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Spank Spike 160 saddle review

The Spank Spike is a tough, lean saddle aimed at the performance gravity audience but is it comfortable enough for a full day's riding?

Spank Spike 160 saddle review
(Image: © Sean Fishpool)

Our Verdict

If you want a race-oriented gravity saddle, the Spike 160 is a firm, mid-range option

For

  • - Efficient-feeling firmness
  • - Easy to move around on
  • - Generous center channel

Against

  • - Doesn’t absorb much vibration
  • - Not light, but okay for the price

Spank wanted to make a race saddle for enduro and DH racers that was also comfortable enough for all-day training. For slower rides on the relentlessly rough ground, you might wish you had more cushioning, but otherwise, it’s a purposeful, maneuverable offering when compared to the best mountain bike saddles

Design and aesthetics 

The Spike 160 is a relatively broad and flat saddle. The most race-oriented perch in the brand's four-saddle range, it has lean, low-profile cushioning that gives it a fast aesthetic. It has a generously sized pressure-relieving groove along almost the full length, which is wide and 6mm deep.

Its profile is flat front-to-back and side-to-side, so you very much feel you’re sitting ‘on’ it, with a broad taper at the rear edges which gives you side support when you’re wiggling to the side, without getting in your way. The covering is matte synthetic rubber, with light ridges for extra grip at the back and a smooth shape around the nose to help stop shorts snagging.

The Spike 160 comes in one width - effectively a medium - and the plastic underside comes in six color options - our review sample is gray. 

Reflecting its mid-range price point, the Spike 160 sits on hollow cromoly rails and a plastic base. The sides of the saddle are designed to have a little flex in them for comfort, though this is pretty subtle. 

The whole saddle is constructed using a process called co-molding, in which the skin, then the padding, then the base are put into a mold and compressed together with heat. The idea is that this gives the padding more durability versus compressing it by stretching the skin across it. Certainly, the skin and the cushioning are taut and look and feel like one uniform piece.

The Spank Spike 160 saddle upside down to show the rails and colored base

Hollow cromoly rails are used and the colored plastic base has subtle flex to help comfort (Image credit: Sean Fishpool)

Performance 

Out on the trail, the Spike 160 combines a sense of robustness and security with a definite speed-oriented leanness. 

You won’t forget that the cushioning is on the firm, purposeful side - firm enough to feel efficient and remind you that you’re on the trail to perform, but not so firm that you couldn’t stay out all day if you wanted to. 

But it’s an easy saddle to live with, and an easy one to stay in the right position in. The cover is grippy but not too grippy, the center groove comfortable - for my shape at least - and the broadness of the front section gives a stable grip for the legs when you’re out of the saddle. It's a comfortable enough perch when you’re riding further forward than normal while tackling steep climbs, too.

Interestingly, there was a little more propensity to snag shorts than the other saddles in our current crop, despite the ‘anti-snag’ edges. Maybe that was because of the shallow top section and slight lip between the skin and the base, but either way, it wasn’t a deal-breaker.

A overview of the rear of the saddle to so the textured rear section

Spank Spike 160 saddle has a ridged texture at the rear to offer more grip when climbing (Image credit: Sean Fishpool)

Verdict

Cross-country riders would look elsewhere since they’d expect a lighter weight for this amount of cushioning, and maybe wouldn’t need the breadth through the front end of the saddle. But for its intended gravity audience, the Spike 160 is a lean and efficient perch for a rider who wants to go fast.

Spank also offers a crash replacement discount for the first two years of ownership, which is a bonus considering saddles are vulnerable to damage when a bike is tumbling down a trail.

Tech Specs: Spank Spike 160 saddle

  • Price: $75.99 / £70.00
  • Weight: 283g
  • Colors: Black/gray, black/blue, black/red, black/green, black/orange, all black
  • Sizes: One size: 144x265mm officially, 150x269mm as measured including tapered edges
  • Key materials: Hollow chromoly rails, co-molded high-density foam cushioning, fiber-reinforced shell
Sean Fishpool

Sean has old school cycle touring in his blood, with a coast to coast USA ride and a number of month-long European tours in his very relaxed palmares. Also an enthusiastic midpack club cyclocross racer and XC racer, he loves his role as a junior cycle coach on the Kent/Sussex borders, and likes to squeeze in a one-day unsupported 100-miler on the South Downs Way at least once a year. Triathlon and adventure racing fit into his meandering cycling past, as does clattering around the Peak District on a rigid Stumpjumper back in the day.


Height: 173cm

Weight: 65kg

Rides: Canyon Inflite CF SLX; Specialized Chisel Comp; Canyon Aeroad; Roberts custom road bike