DMR Vault pedals:
The Vaults are the latest pedal to come out of DMR HQ, based in England. DMR are listed in the platform pedal history books with their well known V8 and V12 models that have sold in the thousands. For the Vaults, DMR went back to the drawing board, developed these pedals over a two year period and then released them out onto the open market at the end of 2010. The Vaults make use of a larger platform than most other designs, with it measuring out at 115 x 115mm. Total weight for the pair is 438 grams on our scale. The Vaults retail for $139 USD.
The Vaults feature a massive platform size and eleven pins per side to keep your feet in place.
DMR Vault pedal details:
- Extruded 6061 aluminium body
- 115 x 115mm platform size
- 17mm body thickness
- 4140 cromoly steel axles
- Titanium axle upgrade kit (335g total weight, 185lb rider weight limit)
- Aftermarket 'flipPin' pin kit available
- DU bushing and cartridge bearing internals
- Weight: 400 grams (claimed), 438 (actual)
- MSRP $139 USD
What sets the Vault pedals apart from the crowd? Their massive 115mm square platform that is roughly 20mm longer and wider than some other options out there. That large footbed should put the Vaults on the radar of any riders with massive feet, or those who like a lot of real estate for their shoes. Their large size doesn't necessarily mean a large weight, though, with them coming in at 438 grams on our scales. Part of the reason for the reasonable weight is their minimalist body, including the tapered shape, with the corners of the underside's lead edge removed. This also reduces the Vault's frontal area to limit the chance of pedal strikes. Overall body height is a somewhat standard 17mm, but they do use a concave, dished shape that should do a good job of minimizing the chance of slipping a pedal.
The Vaults also make use of side to side concave that has been machined into the pedal body (left). Hex head pins thread in from the pedal's opposite side (right).
DMR has spec'd hex head pedal pins - 11 per side - that thread in from the opposing face. While the thread pitch and size means that you can likely pick up replacements down at the local hardware store, the stock pins make use of a larger diameter shoulder that should provide extra strength and support. They haven't tried to rewrite the book with the Vault's internals, instead employing a standard layout of an inboard DU bushing with a sealed bearing at the outer end. Stock axles are of the 4140 cromoly variety, but Vault owners can shave a further 35 grams by installing the aftermarket ti-nitride coated titanium versions. Cake chasers should take note of their 185lb weight limit, with it also being an upgrade that the huckers and chuckers out there might want to avoid.
You can drop another 35 grams from the Vaults by installing their ti-nitride coated titanium axles (left), as long as you don't weigh more than 185lbs. An aftermarket pin kit is also available in different colours, consisting of 44 steel pins (right), with 16 shorts and 28 long pins.
Can we agree that your pedals are only as good as your footwear? Descending down the Champery World Cup track wearing a pair of high heeled Manolo Blahniks (or just a ratty pair of shoes, for that matter
) will certainly have a negative effect on your performance. Pop on a pair of any of the latest tacky soled kicks and you'll discover a world of diference. With that said, we won't hesitate to say that the grip provided by the Vaults is second to none. It literally feels as if someone has lashed you to the pedals, it's that impressive. The pedal's side to side dish and massive platform play a big role in that secure feeling, but the Vault's pin layout is also key. The pedal's four central pins are slightly shorter than the outer seven, creating a concave that makes you feel as if your feet are "in" the pedals, rather than gripping to the top of them.
The Vault's shape tapers at the front and back, saving valuable weight without decreasing performance, to match up with the contact area of the sole of your shoes.
The huge platform also means that there is more useable real estate available. That could add up to the pedal being easier to find after having to thrown out a foot, or that you'll be more likely to plant your foot back into a comfortable position after doing so. What it didn't mean, at least for us anyways, is more pedal strikes. Despite the pedal body protruding out from the crankarm more than with other designs, we can't say that we suffered from more impacts than usual, although one hit in particular did manage to knock a single pin askew. We've put a full year of riding on the Vaults and reliability has been great. They are still spinning smooth and without rattles, despite a full season of abuse that included countless races, muddy conditions and absolutely no service. There just hasn't been a need to pull them apart yet. The Vaults don't make use of any special sealing system or internals, but that may be the key to their longterm reliability - they are simple and just keep running smooth.
The Vault's offer up loads of traction, but there is a tradeoff for that sure-footedness. Some riders may actually find that they have too much
grip, while others will counter that there can never been enough. If you find yourself constantly shifting the position of your feet in corners, or to get more extension for inverted tables and other tricks, you may want a set of pedals that don't bite so hard. We can also see the massive 115 x 115mm platform size being more likely to make contact with roots and rocks when compared to a smaller platform. Those who throw in extra pedal strokes on the trail where others don't could up the chance of pedal strikes if using the Vaults. This will certainly depend on the riding style, though, with many likely not noticing the difference. Pinkbike's take:
|DMR's classic V8 and V12 pedals worked well, but it was time for them to release an updated design to compete in the high-end pedal market. Their Vault pedals do just that, with great looks, solid reliability and impressive traction. These are all around great pedals that simply make sense to us. - Si Paton|