I did a bit of an introduction to Spank’s Spike pedal a while back and since then I’ve been rocking the Spike pedal on my Banshee DH bike. Today I’m finally ready to share my analysis of these pedals.
The Spike pedal, unlike many other pedals on the market, is made of cold-forged aluminum, which offers increased strength and durability. This special construction also allows these pedals to be über-thin at just 12 mm (not including the pins). Within this thin profile you get an IGUS outboard bushing and an over-sized full-complement inboard bearing. The IGUS bushing is made from reinforced fibers and solid lubricants. This technique makes for a bushing with predictable characteristics such as high compressive strength and good corrosion resistance and can be run lubrication-free. The steel axle is hollowed out and is alloyed with scandium for increased strength.
The elongated hexagon-shaped pedal is made with chamfered edges (a wedge design, as compared to square edges) to increase pedal clearances. This is important for cornering – the pedal can glance off things if there is a pedal strike, thus reducing the impact force on the bike. The elongated design is also meant to prevent pedal flip. The 90+ cm² area and 20-pin design makes for a very sure-footed feel. Pins are inserted from the opposite side of the pedal with a hex key and locked in place as if they were cap screws, unlike hex pins that rely on the use of thread lock to stop them from spinning. Finally, the seals serve dual duty, providing both protection from the elements while also acting as an anti-spin control.
Installation of the pedals requires a 10mm hex key – there are no pedal wrench options here due to the proximity of the inboard bearing. The use of thread lube is important to prevent seizure of the axle to the crank arm. If you have a crank that requires washers, don’t forget to install them. With this pedal design, the inboard pedal body runs very close to the crank arm (± 1mm) so the lack of a washer could cause it to rub.
I took my trusty DH rig to the slopes to see if these pedals really worked as advertised. Bottom line: they definitely do!
Surprisingly enough, the Spike pedals offered excellent traction. It took a while to get used to the tight proximity of the platform to the crank arms, but after a bit of fumbling around, things were good. I had no real need to play with the pins–the 10 pins per side were adequate and well-placed, giving my feet great traction while still allowing them to roll when necessary. The pins are not the most aggressive on the market, but they can still take a chunk out of your legs if you’re not careful. Wearing shin protection would be a good idea, just in case you lose a foot while getting bucked off your bike.
What I loved most about the Spike pedal was the very solid feel underfoot. The large platform allowed me to move my feet fore and aft just a touch when desired. I really found these pedals advantageous in the corners and tight spots too. We have a run called the Coffin Drop at Blue Mountain which is pretty tricky. If you hit it wrong, it will smash up your pedals and possibly toss you off the trail into the rhubarb. The low profile and chamfered edges shine here, keeping both feet and the pedals away from the rocks.
After two weeks of riding, I did have to adjust the pedal a bit, adding a bit more anti-spin, but that was the only thing that needed adjustment. Running my DH bike through Ontario’s bad weather at Blue (cold, rainy, muddy), the pedals didn’t clog up or exhibit degraded performance in any way. They still feel as smooth as the day they were installed.
A bit of a side note: the funny thing about the Spike pedals is how very quickly you will learn how many people are checking out the gear on your bike. While waiting in line for the lift, I had many people comment on the Spikes.
The Spank Spike pedals come in five colors: orange, blue, black, ti-grey, and red (tested), which will compliment a wide range of colors on your bike. At $125 MSRP, these are available at a good price point. They aren’t crazy expensive, and they offer decent value for the money. These rank in the top three in my favorite pedals book, primarily for their excellent performance-oriented design!
Many thanks to Spank for sending the Spike pedals over for review.