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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just posting to share my recent experience, blowing my Novatec hub on my 29er and upgrading to a DT Swiss 350 star ratchet hub. I then swapped to the 54 tooth ratchet and went from 20 degrees to about 6 degrees of engagement. WOW, truly an amazing transformation and makes my forced upgrade/replacement hub worth it.

So I got to thinking and began researching converting my fat bike (DT Swiss 370 hub on the Canyon Dude). Although it has a 3 pawl system, I found a fantastic video of a guy showing how to swap in a 240/350 ratchet drive. Parts are on order to make the fatty a 54t star ratchet as well.

I just never considered something so small would impact my riding that much. Anyone else notice drastic changes with increased points of engagement? I ride very technical roots and rocks for what its worth.

Video:
 

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Rippin da fAt
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When the engagement point count goes up, the ride improves immensely.
I have 108 point engagement on one bike and an Onyx sprag drive on another. The sprag is near zero lash engagement and makes 108 point seem sloppy. The difference on the trails is an outstanding ride experience as opposed to an average experience. With power more accessible, clearing a section becomes more enjoyable and easier.

20 degree would be horrendous, indeed
 

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Thingamejigger
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Some people notice the difference, some don't. Some think the difference is important, some simply don't care.
It's a very interesting observation!

I was in the firmly in the 'Care' camp, and made a conscious decision to get i9 hubs for my plus bike build and I loved these when I got them. Fast forward 12 months, I did a wheel building course and laced up a wheelset for my Fatbike with DTSwiss 350 and standard 18t ratchet.

I straight out thought that it was going to be awful with such low engagement, as when I ride the fatbike on the beach, its usually very technical rock crawling that frequently needs half pedals and the like. I was thinking I'll goto the 54t in the near future, as the fat hubs that were being replaced, were 36t.

What I found, was that I don't/didn't notice. Or at least not to a point where it is causing me not to clean lines that we are trying. In fact, I prefer the 'reliability' that it may be offering; at one steep sharp climb I try, the hub see's full force on the pedals as you stall out in 1st grear, would a 54t hold up to that, time after time? Who knows? And the beauty is that if it did fail I could be back running in 5 mins if needed.

Forward another 12 months, and I have built another 350 into my Salsa Vaya wheelset, I again don't notice the 18t engagement and in fact am now moving into the 'Don't care' camp. :D

I am not saying I am right, just that it's not something that I think about when out playing about on the bike anymore! :thumbsup:

What camp are you in, Mike??
 

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Also care camp....many years ago, I had to replace a wheel, the new hub had 36 poe vs 18-ish(?) of my previous. At the time, poe wasn't something that I thought of or even understood to be an upgrade. However, once I started riding in techy terrain (Moab) it was obvious. It was almost as if my brain subconsciously knew that ratcheting the pedals back while going up and over rocks (to avoid strikes) would suddenly be a useful thing to do.

Now, lower poe bug me.
 

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How did those Novatecs broke? I had one cracked freehub body in mine, but with a steel freehub those seem quite robust.
Both in the exact same way. Climbing a steep rocky chute which requires throw down power. CRACK!!! And then I could pedal in either direction with no resistance. No cracks on the hub body, just destruction of the pawls inside.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Both in the exact same way. Climbing a steep rocky chute which requires throw down power. CRACK!!! And then I could pedal in either direction with no resistance. No cracks on the hub body, just destruction of the pawls inside.
Pretty similar to mine, though I was at the trail head after riding to the park, and when I pushed off the crank just spun. I didn't even take it apart to inspect, but the shop mentioned cracked by the bearing, which he hadn't seen before. I knew it was toast and ready to upgrade regardless.
 

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am now moving into the 'Don't care' camp. :D

I am not saying I am right, just that it's not something that I think about when out playing about on the bike anymore! :thumbsup:

What camp are you in, Mike??
Don't care. Not even a little. I have DT hubs with 18t ratchets on 3 of my 4 bikes. Onyx on the other, because I like the less harsh engagement for maintaining traction when snow and ice riding.
 

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rth009
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I just recently started riding a pair of DT 350s with the 54t star ratchet. I did not purchase the 54t, but bought a used set (that I was told originally came from mikesee), and while Im not yet sure if the engagement is necessary to me, what I do like is the sound they make when free-wheeling. Its a bit louder than 18t DT (from my limited experience), but more than anything, it just sounds like quality and makes me happy.
 

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Rocks belong
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Just posting to share my recent experience, blowing my Novatec hub on my 29er and upgrading to a DT Swiss 350 star ratchet hub. I then swapped to the 54 tooth ratchet and went from 20 degrees to about 6 degrees of engagement. WOW, truly an amazing transformation and makes my forced upgrade/replacement hub worth it.

So I got to thinking and began researching converting my fat bike (DT Swiss 370 hub on the Canyon Dude). Although it has a 3 pawl system, I found a fantastic video of a guy showing how to swap in a 240/350 ratchet drive. Parts are on order to make the fatty a 54t star ratchet as well.

I just never considered something so small would impact my riding that much. Anyone else notice drastic changes with increased points of engagement? I ride very technical roots and rocks for what its worth.

Video:
For the record, this video was great.

Too bad all of the parts and tools required to do it are what a new DT350 star ratchet hub costs
 

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All of my bikes spend some time on the paved trails/paths, for various reasons...I love the loud freehub noise because I find it better to just stop pedaling and let my freehub do the "on your left" talking for me. Works like a champ. Love the Onyx to, my best bud has 'em on his fattie, sweet hubs, but I find noisy hubs useful so I'll always have 'em, and I do not care about points of engagement, at all.
 
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