Long Term Review: Spank Spike Flat Pedal

Lust doesn’t motivate the majority of my purchases with the exception of a recent upgrade. When I came across the first spy shots of Spanks new flats I knew they were destined for my bike. In a crowded segment this is one of the most unique looking pedals to be introduced within the past year. It’s an attractive design that comes without the burden of a boutique pedals price and it as as trendy as anything else on the market due to its light weight, “reduced Q factor,” chamfered edges, and thin platform. And they come in pretty colors.

Over the past few months of riding they have proven to be as useful as they are sexy…

There are a lot of pedal options out there, but when riding flats, there is not a whole lot that separates one set from another. Even a mediocre pedal will perform well when paired with riding specific shoes like Five10s. If you are going to drop $125 MSRP on a pair of these pedals, you will be expecting a lot more than just good grip. The Spank Spikes, equipped with a hollow and tapered (scandium-enriched) steel axle, weigh in at a respectable 398 grams.

There are lighter pedals available, but what differentiates this set is their width. Unlike a variety of new pedals on the market, like the new Straightline Amps or VP line up, the Spike doesn’t sacrifice the size of the platform (90 sqcm2) to minimize weight. I had never tried a platform this wide before and it makes a difference. Despite grippy pedal/shoe combinations, it is not uncommon to slip a pedal during a downhill run. With these gigantic flats, even if my foot shifts, I’m not stuck riding out a technical section with just part of my heel or a toe on the pedal.

The design incorporates a total of 20 pins. There are 16 hex pins that thread in from the opposite side, along the perimeter of the pedal, and an additional 2 grub screws which thread all the way through the body. The pedals come without the pins installed. Spank claims this self-installation is so you can pick “right pin configuration to suit your riding style, foot wear, and preferred level of grip.”

The maximum grip configuration requires the use of all 20 pins, but if you prefer improved foot positioning and adjustability they suggest you forgo installing the grub screws. I installed all twenty pins and have not looked back. In three months of hard riding I have yet to lose a pin but cosmetically the pedals show slight wear and tear. The body is unscathed, but the logos along the chamfered edges have started wearing. Spank cold forges its pedals because the process creates a more consistent grain throughout and provides improved strength and weight characteristics in comparison to extruded components.

The Spikes achieve balance between reduced q-factor and slim profile (12mm) by placing the inboard sealed bearing where the pedal wrench inserts would normally be found. The pedals spin on the one large inboard sealed bearing and an Igus bushing. Consequently, they don’t spin generously, but the assembly instructions claim that the bushing seal is a wearing part, and when new are intended to reduce “free-spin.” A couple hundred miles have passed since I installed these pedals and they still do not spin as freely as pedals I have owned in the past, but I didn’t notice any additional resistance when pedaling.

As a mountain biker I’ve grown accustomed to a little disc brake drag and chain guide rub – so a slightly stiff bearing does not faze me. My only complaint with this design is that sometimes one of my pedals whistles. This has only occurred twice, once during my first test ride, and again during my first muddy ride of the season. I doubt the whistling will get worse, but if it reappears, they are easily rebuildable.

Overall, I highly recommend the Spank Spikes pedals, unless you dislike receiving compliments. Since they are eye catching, it’s not uncommon for fellow riders to reach down and fondle them trailside, and they can be purchased in black, blue, red, ti-gray, and “zesty orange.” After owning a set of these, I would be hard pressed to go back to a smaller pedal. That little extra platform is confidence inspiring and can be very useful during short technical climbs. The chamfered edges and thin profile really help minimize pedal strikes in berms and when peddling through rugged terrain. These pedals were well worth their price tag considering their light weight, respectable grip (even in non-riding shoes), and comfort.

Special thanks to my riding buddy and photog Steve Burt.

Comments

guesswho? - 01/26/12 - 2:37pm

What a wonderfully written review….sweeet pics as well. About to order me a pair…

Jason - 01/26/12 - 3:37pm

Saris, do you have any more info on rebuilding the pedals? I looks for the instructions on Spank’s website but could not find them. I am afraid that the IGUS bushing will be hard to access. There is no hole in the cage to press in the bushing from the outside of the pedal.

Saris - 01/26/12 - 5:13pm

Hey Jason, Spank provides an exploded view of the pedal in the package insert. This is the closest you’ll get to actual instructions. I’ll try to get an article up with pictures and an in-depth explanation on how to rebuild these flats by early next week.

I very rarely need to rebuild the pedals on my bikes. Are you having any issue in particular?

Dave - 01/26/12 - 7:08pm

I usually rebuild my pedals after every winter season of riding. I’ve had pedal bearing seize up from neglect, but a little TLC keeps them going smooth for a long time. I just picked up a set of these but am still waiting for my flat shoes to arrive in the mail. I’ve been riding clipped in for 15 years, so I figured it’d be fun to mix it up a bit. Nice writeup, I can’t wait to get out on my set. The ano red finish looks fantastic.

Curtis - 01/27/12 - 9:29am

Hey, just wondering about weighty riders. I am 210 lbs and wondering if these will hold up well for someone my size?
Thanks

Jason - 01/27/12 - 12:55pm

Thanks Saris I look forward to the explanation.

XC riders can sometimes wear out bushings, but I have only had issues with Egg Beaters.

If I am buying a pair of nice pedals, I definitely want availability to rebuild instructions and spare parts.

Saris - 02/01/12 - 2:26pm

@Curtis

I contacted Spank regarding your question and they have not set a rider limit. They “test to roughly 500kg but in different riding disciplines, huge ranges in g-forces are exerted.” As long as you don’t plan on hitting massive jumps to flat, I think you’ll be fine, but anyone over 275 lbs trying to race world cup dh or land a 20 stair to flat should probably look elsewhere.

Ussr - 02/08/12 - 7:24pm

I’m 260lbs and trust me these rocks. I’ve bent several pedal of different brands which eventually destroyed my crankarms. I’ve been using these since launch. Yes price is steep. But well worth the bling and usage. I’m amazed that saris prints lasted so long. Mine are trashed within a month.

Beemus - 05/20/12 - 2:17am

Loved mine until I sheared the left one off today. 215 pounds. Clean landing, thankfully rode it out.

Ryan - 10/19/12 - 9:51pm

I am around 175lbs. I hit drops that are three to four feet and ride in a rocky place. Would you say these pedals would hold up? I just don’t want them to brake like the guy above.

Janet - 12/24/12 - 1:17pm

Great review with helpful pictures. I have been looking for low profile platforms with excellent grip capabilities. Your review helped me make my decision and I ordered the Racing Red pedals today. I can’t wait to try them on the trail. Thanks again for posting a great review!

Jase - 05/12/13 - 6:56pm

Nice review. I have been on these pedals for over 2 years now and they haven’t let me down. Super stoked with them, and given they are in the sweet price point that is actually affordable, I can’t see any reason to change pedals any time soon!

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