Benchmark DT Swiss 240s hubs get a major performance boost thanks to revised Ratchet EXP construction resulting in a new lighter, stiffer & more durable 240 hubset. Beyond the simplified Star Ratchet v2.0 mechanism with fewer parts and wider bearing placement inside, even the name is simpler dropping that vestigial s… Now simply DT Swiss 240, but with increased bearing life, less weight, decreased wear, and even improvements to its benchmark ease of maintenance….
DT Swiss 240 EXP overhauls core road & mountain bike hubs
While DT Swiss has grown from drawing spokes as early as the start of the 20th century, to making premium tubeless carbon road & trail wheels now – reliable high-performance hubs have been at the heart of the brand. And no hub has offered a better balance of premium quality, long-life & solid value than the 240s. Never cheap, now the new 240 gets the same performance improvements we saw debuted in the expensive DT 180 hubset last spring, just at more attainable price levels.
This is more than just saving money on expensive custom wheelbuilds. A large number of bike companies OEM spec 240-level hubs on their premium road, gravel, cross & mountain bikes. And just as many production carbon rim/wheel makers offer 240 hubs as a top performance option. So the overhaul of the 240 means a lot more cyclists are going to reap the performance & durability improvements brought by these latest DT Swiss hubs.
One such example will be me, pretty soon… DT provided us with a set of the new hubs since we wouldn’t be seeing them this coming weekend due to a COVID-cancelled Riva del Garda BIKE fest. But not just hubs, we got a whole kit of parts – 30mm internal DT XM481 rims, DT Comp spokes, ProLock nipples & washers that we’ll build up over the coming days into a workhorse set of alloy Boost 29er trail bike wheels coming in around 1890g.
DT 240 Ratchet EXP details – just like the more expensive DT 180
Remember last spring when DT Swiss took Star Ratchet parts out of their premium 180 hubs… going from 7 down to 5 ratchet components for the new Ratchet EXP? Those same improvements trickle down to 240, and it means lighter weight & improved durability again.
The secret to DT’s Star Ratchet drive has always been the large surface area between the mating parts – much greater than any combination or number of pawls. Now, with one side of the Ratchet securely threaded into the hubshell, there is a more secure power transfer fully engaging the Ratchet ring that floats inside the freehub body. The result of the complete ratchet engagement area is lower surface pressures between the mating parts, which is why DT says their system delivers such long-term reliability. Plus, now the only sliding part is in the freehub… which can quickly, easily & cheaply be replaced when it eventually wears out.
240 EXP – Tech details & actual weights
Like the 180, the new 240 hubs are simply lighter because of the overall reduction in the number of parts inside. Plus, the new alloy hubs shells simply get more precise machining to shed more grams. Less weight is always good, but at the center of the wheel you also get less unsprung mass, also helping handling & suspension performance.
So how much weight is saved? Likely almost 50g less on the front & another 30g off the rear, based on the official DT weight claims of the two generations – 240s vs. 240 EXP. Looking at the 240 EXP in classic MTB, the new front starts as low as 113g, and the rear from 208g for conventional lacing. Straight-pull MTB saves another 18g total, down 10g more than that for straight-pull road. (FYI, that’s about 20g heavier, but saving you ~325€ over a comparable 180 hubset.) For real world reference, our 240 EXP Classic MTB Boost hubs weigh 145g + 236g.
Maybe the biggest benefit to the new EXP hub configuration is it allows for wider placement of the bearings in the rear hub – moving the driveside bearing over ~7mm towards the dropout. Increased bearing spacing means improved rear wheel stiffness of around an extra 15%. Of note, the move from regular to Boost spacing only increased bearing separation by 6mm total, and since bearings were moved on both sides, it only actually move the driveside bearing 3mm away from center, closer to the dropout. So this update should give noticeably more stiffness improvements even than the move to Boost!
Plus, increased bearing spacing also means increased bearing life and less side loading on those bearings. So, 240 EXP promises to spin smoother, longer.
Simplicity in the ratchet system also will decrease wear in addition to weight savings. Fewer parts, and especially the move to a single cylindrical spring so only one ratchet moves in and out to perfectly align its teeth, means that the two faces of the Star Ratchet should fully-engage more quickly. That means slightly quicker engagement, less wear between the ratchets & hub body, and overall improved reliability.
And last but not least is DT Swiss’ long-held belief in simple tool-free maintenance. Simplifying parts inside means they should last longer, and outside of bearing themselves, regular wear items are accessible without tools. But even now that’s easier to manage thanks to a simple move to end caps featuring a notched end. With the notch, you can more easily pop off the thru-axles by hand (if you don’t want to use my nice, European-made Hub Genie). Just tug the end cap to access the bearings, or on the rear driveside to completely disassemble the new Ratchet EXP system.
DT Swiss 240 hubs – Pricing, options & availability
Like the 240s before it, these new DT 240 hubs come in all the options a wheelbuilder could ever wish for – there were 66 different hub configurations in the catalog cuts we received.
Rim brakes get the fewest options, with just classic j-bend flanges, road widths, QR end caps, and the most common lightweight road wheel drilling.
Disc brake hubs get plenty of options – in both road/gravel/cross & mountain variants. Pick 6-bolt IS or centerlock rotor mounting, non-boost, boost, or super-boost spacing, traditional j-bend flanges or straight pull, plus plenty of spoke drilling options, all the thru-axles, standard 36T ratchets (10° engagement) or the faster-engaging 54T upgrade option (6.7° engagement), then freehub body you can wish for (XD, XDR, HG, HG road SL, Micro Spline & Campy).
To get a sense on pricing, new 240 mountain bike hubs retail from $221 / 150€ for the front and from $434 / 294€ for the rear, varying a bit depending on individual configurations. All new DT Swiss 240 EXP hubs should be available through regular DT distribution chains globally starting today. Happy wheel building!