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  1. #1
    ~Reformed Mechanic~
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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?

  2. #2
    West Chester, PA
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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
    IllumaDucati
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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
    West Chester, PA
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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.
    Experienced Crasher

  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.

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