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O-symmetric chain rings? Hot or nah?

Old 10-16-17, 02:58 PM
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torero310
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O-symmetric chain rings? Hot or nah?

So I know that traditionally people use the standard circular chain rings, but I know that pros have either said they love it or hate it. I've never tried one (but want to see what it feels like...) Has anyone experienced it or know where they do free test rides? Tell me if I'm wrong but does it feel like walking?
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Old 10-16-17, 08:01 PM
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You mean this? Welcome to Osymetric USA -
I didn't think it was possible to make chainrings that aren't perfectly circular.
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Old 10-16-17, 08:59 PM
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Seriously? The concept of oval chainrings has been around for decades. Search for Shimano Biopace, for example. Those are relatively mild deviations from circular, and there are many others that are more ovalized.
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Old 10-16-17, 09:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Aubergine View Post
Seriously? The concept of oval chainrings has been around for decades. Search for Shimano Biopace, for example. Those are relatively mild deviations from circular, and there are many others that are more ovalized.
Or Sugino Synchroid, like in my avatar.
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Old 10-16-17, 09:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Aubergine View Post
Seriously? The concept of oval chainrings has been around for decades.......
More like a century or so. They seem to come and go on a 17 year cycle like cicadas.
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Old 10-17-17, 12:38 AM
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I’ve only ever tried Biopace, and for a limited mileage at that.
While I did notice the difference, I didn’t develop any strong conviction regarding its importance.
The bike remained rideable. I didn’t turn into a riding God.
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Old 10-17-17, 12:44 AM
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I’ve only ever tried Biopace, and for a limited mileage at that.
While I did notice the difference, I didn’t develop any strong conviction regarding its importance.
The bike remained rideable. I didn’t turn into a riding God.
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Old 10-17-17, 04:16 AM
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I have Absolute Black oval chainrings on my 1x10 MTB and my road bike. I love it on the MTB and it makes a noticeable difference on climbs. On the road bike, I don't particularly like the large chainring being oval and may switch it back to a round ring. I'm a high cadence(95-105) rider on the road bike and it just doesn't feel right in the big ring. I assume it is probably better if you're a low cadence, pedal masher. I like the small oval chainring on the road bike, because it does help with those really steep climbs where I end up out of the saddle.
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Old 10-17-17, 04:21 AM
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Oval rings are like 3D at the movies..... comes around ever 20 years or so and then fades out.
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Old 10-17-17, 06:43 AM
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Originally Posted by torero310;19933590O
symmetric chain rings? Hot or nah? So I know that traditionally people use the standard circular chain rings, but I know that pros have either said they love it or hate it. I've never tried one (but want to see what it feels like...) Has anyone experienced it or know where they do free test rides? Tell me if I'm wrong but does it feel like walking?
Why care if they are 'hot or nah'? Ride em if you like em.

Ive used Biopace and Ovaltech from the late 80s and both ride just fine. My touring bike has Biopace rings on it and i turn the crank for miles on end and the oval rings continue to move the chain as expected. I dont notice any difference.

The rings you asked about are a different shape, yes, but the idea/reason behind the shape is the same. The rings you want are absurdly expensive to just try- dang thats a lot.
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Old 10-17-17, 09:47 AM
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Froome uses them but they were not why he wins ..

So, try them if you want, spend liberally..
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Old 10-17-17, 10:02 AM
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I have a biopace on my pug roadbike. It's been on there 20 years give or take. I don't even think about it. I just pedal and the bike rolls along.
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Old 10-17-17, 11:31 AM
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As mentioned several times above, non-round chainrings are nothing new. Shimano probably invested the most in both ergonomic research and marketing to develop their "BioPace" chainrings, but despite a mighty marketing push the likes of which Shimano is famous for, BioPace failed to catch on to any great extent. Still, BioPace and other non-round chainrings continue to have their adherents.

But overall, non-round chainrings seem to be a solution in search of an actual problem.

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Old 10-17-17, 05:27 PM
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I vote nah. It's fun to watch them spin around, but they make setting up the FD trickier.
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Old 10-18-17, 12:07 AM
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lol I didn't know what to title it. Anyways I'm just curious because I don't know what it feels like... For the record my cadence is around 90-110 but if it's climbing I go around 70-85 depending on how it is. As for spending money on it, I would only get one if and when I decide I want to hoard a second bike. I do know that Froome doesn't win just because of his chain ring, but if you saw some interviews he did question why more people don't use it... which is kind of why I'm asking.
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Old 10-18-17, 06:41 AM
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Originally Posted by dsaul View Post
I have Absolute Black oval chainrings on my 1x10 MTB and my road bike. I love it on the MTB and it makes a noticeable difference on climbs. On the road bike, I don't particularly like the large chainring being oval and may switch it back to a round ring. I'm a high cadence(95-105) rider on the road bike and it just doesn't feel right in the big ring. I assume it is probably better if you're a low cadence, pedal masher. I like the small oval chainring on the road bike, because it does help with those really steep climbs where I end up out of the saddle.
Me too. I suspect that it has to do with cadence. Mrs. Grouch and I have biopace granny rings on our trikes but round otherwise. If I get down into my granny it means that my cadence has dropped fairly low so I can feel and appreciate the changing leverage.

Before anybody asks, I don't remember how I set up the orientation of our biopace rings. (Recumbents are different, by the way.) I know that I thought it through so that I'd get maximum leverage with the crank in the dead center position.
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Old 10-18-17, 01:27 PM
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I have Rotor Q-rings and like them, but I had a specific problem I was targeting: on longer rides, I would get knee pain at the top of pedal strokes, but not elsewhere in the pedal stroke. Q-rings are fairly ovalized and have multiple mounting holes so you can adjust the major axis where you want. I adjusted the major ring axis to shift stress off the top-half of the pedal stroke into the lower half, and can ride comfortably quite a bit longer than with round chainrings.

Note that I don't ever race, so I don't know if I can go any faster with the Q-rings. Going faster wasn't ever the point.

I spent the $250 for a set for my long-distance bike, and liked them so much that I also got a pair for my commuting bike. I much prefer the feel of Q-rings than round chainrings.

If you are experimenting, the variable mounting that Q-rings allow is a big advantage IMO. Other rings can only be adjusted every 72°. The instructions say how to orient them for MAXIMUM POWER but that may not be how you prefer them.

They do affect front shifting negatively, but it isn't... terrible... They definitely don't shift like the plain Shimano round rings do. To a degree you should expect degraded shifting, I think.

The O-symmetric rings are even more un-round however; last time I checked the O-symmetrics were the most-non-round you could buy. You may be limited to a double setup with them (my bikes have triple chainrings) and even with a double you still might have front shifting issues.
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