DT Swiss has unveiled a simple Ratchet LN upgrade kit that will bring your low-cost DT wheels up to Star Ratchet high-performance. The kit includes all the parts needed to swap out the 3-pawl engagement of entry-level DT hubs, and replace it with their signature Ratchet engagement.
DT Swiss Ratchet LN hub upgrade kit: from pawls to Star Ratchet
Long a secret upgrade carried out in the darkness of YouTube, converting a lower-cost DT 360/370 series hub with a 3-pawl freehub to DT Swiss’ signature Star Ratchet is a relatively straightforward process. The trouble had really always just been getting ahold of the right spare parts, and access to DT’s two hub-specific tools. Now, the parts discussion just got easier. And you can drop your wheels & kit in at your local bike shop or custom wheel builder for the simple upgrade.
How & why to upgrade? Tech details
Even DT’s lower-spec’d 3-pawl hubs on many affordable OEM wheels thread their Ring Nut (the teeth the pawls engage) into the hub shell just like their premium hubs. So, swapping that out with a Ring Nut that allows the spring-loaded Star Ratchet system to engage & disengage means you get faster performance & improved durability.
While tons of hubs work fine with pawl engagement and only 3 points of contact to transfer pedaling torque from the freehub into the wheel itself via the hub shell, the Star Ratchet system fully engages the entire surface area of the ratchets and their teeth with every pedal stroke forward. That means better distribution of force, and ultimately increased reliability. It also makes further upgrading engagement possible.
The DT Swiss Ratchet LN upgrade kit comes standard with an 18T pair of ratchet rings, but since it uses the long-established Star Ratchet system, you could even upgrade it further to 24, 36, or even 54 tooth ratchets for even quicker freehub engagement.
DT Swiss Ratchet LN hub upgrade – Pricing, options & availability
The Ratchet LN kit includes all the parts needed for hub upgrade: the new threaded Ring Nut, a pair of ratchets with 18 teeth, springs, shim ring, spacer, grease, and the freehub body of your choice – standard Shimano, SRAM XD, or Shimano Micro Spline. To carry out the conversion you will need both DT-specific ring nut removal tools.
The kit with the standard alloy Shimano freehub is the cheapest upgrade at $92 / 70€, or a bit more with alloy XD or MicroSpline bodies at $105 / 80€. Kits with heavy-duty stainless steel freehub bodies are also available for $26 / 20€ extra. Get them not from any DT Swiss bike shop or wheelbuilder near you.
Update: DT Swiss has expanded Ratchet LN upgrades to road bikes now too, and has added faster 36T MTB upgrade kit options, too. Read it all here.