When we hear the name Silca, one word quickly comes to mind – Quality. From their Removable Valve Core Extenders to Hiro v.1, the products they make blow us away. These are not just high quality shop products. In many cases, they’re true works of art. So when Silca lets us know they had not one but two new products in the works, we got pretty excited, especially when one of them was an upgrade to the team favorite, Hiro.
The Silca HX-One
Depending on whom you ask (and when you ask it), hex keys are either the savior or curse of many a home (and professional) mechanic. And the team at Silca is no different. But unlike the rest of us, they can actually do something about that.
The HX-One starts with S-2 Tool Steel. S-2 steel displays very high impact toughness and relatively low abrasion resistance, and it can also attain relatively high hardness. S-2’s hard surface results in prolonged tool life, which is one of the primary reasons Silca selected it. The steel keys are then coated with thin-dense Chrome, providing the hardest, most dimensionally stable finish possible for each hex key. Finally, each tool is spray-coated with a high-grip, high-visibility textured polymer finish for maximum grip and control.
The HX-One comes with eight metric keys (2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10). In addition, Silca includes their 17-4 Stainless Magnetic Adapter. The adapter turns the 6mm key into a ¼” socket drive. To make use of this, the kit also includes the T8 – T30 Torx bits, Phillips head #1 and #2 bits, and Flat head #.5 and #1 bits.
The entire kit is then packaged in a CNC machined Beechwood box with a magnetic closure system.
The HX-One will retail for $125 and will be available in limited quantities starting September 1st. And while we recognize that $125 is a very steep price to pay for hex keys, we go back to what we said above – Silca builds quality. And this is the kind of quality that not only outlasts you, but your kids as well.
The Silca Hiro v.2
The Hiro v.1 was one of our featured products in our 2014 Holiday Gift Guide. At the time we said it was “high quality and easy to use (with a little practice), this is the perfect gift for the athlete who already has everything.” And for those unfamiliar, the Hiro is Silca’s answer for making a better disc wheel compatible locking chuck. They wanted it to be easy to use and a work of art.
Not content to just build it based on their assumptions, the team at Silca went to Europe to get the opinions of pro mechanics. They wanted single-hand usage, 250+psi capability for road and track situations, and at least a year of service before replacing gaskets (the equivalent of 10 lifetimes of use for the rest of us), and NO hose clamps. The team at Silca also threw in a rotating head, which allows the chuck to more easily align with the valve stem and eliminates hose twist regardless of wheel orientation. The result was the Hiro v.1.
We used the Hiro v.1 this entire season both with disc wheels and standard road racing wheels. Our favorite pump was typically the one that the Hiro was currently attached to. It was easy to use (and much simpler to use than the “crack pipe” heads we typically use for discs.) The head never came off the wheel while pumping, the gasket held strong until you are topped up and ready to roll. And it just felt solid. You knew you were using a quality component from the moment you picked it up.
But we did have one suggestion for Silca. While the head fit better than any other product we had used with a disc wheel, we did find it still a bit of a tight fit if you had a long valve on the wheel. And as it turns out, Silca listened. The Hiro v.2 has a smaller overall size, including a lower overall stack height for better fit in all discs. Additionally there is greater inside head clearance for all valve types. The spring-loaded lever has been modified for better on/off engagement. Finally, the top is made of 17-4 stainless and now allows for magnetic docking with the Super Pista Ultimate.
The Hiro v.2 is available now for $110. Like the HX-One, the Hiro is more than a tool—it’s a finely crafted precision instrument. And for those who regularly use disc wheels, it will quickly become one of the most used items in your garage.
Quality rarely comes cheap. But as the old adage goes, you get what you pay for. The Silca products in the AeroGeeks’ garage are some of the most commonly used products we have and the ones most often checked out to team members. The updates to the Hiro should make it even better, and we look forward to getting some wrench time with it. And we have to admit that as soon as we saw the HX-One, we cleared out the perfect place on our tool bench to both show if off and make it easily accessible. Lucky for us, Silca has let us know that both are on the way. Stay tuned for our in-depth review of both.