Join Date: May 2008
Location: Royal Palm Beach, Florida
Bikes: 2006 Co-Motion Roadster (Flat Bars, Discs, Carbon Fork), Some 1/2 bikes and a couple of KTM's
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We have DT hubs on both of our tandems, plus our spare off road tandem wheels. One is a Mountain tandem the other a road tandem.
I have read some bad things also about the DT's. In fact on our mountain tandem we ruined a set of drive rings on the trail. It was big effort from a standing stop. Luckily a local trail and was a short distance out. With what I know now about these hubs I probably could have fixed it trailside (especially if it was a long walk).
After the failure I had my doubts the hubs were capable. What I troubleshot the problem to be was the drive ring grease. It was not fresh and being a grease can sometimes give a slow response to drive engagement. The viscosity slows the engagement action, and too much would be a disaster (seen that after a shop rebuilt a friends hub).
When I rebuilt our off road DT rear hub, I installed a new set of drive rings, but more importantly, I did not use the DT specified grease (molykote). I opted for Phil Wood tenacious oil. Plenty of lube, for proper operation and solid engagements under some stupid power outputs on short abrupt climbs. The oil is far less viscous than the grease, plus it won't gel or wax over time as what happened in our failure.
The Roadster will get the same treatment of oil. And our spare mtb wheels, which are also DT's, are already oiled.
Before you rule out DT's, have a look at there maintenance manual online. A very simple and strong design with only four parts, two identical springs and two identical drive rings.
I now keep a spare set of new drive rings and springs just in case. Takes about 10 minutes to rebuild a hubs drive side. The cost was reasonable.
I've had older White Industry hubs on a single bike, they were nice, but unless they changed their drive design, I'd think the DT's can handle more abuse.
For now I have no intentions to move away from the DT stuff, and am considering building a set of wheels for my Turner that spin on DT hubs.
Just some thoughts.