Spank Spike 800 Vibrocore handlebar review£75.00

A stiff, no-nonsense bar with precise feedback

BikeRadar score4.5/5

Call us cynical, but we generally reserve a special kind of scepticism for ‘unique innovations’ with bold claims of performance gains. Yet even our most dubious testers couldn’t deny the direct yet damped feel of Spank’s Vibrocore bar, which puts it at the top of our favourites list for flat-out, full-control riding.

The relatively flat but averagely backswept shape synced straight away with most of our test team, and rotation/cut marks make accurate adjustment easy if needed. First impressions are of a stiff, no-nonsense bar with precise feedback and accurate wheel positioning.

When testing back to back with other bars, we could sense the Spike 800 Vibrocore adding a damped and planted feel to the ride, even on relatively tame trails.

Start ploughing into rocky or big-drop sections and the Spike stays eerily ‘quiet’ and smoothly controlled in your hands, with significant reduction in vibration fatigue and buzz compared to similarly stiff conventional bars.

That’s because it’s filled with a high-density, biodegradable foam core that absorbs shock and increases stiffness enough to allow use of super-thin tube walls.

The result is a bar that feels more composed and controlled than even the best-damped carbon bars, for around half the price.

There’s just one obvious downside — the foam core adds around 30g. But you can get the Spike 800 Race bar in three colours but without Vibrocore for £55.

  • Weight: 356g
  • Diameter: 31.8mm
  • Width: 800mm
  • Rise: 15mm
  • Backsweep: 8-degrees
  • Upsweep: 4-degrees
Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 45
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster than the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK

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