DMR V-TWIN CLIPLESS PEDALS REVIEW
Words & Photos by Robert Johnston
The Clipless (clip-in) pedal market has a few options that you see much more than others on the trails – Shimano’s SPD pedals and Crankbrothers Mallet lineup especially. But there are other companies offering some stellar models, such as DMR with their V-Twin Clip-in pedal. We’ve been intrigued by this offering since they came out way back in 2016, so we were stoked to finally get a set to test out over the last six months. They’ve proven to be a very solid offering that we’ve very much enjoyed testing on the trails of the Tweed Valley in Scotland.
The DMR V-Twin pedal uses the very proven SPD style clip-in mechanism, housing it inside a floating cage that’s designed to offer support to the foot and protection for the mechanism. DMR prides their V-Twin on offering the “most adaptable caged clip system on the market”, and while Hope may now have something to say about that with their Union clipless pedal range, it’s safe to say that the DMR V-Twin pedals give riders a wide range of tuning options to tailor the feel to their preferences.
The CNC machined aluminum platform surrounding the clip-in mechanism measures 81mm wide and 97mm long, with a 14mm depth as standard. However, DMR supplies the V-Twin pedals with nylon “bumpers” that are secured to the metal platform with Torx head screws, taking the effective platform thickness up to 23mm. These bumpers are designed to interface with the sole of the shoe to give support and a landing area for the foot when trying to clip in, and they can be shimmed to raise them further towards the sole of the shoe and increase contact, letting riders dial in their preference of support. Additionally, flat pedal-style pins can be fitted on top of the bumpers to give a little more “locked in” feeling, using the same seven holes on each side of the pedal that are used to secure the bumpers. The body pivots around the clip-in mechanism on a sprung system, making it easier to enter the pedals by stamping down on the pedal. At rest the clip-in mechanism sits at an angle to the platform, but when clipped in sit parallel to one another.
The V-Twin bodies spin around heavy duty 4140 Chromoly steel axles, with a serviceable bearing system connecting the two. DMR offers a service kit for £10 to refresh the pedals and get them running smoothly again once the standard bearings have worn. The V-Twins come with a cleat with a 5-degree float as standard, though Shimano SPD cleats can be used alternatively if a 4-degree float is preferred. As you may expect, the clip-in mechanism tension can be adjusted with an allen key, with indexed adjustments to make it easier to match the tension on both sides of each pedal. The DMR V-Twin pedals weigh in at 550g (with bumpers, no shims); are offered in a choice of four colors, and have a retail price of £140 / $159.99.
From the tail end of the Scottish winter and through the spring, the V-Twins have seen regular rotation on test bikes and have taken some hammer along the way. Some may complain about the high weight, but it’s not significantly more than the competitors in the gravity clipless market, and they’ve proven to pack the durability to justify it.
Getting the V-Twin pedals set up initially was easy, but it’s worthwhile experimenting with both spacing the bumpers towards the shoe to increase the level of support underfoot, as well as trying out the optional pins to decide whether the increased stability offered in rotation suits your preferences. Across a few different shoes with various sole and cleat boxes, my preferred setup was a high level of mechanism tension and solid contact between the shoe sole and bumpers, but no pins. This offered some resistance to help keep my feet locked in, but still allowed for float to aid in certain movements on the bike. The bumpers offered some very much appreciated comfort on softer soled shoes through harder compressions, greatly reducing the likelihood of pressure hotspots on longer descents compared to the likes of the Shimano XT.
Getting clipped into the V-Twin pedals is relatively straightforward, letting you go in with a slight “slide” in either direction or a stamp straight down, but there’s less feedback to confirm that the mechanism has engaged than the ultra-positive Hope pedals. Getting out is very typical of an SPD pedal, with the 5 degree float and roughly 12 degree release angle offering the same build-up of resistance up to the release point as a Shimano pedal. Thanks to that pivoting body, the resistance to mud build up seemed to be greater than a fixed body equivalent, letting the DMR pedals serve me well through some incredibly sloppy conditions. The change in mannerisms depending on the conditions was quite notable though, with wet rides demanding a little more clip tension to provide the same level of security – this is where a setup with pins can improve consistency and confidence, but I wasn’t able to find a setup that offered the same excellent balance of entry and exit ease with pins on the V-Twin pedals as on the Hopes.
In terms of durability, the V-Twin pedals have gone through the test with minimal complaints, only developing a slight play in the axles towards the end of the test and continuing to spin smoothly despite countless wet and gritty miles with no servicing. The nylon bumpers slide off of impacts better than metal counterparts, avoiding the slightly chunkier overall profile compared with some (3mm higher per side than the Hope pedals) from producing too much drawback.
The Wolf’s Last Word
The DMR V-Twin pedals are a very solid gravity clip-in pedal offering, with a high level of tuning potential that’ll let most riders find a comfortable setup to support their riding. At £140 they’re not cheap though, and with my personal favorites – the Hope Union GC – sitting at just £20 more, I’d say the value isn’t quite as good as Hope’s UK-made excellence. The DMR’s haven’t quite knocked the Hopes off of my top step, but they’re absolutely a close runner up that are worth considering.