The Spike 800 Race Vibrocore may look like a standard aluminum bar, but the name should suggest that there is something else going on here, and something else is a special two-piece low-density foam that has been injected into it. in its core. Spank says it helps dissipate high-frequency vibrations that are typically transmitted through the bike and directly into the hands of riders. Spank offers two handlebars with the same Vibrocore technology: the Oozy, 235 grams and 760 mm wide; and the 325 gram, 800mm wide Spike 800 Race Vibrocore reviewed below. There are 15mm and 30mm rise options for the Spike handlebars, with an eight-degree rear sweep and four-degree up sweep. MSRP $ 99.90 USD

How does Vibrocore work? Spank says low density foam is capable of ”reduce the frequency, amplitude and duration of energy waves passing through the handlebars. Not only does the low density of the Vibrocore hamper the transfer of energy, but as the energy waves cross the boundaries of the high density to low density materials inside the bar, they are refracted and reflected. , reducing their ability to rely on each other or maintain vibrational frequencies.This is about managing the transfer of energy, which riders have known for years and are able to remedy somewhat by using weighted bar plugs or other devices to dissipate the hum of their engine and engine. ground. However, these methods are obviously not suitable on a mountain bike that weighs only about 30 pounds, which is why the 25 gram weight penalty of Vibrocore foam over a standard Spike handlebar is so appealing – can it do a similar job while weighing essentially next to nothing? Also, keep in mind that we don’t have to deal with high revving engines, but only the terrain beneath us, so is this really necessary?

Spank starts with a standard Spike handlebar which is then filled with low density foam, a job which they say is actually quite tricky due to several elements having to be added at the same time in order to create the green colored foam, as well. that temperature and time constraints during the process that must be observed. Small, closed-cell foam plugs are then installed on either side of the bar to keep contaminants out, and the finished product looks exactly like a standard Spike handlebar, except for the shot-peened matte finish.

Spank says the Spike 800 Race Vibrocore bar is as flex free as anything, but also able to reduce the amount of buzz that would otherwise be transferred to a rider’s hands. And what about the new 35mm clamping diameter bars that many companies say allow them to adjust the flex? Mike Dutton, Spank Brand Manager, shares Spank’s take on the subject: ”We really couldn’t stick with other brands marketing more flexible bars to make 35mm acceptable after the last 20 years of developing and marketing bars to stiffer, lighter bars. It sounded crazy. We insisted on a solution that improves comfort and performance.It’s also worth mentioning that while Spank could have achieved a similar result using carbon fiber, the company cites both environmental and affordable reasons as being enough to make them look for aluminum instead. , which is good news for anyone who might be hesitant to use a carbon bar.

Dutton explained the company’s thoughts on using carbon fiber in a Previous review of their Oozy Trail295 wheelset: Spank has taken a stand in our manufacturing facilities and our product line against the use of carbon for components that require a lot of abuse and may require more frequent replacement. We believe that handlebars and rims, for example, are not suitable products for non-recyclable materials. The abundance of mass-produced carbon components on the market in recent times has also lowered standards and is starting to pose a threat to consumer safety. Spank has invested heavily in the development of production processes, materials and product design, with the goal of providing consumers with an affordable, safe and environmentally friendly carbon solution without compromise. We aim to offer World Cup level components at competitive weight and performance compared to carbon components many times their price.

The Spike’s “Dual Extreme Gradual Taper” graphics might make you scratch your head considering that it looks a bit like an oxymoron, but the name makes more sense, you know what Spank made with their aluminum fabrication. Adding cones, which is where the bar wall thickness changes, allows manufacturers to leave material where it’s needed in the name of strength, like the bends of a riser bar, while still allowing it to be thinner where this material is not needed. This is nothing new, of course, but Spank’s approach, which they say uses proprietary technology, allows for much more progressive taper areas in aluminum. The shorter and steeper the taper area, the more likely it is to act as an increase in stress that could eventually lead to failure. So they worked to make the Spike’s taper as long as possible. This, combined with their ‘CNC bending’ technique, means they don’t end up having to literally grind the outer material of the elbows and the finished product has virtually no inconsistencies.

All of the above are hidden from view, and you wouldn’t know it otherwise without the rather loud graphics that are obscured by your handles, but there is something else that is also impossible to spot: the Impact Ends of Spank. This refers to the extra wall thickness at the very end of each bar which, as the name suggests, adds strength at each end. The length of the impact ends has been increased on the Spike 800 Race Vibrocore compared to their other offerings, now with 60mm on each side so the rider has the option of reducing the bar width without sacrificing the ends of impact.

Pinkbike’s point of view

Can a handlebar really be too stiff? Sure, but it doesn’t get to the rider as you might expect … rather than feeling like he’s just too stiff, you’ll probably feel like he’s transmitting too much vibration to the hands. I’ve felt exactly that with a number of new 35mm diameter handlebars on the market, and that’s one of the reasons I’m not really a big fan of the new, larger size. Now it’s obviously not just the bar clamp diameter that has this effect, but the few oversized options I’ve tried have all felt too harsh for my liking. I could say the same about a 31.8mm carbon bar that I’ve had on my personal bike for quite some time now, and while I knew this bar was a bit ruthless, it wasn’t. not clear how ruthless it was until I traded it in for the Spike Vibrocore.

I will certainly admit being a little skeptical about the usefulness of a foam filled handlebar, which is surely a valid doubt, but there is a definite contrast in feel between the Vibrocore, the carbon bar it has. replaced, and a standard aluminum bar, which I recently had on the same bike. It’s not a difference between day and night, however, but it’s there, and I would say it’s a lot more subtle than going from a small tire to a big tire. It’s on the same bike, with the same set of grips and wearing the same gloves. Will it make you faster? It’s a tough question to answer, but I can see that the extra comfort means less strain on your hands and arms over a long day, which would definitely make you more comfortable, and so maybe faster. I can also say that my hands felt better after using the Vibrocore than with other options, which proves to me that Spank’s idea of ​​filling the bar with foam is valid.

I tested the Spike 800 Race Vibrocore bar on a short stroke bike after cutting 10mm on each side, and while Spank touts the bar’s vibration dampening capabilities as a plus for the downhill racer, I believes that trail runners and enduro racers will really benefit more from the technology. Yes, a downhill bike is driven at faster speeds and over rougher terrain, but your trail bike has less travel, probably smaller volume tires, and there is simply less between you and the ground. to absorb and absorb chatter. This is where the Vibrocore should be a plus, not to say it wouldn’t help you out on a long day in the bike park on your DH machine either, because it would clearly do just that. The 325 gram, 800mm wide Spike 800 Race Vibrocore is probably too waisted for many trail runners, and while there is a lighter 235 gram Oozy Vibrocore model, it is 760mm. This means that you will have to go for the heavier 800mm wide model and cut it (or not) if you want to go wider than 760mm.

– Mike Lévy

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