Editor's Note: About a week ago we launched a contest to win this pimped-out Spank Spoon One2One complete. Truth be told, we were a little bit jealous that we don't get to keep it, so we had our resident dirt jump aficionado give it a good testing. You know, just to make sure you're in the running to win something awesome. If you haven't entered the contest yet, you'll want to do just that after reading this review…
Words and schralping by Andy Holloway // Photos by Seth Beckton
This bike is one heck of a creation. Forget the toxic green color, I'm talking geometry.
I've always been one of those people who can't ride other people's bikes. It just doesn't work out and it never has. Sure I can ride okay, but I can never get comfortably aggressive. Having said that, when I showed up at the local skate park with this Spoon One2One decked out with the entire Spank collection of components, I was a bit intimidated. Why? The super short chainstays and less than one-inch rise handlebars were new to me. I've ridden short bikes before and it was never my thing. However, when I started riding I was pleasantly surprised. It took no time at all to feel confident on the One2One. I believe the key was in the frame's overall geometry.
Spank Spoon One2One Highlights
|Frame||Spank Spoon One2One - 69-degree head angle, 575mm top tube, 1040mm wheelbase, and 73mm threaded BB|
|Frame Material||4130 double-butted chromoly steel|
|Fork||*Manitou Circus - 100mm travel|
|Headset||*Token Internal - 1-1/8-inch alloy|
|Handlebar||Spank Spoon -20mm rise, 740mm width, 5-degrees up, 8.5-degrees back|
|Stem||Spank Spoon -40mm long, zero rise|
|Grips||Spank Tugg Job - 145mm long, 50mm flange, ultra thin|
|Brake||*Hayes Stroker Trail - 6-inch|
|Crankset||*AtomLab General Issue- 3-piece chromoly design|
|Chainring||Spank Tweet Tweet Sprocket- 30 tooth|
|Pedals||Spank Spike - just 12mm thick(!)|
|Chain||Spank Tweet Tweet 1/2 Link - heat treated reinforced alloyed steel|
|Rims||Spank Tweet-28 EVO - 26-inch, 32 hole|
|Front Hub||Spank Spoon-20 - 20mm thru axle|
|Rear Hub||Spank Spoon-135 - 27 engagement points, 3 pawl, 9-speed with single-speed adapter|
|Tires||Schwalbe Table Top - 2.25-inch width|
|Saddle||Spank Tweet Tweet - 8mm chromoly rails|
|Seat Clamp||Spank Tweet Tweet|
The 15.35-inch chainstays made small skatepark transitions feel good. They were no longer semi-awkward for big wheels, as is so often the case. An additional perk of the short chainstays was that it also made the bike feel amazingly flickable - yet controllable in the park.
The 22.6-inch actual top tube length added to the stable feel of the bike. It also provided just enough foot clearance for spinning the bars. After riding the bike for a short period of time, you can feel that a lot of thought has gone into this frame's numbers.
Taking It To Dirt
Having been immediately comfortable with the bike on concrete, it was time to check out the dirt jumps and slopestyle course at Valmont Bike Park. I was curious to see how the One2One would handle higher speeds and larger transitions. Turns out the dirt jumps went just like the skatepark - flickable yet stable, and all the while confidence inspiring. In fact, the local BMX riders all took some runs on it and agreed that it was the best feeling MTB they had ridden. It really does come surprisingly close to that BMX feel. While I was watching other riders take flight on the bike, I tired to put my finger on exactly what feels so good about this frame. I think it's the combination of a short rear end that is balanced out by a slightly stretched out front end. Whatever it is, the consensus was this bike is a blast to ride.
The Manitou Circus fork works perfectly for this style of setup, offering eight clicks of compression adjustment from soft to what felt almost locked out, which I prefer. At full lock out it manages to stay stiff on transitions so you don't lose pump, but thanks to a firm blow off valve, it gives some when you mess up and overshoot, for example. I had some Manitou issues back in the Gold Label days, but they seem to have come a long ways since then, all while keeping the fork surprisingly light. Between the fork and 5.5 pound frame, this bike feels and rides light.
Component wise, the bike came decked with the entire Spank line - all but cranks, brakes and tires. Everything was super solid, especially the Spank Tweet 28 EVO rims with Oohbah profile. What? Yeah, thats what I said too. According to Spank, "Our unique patented Oohbah™ profile with inverted tube well increases rigidity immensely compared with rims currently available." While I can't say I felt anything wild, it certainly felt solid after landing sideways and putting a fair amount of stress on the rims. The rim's shape is also supposed to cut back on pinch flats, which have left me walking home from the skate park on many occasions, so I'm stoked on that feature.
My biggest concern next to the frame's short end was the relatively short rise of the handlebars. See, I prefer somewhere around a 2-inch rise, and that's what I've ridden for several years. Coming in at just 20mm, these were the first low-rise bars that I've enjoyed. I felt like I could get that "pop" from the front of the bike when pulling up hard, and the 5-degree up-sweep and 8.5-degree back-sweep kept it feeling very similar to the bars I prefer most.
The Spank Spike pedals sure lived up to their name. The burly pins hold your shoe tight, but not so much that you can't readjust your position while riding. One thing I did notice was the cambered edges along the outsides of the pedal. A lot of companies seem to be jumping onboard with this idea. Spank claims it reduces impact forces as they are able to glance off of objects easier instead of getting hung up. That's hardly an issue when dirt jumping or at the skatepark. However, what I really noticed about the cambered edges was that it sheds dirt ridiculously well. On a somewhat muddy day, not once did I go searching for a flat shovel to scrape off my shoes. The pedals seemed to take care of that me.
Also, it should be mentioned that the lower half of me enjoyed the Spank Tweet Tweet saddle. It has a nice amount of padding for when you miss the pedals and come down hard on the seat. I don't know where this whole mini hard seat trend came from, but if you're learning tricks it and pushing your boundaries, it makes a world of difference to land on something with a little padding.
What's The Bottom Line?
Basically what it comes down to it that the Spank One2One is downright fun to ride. Not only is it fun, but it inspires confidence and just begs to be whipped around. You won't spend much time getting used to the bike - it's very predictable and more importantly, comfortable, right away. After having gone though some revisions over the years, the entire Spoon line now seems dialed and I can't complain about much - and I tried to find things to hate on. The only downside I could muster is that it does feel a little twitchy and small for bigger, burlier slopestyle features at high speed. However, plenty of the top riders have similar builds and shred it all the same. I think it comes down to rider preference - if you like the smaller frame feel then you can make it work for you. I'm accustomed to a little longer rear end and larger wheelbase, so I found myself wanting a bit more of a classic MTB feel, especially when I took some runs down the dual slalom course. But like I said, it comes down to personal preference and what works with your style of riding. The One2One was a blast on the tighter transitions in the park and the dirt jumps.
If you're considering a park and dirt jump shred machine that is super light and flickable, or if you just need some fresh eye candy components, I can confidently say that Spank is a great choice. Plus, the color scheme strikes up a conversation everywhere you go...
WIN This Bike!
Now that I've reviewed it, it's your chance to win it. Don't worry, she's still in great shape. Be sure to submit your entry to the "How I Spank'd My Summer Photo Contest" asap! The contest ends on November 5th.