Lighter, stronger, simpler and easier to service...

Hubs, and particularly rear hubs, can be a real source of confusion and frustration, with a proliferation of modern freehub 'standards' from different groupset manufacturers.

The actual hub itself is a remarkably simple device in principle, but amazingly it's still possible to innovate after all these years of development. DT Swiss have updated their flagship 180 series hubs with their new Ratchet EXP drive system (the EXP stands for experience) and refreshingly the changes aren't merely for the sake of it, they have real practical benefits.

Rather than make the hub more complex they've actually simplified it (albeit with some very clever precision engineering), and whilst making it lighter, stiffer and more durable it has also been made easier to service and easier to change to different freehub bodies.


To ensure maximum stiffness (and therefore maximum efficiency) you want to have the bearings as far apart as possible on the axle. The limitation has traditionally been the freehub body, which prevents the drive-side bearing from sitting as far outboard as the non-drive side.

DT have been able to move the bearing so that it sits inside the threaded ring for the freehub, and those valuable extra few mm of spacing give a whopping 15% increase in stiffness.

Traditional Ratchet

Ratchet EXP

Easier Maintenance:

For all their impeccable build quality, DT Swiss hubs haven't always been the simplest to maintain. The new hubs address this in spectacular fashion, going completely "tool free".

Redesigned and reshaped end caps feature a notch for easy removal and installation. The SINC Ceramic bearings ensure that maintenance will not only be easier, but less frequently required.


Thanks to the ease of disassembly it's a doddle to change freehubs if required, and any of DT's six freehub bodies can be swapped onto the new hubs (SRAM XD, Shimano, Shimano Micro Spline, SRAM XDR, Shimano Road SL and Campagnolo).

All the new 180 hubs will come with a 36 tooth ratchet, giving 10 degrees engagement. It will be possible to upgrade to a 54 tooth ratchet if you prefer, giving faster engagement at the price of a slight loss of durability.


The new system only requires one spring, thanks to the integration of the ratchet teeth with the threaded ring for freehub attachment. This gives a slight weight saving, but also helps to drastically reduce the number of parts required (just 13 components in the Ratchet AXS).

The single spring also means faster engagement and should mean improved reliability.

Previous Generation

Ratchet EXP

We expect to see the Ratchet EXP system gradually trickle down the DT range over the next few seasons. Meanwhile it's available on the range-topping 180 Straightpull series hubs for both road and MTB.