Fresh Produce | Spank Vibro Core bars - Dirt

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Fresh Produce | Spank Vibro Core bars

Could these be the answer to arm pump?

Fresh Produce | Spank Vibro Core bars

We keep the delivery men busy down here at Dirt and last week a set of Spank’s new VibroCore Spike bars turned up. Now a new set of bars might not seem like a big deal but we’ve been told these are, we’ll give them a full shakedown and see if the claims are true but the idea is to reduce arm pump induced from riding rough tracks or those famous alpine braking bumps we all love.

Arm pump can be pretty painful and dangerous if you lose the ability to grab your brakes but Spank’s new bars are based on their ‘Impulse and Fatigue Dampening System’ and the idea is to reduce such issues. To put it in simple terms Spank have filled their bars with a low density foam claimed to dampen the vibrations that are transmitted to your arms and reduce the pain and strain we know as arm pump.

We are going to fit the bars to a number of different bikes and see if we can feel the difference, the theory sounds plausible and we’ll give you the lowdown once we have tested them out. Here’s the info from Spank explaining the technology.

The same backsweep and upsweep of the standard Spike 800 Race bars but with added foam designed to dampen vibration.

What is hand/arm numbness and why is it a problem for MTB riders?

The phenomenon of hand and arm numbness and fatigue from holding onto vibrating equipment is not new to mountain bikers. In fact as modern development of MTB components has lead to stronger and stiffer components, we have amplified this effect to the point that “arm pump” is prevalent problem for gravity riders world wide. For those of us who suffer from impulse and vibrational fatigue, it can seem like a losing battle. Gripping a vibrating handlebar leads to hand numbness, which can reduce the perception of a firm grip, which in turns triggers a reaction to grip harder, leading to fatigue. With today’s high performance riders and bicycles demanding the utmost in stiffness and light weight out of all their components, what is the answer?

Surely few of us would accept a highly “flexible” handlebar. Wide diameter, soft grips and padded gloves can reduce some of the impulse energy delivered to hands, but often result in squeezing harder to get the same perceived grip on the bars, and do little to reduce the vibrational energy that travels through bars to hands. Heavy handlebar counter-weights used in Motocross have been effective to reduce vibration, but are not suitable for highly weight optimized mountain bikes. 

Reports from the world’s top riders indicates that recent trends in over-sized handlebar diameters, such as 35mm, have actually amplified the issue of hand/arm fatigue, and efforts to make these bars more compliant (flexible) may in fact bring them too close to critical wall thicknesses, reducing both safety and performance. Some competitors have combated this effect by turning to carbon, which offers a higher level of vibrational dampening than alloy and low overall weights, but at the cost of environmental responsibility and affordable prices.

The foam sits inside the bars with 60mm of open space so you can still cut the bars down and not cut into the foam.


At Spank Industries our goal was to produce a solution which offered the best of all worlds, in any handlebar diameter, with a focus on a standard diameter that works, 31.8mm. After all it was Gavin Vos, the founder of Spank Industries, who first introduced the 31.8mm standard to the industry years ago, after careful study into strength to weight ratios and critical wall thicknesses. It was fundamental in the development of the VIBROCORE system, to provide the stiffness and responsiveness that our World Cup Dh and Enduro Racers demanded, but at the same time to reduce the impulse and vibrational fatigue that had already put some of our pros under the knife…and do it with a system that kept the overall weight of the bars competitive at any level. It was also imperative to us to achieve this with a recyclable material, and at a reasonable price.

In conjunction with Spank’s Dual XGT Taper technology, which sees alloy handlebars butted up to seven times, VIBROCORE offers just that. The VIBROCORE Team Edition Spike 800Race Handlebar weighs in at just 335g which is just 25g more than the standard Spike 800Race model, making them the lightest effective anti-vibration system available today! Oozy 760 VIBROCORE Trail/Enduro bars start at an incredible 235g in 760mm length, going head to head with carbon alternatives, at half the price.

Ready to be fitted and tested, these bars will go from Welsh valleys to high in the French Alps.

How does VIBROCORE work?

The theory behind Spank’s VIBROCORE Impulse and Fatigue Dampening System is simple. First its important to understand that like all forms of energy, the vibrational energy that is transmitted through your bars to your hands, is made up of waves, which can be measured in amplitude and frequency. The more dense a material, the higher its ability to transmit these energy waves. Alloys have a very high density, and in turn transmit vibrational energy very effectively. VIBROCORE is a complex, low density material which fills the core of the handlebar, reducing the frequency, amplitude, and duration of energy waves traveling through the handlebar. Not only does the low density of the VIBROCORE impede the transfer of energy, but as energy waves cross material boundaries from high density to low density within the bar, they are refracted and reflected (basically bounced in different directions), reducing their ability to build on one another (resonate) or sustain vibrational frequencies. Where competitors have been forced to design unwanted flexibility into their bars, Spank’s VIBROCORE system also acts to reinforce the handlebar from the inside, making it stronger and stiffer, resulting in a more responsive performance and improved sensitivity. The result is a handlebar that feels incredibly strong and rigid, AND acts to reduce impulse and vibrational fatigue.

Test time

So what do you lot reckon? The bars are available in the sizes below and they also come in the Oozy Enduro bar version, if the theory is sound in practice these could well help out the racers with less travel and repeated intense runs. Time will tell and we’ll report back soon.

Spike 880 Race Vibrocore

Length – 800mm
Rise – 15 or 30mm
Upsweep – 4 degree
Backsweep – 8 degree
Diameter – 31.8mm
Material – Super-6 MGR Alloy
Construction – CNC Bent / Dual XGT Tapers
Adjustability – New Longer Impact Ends allow for up to 60mm adjustment, between 740-800mm

Oozy 760 Vibrocore

Length – 760mm
Rise – 5 or 15mm
Upsweep – 4 degree
Backsweep – 6 degree
Diameter – 31.8mm
Material – 7-Series MGR Alloy
Construction – CNC Bent / Dual XGT Tapers
Adjustability – 760mm to 730mm

Price £74.99 – Spike 800 Race Vibrocore

Hotlines UK

0131 319 1444


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