Spank Spike Grips seek to alleviate one of the most common afflictions mountain bikers face, arm pump. Engineered to reduce impulse shock and absorb vibration, the Spank Spike grips are an item that our testers were excited to test out. Available in two sizes to suit the size of your hand, the Spike grips pack plenty of features that we were excited to put to the test.
Spank offers the Spike Grip in 2 diameters, a low profile 30mm and for those with larger mitts, a 33mm. In this review, we tested the 33mm diameter grips. Spank makes the Spike grips extra-long at 145mm. One difference in the two grips however is that the 33mm option has three external ribs for increased traction. The grips use a single lock ring available in four different colored lock rings, grey, red, blue and green and come with a durable, reinforced bar end cap for increased durability.
The grips are crafted out of Kraton Rubber with a PP plastic base. The Spank Spike Grip has an anatomical bar end, which is designed to offer a little extra support and protection to the pinky finger. A key to the impact and vibration reduction are the internal cutouts in the palm area. Designed to reduce impulse shock and vibration by removing the plastic liner under the palm, the design allows Spank to place more absorbing Kraton rubber under the hand at strategic places.
The grip pattern may look like a modified mushroom grip at first but closer inspection shows some unique features that Spank has developed with their “Human Factor” Grip pattern. This “factor” offers a unique set of features to each grip size. The technology is designed to help create a grip with the cushion and suppleness of a finned, mushroom grip without the unwanted float and squirm that accompanies the design. The height of the fins also varies from top to bottom. The grips are thinner at the bottom making for a better engagement and less float while the upper part under the palm, has taller fins to increased vibration and impact absorption. The design reduces fatigue without making for a vague and squirmy grip.
Some of our riders have suffered from varying degrees of hand and arm pump over the years. We’ve tried everything from expensive arm pump straps and tools to stretching, running glue-on grips instead of lock-ons and everything else we could think of. Some things have helped, others have not. It seems there are lots of factors that contribute to arm pump and hand fatigue so just one simple part won’t always turn the switch off.
What we can say however is that most all of our testers agreed that comfort and stamina were improved with this grip. Some riders had a slight acclimation curve as they adjusted to the new diameter or shape, but after a few rides the difference was more perceivable. The cutouts offer a nice relief from thin grips that have our palms vibrating against the plastic sheath underneath them. We greatly appreciated the supple feel from the taller finned pads on top of the grip but also liked that we had a fairly predictable sense on the grips. These aren’t the squirmy mushroom grips that have your hand moving around but they also aren’t the thin race grips that have you feeling every little bit of input from the bike and ground beneath you. That makes sense though since these grips are designed to fall right between the two by blending comfort with performance.
Overall the Spank Spike grips are a pretty awesome option if you’re looking for a comfortable grip to help smooth our the ride. If you’ve got arthritis, sensitive fingers, suffer from arm pump or are looking to just eek a couple more runs out of the bike park every day, reducing vibration and impacts by even a small percent will add up the more you ride. We don’t think they’re the best looking grips, the large end cap does have a function and protects the grips and your bike, but they’re a bit overkill in our opinion. We also don’t love that they’re so long. At 145mm, we just don’t have a need for a grip that wide and think they take up too much real estate.
Beyond our nitpicks centered around aesthetics, the Spank Spikes are a welcome option on our bikes and we’ll continue to run them on our bikes. Whether we’re self-shuttling epic days on the ebike of lapping Whistler Bike Park on our favorite downhill bike, these grips definitely help manage the sting and ache from long days of death-gripping the bars.