Review: Spank Spike pedals

When Spank set out to create the Spike flat pedals, they aimed to create a thin, lightweight platform pedal that could still withstand the kind of abuse dished out by amateurs and pros alike, week after week in all weather conditions.
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The Spike design incorporates a total of 20 pins (10 per side) of which 16 are hex pins that thread in from the opposite side, along the perimeter of the pedal, and an additional 4 grub screws which thread all the way through the body. The pedals come without the pins installed as spank claims self-installation lets you pick the “right pin configuration to suit your riding style, foot wear, and preferred level of grip.” Maximum grip requires the use of all 20 pins, but if you, like me, prefer improved foot positioning and adjustability I'd suggest you forgo installing the grub screws. I find this configuration offers more than enough grip, especially when used in conjunction with Five Ten shoes.

The Details

12mm Thin - Massive Platform
Cold Forged Alloy Pedal Body
Hollow Taper Scandium Enriched Steel Axle
Chamfered Leading Edges for Improved Clearance and Reduced Impact Forces
Chamfered Side Edges for Improved Cornering Clearance
Oversized Sealed Full Compliment Inboard Industrial Bearing
Sealed Outboard IGUS Bushing
20 Adjustable Pins per Pedal
Full Sized Hex Head Pins Improve Durability and Maintenance
Inboard Friction Seal Prevents Contamination and Reduces Unwanted Pedal Spin
Weight: 420g Claimed with full pin compliment
Available Colors: Orange / Ti-Grey / Black / Blue / Red / Emerald Green
RRP: R1450

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Thankfully, even in a bid to save weight, Spank did not compromise on size with the Spikes sporting large 90cm2 platforms with metal in all the right places. Having a longer platform helps reduce the chance of "pedal flip" on rough ground or when your feet are not in the ideal position. However at 12mm they are some of the thinnest out there. This, along with chamfered leading and side edges, improves cornering clearance and aids in reducing impacts.The thin profile was achieved by designing the Spike pedals to rotate on an Igus bushing at the end of the pedal axle, while using a much larger than usual full compliment, inboard, sealed bearing. In order to do so the body flares out close to the crank arm in order to accept the larger than standard bearing, but it doesn't affect or interfere with grip as it's right up against the crank arm. The design also reduces Q-factor for increased pedalling efficiency and rider positioning.

To increase the strength-to-weight ratio the main body is cold forged rather than extruded like the majority of other pedals. Spank claims this allows them to achieve a smaller and more consistent grain size in the alloy and better grain orientation and in doing so achieve a better strength to weight ratio. The tapered, hollow, scandium enriched, alloy steel axle itself goes through a complex heat treatment process that is said to increases strength and stiffness.

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On the trail

At a claimed 420g there are lighter pedals out there, but not many of those can compete on sheer strength and durability or price. In an effort to save weight some manufacturers have turned to Magnesium which is not as strong and won't last as long as these or similar pedals will do. The Spikes fall solidly in the "does not spin freely" category which I prefer. Depending on the crank arms and whether you are running boots you can tweak this to a degree with pedal spacers. Don't get me wrong, they are not stiff or difficult to pedal, they are just not free-spinning, happy-go-lucky pedals. Much like Point One Racing's Podium pedal.

The sheer grip and size of the platform of the Spikes is a big confidence booster. I've never felt ill-at-ease on these even in the roughest of terrain. Granted, I ride with Five Tens which helps a great deal, but this lets me tweak the pin configuration to give me the exact feel I like. The ability to do this is a big advantage as you won't have to sacrifice feel for grip. The 12mm profile and chamfered edges help to keep it out of harms way which in turn will give you the confidence to push harder and lean the bike over a little farther each time. With your feet solidly planted on the pedals you can focus on the trail ahead.

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In the end

After months of use the one pedal has picked up a bit of a squeak, but that was easily solved with some home TLC. Other than that they have been faultless. The hex head screws have taken a beating, without a single one bending or breaking and other than a few cosmetic marks, the body is handling the abuse better than others I've tried, undoubtedly aided by the chamfered edges.

Compared to Straitline Defacto the Spank's are lighter, thinner and have a wider platform, but sport similar grip levels with the Straitlines and only gaining the upper hand when running all of its pins. This however restricts foot movement too much for me. Compared to Point One Racing Podium the Spike's have a slightly smaller platform (100cm2 vs 90cm2), are heavier (359g vs 420g), of similar height, but are a lot cheaper and have better grip even in my "lower grip configuration".

The Spike's biggest trump is that they are available through your local LBS as there's an official importer in South Africa. This will give you peace of mind knowing you will have back-up and should be able to get your hands on spares if needed. In my mind the only real downside would be price, but even though they are not the cheapest flat pedals money can buy they certainly are worth every one of your hard earned cents. I would not hesitate to recommend them to anybody (with the possible exception of riders looking for a pedal that spins freely) especially when considering they are light, wide, thin and durable. Throw in the option of 6 anodised colours and you have yourself a winning formula.




14 Comments

trail - er - park, Jul 16 2014 10:27

Have used mine for 8+ months now with FiveTens and they are phenomenal in terms of comfort, grip and performance in all conditions.

Remarkable quality and they take a beating without complaint.

Would highly recommend to anyone ... BUT do wear shin guards as, when you run out of talent, you will discover that their bite is much worse than their bark ...!

Pappa Bear, Jul 16 2014 11:20

I had mine for a couple of months but sold it. I found the peddal not "placed" close enought to the crank arm, resulting in them feeling to narrow.

Other than that no problems, nice and thin with proper lenght pins!

T-Bob, Jul 16 2014 11:27

What's the RRP on these?

trail - er - park, Jul 16 2014 11:53

R1,300When

What's the RRP on these?


R1,300 to R1,400 on average when I last looked.

Iwan Kemp, Jul 16 2014 05:17

What's the RRP on these?

Listed as R1450, but if you shop around you'll be able to get it for cheaper. For info on a shop in your area or to get more info you can contact the agents over here:
http://www.intltrade.../contact-us.php

G00SE, Jul 16 2014 05:38

I've had mine for over a year now, great pedals, but they did squeak from the beginning and developed play after a few months of use

rossbotha, Jul 20 2014 08:17

Who sells them

Iwan Kemp, Jul 20 2014 08:50

Importers are the same guys who do Hope & KS which means they will be available to order from your LBS

Iwan Kemp, Jul 20 2014 09:01

Another pic
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Iwan Kemp, Jul 20 2014 09:05

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Iwan Kemp, Feb 25 2015 09:48

Have retired these last month after another 6 months of use on all sorts of bikes. Apart from a slight, occasional squeak from the left pedal they have been faultless. 

 

They have been replaced by Point1 Podiums and I already miss them. 

Amberdrake, Feb 25 2015 10:02

Have retired these last month after another 6 months of use on all sorts of bikes. Apart from a slight, occasional squeak from the left pedal they have been faultless. 

 

They have been replaced by Point1 Podiums and I already miss them. 

Out of interest i ask the following: Why replace? How long did they last? and if they are still good are you selling them?  :ph34r:

Iwan Kemp, Mar 22 2015 05:09

Out of interest i ask the following: Why replace? How long did they last? and if they are still good are you selling them?  :ph34r:

 

Time to try something new, simple as that. Bought Oct 2013

Captain Fastbastard Mayhem, Mar 22 2015 05:25

Time to try something new, simple as that. Bought Oct 2013


I can tell you that Mark is one happy chappie.... though he did say that he bartered as much as he could.