DT Swiss 54t Star Ratchet Upgrade Kit: Rider Review

If your searching for more engagement from your DT Swiss hubs, you are in luck. The DT Swiss 54T Ratchet Upgrade kit is a quick and easy way to drastically improve your engagement without costing a fortune. In this review, our customer Joseph adds one to his new Santa Cruz. Check it out!

DT Swiss 54t Ratchet Kit Rider Review


I recently retired my vintage (2011 Stumpy 26er) mountain bike and immersed myself into the modern world of carbon fiber everything, wide handlebars, dropper posts, and EAGLE! It was all so new, exciting... and, overwhelming. In all my research while building a new bike the one thing I missed reading up on was hub engagement. I had touched on it a little, but really didn’t focus on it too much because I had other things to think about like GX, XO, XX1, carbon wheels, 27mm, 30mm, 140mm front, 135mm rear, 150mm front and rear...you get the point, right?

DT Swiss 54t Ratchet Kit Rider Review

The Reason Behind My Purchase

Finally, I decided on my build and when it came to the right hub to go with my new Santa Cruz Reserve 30 wheels, I chose the DT350 hub for a few reasons. The reviews said the DT’s were bulletproof, easy to maintain, and quiet. After all, I was riding a 2011 Stumpy that had a super quiet rear hub. Little did I know that quiet rear hub also equates to less engagement, fewer clicks as the freewheel rotates (I think my Stumpy has 18 points of engagement). 

DT Swiss 54t Ratchet Kit Rider Review

First Ride Without the Kit

After riding with some guys that had buzzing freewheels, I started to understand what all that noise was, engagement. The DT350 hub that came on my Reserves had 36 points of engagement, so it was an upgrade but, now that I knew more about engagement I wasn’t satisfied. A quick google search and I found out that DT Swiss offered a Star Ratchet upgrade for my hub! I immediately went to World Wide Cyclery and ordered the DT Swiss 54T Ratchet Upgrade Kit.

DT Swiss 54t Ratchet Kit Rider Review

Installation and Riding after the Upgrade

The upgrade kit comes with 2 star ratchets, 2 springs, and a tub of DT Swiss ratchet grease (enough for years of ratchet service). As for the install, it couldn’t have been easier. Pull you wheel off your bike, grab that Eagle by the 50 tooth and give it a slight pull away from the spokes. It will pop right off and expose the DT Swiss Star Ratchet system. Remove the old springs x2 and star ratchets x2, apply a very thin amount of the DT ratchet grease to the new 54T star ratchets and put it all back together. I think the Strava KOM for this process is about 1 minute, but most people will do it in just less than 10. Now go ride and you WILL understand what engagement is all about. 

Final Thoughts

While it does make more noise, it also feels really nice when you stutter pedal to avoid a pedal strike and there is no play in re-engagement.

If you have a DT Swiss hub that has 18T or 36T star ratchets your money will be well spent on this upgrade. Once you ride a high engagement hub on a technical climb you will understand what all the hype is about, and it’s not for the buzz.

Shop DT Swiss 54t Ratchet Kit

December 10, 2018

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