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Thread: Rotor Q-Rings

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    Senior Member TexMac's Avatar
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    Rotor Q-Rings

    Seeking opinion from folks who have gone from traditional cranks to Rotor Q-rings. Any advantages?

    Merry CritMas

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    Gold Member K.Katso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TexMac View Post
    Seeking opinion from folks who have gone from traditional cranks to Rotor Q-rings. Any advantages?

    Merry CritMas
    I just switched to Q-rings last week when I picked up my new bike. I rode 197km on them Saturday, and another 35km today. I'm totally sold on them. I expected them to feel weird, but quite frankly they feel more natural than round chainrings. I feel like I am actually turning perfect circles. From what I can gather by looking at my power data, they seem be more efficient (don't know if it's the chainrings, bike, or combination thereof, could be all, could be nothing). What they say about eliminating the dead spots seems to be completely true-- like I said, I feel like I am turning perfect circles and it feels like I am putting power down the whole time. I was quite skeptical before, but now I would say I've been completely won over. I'm thinking about buying another set and putting them on my other bike.

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    Senior Member TexMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by K.Katso View Post
    I just switched to Q-rings last week when I picked up my new bike. I rode 197km on them Saturday, and another 35km today. I'm totally sold on them. I expected them to feel weird, but quite frankly they feel more natural than round chainrings. I feel like I am actually turning perfect circles. From what I can gather by looking at my power data, they seem be more efficient (don't know if it's the chainrings, bike, or combination thereof, could be all, could be nothing). What they say about eliminating the dead spots seems to be completely true-- like I said, I feel like I am turning perfect circles and it feels like I am putting power down the whole time. I was quite skeptical before, but now I would say I've been completely won over. I'm thinking about buying another set and putting them on my other bike.
    Thanks for your feedback. I'm thinking of getting one. Someone mentioned that it's also good for your knees.

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    Gold Member K.Katso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TexMac View Post
    Thanks for your feedback. I'm thinking of getting one. Someone mentioned that it's also good for your knees.
    That could be. It doesn't seem to stress them so much. I have a bit of pain every now and then in my right knee from an old injury and they certainly didn't aggravate it. That has happened in the past in hammerfests similar to my Saturday ride. At the moment, for me I would say it is still too early to tell if that's true or not.

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    Senior Member Adrianinkc's Avatar
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    I've been on Q-Rings for a while now and love them. However I wanted to try them because I couldn't shake some knee pain, well they solved my knee pain issue and help against cramping also. Recently I bought another road bike and wanted to try round rings again and I have no issues, IMHO I think my pedaling technique was bad and Q-Rings helped me straighten it out.

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    I have Q-Rings on one of my bikes, and switch between bike regularly. All I can say is that when I switch from a round-ring bike to it, after the first 5 minutes, I don't feel any different. Now and again you will find a specific spot that the Q-Rings behave differently than the round rings, but overall, you get used to them very quickly. I am not sure if that's a good or bad thing. I have not seen performance improvement from the my PT wheel data, nor did they alleviate any of my knee pains.

    My take on them is that they are ok, but don't expect them to be transformative. If they were,e everyone would be on them. For certain riders with certain pedal strokes, they could be good with corrective effect, but for most, they are probably not worth the trouble.

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    And one more thing to add, adjusting FD to Q-Rings is bit of guess work, and some work fine (e.g. Ultegra 6800 and DA 9000) but other not so much (e.g. Campy Record). Also, depending on your RD, if you have a pie plate cog (>30t), then you really have to mount the FD really high to accommodate the big Q-Ring.

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    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
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    Slowtwitch has a good piece on Rotor rings. January 6, 2014. Keep in mind Slowtwitch is mostly triathlon crowd. The wrap up comment at the end says this:

    Wrap Up

    Chainring shape is an area of heated debate. Some passionately insist that they do nothing, while others swear by them. I find myself somewhere in the middle. I really do like them (and will continue to use them), but I could still live a happy life without them. If you're looking for something to help smooth out your pedal stroke, these could be your ticket. Some folks use them in-addition-to or in-lieu-of a shorter crank length, both of which are worth a shot.

    Here's the link to the entire article: Rotor long term test - Slowtwitch.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by K.Katso View Post
    From what I can gather by looking at my power data, they seem be more efficient (don't know if it's the chainrings, bike, or combination thereof, could be all, could be nothing).
    1. How are you measuring efficiency?
    2. What power meter are you using?

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    I ride Rotor cranks and Q rings on a couple of my bikes. Where I notice the greatest difference between asymmetric and round chainrings is usually late in my longest (100 to 120 miles) rides. Asymmetric rings leave my legs feeling fresher and stronger late in long rides. I have interpreted that to mean that the pedal stroke on asymmetric rings is more efficient.

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    Gold Member K.Katso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RChung View Post
    1. How are you measuring efficiency?
    I'm not really. Just looking at my average power over the course of the ride - same length, same group, very similar conditions, ended up with lower average power. As I said, it could be chainrings, bike, a combination, or nothing. I'm no sports scientist, coach, or professional in any way. I don't claim to be. All "evidence" is anecdotal. Just going off of what is available to me, and my own ability to interpret it.

    2. What power meter are you using?
    PowerTap GS

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    I recently read an article on them that said everyone would benefit by them, wattage-wise.

    A local rider uses Osymmetric (sp?) rings, which are more oval like the old BioPace rings. He got them to help his knees. He likes them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bbattle View Post
    I recently read an article on them that said everyone would benefit by them, wattage-wise.
    What article is that?

    The puzzle is that while in the lab they appear to enhance power (for example, O'Hara 2012, which you can get from the Rotor website), in the real world they don't seem to improve performance (Hue 2007).

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    Quote Originally Posted by RChung View Post
    What article is that?

    The puzzle is that while in the lab they appear to enhance power (for example, O'Hara 2012, which you can get from the Rotor website), in the real world they don't seem to improve performance (Hue 2007).
    Ovals from Spain: Rotor QXL Rings ? Peloton

    They say it's best for time trialing: "Where the QXL rings undoubtedly shine is under big effort. When you are laying down prolonged watts, from a time trial to a long climb or even during a big sprint, the rings make the most of a powerful riders effort.They smooth out transitions in and out of the saddle and let big gear mashers get more from a slow cadence. Cresting a punchy climb, they allow a bigger gear to be maintained, encouraging you to dig over the summit, rather than shift into an easier gear and loose momentum.
    Rotor warns QXL rings are not for everyone and even after many rides and finding our sweet spot a slightly jerky feel could crop up when just spinning easily in the group. For this reason QXL rings are best suited to our time trial bikes or when we know the weekends racing will be full gas. In those situations QXL rings let you drop the hammer that much harder."

    I thought I had read about them in CyclingUK this year but can't find the article. Even if somebody like me gets a 1 watt advantage it means they can claim everybody will benefit.

    I can remember Bobby Julich being the only rider in the ProTour to use ovalized rings for years but now a lot of pros are using them. Wiggins, Dan Martin, Rui Costa, et al.

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    Senior Member I <3 Robots's Avatar
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    I use them on my road bike and recently switched to them on my mountain bike. My pedal stroke feels smoother with the oval rings.

    I use Q-Rings on the road bike and the Ridea SXX1 on the mountain bike.
    Cervelo S2 | Zipp | SRAM | Rotor

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    Quote Originally Posted by K.Katso View Post
    I just switched to Q-rings last week when I picked up my new bike. I rode 197km on them Saturday, and another 35km today. I'm totally sold on them. I expected them to feel weird, but quite frankly they feel more natural than round chainrings. I feel like I am actually turning perfect circles. From what I can gather by looking at my power data, they seem be more efficient (don't know if it's the chainrings, bike, or combination thereof, could be all, could be nothing). What they say about eliminating the dead spots seems to be completely true-- like I said, I feel like I am turning perfect circles and it feels like I am putting power down the whole time. I was quite skeptical before, but now I would say I've been completely won over. I'm thinking about buying another set and putting them on my other bike.

    I have the qring on my cross bike, so I can't wait to try it out soon. If I like them, I'm totally going to replace my road bike. Thanks for your review.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bbattle View Post
    I can remember Bobby Julich being the only rider in the ProTour to use ovalized rings for years but now a lot of pros are using them. Wiggins, Dan Martin, Rui Costa, et al.
    Wiggins has gone back to round rings from what he has called "those silly rings."

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    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RChung View Post
    Wiggins has gone back to round rings from what he has called "those silly rings."
    Silly doesn't say much for Wiggins.

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    I think everyone should try them and see if they work for themselves. It's one of those things that while it may work for one, but not necessary the other because we all different pedals strokes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dalava View Post
    I think everyone should try them and see if they work for themselves. It's one of those things that while it may work for one, but not necessary the other because we all different pedals strokes.
    Yeah. I've never used Q-rings but a couple of years ago I rode a borrowed bike for several weeks with Osymmetric rings, which are the same idea. Several years ago I had a bike with Biopace rings, so I've used Biopace (which you can think of as 90 deg out-of-phase with Osymmetric), round, and Osymmetric. Going back-and-forth, they feel different for 5 minutes but then I forgot about them. I've ridden with a Power Tap for more than a decade, and I've never detected a significant pattern of power gain for any ring type (and if you know me, you'll guess that I tried). On the other hand, I've never detected a significant pattern of power loss either, so when I buy a used bike ring shape isn't even on my decision tree. I wouldn't go out of my way to pay extra for non-round rings but I wouldn't take them off if they were already on the bike. I'd say it's up to personal preference: if you like the feel of a particular ring shape (whether round, Biopace, or Osymmetric), go for it. Whatever you choose won't hurt performance but if you like the feel, it's a plus.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garfield Cat View Post
    Silly doesn't say much for Wiggins.
    Hmmm. What would you have thought of him had he stayed with them?

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    Installed an Aero Q-Ring on my 6700 crank yesterday and went for my first ride with them. They have been awesome so far. The aero is nice and stiff, and the pedal stroke feels natural. Im going out for an extended ride in about and hour with my PM/HR and will report how it does with some hills out here in Colorado. I'm surprisingly impressed with the shifting, granted I have di2 and set it up properly I guess but it has been buttery smooth!
    Oh the usual...some carbon fiber, some deep wheels, some electronic shifting, and not enough money.

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    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RChung View Post
    Hmmm. What would you have thought of him had he stayed with them?
    Silly doesn't say much for Wiggins because that type of quote, if its really a quote, begs the question as to what he was responding to and if there were a fuller discussion on elliptical rings. Its not about whether he stays or not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garfield Cat View Post
    Silly doesn't say much for Wiggins because that type of quote, if its really a quote, begs the question as to what he was responding to and if there were a fuller discussion on elliptical rings. Its not about whether he stays or not.
    Hmmm. So you don't know the context but are willing to decide that it "doesn't say much for Wiggins"?

    Here's the context: Bradley Wiggins re-confirms that he wants a Giro/Tour double

    That was in 2013. In 2014, after returning to round rings, was this: "Bradley Wiggins [...] took his first ever world title in the elite men's [TT] event with a perfect ride on the Ponferrada course."
    Last edited by RChung; 12-24-14 at 07:23 PM.

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    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RChung View Post
    Hmmm. So you don't know the context but are willing to decide that it "doesn't say much for Wiggins"?

    Here's the context: Bradley Wiggins re-confirms that he wants a Giro/Tour double

    That was in 2013. In 2014, after returning to round rings, was this: "Bradley Wiggins [...] took his first ever world title in the elite men's [TT] event with a perfect ride on the Ponferrada course."
    Ok, the quotation seems to say Wiggins' climbing improved a lot after getting off the Osymetrics. Then what's the science that backs up the improved climbing with the round rings? Is it silly just to say its silly?

    Here's another article but it doesn't refer to the climbing aspect: Will an Elliptical Chainring Make Me a Faster Cyclist? | Fitness Coach | OutsideOnline.com

    This article makes reference to researchers, smart marketing, and high profile endorsements. That first group deserves more attention.
    Last edited by Garfield Cat; 12-25-14 at 09:50 AM.

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