A winning combination of grip and support with toughness to boot. Just keep an eye on the pins.
Mar 29 2018
Plenty of support from a broad but not overly deep platform
Masses of tuneable grip
Durable platform shrugs off rock beatings
The screw-in pins can work loose
Pricey at full retail
you want some of the best all-around flat pedals around and don't mind paying
DMR's Vault flat pedal is hugely popular with both trail and gravity riders and with good reason. It's super grippy and offers masses of support from a tough and reasonably lightweight platform, though you do need to keep an eye on the pics getting loose as they can rattle out.
The platform is made from an extruded piece of aluminium measuring a decent 105mm by 105mm. That means it's easy to find and also gives great support whether you're hammering downhill or pedalling back up. With a depth of 17mm at the outer edge, there's pretty reasonable ground clearance. The platform is recessed from side to side and fore and aft to allow your foot to sit into it nicely and the heavily chamfered edges mean the pedal is more likely to glance off rocks than hook up. It's plenty tough too, having fended off plenty of strikes without damage to anything save the paint.
There are 11 replaceable pins per side offering oodles of grip. the neat design reversible design allows you to tune grip by threading the ones on the leading and trailing edges in the opposite way. Either way, they're easy to extract when they get damaged, though none of them succumbed during the test period. I did have to make sure I tightened them up periodically as they'd start to come loose and rattle free - a touch of threadlock would cure this permanently and it'd be nice to see it applied from the factory.
At 440g with the stock steel axle, they're in the middle ground weight-wise, though you can spend an awful lot more money and get a titanium axle and magnesium bodied version. I wouldn't bother personally - it's a lot more money for not much less weight. Bearing life is decent thanks to a combination of an inboard DU bushing and outer cartridge bearing - six months near constant use has left them feeling a little bit more rattly that when they were new, but it's nothing a bit of grease wouldn't solve. A rebuild kit is only £25 anyway.
At full retail, they're fairly pricey, but if you shop around they can be had for much less. Even at full whack they still make sense, with an all-around combination of grip, support and durability, putting the DMR Vaults up there with the best. They also come in a staggering array of colours, plus pro-rider special editions if you're into the whole matching vibe.
Jon was previously the editor here at off.road.cc. Whether it's big days out on the gravel bike or hurtling down technical singletracks, if it's got two wheels and can be ridden on dirt, then he's into it. He's previously been technical editor at BikeRadar.com, editor at What Mountain Bike Magazine and also web editor at Singletrackworld.co.uk. Yes, he's been around the houses.