Our "Rider Review" article series features the honest reviews from verified purchasers of Worldwide Cyclery. They contain the photos, thoughts, feedback & overall review you are looking for.
Upgrade your Dt Swiss 350 or 240 hub to have more engagement with the 54t ratchet upgrade kit. Check out our rider review about how this DtSwiss 54t Ratchet kit changed the way Nick's bike performs.
Initially, I thought this upgrade was a bit of a money grab and after talking to other riders it seems that I was not the only one. I spent some time pondering, watching video reviews, and letting the upgrade stew a bit in my shopping card but finally I caved, because let's face it, we're all looking for that next thing that will improve our trail riding experience, I thought it couldn't hurt to give it a shot. Plus, who doesn't like treating their bike to some more bling. After stacking some gift cards and discount codes, I was finally able to justify the cost of the upgrade.
Installation is very simple, anyone should be able to do it at home as there really aren't any tools required, other than an allen key to loosen the rear axle. DT Swiss' rear hubs pull apart, so you should be able to just grab the cassette and give it a good yank. Due to the increased number of teeth, I was initially worried about the ratchets slipping but I have yet to experience any of this even after a few months of riding and only re-greasing the ratchets once. The key here is to not put too much grease on the ratchets. The 54T ratchet is noticeably louder than the 18T, but it's hard to say if that's because I put less grease on the DT Swiss 54T ratchet kit or the higher frequency of the ratcheting.
If you're upgrading from a 36T ratchet, it may not be as noticeable (engagement every ~7 degrees vs. every 10 degrees). However, in my case the wheelset that I upgraded to about a year ago shipped with an 18T ratchet, so the engagement changed from every 20 degrees to every ~7 degrees. The difference was incredible and noticeable immediately, even though I was initially only playing around on my street. On the trail slow, technical trail sections whether they were rock rolls (very common in some trails in the Truckee area known as "Little North Shore", see attached photo), punchy and rocky climbs, or a narrowing between trees seemed to be no trouble at all.
The only big downside with this upgrade, assuming you don't regard the potential increase in noise as a downside, is the cost. Just over $100 is a bit hard to swallow, especially since you can't really turn around and sell the old ratchet, at least in my case with the 18T one, since everyone would want to upgrade if they're looking for a new one. But, after putting a few months of miles on this upgrade I don't regret the purchase at all.
I was blown away by what a small part can do to help improve my riding experience. When my friends didnt question the price, I now know why and I'm kicking myself for not making this purchase sooner. This DT Swiss 54t ratchet kit upgrade almost feels like cheating. Hammocks not included in the upgrade.