DMR’s new Versa is a hybrid platform pedal for mountain bikers on the fence between the pedaling efficiency of clipless and the freedom of platforms. But while many combination clipless & flat pedals come packed with compromises and extra weight, both sides of the Versa signal high performance, and at a weight lighter than many platform-only pedals.
DMR Versa hybrid clipless & platform mountain bike pedals
The combination hybrid one-side clipless & one-side platform pedal is nothing new, but it has most often been applied to entry-level bikes for either touring or beginner mountain biking. A common description could probably be ‘Jack of all trades, master of none’. But at the same time on the performance gravity or enduro side of mountain biking, there’s solid arguments for the benefits of both clipless and flat pedals. So after years of making well-received pedals in both separate style, British component makers DMR decided to mash them up.
The result is the new Versa, a premium low-profile CNC-machined 6061 alloy hybrid clipless & platform pedal that promises the best of both worlds: Grind Up, Bomb Down.
The DMR Versa pedal shares the overall design of their popular Vault pedal on the flat side with a large 97mm x 104mm platform with ten replaceable traction pins.
The clipless side shares the same platform shape with the option for four more replaceable traction pins at its corners. (The pedals come without pins installed on the clipless side, but extra pins included.) A one-sided SPD compatible retention mechanism with adjustable tension locks in a standard Shimano-style cleat (5° float cleats come with the pedals.) The clipless mechanism is relatively low-profile with tons of open space around it to clear mud.
The Versa is quite low profile for any platform pedal with a standard sloping leading edge, let alone one with clipless capabilities. At their front edge, the pedal is just 14mm thick, and only 19mm thick around the reinforced axle. The 5mm long traction pins then give the perception of a concave pedal body for excellent grip with soft & sticky shoes.
The Versa pedals spin on 4140 chromoly steel axles with a combination of sealed bushings & cartridge bearings, that DMR says are user serviceable.
Actual weight, pricing & availability
DMR claims a weight of 470g for a pair of Versas, and ours weighed just a touch more at 474g. The £115 pedals are available direct from DMR and come in five anodized colors: black, this bright blue, red, orange & silver.
The Versa pedals feel well made, and much more precise than any other combination pedals I’ve tried before. The open, low-profile body really does give the impression of a premium flat pedal. The light weight & low stack height of the clipless mechanism seems to do a good job of keeping the pedal from feeling bulky or always ending up with the wrong side up. But at the same time with grippy pin on the platform side and none on the clipless side, it really is easy to always be sure that the pedal is right where you want it under your foot.
I am generally in the camp of always riding clipped in, with the Crankbrothers Mallet DH my preferred gravity pedal. But the clipless mechanism of the Versa is just as easy to get into, and the much larger platform side without a clipless mechanism in the way offers surprising grip, that I could probably get used to.