Original VS third party DT Swiss Star Ratchets

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.

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LouisN
Posts: 3163
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 3:44 am
Location: Canada

by LouisN

I'm looking to upgrade my DT Swiss 18T star ratchets, for the 54T option.
I see there are many third party manufacturers selling this part.
I was wondering if anyone here bought, and used some of these third party star ratchets.
And share your experiences.
Thanks :beerchug:

Louis :)

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FIJIGabe
Posts: 2110
Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2012 6:07 pm
Location: The Lone Star State

by FIJIGabe

I've looked into this, several times, and the general consensus I received was that they were mostly cheap knocksoffs, prone to chipping. Given that the teeth on the 54T ratchet are pretty small, to begin with, I'd opt for the original DT Swiss version, until it's vetted (unless you don't mind being a beta tester).

by Weenie


milanv
Posts: 145
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2021 9:03 am

by milanv

I bought and installed the original ones, they are not so pricey, but you can stay calm with them...

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nickf
Posts: 1037
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2010 10:34 pm

by nickf

Road bike 18t is fine unless you just want the noise. No way I would use knockoff ratchets.

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FIJIGabe
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Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2012 6:07 pm
Location: The Lone Star State

by FIJIGabe

It's a matter of taste. Personally, I love the 54T sound.

tabl10s
Posts: 743
Joined: Wed Aug 23, 2017 5:40 am

by tabl10s

FIJIGabe wrote:
Sat Jun 12, 2021 12:15 am
It's a matter of taste. Personally, I love the 54T sound.
I never used to, but after updating three sets of Roval's, I almost don't need a bell to alert anyone.
2015 Pinarello F8: 13.13lbs/5.915kg(w/Roval 64's). Sold.
2016 Rca: 11.07lbs/5.048kg.
2015 Rca.
2015 Rca.
2018 S-Works SL6 Ultralight: 12.03lbs.

haze513
Posts: 92
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2015 4:34 pm

by haze513

After the dodgy ratchets on the EXP hubs and the damage they caused to mating parts there's absolutely no way I'd be taking the risk.

Can't really be that much of a saving to offset the hassle you'll have further down the line

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pdlpsher1
Posts: 3288
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2012 6:09 pm
Location: CO

by pdlpsher1

To the OP: is this for road or MTB? On the road bike there's absolutely no benefit with a high engagement count. Higher engagement count has more drag. The louder sound that you hear is converted kinetic freewheeling energy. On the MTB higher engagement count is needed due to the lower than 1:1 gearing and the need for the crank to clear road obstacles. On the road bike when you do freewheel you're already in the higher gear, like on the big ring. And on the road you never freewheel when you're on a low gearing when climbing since there are no obstacles on the road for you to stop pedaling. My advice is for you to stick to 18T. A 54T will only cause you to freewheel slower with no additional benefit.

milanv
Posts: 145
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2021 9:03 am

by milanv

pdlpsher1 wrote:
Sun Jun 13, 2021 9:37 pm
To the OP: is this for road or MTB? On the road bike there's absolutely no benefit with a high engagement count. Higher engagement count has more drag. The louder sound that you hear is converted kinetic freewheeling energy. On the MTB higher engagement count is needed due to the lower than 1:1 gearing and the need for the crank to clear road obstacles. On the road bike when you do freewheel you're already in the higher gear, like on the big ring. And on the road you never freewheel when you're on a low gearing when climbing since there are no obstacles on the road for you to stop pedaling. My advice is for you to stick to 18T. A 54T will only cause you to freewheel slower with no additional benefit.
I can't agree with you, for powerful riders are 36T better and many LBS are recommending this change from 18T...

Lina
Posts: 151
Joined: Sat Sep 01, 2018 9:09 pm

by Lina

milanv wrote:
Mon Jun 14, 2021 7:17 am
pdlpsher1 wrote:
Sun Jun 13, 2021 9:37 pm
To the OP: is this for road or MTB? On the road bike there's absolutely no benefit with a high engagement count. Higher engagement count has more drag. The louder sound that you hear is converted kinetic freewheeling energy. On the MTB higher engagement count is needed due to the lower than 1:1 gearing and the need for the crank to clear road obstacles. On the road bike when you do freewheel you're already in the higher gear, like on the big ring. And on the road you never freewheel when you're on a low gearing when climbing since there are no obstacles on the road for you to stop pedaling. My advice is for you to stick to 18T. A 54T will only cause you to freewheel slower with no additional benefit.
I can't agree with you, for powerful riders are 36T better and many LBS are recommending this change from 18T...
Many shops recommend it so they can sell the ratchets and the work to people who don't know better. Power output has absolutely nothing to do with freewheel engagement.

milanv
Posts: 145
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2021 9:03 am

by milanv

Lina wrote:
Mon Jun 14, 2021 7:51 am
milanv wrote:
Mon Jun 14, 2021 7:17 am
pdlpsher1 wrote:
Sun Jun 13, 2021 9:37 pm
To the OP: is this for road or MTB? On the road bike there's absolutely no benefit with a high engagement count. Higher engagement count has more drag. The louder sound that you hear is converted kinetic freewheeling energy. On the MTB higher engagement count is needed due to the lower than 1:1 gearing and the need for the crank to clear road obstacles. On the road bike when you do freewheel you're already in the higher gear, like on the big ring. And on the road you never freewheel when you're on a low gearing when climbing since there are no obstacles on the road for you to stop pedaling. My advice is for you to stick to 18T. A 54T will only cause you to freewheel slower with no additional benefit.
I can't agree with you, for powerful riders are 36T better and many LBS are recommending this change from 18T...
Many shops recommend it so they can sell the ratchets and the work to people who don't know better. Power output has absolutely nothing to do with freewheel engagement.
I have tested several wheelsets and for my riding style is 36T better than 18T... Your life, your decision, but if you don't test it, your opinion is based on rumours and dumb information...

Maddie
Posts: 640
Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2017 5:44 am

by Maddie

I have tested 18t, 36t and 54t on the road. Apart from the different sound, I see 0 benefit for more than 18t. Let's be honest, on the road you only re-engage pedals after a corner on a descent or after a red light. For a sprint, you're already pedaling and keep the chain tensioned before you actually start to kick. So a ratchet with more teeth doesn't help you there. Where does a powerful rider need the 36t then?

I agree that on a CX or a MTB it is very useful. I have a 54t on my CX bike for the reason pdlpsher1 mentioned.

Lina
Posts: 151
Joined: Sat Sep 01, 2018 9:09 pm

by Lina

milanv wrote:
Mon Jun 14, 2021 11:36 am
Lina wrote:
Mon Jun 14, 2021 7:51 am
milanv wrote:
Mon Jun 14, 2021 7:17 am
pdlpsher1 wrote:
Sun Jun 13, 2021 9:37 pm
To the OP: is this for road or MTB? On the road bike there's absolutely no benefit with a high engagement count. Higher engagement count has more drag. The louder sound that you hear is converted kinetic freewheeling energy. On the MTB higher engagement count is needed due to the lower than 1:1 gearing and the need for the crank to clear road obstacles. On the road bike when you do freewheel you're already in the higher gear, like on the big ring. And on the road you never freewheel when you're on a low gearing when climbing since there are no obstacles on the road for you to stop pedaling. My advice is for you to stick to 18T. A 54T will only cause you to freewheel slower with no additional benefit.
I can't agree with you, for powerful riders are 36T better and many LBS are recommending this change from 18T...
Many shops recommend it so they can sell the ratchets and the work to people who don't know better. Power output has absolutely nothing to do with freewheel engagement.
I have tested several wheelsets and for my riding style is 36T better than 18T... Your life, your decision, but if you don't test it, your opinion is based on rumours and dumb information...
I know the difference between them all. I've even got hubs with both 18 and 54T.

The only differences in them is faster engagement after coasting and sound. More sound means more drag while freewheeling, so for that reason you'd want to go with the smallest you can tolerate. On the road it doesn't matter if there's a bit of slack after freewheeling. Where it does matter is off the road where you want to position your cranks in relation to the terrain so that you don't strike your pedals to everything on the ground. Or when you're doing really technical terrain and want to do really small pedal strokes. That's where you need hubs with fast engagement.

milanv
Posts: 145
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2021 9:03 am

by milanv

Lina wrote:
Mon Jun 14, 2021 2:19 pm
milanv wrote:
Mon Jun 14, 2021 11:36 am
Lina wrote:
Mon Jun 14, 2021 7:51 am
milanv wrote:
Mon Jun 14, 2021 7:17 am
I can't agree with you, for powerful riders are 36T better and many LBS are recommending this change from 18T...
Many shops recommend it so they can sell the ratchets and the work to people who don't know better. Power output has absolutely nothing to do with freewheel engagement.
I have tested several wheelsets and for my riding style is 36T better than 18T... Your life, your decision, but if you don't test it, your opinion is based on rumours and dumb information...
I know the difference between them all. I've even got hubs with both 18 and 54T.

The only differences in them is faster engagement after coasting and sound. More sound means more drag while freewheeling, so for that reason you'd want to go with the smallest you can tolerate. On the road it doesn't matter if there's a bit of slack after freewheeling. Where it does matter is off the road where you want to position your cranks in relation to the terrain so that you don't strike your pedals to everything on the ground. Or when you're doing really technical terrain and want to do really small pedal strokes. That's where you need hubs with fast engagement.
Yes, in/after downhills, when you need it... I feel the difference...

by Weenie


Hexsense
Posts: 2126
Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2015 12:41 am

by Hexsense

milanv wrote:
Mon Jun 14, 2021 4:52 pm
Lina wrote:
Mon Jun 14, 2021 2:19 pm
milanv wrote:
Mon Jun 14, 2021 11:36 am
Lina wrote:
Mon Jun 14, 2021 7:51 am


Many shops recommend it so they can sell the ratchets and the work to people who don't know better. Power output has absolutely nothing to do with freewheel engagement.
I have tested several wheelsets and for my riding style is 36T better than 18T... Your life, your decision, but if you don't test it, your opinion is based on rumours and dumb information...
I know the difference between them all. I've even got hubs with both 18 and 54T.

The only differences in them is faster engagement after coasting and sound. More sound means more drag while freewheeling, so for that reason you'd want to go with the smallest you can tolerate. On the road it doesn't matter if there's a bit of slack after freewheeling. Where it does matter is off the road where you want to position your cranks in relation to the terrain so that you don't strike your pedals to everything on the ground. Or when you're doing really technical terrain and want to do really small pedal strokes. That's where you need hubs with fast engagement.
Yes, in/after downhills, when you need it... I feel the difference...
1) Simple Calculation, using gear ratio only to find dead space angle.
For down hill
So, on downhill. Let say you are at 40 km/h (pretty slow for a downhill honestly. But using even higher speed make more ratchet teeth even more insignificant).
For that speed with 700x28c wheel, let say you are in 53t front ring and 15t rear cog (more like fast flat gear rather than actual down hill gear IMO). That has ratio of 53/15 = 3.53
18t means you have a pedaling dead space at most (360 degree)/18/3.53 = 5.66 degree
36t means you have a pedaling dead space at most (360 degree)/36/3.53 = 2.83 degree

search "6 degree angle" to see how small 5.66 degree is...

2) More comprehensive calculation using cadence too, to find wasted time.
Let say you pedal at 85rpm consistently (again, very slow, to make the difference noticeable). < this is a bit unrealistic, as you'd normally pedal faster when there is no resistance vs when there is.

18t means you pedal without applying power for at most (5.66 degree)/360 /85 -> 0.00018 minutes. That is 0.01 seconds
36t means you pedal without applying power for at most (2.83 degree)/360 /85 -> 0.000092 minutes. That is 0.005 seconds

Average human have response time of 250ms (0.25 s). Yeah, right. You definitely feel the 0.005 seconds. :twisted:

PS. on MTB side, ride at 6 km/h at 50rpm using 32t front ring and 50t cassette result in dead space of 31.25 degree vs 15.62 degree
and 0.086s vs 0.043s. That might be detectable.

EDIT: There was a mistake in the first version, I shouldn't need tire size and wheel circumference, it's already taken care of by using gear ratio and cadence.
Last edited by Hexsense on Mon Jun 14, 2021 6:47 pm, edited 7 times in total.

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