First Look: DT Swiss Ratchet EXP – New freehub and new hubs from Switzerland

DT Swiss has a new freehub. But before you start buying replacement hubs with the beloved ratchets, the new EXP-system continues to rely on the proven ratchets. For a new freewheel, you need a new hub: the DT Swiss 180. We have all the information for you.

In addition to the unmistakable DT sound, the Ratchet freewheel also has numerous technical advantages over a classic pawl freewheel. In the Ratchet system, all teeth always mesh simultaneously. This increases the contact surface during power transmission. As a result, force peaks are avoided and wear is minimized.

What’s new on Ratchet EXP?

DT Swiss uses fewer parts on the new Ratchet EXP freewheel. This saves weight, increases reliability and facilitates service. This is possible by connecting the inboard ratchet to the hub. In the old freewheel, on the other hand, both ratchets are pressed onto each other by two springs.

The freehub body

The EXP freehub body can be removed without tools from the hub. The underlying freewheel can then be easily cleaned, re-greased or replaced. The freehub body itself can be easily exchanged, making the Ratchet EXP compatible with all common standards.

The new DT Swiss 180 hub

The new freewheel is initially reserved for the DT Swiss 180 hub. The top model lives up to its name with 185 g weight (rear). The front hub should also be one of the lightest mountain bike hubs on the market at 94 g. Unfortunately, it is currently only available with Center Lock brake mount. Compared to the predecessor model, the new 180 is stiffer and lighter: The omission of one spring in the freehub made space for the right ceramic bearing to move outward by a few millimetres. While the new DT Swiss 180 hub is still compatible with all current systems when it comes to freehubs, DT Swiss is initially relying exclusively on boost axles (15×110 in front, 12×148 in the rear).

Prices and availability

The biggest surprise is the price. Although the DT Swiss 180 hub costs € 769, it is considerably cheaper than its predecessor. The 180s will be available from mid-May.

Our first impression

We have been using the DT Swiss 180 for several weeks. Together with the EX 511 gravity-rim, the wheelset works flawlessly in the enduro bike. The change from the freehub body’s works without any problems. For a final conclusion, however, it is still too early. Check out the upcoming “The Lab” to find out how the DT Swiss 180 hub and the new freehub fair in the long term.

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