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Rotor Q-Rings ? Gaining Acceptance ?

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Rotor Q-Rings ? Gaining Acceptance ?

Old 10-04-10, 06:56 PM
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JoeOxfordCT
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Rotor Q-Rings ? Gaining Acceptance ?

Hi All,

Currently running a SRAM Force BB30 compact with 50/38 in the front combined with an 11-28 in the back on my CAAD9. Shattered my heel in 2002 in an auto accident and now my right calf/foot is weaker and less flexible. When I get really tired my pedal stroke can become pretty choppy. However, it does improve in both areas as my summer mileage increases. I've been reading alot about Q-Rings and how they help you spin better, lessen cramping & fatigue on longer rides, etc. I am thinking that perhaps they might help someone like me even more than your regular weekend warrior. I can pick up the 50t for $125 from PBK. 38t inner ring is harder to find but can be had for approx. $90. I've read alot of positive things on the interwebs but I worry about front shifting quality..... ?

Some writeups.....

https://www.roadbikereview.com/mfr/ro...4_2485crx.aspx
https://www.bikeradar.com/gear/catego...rings-10-37753
https://www.bicycle.net/2010/product-review-rotor-q-ring
https://www.mmcycling.com/qrings.html
https://www.roadbikeaction.com/Produc...s-Q-Rings.html
https://www.roadcyclinguk.com/bike-re...look/2648.html

J.
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Old 10-04-10, 07:00 PM
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how interesting.
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Old 10-04-10, 07:18 PM
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Thanks for your informative response......

Originally Posted by dmalvarado View Post
how interesting.
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Old 10-04-10, 07:54 PM
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Well I've never used them and this is the first time I've heard of them, and physics is(are?) cool. Consider this a bump for someone with experience to see your thread
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Old 10-04-10, 10:02 PM
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I have a buddy who has ran them for the last two years - took a while to get the front shifting right (if I remeber correctly, the problems went away when he went from a Whiperman to a Shimano chain) but he swears by them now.
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Old 10-05-10, 02:26 AM
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Took me about 20 mins to setup the FD and get the shifting right.

PROS:
Great for sprinting
Great for TT situations

CONS:
I don't like the feel of them when climbing
I just don't like the feel of them.

If I had a dedicated TT bike or something, I'd run them on there for sure. If I lived someplace flatter, i'd keep them.

You can probably find a whole set (litely used) for pretty cheap somewhere in the Road Bike Marketplace....
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Old 10-05-10, 02:52 AM
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You didn't like the feeling of them climbing ?

You mean seated or standing climbing ?

Where I live it's loaded with 250'-400' 7-13 percent climbs.......climbing is one of the things I hoped would be helped......

Originally Posted by vantassell View Post
PROS:
Great for sprinting
Great for TT situations

CONS:
I don't like the feel of them when climbing
I just don't like the feel of them.
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Old 10-05-10, 05:59 AM
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i had quite a few miles in over the past summer with a bike equipped with a standard big ring, and a Q inner ring. that was a nice set-up for climbing. the bike was running campy record 10-sp, and had fairly high gearing. shifting was superb.

that said, why are you using a 38 on the inside? based on what you're saying, i would get just the inner Q ring, and drop down to a 34 or 36, keep the cadence up, take some pressure off your injured parts, that'll help prevent cramping too.
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Old 10-05-10, 06:00 AM
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I have been using them for the past two years now and here are my thoughts on them:
I was starting to have knee pains when riding on the standard round rings so when I read about how they would be able to help reduce or eliminate this problem that is what sold me on them. So far for me anyway, this has been the case. They have helped eliminate my knee pains and and made riding, for me anyway, better.
The "Feel" is at first strange and a little hard to get used to from standard round chainrings since they are oval in shape and it felt scary since my legs were not exactly moving in a round circular motion. I actually went in and got refitted when I started using them and also had my cleat position double checked to make sure I was at optimal position before starting to train on them. Starting slow and in low gears I got used to the "Feel" of how my pedal stroke was then started working on using a better or more proper pedal motion (my LBS helped me assess that my pedal stroke needed to improve). Over time I have gotten used to them and have noticed that my work in improving my pedal stroke has given me a little more power and speed. My knee pains are all but completely gone now and I am able to enjoy riding much more. I put them on in the winter when Outdoor riding season was over so riding on a indoor trainer helped me get used to them and experiment with positioning of the rings before I found what position worked best for me. From there it was just ride and get adjusted to them. YMMV. I you decide to try them I suggest following their recommendations and allow at least a couple of months of use before you give a Yes or No to them. Let us know how it turns out...........
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Old 10-05-10, 06:27 AM
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Originally Posted by JoeOxfordCT View Post
You didn't like the feeling of them climbing ?

You mean seated or standing climbing ?

Where I live it's loaded with 250'-400' 7-13 percent climbs.......climbing is one of the things I hoped would be helped......
Both sitting and standing. I feel like i'm pushing a bigger gear because of the elliptical shape. I've never felt like the hardest part of my pedal stroke is the top and bottom, it's the middle part that's hard.

With regular rings, I feel like I have a small pause at the bottom of the pedal stroke when climbing standing. I like this momentary pause. Maybe with more time i'd get used to it, but every time I do a long slow climb I just wish I had my round rings. My knees have been hurting a little on climbs, but that might go away in a bit or if I tried another position on the rings.

I can see how it's entirely a preference thing though, it's like saying one saddle/geometry is better than another. Some people might naturally respond better to rotors, some people don't respond well.
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Old 10-05-10, 06:38 AM
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Ah ! When I am tired I get this pause too. I called it choppiness in my OP. I have also heard it called "pedalling squares" too. You like it ? God Bless ! I am hoping that along with other things the Rotor rings would help reduce/eliminate this....

Originally Posted by vantassell View Post
...With regular rings, I feel like I have a small pause at the bottom of the pedal stroke when climbing standing. I like this momentary pause....
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Old 10-05-10, 06:58 AM
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I've got about 3,000 miles on mine and think they're nice. I don't see a gigantic difference and haven't quantified any comparisons, but they do make my stroke feel smoother and I like it. I have Di2 on bike so front shifting is still pretty much perfect. I do not intend to add them to my TT (because I have special aero TT rings) or CX bike (because I am almost always in the small ring and the difference on the small ring is slighter). I would get them over again for my main road bike so a happy customer I am, just not glowing praise.
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Old 10-05-10, 07:00 AM
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Interesting.....so what caused you to try them in the first place then ?

Originally Posted by ColorChange View Post
I've got about 3,000 miles on mine and think they're nice. I don't see a gigantic difference and haven't quantified any comparisons, but they do make my stroke feel smoother and I like it. I have Di2 on bike so front shifting is still pretty much perfect. I do not intend to add them to my TT (because I have special aero TT rings) or CX bike (because I am almost always in the small ring and the difference on the small ring is slighter). I would get them over again for my main road bike so a happy customer I am, just not glowing praise.
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Old 10-05-10, 07:23 AM
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JoeOxfordCT, Oval chainrings are a love/hate preference. You just have to try them yourself to see which side of the '/' you fall.

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Old 10-05-10, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by JoeOxfordCT View Post
Ah ! When I am tired I get this pause too. I called it choppiness in my OP. I have also heard it called "pedalling squares" too. You like it ? God Bless ! I am hoping that along with other things the Rotor rings would help reduce/eliminate this....
Yeah, i'd say it's 80% gone. If you're aiming for a reduction in your 'choppiness', I think the rings would help you out.
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Old 10-05-10, 07:51 AM
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You might have to spend time tweaking them to dial them in since they can be rotated to fit your pedal stroke.

I've read of some racers I know loving them and getting a notable increase in power attributed to the rings, while others tried them and didn't like the fuss.

They intrigue me because of the potential knee benefits that some have mentioned.
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Old 10-05-10, 08:12 AM
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I have them on a Quarq Rotor 3d setup and am happy with them. I'm still building strength and endurance so I can't attribute any power gains to the rings specifically, but I don't have any complaints at all. I run SRAM Rival and have had no troubles once the initial adjustments to the FD were complete.
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Old 10-05-10, 08:14 AM
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Joe, I had the older biopace on an old bike and liked the feel of that. The rotor is quite a bit better thank the biopace. I got rotor 3D quarq crank and decided to get the q-rings.
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Old 10-05-10, 08:19 AM
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One of my cat 3 buddies uses them, and also he has the mid-foot cleat position. He's got no sprint to speak of so he doesn't really care about losing that; so for a rec rider / tt rider it seems like a good bet.
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Old 10-05-10, 08:49 AM
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A lot of mountain bike riders like the Rotor products (rings, crank, bottom bracket). In the Cervelo team, some don't use all of them. They can choose their setup. It will be interesting to see what the Garmin team members will use next season after the merger with Cervelo. I don't recall Thor Hushovd using the rings, but just the crank.

I have over 6,000 miles on mine. I spin faster and climbing while standing seems easier. The front deailleur had to be moved higher up on the seat tube. The rest of my Dura Ace 7800 stays the same.

Last edited by Garfield Cat; 10-05-10 at 09:06 AM.
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Old 10-05-10, 10:11 AM
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So if I'm running a 50/38 with round rings a 50/38 setup with Rotors would work fine ? Really thinking about the 38t here....I've read where folks on Rotors find themselves climbing one gear higher (harder) with the same effort....?

Originally Posted by Garfield Cat View Post
I have over 6,000 miles on mine. I spin faster and climbing while standing seems easier.
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Old 10-05-10, 11:22 AM
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I haven't gone over all the writeups, but it may help to keep in mind how your pedal stroke actually works, and thus what the Q rings do to help.

Basically, contrary to intuition, even when you pedal smoothly you don't wind up constantly pushing the bike forward. Most of the power is applied in the downstroke and it peaks at the 3:00 position. On the upstroke, all you're really doing is getting your leg out of the way (i.e. you aren't pushing the bike forward with the upstroke, even when clipped in). At the 12:00 / 6:00 pedal position, you are applying almost zero force towards moving the bike forward -- a lot of the force you're applying is actually just bending the spindle.

Q-rings and elliptical rings are based on the idea of minimizing the amount of time at the 12:00 / 6:00 position. Rotor claims they improve power by 3%; their research looks a tad thin, but not necessarily outlandish, so I'd consider that a best-case scenario. It's also possible that some percentage of that is just from a better pedal stroke, which may well be encouraged by the Q-rings but can be achieved via other means (e.g. changing your pedaling technique, using a higher cadence etc).

What does 3% mean? Not much, really. Let's say you are on the hoods, knocking out 200w on the flats; that extra 3% will increase your speed by 0.10mph -- and that's under optimal / theoretical conditions. That could be critical in a race, but in almost any other context it isn't likely to make a difference.

In terms of comfort it's impossible for me to say, that's too subjective and personal. But I don't think it will even out the favoritism you have wound up applying to one leg due to your unfortunate accident.

I can't say whether or not the Q-rings make it easier or harder to climb. Unfortunately a lot of that can be colored by expectations -- e.g. if 20 people say "Q-rings make climbing harder," or 20 people say "Q-rings make climbing easier," you may believe it and your subjective experiences will be affected by that expectation. Offhand I'd think that the difference is so small that you shouldn't notice much of a change versus using an optimal pedaling technique.

FWIW I'd suggest that you work on your pedal technique. Next step would be to consider lowering your gearing, which would not necessarily exclude changing to Q-rings.
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Old 10-05-10, 12:17 PM
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I have two new bikes coming for the 2011 season. I have a good hookup on Rotor so I got the 3D cranks in a 52-36 and a a set of 54-42 Q-rings for the TT bike. I am excited to try them. I will add to this thread when I get some time on them.

Thanks for the info guys and gals.
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Old 10-05-10, 02:48 PM
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Yes, please post up when you get some rides in on the new rings....

Originally Posted by spinwax View Post
I have two new bikes coming for the 2011 season. I have a good hookup on Rotor so I got the 3D cranks in a 52-36 and a a set of 54-42 Q-rings for the TT bike. I am excited to try them. I will add to this thread when I get some time on them.

Thanks for the info guys and gals.
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Old 10-05-10, 04:32 PM
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Bump,

anymore feedback ?
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