My Canyon Spectral 6.0 didn't come with pedals so I went online and researched some, but first I had to ask myself... to clip, or not to clip? I didn't trust myself to go with the clip-in pedals at the time, being somewhat of a newbie. The idea of clipping my feet into the pedals still makes me a wee bit nervous and knowing my accident prone self, I could only envision a snapped ankle. I chose to go with flat pedals after considering the likelihood of me coming off my bike was high in the early days, that and I also couldn't afford the respective clip shoes at the time. Getting a bike, kit and accessories is a damn expensive affair!
British company DMR Bikes revolutionised the MTB flat pedal when it released the all mountain V12 flat pedal at Bike '99 and since then, they have become an iconic staple in MTB and BMX. The V12 was introduced with an innovative concave shape to the pedal, making for better grip and comfort for the rider. Since then the surface area has increased for better contact and the weight and profile has been shaved down for optimum performance.
DMR is a highly reputable brand, especially for their pedals so I felt confident in buying these. Your feet are one of the strongest connections between you and the bike, and your feet are the driving mechanism delivering all your energy into the bike. DMR Bikes have a wide range of flat pedals to choose from, but I went for the alloy V12's and they come in a variety of colours. Usually I would have gone for a complimentary colour to my Spectral set up, however I knew that I would end up scuffing and scratching the crap out of them so thought it would be wise to stick with silver. I'm glad I did! Nothing worse than having a pair of brightly coloured pedals, and then watching them slowly die by scratches and dents. The V12's weigh 430g a pair and are solidly forged as one piece alloy. They run on 9/16" chromoly (a steel, chromium and molybdenum composite) axles which are fully serviceable.
So the V12's look stylish and they're built well, but how do they perform? Whilst riding I feel very confident with them beneath my feet, the large surface area has great contact at all times, and the pins grip well into the soles of my shoes. Your feet are a key component of your riding position, balance and weight distribution, so for me, I wanted a solid and durable pedal that didn't feel loose and flimsy, and the V12's definitely feel anything but that. The 16mm profile depth mean they look sleek and slim, but they also keep your feet grounded and closer to the axle for more control. There are 10 terror-pins per side, and each one is replaceable and adjustable to suit rider's preferred grip, and even better, you can get pins in different colours! Hell yea, so there was some room for me to colour coordinate my pedals and bike after all. Phew!
The only negative experience I've had with my DMR V12's (which is totally my bonehead fault), was a pretty hefty pedal strike which happened when I dropped into a trail. My foot came off the pedal, and the V12 swung back around and got stuck in my shin. Oopsie, should have been wearing shin pads, I know, but the V12 did a good bit of damage on my shin. I now fully understand why they are called "Terror-Pins"! My permanent shin lump has now been affectionately named LSP (Lumpy Space Princess). So at least we know the DMR V12's could be a gnarly weapon in combat, not that I'm condoning that or suggesting it whatsoever, but for the zombie apocalypse at least.
For the weight conscious rider out there, the V12's also come in a magnesium build which are 80g lighter than the alloy pair, whilst keeping the same dimensions and strength. I got my hands on a pair of magnesium V12's from DMR for a comparative test. When I hold an alloy pedal in one hand, and a magnesium pedal in the other, there is a noticeable difference in the weight. Where I have been so used to the heavier alloy V12, the magnesium pedal almost feels unreal. How can this lighter pedal perform to the same standard and strength to its weightier twin? I stuck them on my bike, and had a play. Amazingly enough, they feel awesome! Same great contact with the foot, strong and very durable. They make for a little lighter pedal power as well which is always a good help with endurance and shaving the weight.
In the past 20 years, DMR has grown to be one of the biggest names in the mountain bike industry and manufacture almost every bike component you could need. They have been an exciting company to watch develop and it's always exciting to see what their next step in the evolution process of quality biking products will be. I caught up with DMR Brand Manager and pro rider, Olly Wilkins to get his views on the women's industry and to find out a little more about the future of DMR Bikes.
DMR's Olly Wilkins: "Having fun on bikes"
DMR bikes have come a long way in the past 20 years, they've evolved their range of bike parts to stay ahead of the curve and be one of the leaders in the industry. What's in store for DMR in the future?
We’ve got loads of really exciting stuff coming up. This year is DMR’s 20th year and we’ve tried to line up some really cool products for launch to celebrate. We have certainly grown as a brand but always tried to remain true to what DMR has always been about: Having fun on bikes. It couldn’t be more simple really. We want to bring out products which people can enjoy in the same way we enjoy them. It’s easy to get drawn into the newest fads and trends but we try to remain aware that ‘standards’ come and go but rattling down a hill into a jump does not.
Women's interest in extreme sports like Mountain Biking has increased significantly in recent years. Currently, DMR doesn't have any female riders or ambassadors. Is there a reason for this, or will this be something to consider in time?
We have supported a number of female riders over the years, particularly through 4X racing and we are always looking to expand our team. Currently we support a few female World Cup riders with pedals and certainly look to get more on board in the future!
How do you and DMR feel about the image of women in biking and what can companies do to nurture the market to promote future generations of female riders.
Personally I think it's great right now. Particularly with the competition between Rachel and Manon, its really brought interest to the female side of our sport. These top riders are crucial in getting the next generation of girls involved. There’s no hiding the fact that women make up the minority percentage of humans riding Mountain bikes. I think the equal prize money argument should be ditched in favour of a more positive outlook. The girls at the top of the sport are killing it and making it look fun, this should be focused on and marketed as much as possible. As for DMR’s perspective, our products will remain for everyone and anyone wanting to have fun on bikes.