Spank Virbrocore technology is said to reduce the chatter made by bumps and increase both torsional strength and lateral stiffness. It’s basically a foam injected under pressure into the rims or handlebars. Spank uses it in its handlebars and rims. The review of a Spank handlebar with Vibrocore can be found here.
Some technical data:
The wheelset contains two wheels – front and rear – which differentiate not only by hubs but also by rims. The from rim is the 350 model and the rear one is 359 option – more robust and bombproof. It’s a thought out procedure, because usually the rear wheel gets more big hits than the front one. Both wheels have 32 spokes, inside width of 30,5mm and the hubs are their own Spank produced rolling on standard bearings. The set is delivered tubeless ready – with the rim and valves installed and ready to inflate the tires. The only color option for this wheelset is black (at least for now). The set weights at 2121 grams with the valves and tapes installed. Not bad for a DH wheelset with additional features (Vibrocore).
The wheels come in two rim sizes – 27,5 and 29 inches, and in many hub options: from 12×148 through 12×150 to 12×157 mm. When ordering you have to specify the desired hub standard and that’s it. The needed adapters will be delivered along with the wheels. Moreover I found the new Boost 20 x 110mm front hub adapter and longer disc screws with it. A nice touch. All the adapters are pretty well described so after some time you will exactly know which adapter is for what.
Here’s the table of options and wheel data:
|FRONT HUB||Boost 15×110||12×110||Boost 15×110||12×110|
|Included REAR ADAPTORS:||N/A||12×157||N/A||12×157|
|Included FRONT ADAPTORS:||Boost 20×110||Boost 20×110|
|ERD (mm++)||560 (REAR) / 564 (FRONT)||598 (REAR) / 602 (FRONT)|
|RIM DIMENSIONS||ID (mm): 30.5 OD (mm): 35|
|SPOKES||J-Hook, tripple butted 2.2/1.8/2.0, brass external nipples|
|TUBELESS||Tubeless equipped (tape and valves included)|
|CONFIGURATION||32H – 3cross lacing|
|TECHNOLOGIES||Vibrocore, Radial Compliance, Torsional Strength, Lateral Stiffness, BeadBite Anti-burp, OohBah Inverted Inner Wall|
|ADAPTERS Available Seperately||Rear: Boost QRx141 Front: N/A|
Both wheels are filled with Vibrocore foam. The weight addition of this feature is said to be 65 grams per rim. The Vibrocore foam is said to reduce the transmission of vibration, reducing rider fatigue, and increasing rim fatigue life and torsional strength. We’ll see about that.
One more important thing is that the inside profile of the rims. Spank calls this technology the OoBah – ‘ Reverse well profile that increases strength’. I do not know how much it is a thought out feature or just added bonus but I felt that putting the tires onto these wheels was much easier due to the afore mentioned profile, which helped the tire to slide more inside the rim and at the same time make more space for edge of the tire to come on the rim on the other side. Moreover, the Bead Bite technology is said to increase tire retention. It consist of additional grooves in the rims inner wall, in the place where the rim ticks to the tire.
First thing I noticed was how silent the rear hub was. I really like my when a downhill bike is as silent as possible and here was a pretty nice sound for my ears (or the lack of it). Of course after a few rides the hub was a little bit more noisy (probably cause of the lube in the mechanism warmed up and has spread itself inside) but still the wheel is pretty quiet in comparison to some other hubs. The other thing that I noticed was the slightly muted feeling of the ride. I felt a little bit like I lost some part of touch with the ground. The feeling was disappearing a little bit after every ride and after a few days of riding I wondered where it had gone.
The foam does its job where the arm pump is concerned. Along with the Vibrocore handlebar the set took a fair bit of harshness from my arms during the test rides. Is the torsional strength and lateral stiffness improved by Vibrocore? Hell if I know. Or care. These wheels are stiff and rigid enough for my 90 + kilos of weight rolling down on local downhill tracks. Additional plus for the foam is that the wheels are a little bit less noisy that the standard ones. When loose rocks and other debris falls on them you’re not getting the sound like somethings just broke.
– solid, bombproof wheelset for a reasonable price
– quiet rear hub
– Vibrocore foam really is noticeable when arm pump comes to mind
– overall more silent that non-Vibrocore wheels
– quiet rear hub (for those who like it loud)
– strange feeling when riding the first few times caused by the Vibrocore foam
– due to foam the additional weight might be a con for weight weenies 🙂
If you’re looking for a solid wheelset, that will hold more than a few rocky rides you should look the Spank way. With or without the Vibrocore foam, the wheels are very reasonably priced and provide a great price wise option. And the Vibrocore foam is an additional technology that really makes your arms feel less fatigued. And every little helps on a long descend 🙂