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Tested | DMR Vault Pedals Review

The DMR Vault, as you can see we have been giving these Brendog signature versions a good hammering for over a year now. Here’s what we think.

DMR Vault Pedals Review

 

Our sport has developed a lot since ’99 when DMR launched their legendary V12 pedals, back then Palmer was nearly winning at World Champs and flat pedal thunder Sam Hill was still a Junior.

DMR stayed with their original design for many years but as riding styles changed flat pedals grew bigger platforms and slimmer profiles, it was time to develop something new. The DMR Vault is the culmination of a development process within DMR that Dirt favourite Olly Wilkins put together, close ties with Brendan Fairclough meant development was done at World Class level and a signature Brendog version tops the range. Picking up the Vaults from their neat cardboard package the first thing we noticed is their finish and detail, they are clearly a product of refinement rather than a branded catalogue pedal, DMR are the real deal. In this DMR Vault pedals review, we look into the details.

 

SPECIFICATION

105 x 115mm platform
400g/pair
Made from extruded 6061 Aluminium
4140 Cro-mo Steel axles
11 pins per side
High load DU bush and cartridge bearing internals

DMR pedals are some of the best there is, big words but for a company that nailed the flat pedal 15 years ago they have more experience than most in what works. DMR created a cult with the V8 and original V12 pedals but have the Vaults done enough to carry that status into the next 15 years of mountain biking?

The grip offered by the Vaults is superb, and with loads of different pin combinations you can tailor the feel perfectly.

PINS & GRIP

11 pins per side and you can flip 7 of them to give shorter fatter pins. The new Brendog signature versions come with a moto inspired pin selection too so you can refine the feel of your Vaults perfectly, something that might come in handy if you are running some new uber grippy Five Tens and want to maintain some of the movement you got from older shoes. Included in the box is a pin spanner and you can fiddle away in the shed to your hearts content dialling in the Vault grip factor.

We found the grip was superb, preferring to keep the pins longer at the front and back, our feet felt planted and once in place didn’t get bounced around. Even if we did get out of shape and end up with our foot out of position there are plenty of pins to grab onto until we got chance to get things back in place. The grip is there and it comes in spades, the size and shape of the platform the pins are bolted to makes a big difference too.

A well designed platform with a profile that fitted our shoes spot on.

PLATFORM & PROFILE

It’s a big platform (105 x 115mm) and although the Vaults use a standard axle system there is still room for a concave section across the middle. Front to back they remain the same thickness but that just adds to the secure feeling when we got our feet in place as shoes flex into the cavity. Moving the bike around the pedals feel secure on the limits of grip, when a dab might be coming up most of the time you can keep your foot where it should be and stay flat out. Looking from the top the Vaults are narrower at the back than the front, that feature makes room for the forward face of the pedal to be shaped to deflects impacts rather than letting a big chunk of pedal get wedged in a root or smashed up in a rock garden. This is a feature we see on a number of other pedals but the angle of the Vaults feel particularly shallow giving a good amount of rock and root skimming capability.

Under the end cap you can see the cartridge bearing that keeps everything spinning, a DU bush serves this purpose at the other side.

As you can see from the photos we have tried our best to test this feature out and the shape really does work. The same can be said for the Magnesium bodied version, we’ve spanked them into a few rocks too with no real effect apart from a few scrapes so if you have deep pockets then don’t worry about the solidity of the Mag versions.

 

DIRT MOUNTAIN BIKE | BIKE REVIEWS

 

The support between the two sides of the pedal is superb, it took an almighty hammer blow of a crash to dent these pedals and even then the pins didn’t move and wound from their threads easily along with said dent being unnoticeable when riding. These pedals aren’t complicated looking, plenty of room for mud to get through and small enough steps and surfaces internally for it to not hang about. Get out riding on a shitty day, one flick of the pedals and they are clear of mud, good work DMR.

A year plus of use and the grease is still clean. If you whip off the end cap and fill both it and the void with oil and tighten the cap back into place it flushes any crap that has got inside out, Dirt top tip!

AXLES & BEARINGS

All the Vaults comes with a reliable DU bush on the inner and a small cartridge bearing on the outer hidden away under a 6mm bolt cap, unless you are jet washing all the grease out of them every weekend then they will last well. Popping open the set we have been thrashing for the last year or so the green grease inside was clean and everything was running smoothly with no play in the bearing or axle. If you are feeling flush then you can opt for Ti axles and a Magnesium body dropping the weight to 290g per pair from the 400g standard 4130 Cro-Mo axled version.

CONCLUSION

Good design goes unnoticed if something does the job then we get on and use it, the Vaults are difficult to fault. Unless you have the feet of a pixie or weigh the same as Geoff Capes you can be sure these pedals from DMR will do you and your bike proud. Back when the V8’s and 12’s were the perfect finishing touch to your hardtail (probably a Trailstar if you had any sense) things were a bit different. Pedals were thicker with a smaller platform and most people were wearing Vans and Etnies to ride in. What Olly and the crew in West Sussex have done here is move with the times, give riders what they want and deliver a World Class product fit for any weekend pinner. Vaults will take any beating you can dish out and keep on spinning through it all, their grip is exceptional and the solid feel of a well designed platform means you can get on with the job in hand, if only they would bring back the Trailstar…

dmrbikes.com

£99.99 standard – £109.99 Brendog – Mag £119.99 – £199.99 Mag Superlight

Any questions about DMR – olly@dmrbikes.com

Distribution – upgradebikes.co.uk – +44 (0)1403 711 611

More from DMR?

DMR V12 story

DMR Vaults in the Dirt 100

Top 10 Flat Pedals

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