We’ve seen Spank’s Vibrocore foam tech as far back as 2015 when it first ended up inside their alloy Oozy bikepark bars. A few years later, that green vibration damping foam has made its way into mountain bike bars & rims, and now even more gravel dropbars, rims & complete wheelsets – all promising less rider fatigue. Oh, and their top wheels now get a new Hex Drive hub with fast 3.5° engagement…
Spank Vibrocore vibration damping foam inside rim & bars
Spank’s Vibrocore is a relatively simple concept, by injecting their unique biodegradable green foam into the cavity of their alloy wheels it damps vibration coming into the rim (or bar) and allows Spank to change the way that the wheels react, essentially how (and what frequency) that vibration resonates in the wheel. It’s not really about eliminating the vibration, but keeping vibration intensity from continuing to increase.
In their 30.5mm internal 350 & 359 Vibrocore rims for 27.5 & 29″ trail mountain bikes this is said to help eat up chatter over repeated bumpy terrain (think brake bumps, I guess) without transmitting those vibrations to your suspension, which could then sink through its travel and not rebound in time for the next bigger impact. The foam is also said to add some structural improvement for better rim torsional strength and lateral stiffness – adding ~50-70g to the rim.
Now, in two new alloy gravel rims it does much the same thing, damping vibration & strengthening the rims. But, since the rider is the suspension (unless Lauf, Niner, Fox & a few others have their way) on gravel bikes and vibration frequencies even more of an impact on the rider over longer distances, Vibrocore could be even more useful in keeping gravel riders from getting fatigue.
The foam-filled, tubeless-ready gravel rims sell for $150 a piece and come in two versions a symmetric 24mm internal, 16.5mm deep alloy Flare 24 Vibrocore rim, and the asymmetric Flare 24 OC Vibrocore rim with the same overall dimensions but with a 2.5mm offset to better balance spoke tension. Both rims are available in 650b/27.5″ (405g per rim) and 700c/29″ (430g) and come in 28 or 32 hole drilling. Note the MTB wheel size reference, as Spank thinks they’ll make good XC wheels too!
Spank also expects to offer complete wheels in the future, but for now gravel Vibrocore is rim only.
In complete wheel builds though, their top Tuned wheelsets are set for an upgrade thanks to a new Spank Hex Drive rear hub. A new 102 tooth engagement ring with 6-pawls promises super fast 3.5° engagement.
Vibrocore of course got its start inside of Spank’s alloy bars where they say it could take the buzz out of your bar. The idea was to prevent the resonant frequency of most alloy bars from vibrating in the common 12-25Hz range that leads to arm pump, and eventually can cause more serious muscle & connective tissue damage with continued exposure. So Vibrocore shifts the vibration to a higher, less damaging frequency range that results in less fatigue.
So Vibrocore bars are still a big thing for Spank on mountain & gravel bikes. So now you can get Vibrocore in Spank’s $109 Pike 35 DH/Freeride bar, their World Cup proven $99 Spike 800 DH bar, the $99-109 Oozt Trail bars, and now the $109 flared drop Flare 25 (in 42-52cm widths!) & compact drop Wing 12 (42-46cm) gravel bars.
There’s now even two new gravel-specific $35 crash-resistant microfiber bar tapes, $15 bar gel pads & $10 alloy bar end plugs that will be coming soon to eat up gravel road vibrations near you.