Spank's Foam Filled Rim Promises Better Reliability and Feel - Crankworx Whistler 2017

Aug 19, 2017 at 15:24
by Mike Levy  
Spank Vibrocore rim


Can a specially made, foam filled aluminum rim provide a smoother and more forgiving ride? Spank believes that their soon to be released Ooozy 350 Vibrocore rim does exactly that, and it's a technology that they've been using for quite awhile with their Spike 800 Race Vibrocore handlebar.

We've seen rims grow over the last few years to the point that a 30mm internal width, a number that was once unheard of, has become pretty dang normal. But in order for strength to be retained, rim height has also had to increase a good deal, a combination that's made for some stiff and unforgiving rims, especially when they're done in carbon fiber. That's not necessarily a bad thing, of course, but a rim or wheel that's too rigid vertically and laterally can sometimes transfer harsh vibrations right up through the bike and into the rider, especially if large carbon fiber rims are fitted to a short-travel bike. High-volume rubber can help, sure, but there's a reason why World Cup downhillers have been known to run 'soft' wheels that feature lower spoke tension: better tracking and less fatigue. Hell, some of the best racers in the world have been spotted running dual crown forks with arches cut in half, or the same done to their seat stays, in a search for more forgiveness and improved tracking.

Can't a certain amount of flex be built into a carbon rim? Spank believe that they can accomplish the same thing with their foam filled alloy Ooozy 350 Vibrocore rim, and at a much lower price to both the consumer and the environment than anything constructed out of carbon fiber.

bigquotesFrom a design point of view, I love carbon fiber. There's a lot you can do with it, but from an environmental and a cost point of view, I don't see the value in it. The cost of the product exceeds the value that it brings to the consumer. Gavin Vos, President of Spank Industries
Spank Vibrocore rim

The rim itself is an all-new shape for Spank, with an ultra-low height that's designed to allow for a specific amount of vertical compliance, more so than a taller rim that wouldn't flex as much. The corrugated shaped OohBah rim bed is used, as is their Bead Bite anti-burp treatment, but the Vibrocore foam that's hidden inside the rim is the real trick. The low-density green foam is injected into the rim in a soft state, only hardening once inside to expand and provide structural support. Spank's Gavin Vos likened it to a full and unopened can of pop that can support a lot of weight whereas an empty can is easily crushed.


Spank Vibrocore rim


Just like in Spank's Spike 800 Race Vibrocore handlebar, the foam is designed to filter out a lot of that high-frequency buzz that can tire riders out without them even realizing it, but Spank claims that it also allows the low-profile aluminum rim to take in bigger impacts and return to its original shape much more effectively than a standard rim. The Vibrocore rim pictured here is designed with exactly that in mind, and Vos did say that there will be a number of rims designed specifically for the Vibrocore treatment, starting off with a downhill model. I could also see an exceptionally light aluminum cross-country rim using Vibrocore foam to increase strength without adding too much weight; Vos said that the Vibrocore foam adds about 40-grams to a 27.5" rim.

The rim still requires tubeless tape, foam or no foam, and the standard external nipples can be replaced if required as per normal - no special tools or technique required.


Spank Vibrocore rim
Spank Vibrocore rim


Spank plans to have Vibrocore-equipped rims and wheelsets available before the new year, and we'll have a set in for testing quite soon. How much difference will it make? I'm not sure, but I know that the Spike 800 Race Vibrocore handlebar that I tested back in 2014 did surprise me with how effective it was. And, having ridden pretty much every carbon wheelset on the market, I also know that my favorite wheels featured low profile aluminum rims because they simply feel nicer. Either way, Spank's Vibrocore rims sure are interesting.


204 Comments

  • + 193
 "You can put your weed in there" - Adam Sandler
  • + 18
 I just died laughing at this because it is a staple at the shop I work at.
  • + 2
 @drummuy04: do you work at Peddler Bike Shop? Hal said that shit all the time.
  • + 1
 @POWsLAYER: No, Spoke N Wheel but I guess it is a popular movie.
  • + 1
 Im getting a Stiffy
  • + 2
 Do you like your rims grass fed or grain fed
  • - 21
flag inonyme (Aug 20, 2017 at 10:37) (Below Threshold)
 You can put your weed in it" - SNL
  • + 4
 @inonyme: You are mis-quoting sir. A crime punishable by obscurity of downvoting.
  • + 0
 Or keep your rims and use CushCore and stop the energy transfer before it hits the rim. Or use both.
  • + 1
 Rob Schneider actually said that....
  • + 2
 @shugyosha: To clarify, Rob Schneider said it way back, but people only remember Sandler saying it in the movie "The Hot Chic". Butt yes, you are right
  • + 73
 Also: foaming my frame, my crank spindle, the inside of my thru-axles, any non-dropper seatposts, and if there's lots left over, I'll foam all the space between the spokes and make foam supported wheels.

More foam = more fun
  • + 20
 You forgot to put foam in the rider. I just hope spank doesn't try to inject it there.
  • + 44
 Another bonus with all that foam is that if you fall into a river or lake, your bike will bob gently on the surface.
  • + 22
 @Ron-C: Actually you already got that.... Ever checked out what your bones look like in the inside?
It is pretty much the same structure they are trying to achieve here...
  • + 20
 Drink a couple beers before every ride, that'll foam up.
  • - 3
 Foam Party!????????
  • + 15
 I foamed my Intense M1 back in the day! Sadly it didn't help the sound all that much... Thing was like riding a snare drum...
  • + 4
 now all the DIY guys are going to start spray foam insulting all their parts and claiming huge savings and the exact same performance...
  • - 3
 @Ron-C: V
I can see Mik Hannah opening his mouth at the spank factory, ready for the foam.
Spank tech: guess again!
  • + 1
 Caffe Latex. Foamy tyres as well.
  • + 1
 @nuttypoolog: In all fairness, you beat that thing like a drum.
  • + 61
 "Believes", "Designed" and "Claims" without some sort of scientific testing to back it up really does not have me excited. Curious to see if there will be any testing to back the claims up.
  • + 8
 Tuners used to do this with car frames back in the day. Looks like it these guys are gonna give the snake oil another try.
  • + 27
 @gdnorm: testing by a 3rd party facility against every bar on the market.
Check out the link and the white paper with all the data.
spank-ind.com/vibrocore.php
Ask people who have ridden the bars as well.
Curious why you think it's snake oil? This isn't just spray foam you buy in a hardware store cause that truly won't work, we tested different formulas that are used on industrial machines. Take a look at the info I would love to hear your thoughts afterwards.
  • + 8
 @VicSandrin: Hey - Believe this comment is directed at gdnorm but I will make a comment or two. As you note I have just said it would be nice to have some testing. I skimmed the report you referenced. I will not quote my credentials but I understand everything in the report. I will not question that in an aluminum handlebar that you directly grip there may have some measured benefit of the vibrocore to reduce vibrations.

It is another thing to claim that vibrocore has an effect in a rim on ride quality and impact resistance. I am not sure how you measure ride quality but the impact resistance can certainly be tested to see if their is an advantage over a similar rim. The beer can analogy is not applicable. Compare the wall thickness of an aluminum beer can to their rims. A toddler can squeeze and deform an empty beer can with their fingers - try that with a spank rim. When you fill a beer can with foam of course it gets harder to deform, the same may not be true for the several orders of magnitude stiffer rim. Iamamodel has it right below.

On an aside - my buddy uses SPANK rims and absolutely raves about them. They make good products....
  • + 14
 @dldewar: the analogy of the beer can is more to give people a tangleable idea of how it works, a better analogy is your bones, they are hollow for more strength but marrow inside gives it added structure to make them stronger. That is the idea of using vibrocore in the rim. Adding vibrocore to the bars made them way stronger than the regular 800 race bars, they went way past the cycles we normally test on bars and couldn't get them to fail. It is still early days as these are the first prototype rims made. We have our assumptions based on what our engineers think and we are in full test mode now on them. So far initial feedback from our pro riders has been very encouriging and supports our thinking. Most testing will certainly happen and give us an idea of what kind of advantage it will have over a similar rim without the vibrocore.
Resonance is the biggest issue and we can accurately show our bars reduce resonance to make a ride more comfortable.
  • + 8
 @VicSandrin: Are you looking into true metal foam construction? If the vibrocore is the bone marrow than that would be a trabecular bone. And that would be something remarkable in an aluminium wheel construction.
  • + 8
 I'll take these rims over those stupid little dampening stickers we've seen on some bikes. Those are true snake oil.
  • + 11
 @VicSandrin: The German Bike magazine did a real world test and couldn't show any difference to a regular handlebar.
www.bike-magazin.de/komponenten/lenker_vorbauten/test-2016-spank-vibrocore/a33999.html
And isn't it the real world where it would count? Cool idea, but so far, in my eyes, not independently verified.
  • + 9
 @jollyXroger: Looked up metal foam construction. Pretty cool stuff. www.wired.com/2014/12/aluminum-foam-trains
  • + 1
 @iRiderPB: Thanks for link. I got razzed by someone flying the flag of Spain the other day for complaining about Swiss English. This must be the revenge. Die Kurven zeigen die Beschleunigungswerte bei unseren Messfahrten!
  • + 1
 @VicSandrin: If this makes Aluminum rims stronger and dampens vibration, I want.
  • - 1
 @dldewar: makes perfect sense to me... dampening out any sort of vibration in a rolling wheel is going to allow it to continue rolling forward without wasting energy flexing around and chattering.
  • + 11
 @whitebullit: Too bad there isn't anything around the rim that might dampen vibrations...
  • + 9
 @dldewar: I won't quote my credentials...... Meaning you want to say "I'm an engineer" or an equivalent, as if that means everything you think you know is correct.

You ask for evidence, it is provided, then you say you 'skimmed it'..... Good stuff.
  • + 4
 @iRiderPB: did you read the testing we did with SGS. Also the German mag is one review and we have had many other reviews that said they felt a difference. Beleive it or not but the testing does show a reduction in the resonance that causes arm pump, it is indisputable. Whether they cool subjectively feel the difference will depend on rider and courses.
  • + 27
 @mgolder: Ok, so you have caught me - I am a middle aged engineer with a post graduate degree that does a lot of research work. Bluntly, If I counted the amount of dumbass mistakes I have made this week I would run out of fingers and toes. I should have never said the credentials thing (that's one of the mistakes) - because once you quote your credentials you are typically losing your argument. Bad form on my part thank you for pointing it out. My point on saying that is simply that I can understand all the terminology and concepts in the white paper. It's what I am trained to do.

If you read my posts again -never once have I questioned that the handlebars do reduce fatigue though vibration dampening. As far as I can see from the white paper Spank has tested their bars against 6 other representative bars (2 in each class -carbon, 35 mm, 31.8 ) and made conclusions based on the testing. I cannot read the writing on the graphs in the appendices so that's all I can say/guess at. Lets give Spank credit. How many times have you heard people in the bike industry make claims of unprecedented/minor performance gains without backing them up?

They make claims about stiffness and fatigue life in the white paper but there is NO DATA to support this in that paper. All I am questioning is how the foam improves IMPACT RESISTANCE not fatigue and want to see EVIDENCE. This evidence is not provided in the white paper - only a paragraph on Page 9 and Page 10 alluding to it. That's why I could just skim the document. Maybe Spank has that data and can present it?

Also remember the White paper deals with handlebars -not rims.

Also lets put things in perspective - based on the comments rankings - we should stop this debate and push Spank develop and test a rim/handlebar that can store weed...........
  • + 3
 @MmmBones: Damps.
  • + 4
 @VicSandrin: test it with a 2.6 tire at 19psi, a low stichion 160mm fork, and a carbon stem with resonance measured through the grips and gloves then show me the results. Bench test in isolation literally means nothing. Claiming this will somehow prevent compartment syndrome is hilarious.
  • + 1
 @Powderface: Yes, as stated in the article in an addition to high impact resistance it also offers a prospect of getting the weight down, which is the holy grail of MTB wheel design really, AND allows you to fly that anti-carbon fibre environmental flag high. Probably a production cost might be lower than that of CF wheel too. Well, if one manages to craft a bike wheel from that material that is. Wink

Meanwhile, related but not he same stuff, check this Bastion Cycles 3D printed bottom bracket: medium.com/@everett.koh/melbourne-bastion-cycles-3c0450c50e8a
  • + 2
 @gdnorm: Your fallacy is: "On The Spot." "Perform this impossible test, or I won't believe you, regardless of your other evidence that I've dismissed summarily" is not a reasonable argument.
  • + 3
 @groghunter: it's called in vivo vs in vitro testing. Adult stuff. I don't expect you to understand how simple a test this would be.
  • + 7
 @gdnorm: Thanks for going straight to ad hominem, makes my point for me.

As for "adult stuff", since we're going down the "if you don't agree with me you're a child" path, How about admitting that you were wrong with your "snake oil" claim? Snake oil insinuates that the product has no benefit, while they have formal testing backing up their claims. Instead of admitting you were wrong, like an adult, you moved the goalposts, made the goalposts unreasonably specific, & entirely dismissed their isolated testing, which is LITERALLY THE ONLY WAY TO BACK UP A CLAIM ABOUT ONE COMPONENT OF A SYSTEM.

If we're talking about "adult stuff," rule one, on page one, of how to be an adult, is "admit when you were wrong."
  • + 0
 @groghunter: at bare minimum you have to test this with a tire at riding psi. Until then it is indeed snake oil. Claiming isolated bench numbers translates to any real world benefit is the definition of snake oil. Feel free to drink the coolaid though. No one is stopping you.
  • + 3
 @gdnorm:

"isolated bench numbers translates to any real world benefit is the definition of snake oil."

Really? Pretty sure the definition of snake oil is "bottles of fake cure-all sold by traveling salesmen in the 1800s without any testing to backup their claims, often with direct knowledge of the lack of efficacy of their products."

The very fact it has been tested in a controlled manner, & that those testing results have been published, contradicts your claim.
  • + 23
 My neighbor plays his music pretty loud, and it vibrates the heater on the wall. Should he be filled with foam?
  • + 13
 Yes...
  • - 13
flag oldtech (Aug 19, 2017 at 19:12) (Below Threshold)
 I've always wondered what it would look like pouring expanding foam down someone's throat
  • + 7
 I have a neighbor that does that too and I've been thinking of 2 solutions....

1) highjacking his radio station using a high powered fm transmitter (they're out there for around $60 but technically some sort of violation) and sending over something ridiculous...like the Barney song on repeat.

2) taking Bose wave cancelling headphones or something similar mounted on my fence...sending the speaker signal out to an amp and then to outdoor speakers also mounted on my fence pointed towards my house.
  • + 4
 @Warburrito: There's an easy solution here:

Why not both? Smile
  • + 3
 Well people put foam in the walls ( insulation) to stop noise frequency and vibration. Is putting foam in a rim much different?
  • + 1
 you or him should fill the loudspeakers to not vibrate,
  • + 21
 Carbon: "The cost of the product exceeds the value that it brings to the consumer". Lot of truth in this statement.
  • + 22
 Loam > Foam
  • + 18
 Amazing how many engineers we have on our hands here. Let's see how they perform before jumping to conclusions.
  • + 12
 I like the environmental aspect of this, assuming the rim is still recyclable. Or is it merely that carbon is horrendous for mummy nature?

Old school thought was that stiffer is better, but when pros are having their wheels built with lower spoke tension and fork manufacturers are finding faster times on flexier stanchions, there's a lot to like about that rim. As a marathon and xc racer, comfort is everything.

The can if soda analogy isn't quite right as liquid doesn't compress. I'd like to see a test of the same rim with and without the foam.
  • + 2
 Aluminum is almost infinetely recyclable. Also, the foam that Spank uses is biodegradable from what I've read. I imagine the rim would be able to be recycled fairly easily.
  • + 2
 I caught that in the article as well and can also appreciate the recyclable aspect.
  • + 1
 @Kenfire24: I was gonna say how bad carbon must be to be worse than foam cause I didn't know there was biodegradable foam. Spank is in the wrong business. There's way more money in foam.
  • + 2
 Carbon can still be recycled
  • + 1
 Yes, but it cant be melted down into an ingot and made into another carbon fiber item the way that aluminum can be. (Over and over and over again X10 to whatever exponent one wants to toss in)
  • + 2
 @bikeetc: Brutal comment section. The question of how much of this actually gets recycled aside, it's upsetting that you could be downvoted for appreciating recyclability, without briefest explanation. Corrected, for now!
  • + 1
 @ceecee: Ha Ha, thanks man. Agreed that we don't know how much really gets recycled. just the fact (like Kenfire24 made) that it can be recycled over and over as opposed to carbon and that Spank took it into consideration is good on them.
  • + 13
 Who is stripping off their tires & tape, and injecting spray foam into their hollow rims right now?

You know you want to...
  • + 10
 I wasn't before I read this.
  • + 1
 My thoughts exactly.
  • + 7
 An unopened can of pop is sealed and pressurized. A rim is not.

Is a can of beans stronger when the beans are still inside?

How many fatigue cycles will I save my body with this technology? And how many seconds in the race against time?

Fail.
  • + 3
 Yeah it's a poor analogy.
  • - 2
 Seems to be working pretty well for Tracey Hannah and Myriam Nicole
  • + 4
 @maddslacker: Tracy Hannah cracked 4 rims (not Spank) during practice at MSA. She seemed pretty annoyed after the 4th.
  • + 5
 @PinkyScar: yeah this article has a typo. It's the Commencal team not UR testing the rims
  • + 1
 guess you're right.I'll buy your rims....
  • + 2
 Depends what your body's S-N curve looks like
  • + 8
 Had my doubts with the handlebars but they had my colour and angles so I went with it. Actually works as advertised, shocking!
  • + 3
 There should actually be less shock.
  • + 5
 From bike-magizine de and google trans

Conclusion: Our test drives and our praxise impression on normal trails show no verifiable comfort gain. Nevertheless, we can not rule out that Vibrocore has a positive effect on very long and hard runs.
  • + 5
 My Spank Oozy Trail rims have been amazing for the past two seasons and same with my Vibrocore handlebars that have been ridden on trails with lots of shatter (i.e. Whistler bike park).
...but the corrugated shaped OohBah rim bed is a pain in the A#$ for tubeless...it's a struggle to get rim tape (including Gorilla tape) to seal the spoke holes.
  • + 5
 You have to use our fratelli tape or use gorilla tape but really making the tape get all the way into the groove, if you don't then yes they will be a bitch to mount because you would have effectively changed the ETRTO of the rim. Jason from Chainline bikes taped up my rim with gorilla tape and got the tire on with no issues, just takes a little patience to ensure it gets in there.

Also check out our video with tips and tricks to setting the tape up

m.youtube.com/watch?v=LWJ7RiDGYuc
  • + 2
 Another trick is to wiggle the the tape back and forth as you apply it. Also if you start with the tire at the valve stem and then end at the valve stem on the other side it's easier. And making sure the tire is in the middle of the wheel and not the bead as you're putting it on. Sometimes the tire spreads into the bead sort of and it can make it a real pain.
  • + 2
 No problem sealing my oozy 295 rims with gorrila tape
  • + 1
 My 295s worked fine with Stan's tape the first time. When I had to retape the rear last year it wouldn't stick at all (yes I cleaned & scrubbed with isopropyl first) so I used Gorilla Tape instead which worked fine but was a mess when I had to remove it to replace spokes. So on the latest retaping I used one layer of 20mm electrical tape followed by a layer of Gorilla Tape trimmed to 20mm - stuck to the rim very easily, no leaks so far and it'll come off clean. I might try electrical tape and Stan's tape next time.
  • + 1
 Mike at Spank recommends to use a double wrap from bead hook to bead hook. I've done it that way to four spank rims, race 28 and race 33, and every one has sealed up tubeless easily first try with a track pump, after repeated tyre changes.
  • + 4
 Second paragraph "
We've seen rims grow over the last few years to the point that a 30mm internal width, a number that was once unheard of, has become pretty dang normal"

Cmon Mike, the mag30 rim was available in 2000 - it is not anything as new as your poetic justice is cracking it up to be.
  • + 1
 That didn't weigh 800g?
  • + 2
 MAG rim was a piece of cheesy expensive crap. Don't bring it up. It's aluminium friend, possibly extracted from the same shape, called Sunrims Double Track, was even worse. 800g of weight and no durability what so ever. It's fatter brother Double Wide, which was even heavier wasn't much stronger. I'd bet 100$ that a modern 400g rim like DT XM401 or Arch Mk3 is stronger than those fat arses from 2003
  • + 4
 Even though I do trust that it is a good product, the article is so confusing I find it hard to support why I actually think it is so good.

So some pro racers are using rims made out of CFRP (commonly called, "carbon") nowadays. I always thought it was because of the stiffness to weight ratio. Apparently not then, judging from the first bit of the article claiming that riders require more "give" (=elastic deformation?). Would it (the application of carbon, that is) be for (yield) strength over weight then? That would make me consider steel or even titanium. Agreed, harder to shape into complex (closed cross section) shapes but then again the production of carbon products isn't exactly easy either. How I understand it though is that riders seek a less stiff bike, somewhere between the dirt and handlebars and pedals. That's something very different from getting more vibration damping. It seems like this is commonly understood when people discuss suspension forks and shocks but when talking about materials, it all gets mixed up. Basically, I do think it is good to have damping in structural bike materials like frame, bars and wheels. And yeah, one solution is to add foam for damping. Hit an empty aluminium tube and it rings, fill it with foam and it sounds dull. I think it works. Important there though is that the foam doesn't go brittle over time, crumbles or loses its adhesion to the rim wall. I expect Spank has taken care of this but it does mean not everyone can fill their rims with random foam to get the same effect. There are other solutions, different rim material being the most obvious. Steel or titanium may have helped (though maybe not necessarily as effective or even cheap as aluminium) but the elephant in the room is, why don't the carbon rim manufacturers use a different resin. Considering the first section of the article, it seems there is no need for a more "glassy" type of thermoset resin as epoxy. Instead a more forgiving thermoplast could be a better solution. Maybe even different and/or shorter fibres, if you don't need the stiffness of carbon anyway. There is so much that could be done and the current composite rims are merely exploring it (and apparently not there yet so hold your wallets). All this said, considering aluminium extruded rims are already so well developed, foam filled seems to be the most viable solutions. I'm actually surprised to see so much skeptics in the comment section whereas carbon in the silliest places is just being accepted. Would I buy this? I typically prefer to be at the tail end of technological progress and only buy when something is mature and reliable. My main concern for this product would be the durability of the bond between the foam and the aluminium. If it breaks the rim still looks fine but you lose much of the damping properties. I'd love to see some corrugations to the inside wall of that cavity to help with bonding or at least with some mechanical interlocking of foam and alu. But if this product proves to be durable over the next year or so then yes, I'd get it. Much much more likely than spend it on the kind of carbon rim we currently see.
  • + 7
 If you buy them in Colorado you get a little treat once the time comes to retire the rim.
  • + 2
 ah yes...soggy moldy weed
  • + 3
 @knarrr: Sell it to some high schoolers, that mtn dank baby.
  • + 1
 Nothing but shake and keef
  • + 3
 Seems like there is a some feel it, some don't thing with the handlebars. I wonder if there is a comon trait of those that feel it?

Spank- if you knew who it benefitted sales could be directed as such. Just supposing riders over 30yo felt the benefit but those under didn't...

With any luck these rims are a huge success and spank take over the world.

RIP carbon fibre.
  • + 3
 From a design point of view, I love carbon fiber. There's a lot you can do with it, but from an environmental and a cost point of view, I don't see the value in it. The cost of the product exceeds the value that it brings to the consumer.

— Gavin Vos, President of Spank Industries

Something to think about
  • + 5
 We have now sunk to a depth at which restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men. George Orwell
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: the human race was once intellectual and intelligent???!!!! f*ck me when was that?
  • + 2
 @Andy-ap: I quoted Orwell only to sound smart, give your bro a break...
  • + 4
 I've had both Vibrocore and standard 800s and literally felt no difference in any way, shape or form..... Just like asking if I felt the difference in weight between the two. No.
  • + 1
 Is your bike rigid, front suspension or full squish? I'm guessing on a full suspension, it's harder to tell. On a rigid bike, I'm guessing it's more noticeable.
  • + 0
 Couldn't tell a difference in shape or form but could you tell a difference in feel and vibration??
  • + 2
 If you run low tyre pressures and soft suspension it will be difficult to notice.
  • + 2
 So let's see a side-by-side test with a nonfoamed rim or handlebar. Hook them up to a seismograph or oscilloscope or whatever's appropriate and subject to same vibrations. If diff is that dramatic, wouldn't we have seen this by now? Or have I just not come across comparison yet?
  • + 1
 Just read reviews for the Vibrocore bars, testers obviously have experience with other bars and say that the foam has a noticable impact
  • + 2
 It's easy to notice with handlebars. I've been stuffing bars with anti-vibration foam for years.
  • + 3
 They done that: spank-ind.com/Spank%20VibrocoreTM%20Frequency%20Analysis%20Test%20Report.pdf
Happy reading...30 pages of tech shizzle...
I guess becauses it's patented, no one else bothered yet to spend extra money on innovation as long as the same old sh#t still sells...
  • + 0
 @sprecks57: Thanks for link. It's only fifteen pages, but now I have to figure out how to enlarge the graphs in order to be able to read the units. I suppose Spank deserves credit for not dumbing it down, though it could just as well have been dubbed Brocore.
  • + 1
 @panaphonic: yep. I've been stuffing foam in handlebars and inside bike rims for at least a decade now. Gosh, where has the time gone?
  • + 2
 That bead bite sure is.... I don't know. I pinched my tube but because the tire/rim seal was so good I was able to ride 10 more minutes as my tire held the air but inevitably slowly deflated. So that's a good thing about Spank's bead bite, but the bad is that I broke my tire lever getting the tire on after swapping my tube because the fit is so friggen tight! Next time I flat I'm going tubeless to see if I can go the season without taking my stupid tire off again. Also, getting the bead to set is much harder than on other rims.
  • + 29
 You should have gone tubeless 3 years ago when the rest of the world did!
  • + 3
 You also shouldn't be using tire levers to install a tire
  • + 2
 I've had tires (I know one was a Conti Baron) hold 40psi for three days with zero sealant on a bead bite rim. You need metal-core levers (or just alot of plastic ones that you don't mind breaking) and 120psi to get the tires mounted and seated, but once they are on they seal incredibly well.
  • + 1
 @TheRaven: all I have ever used are plastic Topeka tyre levers and a track pump. You have to get the bead into the well all the way around before you try to seat it
  • + 1
 @jaame: thanks tup but with my Spank rims there isn't much if a well to put the bead into. It has the "ooba" inner rim shape, which is actually a convex curve rather than the usual concave curve found in all other rims.
  • + 1
 @jubs17: yes I know, I also have spank rims. There are two very shallow wells on either side of the oobah. You have to mindfully get your bead perfectly flat in the same one all the way around. Also I recommend putting the rim inside the tyre to start, and putting the left bead on from the left side, and the right bead on from the rigjt
  • + 1
 @jaame: Oh don't get me wrong, you can use plastic levers. You'll save alot of money in the long run (I work with alot of Continental tires) if you just use metal-core levers.

Oh and 120psi takes about 4-5 seconds to completely seat AND inflate the tire. Done. No doubt it can be done with a track pump, hand pump, horse and buggy, or steam locomotive. But this is 2017 and I have technology. I don't need to waste time with rudimentary tools and I can be out riding in no time!
  • + 1
 @TheRaven: yeah no I wasn't replying to you actually, I was replying to jubs. I'm just stating that I have never had any problems getting tyres on spank rims with rudimentary tools at home.
  • + 1
 Heres my thought (as if anyone gives a shit.) There is no way Spank has a team of chemical engineers and a lab on hand to develop some proprietary foam to reduce vibration when closed cell foam has existed on an indutrail scale for decades. I would love to see someone do some experiments with commercially available faoms to determine what this stuff likely is. I would love to put some sort of vibtration dampening in my XC bars, but I don't fee like buying carbon bars on a bike I don't ride a ton.

This could lead to some cool experiments, and I think that's kinda cool.
  • + 1
 I thinking is the stuff dish washing sponges are made of, but at a slightly higher density.
  • + 1
 Let us know how your experiments go, we give a sh*t Smile You could try the Oozy Vibrocore bars on your XC too
  • + 1
 I really do not see how filling wheels and bars with low density foam changes the structure and feel of a rigid meta such as aluminum. I have SPANK oozy wheel, love them, but I don't want foam in my shit. Spare the expense on COGS and spare the expense for your customers.
  • + 1
 I'm just a bit scheptical about letting my wheels do the sock absorbing in an uncontrolled manner when that's what my suspension is supposed to be doing in a controlled manner. You don't find this practice in any other wheeled sports. I'm all for a more predictable wheel build, and a predictable shock absorber. I'm not saying I'm right, but that's what I believe in my head to be the right way to go about it!
  • + 6
 #putsomefoaminit
  • + 1
 For you home engineer types like me try cutting a pop can so that you have two skins only .004 inch thick and glue them either side of a 1/4 inch sheet of foam and see how much structure is added.
I use Spank rims and of all the brands they are the hardest to tape without leaking of the tape at the valve. I have developed some very creative ideas trying to prevent the lifting of the tape at the valve. I use 5 minute epoxy to fill the deep grooves on either side of the valve hole along with a cone shaped stone on my drill for the valve hole so it is round regardless of profile.. 100 percent success now for valves not leaking.
If the tire does leak to a few PSI, the bead doesn't lock on the bead bite and slides off with tight-ish bead tires.
The Spank rims are plenty stiff and light. If they went with a wider bite area at the bead they wouldn't need to use such a big diameter.
  • + 1
 "And, having ridden pretty much every carbon wheelset on the market, I also know that my favorite wheels featured low profile aluminum rims because they simply feel nicer. Either way, Spank's Vibrocore rims sure are interesting."

Curious, what are his favorite wheels?
  • + 2
 I'm a big fan of Stan's rims, especially on a short-travel bike.
  • + 1
 This would make sense if the walls of the rim where as thick as a soda can, but judging by the wall thickness and minimal density of the foam, this is looking like another failed product launch.
  • + 3
 funny because I've read a review where none of the testers could feel a difference with that foam in the handlebar
  • + 0
 I have been riding with the vibrocore bars for over a year now. I noticed a difference .
  • + 0
 sounds like a legit idea and probably works.... that is until the foam soaks up water and gets heavy as a bag of wet rags after a decent stream crossing or such. don't think i'd put any foam core on my mtb cause of that alone
  • - 1
 I guess the principle is the same as sandwich composites. Sandwich composites are incredibly strong. Different materials absorbs different vibrations, so there is most likely a measurable difference in vibration properties of the rim.
  • + 0
 absorbs water if anything
  • + 1
 So is this to reduce vibrations solely or does the foam actually exert significant pressure on the rim to make it less prone to buckling?
  • - 1
 Think about it I mean really think about it. You know the answer I have faith in you.
  • + 10
 @markg1150: I'm asking b/c the rep gives a slightly weird analogy with the pop can. I don't think this could provide much structural support, but that seems to be the claim. Do you have any insight or just smart-ass comments?
  • + 10
 @captaintyingknots: That pop can analogy is wack for sure.
  • - 4
flag sstewart (Aug 19, 2017 at 16:23) (Below Threshold)
 Foam is tough as hell, I imagine it would add a fair amount of stiffness and maybe even dampen vibration a little. If you filled an empty can of pop with great stuff foam I bet you couldn't crush it at all.
  • + 1
 It could reduce vibration, simply because now you have to flex the rim and the foam, which takes extra energy over just flexing the rim. That said, it depends entirely on the mechanical properties of the foam (mainly the stiffness, I suppose) and how well those properties can be controlled - e.g. how consistent the foam texture is inside the rim.
  • + 5
 Auto manufacturers and car enthusiasts have been using foam to stiffen structures, kill vibration and noise for a while now.
  • + 1
 @Pedro404: the pressure in a pop can is pretty minimal part of the effect, I think as far as a pop can the fact that the liquid inside is incompressible prevents the thin walls from buckling I believe. I would bet the foam could fulfill a similar purpose inside the void of a double wall rim
  • - 1
 @sstewart: would you guys get off this Great Stuff foam. You need closed cell foam like Sika products makes
  • + 2
 @captaintyingknots: yeah, F that hoe MarkG. He doesn't even ride...just trolls Pinkbike
  • + 2
 @Ryanrobinson1984:
Yeah I do ride obviously.
Is a 5mm ish thick strip of foam going to stop a wheel from buckling err no obviously. Only way it would do that is if it was solid really solid but then it wouldn't damp the vibes and would add load extra weight and be the same a simply adding more metal.
Yanks really do get your knickers in a twist over some gentle piss taking.
Chill out maybe go watch some myth busters might learn something
  • + 1
 @markg1150: Mark, I have never once tried to piss on the NY Knicks. How dare you, sir. And I am going to watch Mythbusters, you bully!! This coming episode- "MarkG rides his mountain bike." The myth will be busted, I feel.
  • + 1
 Well at least when I do a crappy job of taping my rims the sealant won't make such a mess inside the rim and out the nipples.
  • + 1
 I want to see proven aftermarket foam like this. I've a 24" rigid DJ bike that would really benefit. And even more so a 24" alu BMX race cruiser which is ridiculously stiff.
  • + 2
 we're hoping to get 24" wheels custom made for the Drop and Roll tour, that should put them to test for you
  • + 2
 With every rim purchase, receive bonus 12oz injectable spray foam. Not for internal use.
  • + 1
 I would like to see a rim that could hold some air ....maybe throw 80-100 psi in that baby. Need a bit of air for that long road slog home ....ect
  • + 1
 Waterlogged, Extra weight and unbalanced wheels coming to a shop near you. Closed cell or not this will trap water somewhere you don't want it.
  • + 2
 The vibrocore bars are ace but they have stopped doing new 26 inch stuff now Frown
  • + 1
 so will this mean that a foam filled alu bike frame will be on the cards next?
  • + 2
 I mean, come on spaaaaaaank this is silly.
  • + 1
 This surely feels like a marketing trick but I wouldn't write it off until its been tested
  • + 1
 I see DIYers buying urethane insulation foam and "improving" their rides Big Grin
  • + 2
 40 grams is nothing, I'd love to try these.
  • - 1
 What? Wakidesigns wants to try an anti-vibration material on his bike. Why your at it try some of that anti-vibration tape. I'm pretty sure I've heard someone on here discount it without actually trying it. 3rd party WAKI testing at our service. lol
  • - 3
 @MikeGruhler: there is a noticeable difference in weight, density and placement of Spanks foam and a fkng piece of aluminium...
  • + 1
 I was just ragging you a little bit man. You know deep down inside you want to test out the tape..lol Spank is definitely on to something though.
  • + 1
 How long does the foam last before it dries out and your rims sound like they're full of rocks?
  • + 2
 It says it is hardened foam...
  • + 1
 First we needed foam on the outside now we need it on the inside too , I feel so behind the times .
  • + 1
 You're forgetting the foam in the tyres. Or is that what you meant by outside?
  • + 2
 I'm waiting for the all new specialized zertz rims.
  • + 2
 It makes me want a Mint Aero
  • + 2
 Let's put foam in everything then change back to an imperial standard.
  • + 1
 I'm expecting graduated foam densities for different ride characteristics by 2019. #morefoammorefun
  • + 2
 I think you would be better off stuffing your fork with packing peanuts.
  • + 1
 If it works as well as the bars do, it'll work pretty damn well. When is Pinkbike getting a set or three to test then?
  • + 1
 I agree, I've a pair of the vibrocore bars and it's noticeable how much better the vibration damping is compared to other alloy bars I've used.
  • + 1
 So what happens when tire sealant or water gets in the cavity with the foam?
  • + 1
 That only happens with open cell foam not closed cell foam
  • + 1
 waterlogged boogie board wheels.
  • + 2
 What's next? a foam filled stem?
  • + 3
 Foam filled helmets
  • + 1
 ahahahahahha Big Grin
Cut the crap!
  • + 1
 Pop can analogy is really bad.
  • + 1
 Let Gwin take them down a track with no tire. That should do it.
  • + 1
 I like my Cushcore inserts
  • + 1
 Anymore updates on a trail rim?
  • - 2
 Are you f*cking serious?
"the foam is designed to filter out a lot of that high-frequency buzz that can tire riders out without them even realizing it" LMAO!!!!!!!! Marketing Bullshit 101 right there. WOOOOOOOW!
  • + 1
 I love Peppermint Aero bars!
  • + 1
 I'm interested in hearing more about the environmental cost of carbon.
  • + 1
 Putting spray foam in my rims tomorrow......
  • + 2
 Foam is the new loam!
  • + 2
 Foam happens!
  • + 1
 The consistency of the foam fill and texture looks like it needs some work
  • + 0
 It's a prototype rim
  • + 1
 I am formulating an aftermarket rim foam so I can reap the foamy benefits.
  • + 1
 Sika Expanding Foam, I reckon.
  • + 1
 Maybe it's time to fill our tires with foam instead of air.
  • + 1
 I'm foaming at the mouth over this new invention!
  • + 1
 Curious to see how these will hold up!
  • + 1
 Spanks Vibracore bars can't be beat.....wont use anything else!
  • + 1
 Before which New Year? Chinese New Year?
  • + 1
 Expanding foam in the handlebars!
  • + 0
 you could pair them up with the foam filled handle bars the industry tried to sell the week minded a few years ago
  • + 1
 serious?
  • + 1
 Eye roll.
  • + 1
 Foam Party ?
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