Any locals ever actually have a DT 54t fail?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Any locals ever actually have a DT 54t fail?

    Scored a really really good deal on a new DT 350 rear hub. Going to re-lace my wheel and preemptively ditch the Stan's Neo.

    Pretty sure I won't be happy with the 18 tooth system since I've been on Hope hubs or other hubs with similar engagement for a very long time, but I'll probably give it a try.

    For reference I ride a ton of Hawes and similar trails and probably only have ~600 miles on my bike this calendar year so far. I know the 54 tooth is inherently less durable just by the nature of the design however I got to believe I could get many years of service out it but if it's going to be more like a once-a-year replacement then forget it, I'll go with 36. Plus if I'm going to be out in the boonies I can carry the 18t ratchets with me and trailside repair looks simple enough.

  2. #2
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    I tried a 36 and blew it out the 2nd ride. This was 4-5 years ago, so I'm not sure if anything has changed engineering-wise (doubt it). I don't think 54 was even available at the time.

    That said, there's something about me that's hard on hubs. I did have an 18 tooth fail on me once too, but generally the 18 DT is the most reliable hub I've had. I went through a Stan's Neo phase, and those were pretty much disposable. Currently have a DT 370 pawl hub and it pops & skips on occasion, but's still holding together. I had some Shimano thing self destruct years ago.

    Yeah, the nice thing about DT star ratchet is you can carry spare parts and easily replace. Just take the time to get all the little metal bits out...

  3. #3
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    I've been running DT Swiss hubs for a long time. Never had a failure on the ratchet. Had a 36 tooth ratchet in a DT350 that I ran for over 5,000 miles. Currently have a 54 tooth in a DT240...over 3,000 miles on that one with no issues.

    My primary riding area is PMP but I also spend time on the AZT, BCT, South Mountain, Phx Sonoran, Browns, Flagstaff, etc.

    I thought I've seen that there are chinese knock-off ratchet sets out there...I might be a bit skeptical about those but have no real world experience with them.

    DC
    I may not be very fast...but I sure am slow!!!

  4. #4
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    I have 3000 ish miles on 240 hubs. 36t and no issues, but upgraded to 54t. Love the even more immediate engagement. I can't say how long they will last, but so far so good. Then again I have put lots of miles on Stans 3.30 hub with no issues either.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", Vassago Verhauen SS 29", '19 Ibis Ripmo, XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  5. #5
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    Another success story, I have something like 6k on a 54t with no issues.

  6. #6
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    Been on them for about 3 years and no issues.
    .Hoog just texted me and said it's "Surface area to G2 tangential force vector ratio optimization. "

  7. #7
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    I killed an 18t ratchet in AZ, those are supposedly the strongest, but at the time I would kill any freehub mech. The great thing is that they are easily replaceable with no tools, so dead simple. I haven't killed one subsequently with a 240, 350 and 180 in my current lineup that I've had for years. IME, engagement points is highly overrated, but 36-40 isn't going stupid either, I would recommend to stay at that engagement if durability/strength is your top concern here. The more points, the less material backing them and the more flex issues while pedaling could cause partial-engagement on some of the teeth while pedaling, especially when you try to lay down power quickly/abruptly. Most people have no issues with this, but it's worth noting that it is in it's strongest and most reliable form with the least amount of engagement points.

    CK gets around this with a similar ratchet-based drive system, but in a different dimension with an angle that creates nearly continuous engagement and the ability to handle massive torque and not be susceptible to flex.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  8. #8
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    I have put 3000+ hard miles on the 54t ratchets on my 29+ monster truck of a bike without a single issue. Many more thousands of miles on 36t and 18t ratchets on previous builds as well without a hint of wear or anything more serious. I have to say that the DT-Swiss hubs are by far the single most reliable component on any bike that I have ever owned!

  9. #9
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    Cool. Thanks for all the input.

    I pick up my rebuilt wheels from Dave Thomas hopefully tomorrow.

    I got such a good deal on the hub I think I'll just order the 54 tooth ratchet and keep the 18 tooth for a backup in case something happens. I'm not going to bother with the aftermarket stuff though.

    I could have bought a hope pro 4 with no upgrade needed for less overall, but I've broken pawls on a hope pro 2 before (or springs, don't remember) so kind of looking forward to moving into a different system altogether.

  10. #10
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    I blew a 36t DT hub in remote wildnerness. Probably 1200 miles on it. 6 hour walk out. Iíll never buy DT again...

  11. #11
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    When I converted from the 18T to the 36T I put the 18T set in my pack. I'm am very glad I did. I blow out the 36T then purchased another 36T and blow it out.

    I went back to the 18T then when the 54T came out I was not willing to spend the $$ since I had such bad luck with the 36T.....

    Fast forward a year and I dropped the coin on the 54T and have been loving them for the past 3 years.

    Here is what I believe is going on (which is most likely my fault)....

    The 18T has large ramps and if you fill them full of grease they don't mind.

    The 36T has smaller ramps but you can still fill them with grease and I believe this keeps them from fully engaging. Once the top of the contact point gets a little damage (and I mean just a little) from not fully engaging then it is all over.

    The 54T has such small ramps that even when you fully pack them with grease it mostly gets pushed out by just putting the hub together and spinning it. This keeps the grease from allowing the ramps to obtain full contact.

    I've been very happy with the 54T however I still have a set of 18T in my pack because I would rather ride than walk most days...

  12. #12
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    I haven't used my DT240s for a couple of years. But I have stripped two of the older 18s. I like the design, but sooner or later the freehub will fail no matter what number of catches are on the driver. The beauty of the DTs is that you can change the transmission in the field, as long as you have a spare set.

    I did not have a spare set the first time, but I did the second. I swapped them out faster than changing an old-school flat.

  13. #13
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    I am curious as to the failure mode that those of you who have broken any of the 18T/36T/54T versions of the ratchets have experienced. Do chipped teeth prevent the ratchets from engaging, or has the ratchet wheel fully failed?

    Please post some pictures if you have them!

  14. #14
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    Hello dsrt taco,

    No pictures..

    My rings did not break but once the interface area is damaged under load the rings will slip on each other. Once that starts happening it won't be long until all most any load will cause the rings to slip (a.k.a. not engage)....

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsrt taco View Post
    I am curious as to the failure mode that those of you who have broken any of the 18T/36T/54T versions of the ratchets have experienced. Do chipped teeth prevent the ratchets from engaging, or has the ratchet wheel fully failed?

    Please post some pictures if you have them!
    With mine, the ridges wore down. No teeth breakage. Any torque on the pedals would cause a freewheel.

    Edit: I didnít fully read Toddís post. What he said....

  16. #16
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    Well I think the conclusion is as we all know, any freehub can fail no matter how much you spend or don't spend on a hub. obviously the DT is not bulletproof but it is highly regarded as a durable hub at a good price point unlike the Stan's Neo it replaced, so going forward I feel good about that.

    again the best part might be the easy fix in the field if ever needed. As long as you're prepared with spare ratchets the whole fix shouldn't take more than fifteen minutes, no tools needed.

    On a side note I got to meet Dave Thomas today. He was at the bike shop when I dropped by to pick up my wheels. Super nice dude. Kind of jealous though. Living in fountain hills, building bike wheels, hanging out the bike shop. My dream retirement.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiketodd View Post
    When I converted from the 18T to the 36T I put the 18T set in my pack. I'm am very glad I did. I blow out the 36T then purchased another 36T and blow it out.

    I went back to the 18T then when the 54T came out I was not willing to spend the $$ since I had such bad luck with the 36T.....

    Fast forward a year and I dropped the coin on the 54T and have been loving them for the past 3 years.

    Here is what I believe is going on (which is most likely my fault)....

    The 18T has large ramps and if you fill them full of grease they don't mind.

    The 36T has smaller ramps but you can still fill them with grease and I believe this keeps them from fully engaging. Once the top of the contact point gets a little damage (and I mean just a little) from not fully engaging then it is all over.

    The 54T has such small ramps that even when you fully pack them with grease it mostly gets pushed out by just putting the hub together and spinning it. This keeps the grease from allowing the ramps to obtain full contact.

    I've been very happy with the 54T however I still have a set of 18T in my pack because I would rather ride than walk most days...
    Regarding the amount of grease. I did watch a YouTube video from DT Swiss and they do point out that very little grease is to be used. Not sure how that plays out in the real world but your experience seems to provide some anecdotal evidence maybe.

  18. #18
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    Just ride them and have a good time. They'll be fine. Everything has the potential for failure but there are a ton of other things that will likely fail before you have to worry about this hub.

    ..and yes Dave is a majorly laid back guy. Laces an amazing set of wheels....tough to go wrong with his wheels.

    Enjoy the ride!!!

    Sent from my SM-T380 using Tapatalk
    I may not be very fast...but I sure am slow!!!

  19. #19
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    I had a 240s with the 54t star ratchet. It ďspunĒ in the first 10 rides. By Ďspuní I mean the ratchet failed to engage while pedaling - I didnít know what was happening - chain skip, or what? - so I tried to keep going. After a few tries it was done. Teeth were mungged enough that it would not engage even after cleaning and relubing. My ride was done, my weekend of riding was done. I replaced the hub with a Chris King and never looked back.

    Iíve since replaced the ratchet with an 18t that the lbs had on the bench. Itís been fine on my wifeís bike for a while now.
    --Reamer

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by northernlights View Post
    I blew a 36t DT hub in remote wildnerness. Probably 1200 miles on it. 6 hour walk out. Iíll never buy DT again...
    Was failure the ratchets? You probably know this now, but they can be serviced trail-side.....

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by reamer41 View Post
    I had a 240s with the 54t star ratchet. It ďspunĒ in the first 10 rides.
    Well that certainly was a shity experience. I've got to believe there was something wrong with the machining of the ratchets or spring pressure. Goes without saying that that should never happen.

  22. #22
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    I've got two rides on the new 18 tooth hub now and I'm a bit surprised how I feel about it. I fully expected hate it, but I don't.

    I admittedly don't ride nearly as much ratchet-y terrain as I used to but unexpectedly where I do notice the difference is when coasting and then going to re-pedal. The slop before engagement is noticeable for sure in that circumstance. Not a deal-breaker though just different. Love how quiet it is though, absolutely silent on the trail.

  23. #23
    Ride Fast Take Chances :)
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    I killed a 54 after about 2000 miles on it. I had to file it just to keep it alive the last 100 miles and it finally wouldn't hold any power in the big gears. Back to the 18.
    Making shit harder than it needs to be isn't awesome, it's just...harder.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by eatdrinkride View Post
    Well that certainly was a shity experience. I've got to believe there was something wrong with the machining of the ratchets or spring pressure. Goes without saying that that should never happen.
    Agreed. My overall feeling, despite many of these hubs living long healthy lives, is that a tiny little spring is just not enough to keep these ratchets engaged. A look at the CK system shows a helical spline driving the rings together. A heavier and more costly hub, perhaps, but a more robust design.
    --Reamer

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