The Spike design incorporates a total of 20 pins (10 per side) of which 16 are hex pins that thread in from the opposite side, along the perimeter of the pedal, and an additional 4 grub screws which thread all the way through the body. The pedals come without the pins installed as spank claims self-installation lets you pick the “right pin configuration to suit your riding style, foot wear, and preferred level of grip.” Maximum grip requires the use of all 20 pins, but if you, like me, prefer improved foot positioning and adjustability I'd suggest you forgo installing the grub screws. I find this configuration offers more than enough grip, especially when used in conjunction with Five Ten shoes.
The Details12mm Thin - Massive Platform
Cold Forged Alloy Pedal Body
Hollow Taper Scandium Enriched Steel Axle
Chamfered Leading Edges for Improved Clearance and Reduced Impact Forces
Chamfered Side Edges for Improved Cornering Clearance
Oversized Sealed Full Compliment Inboard Industrial Bearing
Sealed Outboard IGUS Bushing
20 Adjustable Pins per Pedal
Full Sized Hex Head Pins Improve Durability and Maintenance
Inboard Friction Seal Prevents Contamination and Reduces Unwanted Pedal Spin
Weight: 420g Claimed with full pin compliment
Available Colors: Orange / Ti-Grey / Black / Blue / Red / Emerald Green
Thankfully, even in a bid to save weight, Spank did not compromise on size with the Spikes sporting large 90cm2 platforms with metal in all the right places. Having a longer platform helps reduce the chance of "pedal flip" on rough ground or when your feet are not in the ideal position. However at 12mm they are some of the thinnest out there. This, along with chamfered leading and side edges, improves cornering clearance and aids in reducing impacts.The thin profile was achieved by designing the Spike pedals to rotate on an Igus bushing at the end of the pedal axle, while using a much larger than usual full compliment, inboard, sealed bearing. In order to do so the body flares out close to the crank arm in order to accept the larger than standard bearing, but it doesn't affect or interfere with grip as it's right up against the crank arm. The design also reduces Q-factor for increased pedalling efficiency and rider positioning.
To increase the strength-to-weight ratio the main body is cold forged rather than extruded like the majority of other pedals. Spank claims this allows them to achieve a smaller and more consistent grain size in the alloy and better grain orientation and in doing so achieve a better strength to weight ratio. The tapered, hollow, scandium enriched, alloy steel axle itself goes through a complex heat treatment process that is said to increases strength and stiffness.
On the trailAt a claimed 420g there are lighter pedals out there, but not many of those can compete on sheer strength and durability or price. In an effort to save weight some manufacturers have turned to Magnesium which is not as strong and won't last as long as these or similar pedals will do. The Spikes fall solidly in the "does not spin freely" category which I prefer. Depending on the crank arms and whether you are running boots you can tweak this to a degree with pedal spacers. Don't get me wrong, they are not stiff or difficult to pedal, they are just not free-spinning, happy-go-lucky pedals. Much like Point One Racing's Podium pedal.
The sheer grip and size of the platform of the Spikes is a big confidence booster. I've never felt ill-at-ease on these even in the roughest of terrain. Granted, I ride with Five Tens which helps a great deal, but this lets me tweak the pin configuration to give me the exact feel I like. The ability to do this is a big advantage as you won't have to sacrifice feel for grip. The 12mm profile and chamfered edges help to keep it out of harms way which in turn will give you the confidence to push harder and lean the bike over a little farther each time. With your feet solidly planted on the pedals you can focus on the trail ahead.
In the endAfter months of use the one pedal has picked up a bit of a squeak, but that was easily solved with some home TLC. Other than that they have been faultless. The hex head screws have taken a beating, without a single one bending or breaking and other than a few cosmetic marks, the body is handling the abuse better than others I've tried, undoubtedly aided by the chamfered edges.
Compared to Straitline Defacto the Spank's are lighter, thinner and have a wider platform, but sport similar grip levels with the Straitlines and only gaining the upper hand when running all of its pins. This however restricts foot movement too much for me. Compared to Point One Racing Podium the Spike's have a slightly smaller platform (100cm2 vs 90cm2), are heavier (359g vs 420g), of similar height, but are a lot cheaper and have better grip even in my "lower grip configuration".
The Spike's biggest trump is that they are available through your local LBS as there's an official importer in South Africa. This will give you peace of mind knowing you will have back-up and should be able to get your hands on spares if needed. In my mind the only real downside would be price, but even though they are not the cheapest flat pedals money can buy they certainly are worth every one of your hard earned cents. I would not hesitate to recommend them to anybody (with the possible exception of riders looking for a pedal that spins freely) especially when considering they are light, wide, thin and durable. Throw in the option of 6 anodised colours and you have yourself a winning formula.