Once again, motorcycle technology trickles its way into the mountain bike world. This time around, Spank has created the Oozy Trail Vibrocore, a unique approach to dampening vibration through the use of foam inside the handlebar. The idea of foam in handlebars centers around reducing high-frequency vibrations that are traditionally aluminum's greatest weakness. Even with the foam inside, the Oozy Trail is the lightest aluminum model we tested, but it is notably less stiff than the competition. It sacrifices a bit in the control department due to its greater compliance but is likely stiff enough for the majority of riders. Otherwise, this is a relatively lightweight trail and all-mountain handlebar that offers increased rider comfort at a less-expensive-than-carbon price.
Spank Oozy Trail 780 Vibrocore Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Durable, reduced vibration, comfortable, lightweight for aluminum
Cons: Less stiff, not as light as carbon, not the sharpest control
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Our Analysis and Test Results
Carbon bars are known to be the solution to vibration reduction, but the steep price tag is more than a lot of riders can afford. The Spank Oozy Vibrocore provides a damped, comfortable feel at a more-affordable-than-carbon price, while the 278-gram weight penalty is barely noticeable. The Spank bars had a lot of hype from both the company as well as friends who recommended them, but in the end, they lacked the stiffness and control of our top-rated models. This isn't to say the Spank bar isn't a valid choice for many riders, rather it should be a deliberate choice for those looking for comfort over race-level performance.
Stiffness & Compliance
Stiffness is really where the Spank Oozy bar fell off the train of other test bars, falling towards the lower end of the ranking spectrum due to a lack of stiffness. The bar flexes just a bit under pressure or trail impacts, reducing the ability to make quick adjustments in technical sections or on fast motorway sections. On the other hand, the compliance was fantastic due to a lower transmitted vibration and the elastic characteristics of aluminum as well as the thinner 31.8mm bore/clamp diameter.
Compared to other aluminum bars like the Renthal Fatbar 35 and Deity Blacklabel the vibration reduction from the foam is noticeable; however, so is the reduced stiffness due to the smaller bore/clamp diameter. This is a trade-off that may be worth it to those looking for a more comfortable bar at an aluminum price, but for those looking for comfort through vibration reduction while still remaining stiff and ultra-responsive, carbon bars such as the Deity Speedway, RaceFace Next R or Santa Cruz Carbon Bar are much better suited to the task.
The high compliance and low stiffness mentioned above rear their heads in this metric, reducing overall control provided by the bar in rough sections of trail. While this bar performs well under low-speed conditions, those looking to open up the figurative throttle through rough stuff shouldn't expect as sharp of response to bodyweight shifts and steering input as one would experience with stiffer bars.
Much the same as the above, there are better options for those looking for maximum control, namely the Renthal Fatbar 35 and the Deity Speedway bars. The only high mark for these bars with regards to control was the reduced arm fatigue experienced when using them, which if long downhill trails or bike park laps are your cup of tea, then they may be the right choice. The Vibrocore foam works as advertised, and in combination with the more compliant nature of the bars it keeps your hands and wrists from feeling beat up like they can with super-stiff models.
Nothing to write home about, nor fret over, the 278-gram measured weight of the Oozy Vibrocore sits closer to the carbon models than the rest of the aluminum selection. The 31.8mm clamp diameter likely helps bring the weight down, while the foam filling clearly doesn't seem to weigh things down.
If you're counting grams without the worry of cost, look towards carbon bars. If you aren't counting grams, look to Renthal Fatbar. If you're in between, counting grams and pennies, this could be the middle ground you're looking for.
Style & Design
Introducing moto technology into mountain biking is inevitable, as that industry has had a longer time to mature (see wider tires, different tire diameter front, and rear, etc). Spank made the smart choice to meld mountain bike handlebars with moto foam to develop a cheaper method to reduce hand fatigue than the use of carbon. High-ish marks here for transferring technology; however, we feel a bit more attention to detail could have been put into the fit and finish of these bars, which don't look as polished as the other bars tested.
Beyond the use of vibration dampening foam, the Oozy Trail Vibrocore appears to be relatively standard in its design. It is only offered in a 31.8mm bore, although Spank makes a huge variety of other bars in varying lengths and bore sizes with and without Vibrocore. The 780mm length is the narrowest we tested, though this is right around the sweet spot for trail and all-mountain riders. According to Spank, this bar can be trimmed down to 740mm. In addition to the 25mm rise version we tested, they also offer the Oozy Trail in a 15mm option. There are also angle markings at the stem clamp interface as well as hash marks on each end to facilitate the trimming process.
If comfort is king in your world and you didn't splurge for that 10k bike because you spend your monthly earnings on rent, food, and other costs, we feel the Oozy Vibrocore represents a good value to rider who prioritizes comfort over uncompromising stiffness in a handlebar.
For riders pinching pennies or those that may want the durability of aluminum with the vibration reduction of carbon, the Spank Oozy Vibrocore is a good choice. They blend vibration reduction with a comfortable, light platform, albeit one that lacks in stiffness. People who are frequent shuttle or bike park riders smashing long descents all of the time may find the vibration reduction to be just what they need, without having to shell out the cash for a carbon model.
— Dillon Osleger