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  1. #1
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    DT swiss 36 star ratchet upgrade Pros and Cons

    Im thinking about doing the 36 star ratchet upgrade, but according to another recent post DT Swiss said that these were less durable than the standard 18 so now im not sure....

    Anyone with the 36 star having any durability issues?

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  3. #3
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    Only read the first few pages previously, Looks like the last few had what I was wondering on them. Sticking with the 18, thanks

  4. #4
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    They're pretty cheap, and easy enough to change on the side of the trail in a few minutes if you did bust one. Id go for it.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    They're pretty cheap, and easy enough to change on the side of the trail in a few minutes if you did bust one. Id go for it.
    My bigger concern is If the 36 star ratchet fails is there potential for it to damage other internals?

  6. #6
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    Theres not really any other internals in the star ratchet area. If the 36pt star failed, it should chip and bust off the teeth on the face. I suppose worst case, you'd get some ratchet debris stuck in the hub splines, and you'd get zero engagement. After a quick clean out, you'd be back in business though.

    While I suppose anything is possible, it seems extremely unlikely that you could cause any real damage. Their whole mechanism is smart, simple, and has no small parts.

  7. #7
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    I did mine about a year ago.......Zero issues. If your happy with the sluggish engagment...leave it be,but if like quicker engagement do it.It literally took longer to remove and re-install the cassette than to change it. An extra 10 mins when you have your bike in the stand to oil change your forks it's cleaned and relubed.
    If you ride techy steps,rocks,logs ect you'll wonder why you didn't do it sooner.

  8. #8
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    People that blow freehubs and people that don't maintain their star ratchets (a quick 5 minute job) might have issues with the 36t, but most people will do just fine.

    And even if you do have a problem, I really don't see how you could damage anything else. Since it is field serviceable, you might not even have to walk back to the trailhead!

  9. #9
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    You shouldnt even have to remove the cassette. You can pull the whole thing off together.

    Pop the wheel off the bike, and pull the cassette (the end cap seems to like to shoot off, keep your hand on it or something!) and theres your stars. In case of an emergency roadside repair, you could swap out star ratchets faster than you could change a tube.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    You shouldnt even have to remove the cassette. You can pull the whole thing off together.

    Pop the wheel off the bike, and pull the cassette (the end cap seems to like to shoot off, keep your hand on it or something!) and theres your stars. In case of an emergency roadside repair, you could swap out star ratchets faster than you could change a tube.
    Exactly

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    You shouldnt even have to remove the cassette. You can pull the whole thing off together.

    Pop the wheel off the bike, and pull the cassette (the end cap seems to like to shoot off, keep your hand on it or something!) and theres your stars. In case of an emergency roadside repair, you could swap out star ratchets faster than you could change a tube.
    Good to know thx. Im a little disappointed that #1 DT swiss isnt including the upgrade in the 240's for their cost, #2 that they are not making the 36 stars as strong as the 18... I could care less about the 10gram weight savings if it means blowing up the 36 much faster than the 18s...

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ace5high View Post
    Good to know thx. Im a little disappointed that #1 DT swiss isnt including the upgrade in the 240's for their cost, #2 that they are not making the 36 stars as strong as the 18... I could care less about the 10gram weight savings if it means blowing up the 36 much faster than the 18s...
    It's simple, you can't make 36 teeth fit in the diameter circle as 18 teeth and use the same size teeth. So the teeth have to be smaller to fit.

    King uses essentially the same system with 72 teeth and it is bomber, so I really think you'll do just fine with 36 teeth on the DT. Just maintain it correctly.

  13. #13
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    While on the subject of degrees of engagement, here's some information about XT hubs:

    FH-M770 - 36 clicks
    FH-M665 - 32 clicks
    FH-M629 - 32 clicks
    FH-M529 - 16 clicks
    FH-M590 - 16 clicks (FH-M595 uses the same freehub body)

    That was copied from this thread: Shimano high engagement freewheel strength

  14. #14
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    You have to realize some things get blown out of proportion on this site and a lot of guys were just slapping in some grease and wonder why they broke teeth off - it takes RING DRIVE LUBE which is much lower in viscosity and allows for better tooth engagement. Making the swap was the best thing I ever did for that bike!

    Have FUN!

    G MAN
    "There's two shuttles, one to the top and one to the hospital" I LOVE this place!!!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gman086 View Post
    You have to realize some things get blown out of proportion on this site and a lot of guys were just slapping in some grease and wonder why they broke teeth off - it takes RING DRIVE LUBE which is much lower in viscosity and allows for better tooth engagement. Making the swap was the best thing I ever did for that bike!

    Have FUN!

    G MAN
    Im sure some things do, I was going by what DT Swiss had said about them "being weaker, not lasting as long and requiring more maintenance"

  16. #16
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    Okay you guys convinced me, order placed fro the 36 star and some Dt Ratchet grease

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    Quote Originally Posted by knoob View Post
    I did mine about a year ago.......Zero issues. If your happy with the sluggish engagment...leave it be,but if like quicker engagement do it.It literally took longer to remove and re-install the cassette than to change it. An extra 10 mins when you have your bike in the stand to oil change your forks it's cleaned and relubed.
    If you ride techy steps,rocks,logs ect you'll wonder why you didn't do it sooner.
    It's way easier to get the freehub body off if you leave the cassette on. Then you can pull on your largest cog to remove the entire assembly.

    I've been using the 36t ratchets since they came out with zero problems. The one thing I noticed with most people in the original thread is that they all heard something weird and ignored it for a ride or two until they were completely trashed. If you pull it off once or twice a season, clean and inspect you won't have any issues.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gman086 View Post
    You have to realize some things get blown out of proportion on this site and a lot of guys were just slapping in some grease and wonder why they broke teeth off - it takes RING DRIVE LUBE which is much lower in viscosity and allows for better tooth engagement. Making the swap was the best thing I ever did for that bike!

    Have FUN!

    G MAN
    Ring drive grease is for King hubs not DT which make there own specific grease. Two actually, one for the splines of the ratchet and another for the face. But if you talk to the guys at DT they will tell you any light grease works pretty well. Personally I use a heavy oil like dumonde liquid grease or phils tenacious.

  19. #19
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    I'm surprised that DT doesn't offer the 36 right off the shelf, and abandon the 18.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gman086 View Post
    You have to realize some things get blown out of proportion on this site and a lot of guys were just slapping in some grease and wonder why they broke teeth off
    I did run the first set with lube that I had been running in 18pt 240's for years with no issues. When dt sent me the 2nd pair they sent me some of their lube. The guy said "it probably wasn't the lube you used but just use ours this time so we can see what happens." He also asked me things like how heavy I am, was I using a single speed conversion on the hub... so obviously they are well aware that certain situations may cause them to chip.

    I completely cleaned the hub and lubed per their directions - the teeth still chipped off.

    I still stand by my opinion that the material feels too light for the application. Not sure if its some kind of aluminum but if there's a less brittle metal that would only add a few grams they should do it.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by 92gli View Post
    I did run the first set with lube that I had been running in 18pt 240's for years with no issues. When dt sent me the 2nd pair they sent me some of their lube. The guy said "it probably wasn't the lube you used but just use ours this time so we can see what happens." He also asked me things like how heavy I am, was I using a single speed conversion on the hub... so obviously they are well aware that certain situations may cause them to chip.

    I completely cleaned the hub and lubed per their directions - the teeth still chipped off.

    I still stand by my opinion that the material feels too light for the application. Not sure if its some kind of aluminum but if there's a less brittle metal that would only add a few grams they should do it.
    Well they are lighter for some reason, I dont know if its in the design or material used. I too would have preferred a slightly heaver version if these were stronger...

    BTW what do you weight?

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by customfab View Post
    Ring drive grease is for King hubs not DT which make there own specific grease. Two actually, one for the splines of the ratchet and another for the face. But if you talk to the guys at DT they will tell you any light grease works pretty well. Personally I use a heavy oil like dumonde liquid grease or phils tenacious.
    Actually my shop suggested I use the King lube as they are well aware of potential issues using "light grease". It has worked out fantastic for me. I do run syn gear oil in my I9 rear hub and that seems to work well too. Just say NO to grease and pull apart every three months or as needed depending on your use.

    Have FUN!

    G MAN
    "There's two shuttles, one to the top and one to the hospital" I LOVE this place!!!

  23. #23
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    2 years, zero problems.

    A friend of mine used to frequently bust the 18 tooth ratchets - his record is 4 blown pairs and one freehub body.

    Since the installment of steel freehub body and 36T upgrade, zero problems too in one year.

    Just make sure you:
    - clean & regrease them when they get loud
    - use proper grease (DT Swiss one = Molykote TP42)

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gman086 View Post
    Actually my shop suggested I use the King lube as they are well aware of potential issues using "light grease". It has worked out fantastic for me. I do run syn gear oil in my I9 rear hub and that seems to work well too. Just say NO to grease and pull apart every three months or as needed depending on your use.

    Have FUN!

    G MAN
    Have you ridden them with Chris King Ring Drive Lube in cold (below freezing) temps? If so, did it work well? My LBS says the DT Swiss grease is on back order, unless I buy an entire 18T star ratchet & spring kit which comes with the grease. I contacted DT Swiss and they recommended a "light grease" as a substitute. I did a little research here on MTBR and am leaning towards the King lube.
    Last edited by AirGuitar29; 02-01-2012 at 01:43 PM.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ace5high View Post
    Well they are lighter for some reason, I dont know if its in the design or material used. I too would have preferred a slightly heaver version if these were stronger...

    BTW what do you weight?

    They're lighter because additional material is removed from the inside of the rings. It's that never ending quest to make parts lighter while hopefully not sacrificing durability. Once you see them and where they removed the material from it does kinda make sense.

    I Upgraded my hubs to the 36pt versions last spring and I LOVE the difference. It really makes a difference for me on slow technical climbs where you might need to stop pedaling for a split second to so you don't strike a rock with your pedal, and then you can quickly get back on the gas to clear the next obstacle.

    No delay, instant engagement, and they have been trouble free for me all summer/fall.

    I use the special DT lube. It's pricey but I read about some issues others had with other lubes, so I ordered some with the kit.

  26. #26
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    Had mine in my 340's since release.
    Was first greased lightly with Slick Honey.
    Now using the DT Lube.

    No issues with either lube. I cleaned and lubed every few months.
    Have checked and no chipping, cracking, crazing or other wear visable.

    I'm 210 no gear on a 35-39lb bike (depending upon trail or gravity setup)

    So for me very happy with the performance and longevity.

    michael

  27. #27
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    Well when you compare the two side by side the teeth are probably about half the size the the 18 tooth rings. However your getting 2x as many to contact so one would think the strength should be about equal, but paper and real life rarely translate the same results...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ace5high View Post

    BTW what do you weight?
    About 175 with gear

    The bottom line in this whole issue is if you break them you put the 18s back in and you still have one of the best hubs out there. And it only takes 2 minutes to do.

    Its just odd that King can make their drive rings with 72 tiny teeth and I've never heard of them breaking.

  29. #29
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    I have four sets of DT 240 hubs on 4 bikes, I did one set and decided I had to do them all as it made that big a difference in riding on technical trails.

    As previously mentioned, the 36T star ratchets have been hollowed out to make them lighter, but they're made out of steel, so you'd have to work at it to blow them up.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails DT swiss 36 star ratchet upgrade Pros and Cons-dt-ratchet1.jpg  

    DT swiss 36 star ratchet upgrade Pros and Cons-dt-ratchet2.jpg  

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  30. #30
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    Bottom line is the 18's are more bomb proof than the 36ers. I chipped mine & went back to the 18's & will prob stay with them. I agree that the proper lube is more important with the 36ers, but my riding style doesn't really require the added poe so why risk it?
    SPD pedals are an absolute menace to the well-being of the world, and ought be banned immediately.

  31. #31
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    My bottom line: Ill try the 36 if they fail in their first season I will stick with 18, but if they last an entire season, Ill stick with 36 as the additional cost will be worth it

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by AirGuitar29 View Post
    Have you ridden them with Chris King Ring Drive Lube in cold (below freezing) temps? If so, did it work well? My LBS says the DT Swiss grease is on back order, unless I buy an entire 18T star ratchet & spring kit which comes with the grease. I contacted DT Swiss and they recommended a "light grease" as a substitute. I did a little research here on MTBR and am leaning towards the King lube.
    Had to think about that but yes, I have. In fact I rode Post Canyon in the snow with them - drops and woodwork were very sketch and the 36 POE really came in handy that day!

    Cheers,

    G
    "There's two shuttles, one to the top and one to the hospital" I LOVE this place!!!

  33. #33
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  34. #34
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    I completely agree that they should just put the 36T on all the bikes..some of the newer Specialized wheels with DT Swiss internals have it, some don't. My Roval Control ELs did not, but had 240 internals. The upgrade is very much worthwhile, and to access the ratchet and springs (4 parts total) takes about 2 seconds. Just keep track of where the springs go. Clean and very lightly grease and you're done, pop the hub body with the cog or cassette still intact back on, you'll feel a "Click" and you're golden.

    Be mindful though, if you use too much grease, the ratchets will "float" and skip or feel like they are stripped out. Don't worry, just remove them again, wipe off excess grease and reassemble!
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  35. #35
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    I'd like to add that I upgraded about a year ago, and I've had zero problems. I used some moly car bearing grease I had laying around the shop. I figured the grease issue was for high pressure, so the moly in the grease would take care of that. I probably should use lighter grease, but this is working fine.

    Also, the hub in question here is a DT Hugi hub. DT does not recommend or support the Hugi hub with the 36pt star ratchets, since there is only room for one spring in there, and they say the 36pt requires two springs. Like I said, mine has been working fine for a year with one spring.

    YMMV

    BTW, I'm 210 pounds, ride a stupid low 20*36 granny gear on a 29er, and ride lots of steeps.

  36. #36
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    Anyone know if the newer 350 hubs comes with 18t or 36t ratchet?

  37. #37
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    DT swiss 36 star ratchet upgrade Pros and Cons

    Quote Originally Posted by ali_g View Post
    Anyone know if the newer 350 hubs comes with 18t or 36t ratchet?
    They all come with the 18T ratchet AFAIK

  38. #38
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    Just read in another thread that DT has tripled the price of the 36t ratchet, hence the difference between various web shops. I've had the 36t set in my 240's for three months when they failed on a short climb (chipping), ratchets were installed with DT grease (not too heavy) and serviced in between (winter rides..). On the opposite; the 18still looks like new after months of riding.

    So based on my experience:
    Pro: faster engagement, nicer sounding (when using as a bell..)
    Con: fast wearing, way overpriced

    Until DT comes up with a more reliable version, I'll stick with slower engagement. Imho.. DT should halve the price of the current 36t;s instead of tripling them.

  39. #39
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    DT swiss 36 star ratchet upgrade Pros and Cons

    I picked up the 36 PT ratchets for $35($41 with shipping) from Excel a couple weeks ago. I'm using them in 350 hubs on my Tallboy. I like them when doing slow technical riding. These are also the "hollow" version.

    Cheers,
    Mike

  40. #40
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    I just got a bike that came with 350 hubs. I was looking to get this upgrade. I can't find it for less than like $80. Didn't this thing used to cost like $25?

  41. #41
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    WTF?! I just checked Excel Sports and now they're $87.50! Checked another oft-used site and they want $80. What happened??? Have they been redesigned? Made out of unobtanium now?

  42. #42
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    Apparently the original price was an error from DT Swiss:
    Cost increase DT Swiss 36 Star Ratchets

  43. #43
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    Cheapest I can find now is from Bicycles Bikes MTB Road Accessaries Gears Fixie You may want to get one here before it ran out of stock. Just got mine at $49..

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by spsoon View Post
    Apparently the original price was an error from DT Swiss:
    Cost increase DT Swiss 36 Star Ratchets
    Thanks for the link, spsoon. I didn't think to search for another thread. Well, that explains it. Pretty bizarre though, to think that they originally severely underpriced their own part. I don't think I'll bother with this upgrade for now, although I am still considering the upgrade from QR to 10mm thru-bolt.

  45. #45
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    Andy70: ordered a set myself from BicycleHero, how long did they take to arrive? Been a bit over a week now. I've been very underwhelmed by the 350's on two past bikes and I almost didn't buy a bike I just ordered because they spec'd 350's. Ordered the upgrade to make myself feel better about Santa Cruz skimping on the hub on a too expensive bike.

    Hope they beat the bike here. I'll post a little before & after report.

  46. #46
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    Btw the newest 240 hubs have a cut out 18 tooth, light and strong, I pulled out my 36 tooth from my old wheels and reinstalled the 18, then on my new Enve's pulled off the body to swap in the 36 and was surprised to see the 18 has the same cut out for weight savings, old 18t from two year old hub was solid.
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  47. #47
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    I ordered one today, $49 bucks. Looks like they are in S. Korea? Hope this is not some cheap copy!

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy70 View Post
    Cheapest I can find now is from Bicycles Bikes MTB Road Accessaries Gears Fixie You may want to get one here before it ran out of stock. Just got mine at $49..

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark194 View Post
    I ordered one today, $49 bucks. Looks like they are in S. Korea? Hope this is not some cheap copy!
    Ordered mine from the same place, arrived in DT original packaging. Just took a while. Noticeable difference in engagement over the stock 350's. Don't know why DT isn't running these stock.

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