up yet. I’ll put in my 2¢ with a report that the functional quality isn’t quite as high as one would expect for paying this much. The tiny (5mm) bolt that holds on the leather (feels like leather) seal that pushes the air constantly comes loose. Locktite has been suggested, but if this is a common problem then why would it not come locked in from the factory?

    When the bolt comes loose it bounces around inside the housing making all sorts of racket and allows the leather seal to shudder back and forth enabling compression along the outer diameter of the seal, thus causing it to no longer sit flush with the surrounding housing. Lucky that I discovered this issue at home rather than out on a brevet. A frame pump is one thing that a rider wants to be able to rely on 100% without a second thought.

    I will be contacting Silca to try and obtain a replacement as I have used the pump to inflate tubes on only four occasions and their products seem to be built and marketed as having such high quality to last a literal lifetime.

    • Ultra_Orange

      I was looking for some longterm reviews but mostly it’s complaints. Not sure if it’s just the internet or what. I do want one just finding it hard to justify when my 20 euro topeka is 4 years old and still great. Perhaps John will revisit it soon and tell up what it’s like to live with?

      • Erik B

        After contacting silca, they sent me a new one and I sent this one back to them. Hopefully the replacement version has better internals.

        • Ultra_Orange

          Yeah right? The common complaint in fail seems to be that screw for the valve. Personally don’t like the thought of purchasing a $165 pump just to have to lock-tite it myself.

  • Tim Travis

    Are these pretty easy to disassemble… would like to do a custom paint with my local painter.