Spank Spike Race28 Wheelset overview:
• Intended use: all-mountain, freeride, downhill
• Adaptors available for most axle standards - 15mm, 20mm or QR front; 135mm, 12x142 or 150mm rear
• Colors: black/white, blue, red
• Weight: 2010 grams (actual
) with 12x142 adaptor
• MSRP: $499 USD
Spank offers several different component lineups designed to suit various styles of riding. Their Spike series is intended for everything from light freeriding to downhill racing or bike park usage, and includes handlebars, stems, rims and pedals, along with the wheelset tested here. For the Race28 wheelset, Spank uses a traditional three cross pattern to lace their Spike Race28 EVO rims to 32 hole Spoon hubs. The wheels are hand built and trued in Taiwan (a small card is included with the wheel builder's signature
) using Sandvik triple butted spokes and brass nipples. The DetailsRims
The Spike Race28 EVO rims are constructed from a 6000 series aluminum alloy Spank calls Dynamal, which was chosen for its balance of high strength and light weight, the elements needed for a modern mountain bike rim. Spank's rims are joined using a sleeve that is pressed in and then bonded with an epoxy for added assurance against separation. The rims measure 23mm wide internally and 28mm externally, with a total height of 19mm. Instead of dipping down in the center where the spoke holes are like many rims do, the rim has a wave shaped profile that creates a raised center rib. This raised portion, part of Spank's patented OooBah rim profile, is designed to provide additional bracing for the rim's sidewalls, preventing them from collapsing in under heavy loads. The rims also have a pronounced bead hook to prevent tires from rolling off the rim, even when riders run low pressures. We tested these wheels with tubes, but Spank does sell tubeless rim tape for riders who wish to run a tubeless setup.
The raised portion in the center of the rim is designed to add additional strength, bracing up the sidewalls against heavy loads. Also note the small lip below the bead hook, part of Spank's BeadNip design that is intended to allow riders to run lower pressures without rolling the bead off the rim or suffering pinch flats.Hubs
The Race28 EVO's front hub comes set up for a 20mm thru axle, and the rear is available set up for 10x135 or 12x150 spacing, with adaptors available separately for riders who wish to run a 15mm front thru axle or a 12x142 rear. Both hubs use common sized Japanese sealed cartridge bearings – two 6804 bearings in the front hub, and four 6902 bearings in the rear. The steel freehub body uses a three pawl system that engages with the 27 points inside the hub shell. In order to reduce weight, the number of splines on the outside of the freehub body has been reduced, and rather than having splines along the entire circumference of the freehub body there are only three splined sections for the cassette to slide onto. Constructing the freeehub out of steel also makes cassette removal easier, with there being a greatly reduced chance of the cassette digging in and mating with the freehub's splines.
A three pawl steel freehub body spins on the 27 engagement points inside the hub shell. Axle removal is simple, and the wheels can quickly be converted to work with various axle spacing standards.Performance
Our set of Race28 wheels have made the rounds over the last few months, seeing action on everything from hardtails to downhill bikes. They've withstood the rigors we put them through amazingly well – besides a couple minor adjustments on the truing stand, there's been no need for any other maintenance. The wider rim profile was a good match for 2.3" and 2.5" tires, giving them plenty of room to spread out and work to their full potential. No matter what bike it was on, the Race28 wheelset never called attention to itself, which isn't a bad thing - it simply means that the wheels did what they were supposed to without any strange performance quirks. We didn't notice any undue wheel flex, even during hard cornering and harsh g-outs, and the rims remained dent free despite months of sending them off jumps and bashing them through roots and rocks. Even after countless rides in wet, muddy conditions, the bearings are still spinning smoothly and have yet to develop any side to side play. There was no funny business from the freehub body either – even in colder temperatures, which is when pawls can sometimes get sticky and slip, there were no issues. Pinkbike's take:
|Don't let the word 'Race' in the name of these wheels fool you into thinking this is a fragile, handle-with-care wheelset. The Race28 is a workhorse, a blue collar pair of wheels that can easily handle aggressive riding in the worst weather conditions. Plus, the use of standard J-bend spokes and a traditional three cross lacing pattern means that if you ever break a spoke it won't be too hard to find a replacement, which can come in handy should a roadtrip take you to a remote location with limited access to specialty parts. For the gram counters, the Race28 falls into sort of a middle ground depending on what they are used for - they weigh in on the lighter side of the scale for a DH wheelset, and on the stouter side of things for all-mountain wheels. However, we wouldn't say they're too heavy for all-mountain riding, especially for riders that tend to be tough on wheels - a few extra grams is worth the peace of mind that comes with not needing to worry about tacoing a wheel. We were impressed with the performance of these wheels, and the reasonable price makes them even more appealing. With bike parks beginning to open up and race season getting underway, this could be a solid choice for the rider looking to upgrade their stock wheelset without breaking the bank. - Mike Kazimer|