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.
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.
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