DT Swiss releases new single-ratchet hub design, the Ratchet EXP

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Since the mid 1990s, DT Swiss has been known for its Star Ratchet hub design, with much of the brand’s success stemming from the DT Hügi hub. William Hügi developed the early ratchet design, using two spring-loaded ratchet rings to engage every tooth of the ratchet instead of the commonly used pawl system and standard ratchet systems. DT Swiss acquired the Star Ratchet design and a large number of companies throughout the industry have licensed the technology since.

After 25 years, DT Swiss has now developed a new ratchet hub system utilizing a single spring and ratchet: the Ratchet EXP.

The Ratchet EXP design uses a single spring and ratchet system, whereas its predecessor uses two.

As mentioned, DT Swiss uses two conical springs in its Star Ratchet systems, ensuring the connection between the two ratchets. Upon pedalling, the springs become preloaded and engage the two star ratchets to create reliable power transfer by engaging all the ratchet teeth. The Ratchet EXP is more like a hybrid design utilizing one spring and a fused ratchet, which, as you would imagine, leads to a decrease in weight.

The increased distance between bearings reportedly leads to a 15% increase in stiffness, compared to the previous version.

With the drive-side bearing integrating into the thread ring, the bearing distance on the Ratchet EXP is also increased. According to DT Swiss, this creates 15% more stiffness than previous systems.

A single spring pushes the ratchet into the fixed inner ratchet and hub shell. The internal design is very simple and makes me want to put my mechanic hat on and go take apart some hubs.

Notches in the end caps ensure a simplified, tool-free disassembly process. All of DT Swiss’ ratchet system hubs can be easily converted for various cassette fitments, including SRAM, Shimano, Campagnolo, and Shimano’s new micro-spline freehub.

The Ratchet EXP will come stock with a 36-tooth ratchet ring (with 54-tooth upgrade options) and is currently only available on DT Swiss’ higher-end 180 hubs with SINC ceramic bearings. The hubs will be available in a range of options: as rim brake hubs with 5mm quick-release, 20 hole front, and 24 hole rear; to road and mountain disc Centerlock hubs with 12mm and 15mm thru-axles.

The Centerlock road disc hubs will have 24 holes in the front with 28 in the rear. Mountain bike hubs will be available with 28 holes in the front and rear. Weight will range from 87g-193g.

For more information and for an exploded view of the Ratchet EXP, head to the DT Swiss website.

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