So has anyone got any experience with oval chainrings?

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Comedian
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So has anyone got any experience with oval chainrings?

Postby Comedian » Sun Jan 21, 2018 7:29 pm

I'm about to experiment with a set of Rotor Q-rings. Just thought I'd ask if anyone else has given oval a go. :mrgreen:

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Mugglechops
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Re: So has anyone got any experience with oval chainrings?

Postby Mugglechops » Thu Jan 25, 2018 3:08 pm

I put one on my dropbar mtb. Did 300kms on it in just over 2 weeks and it totally destroyed my legs and left me fatigued.

Ended up giving it away for the price of postage.
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sammutd88
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Re: So has anyone got any experience with oval chainrings?

Postby sammutd88 » Fri Jan 26, 2018 3:11 pm

I used some Absoluteblack chainrings on my ultegra 6800 setup for about 3-4 months last year. I enjoyed the feeling up inclines of the pedal stroke and got used to it on the flats. I would probably still use them if it weren't for the average shifting. It was fine, and rarely dropped a chain, but there was the odd missed shift and couple of chain drops and I missed the smooth, nearly perfect shifting of the ultegra chainrings. To me, their shifting ramps weren't efective enough, you had to time the shift perfectly for it to shift well and downshifting caused a bit of chain slap as the chain fell down to the smaller chainring.
In the end, I think unless you're a mountain goat and love climbing, you wouldn't see a lot of benefit. They do slightly delay the onset of lactate in the legs, but that could also be my imagination. Knee wise, I don't have pain on standard rings and actually had slight pain on ovals till I got used to them.

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Thoglette
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Re: So has anyone got any experience with oval chainrings?

Postby Thoglette » Fri Jan 26, 2018 3:17 pm

I'm a biopace tragic. Keep your filthy hands of my stash of NOS rings :-)
Stop handing them the stick! - Dave Moulton
"People are worthy of respect, ideas are not." Peter Ellerton, UQ

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Re: So has anyone got any experience with oval chainrings?

Postby 10speedsemiracer » Fri Jan 26, 2018 6:44 pm

Thoglette wrote:I'm a biopace tragic. Keep your filthy hands of my stash of NOS rings :-)


I'm also a BioPace fiend, so of absolutely no help to OP as BioPace are different to what OP is describing.
Mmm, SunTour

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Alex Simmons/RST
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Re: So has anyone got any experience with oval chainrings?

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Sat Jan 27, 2018 7:23 am

I tried them and they had no impact on my power output. Which is pretty much in line with the equivocal nature of the results in the body of published studies on them. YMMV.

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Re: So has anyone got any experience with oval chainrings?

Postby Philistine » Sun Jan 28, 2018 7:39 am

Comedian wrote:I'm about to experiment with a set of Rotor Q-rings. Just thought I'd ask if anyone else has given oval a go. :mrgreen:


There is no such thing as an oval chainring. You might get more respondents if you ask about elliptical chainrings.

Sorry. I couldn't let it through to the keeper, I had to play at it..

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Comedian
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Re: So has anyone got any experience with oval chainrings?

Postby Comedian » Mon Jan 29, 2018 12:08 pm

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:I tried them and they had no impact on my power output. Which is pretty much in line with the equivocal nature of the results in the body of published studies on them. YMMV.

That's interesting. I agree that the research isn't great.

I had a lot of fitting issues with getting the right bolts etc but I've not got them fitted. It's really too early for any verdict on how I feel about them.

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Re: So has anyone got any experience with oval chainrings?

Postby Comedian » Mon Jan 29, 2018 12:15 pm

sammutd88 wrote:I used some Absoluteblack chainrings on my ultegra 6800 setup for about 3-4 months last year. I enjoyed the feeling up inclines of the pedal stroke and got used to it on the flats. I would probably still use them if it weren't for the average shifting. It was fine, and rarely dropped a chain, but there was the odd missed shift and couple of chain drops and I missed the smooth, nearly perfect shifting of the ultegra chainrings. To me, their shifting ramps weren't efective enough, you had to time the shift perfectly for it to shift well and downshifting caused a bit of chain slap as the chain fell down to the smaller chainring.
In the end, I think unless you're a mountain goat and love climbing, you wouldn't see a lot of benefit. They do slightly delay the onset of lactate in the legs, but that could also be my imagination. Knee wise, I don't have pain on standard rings and actually had slight pain on ovals till I got used to them.


That's interesting that it was the shifting that drove you off them. I'm using q-rings which aren't absolute black so the ramping etc might be different.

First ride I had big troubles with the shifting but it was just due to inadequate setup time. With a bit of finessing they are now shifting pretty well. Probably not quite as well as the campy rings but pretty good.

I had a 12-29 and a 36/52 on before the change. I put the chain on and measured it per the campy recommendation. Interestingly the chain is now too short. Perhaps it was a bit short before but the oval (sorry elliptical) nature accentuates the issue big to big.

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Re: So has anyone got any experience with oval chainrings?

Postby nickobec » Wed Jan 31, 2018 12:54 am

Yes, biopace on my single speed, (use to think it made me go faster than my road bike, but all it was better aero) and Q-rings on my TT bike.

Which I know it does not produce more power/faster times on the flat, because ridden the same TT over the years and my best season came when my TT bike was out of action and substituted another bike with round chainrings (Q-rings do not fit Sram BB30 cranks) .

That said my best time up Mount Street and best one minute power came pushing a 42/25 up a 12% (or 15% depending on what segment in strava) gradient for just under 300 metres from a standing start on my TT bike.

Shifting is not an issue, it is usually just stick it in the big ring and ride

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Re: So has anyone got any experience with oval chainrings?

Postby nsvelo » Fri Feb 16, 2018 11:42 pm

Have Q - rings on both my bikes one running Ultegra Di2 and the other SRAM Force both are compact 50/36 with a 11-26 cassette. Have no trouble with shifting and find them comfortable to ride especially on hills when you need that downward pressure on your pedals. Good on sprints when racing as you can push really hard on the downward stroke to good effect when acceleration is needed.

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Re: So has anyone got any experience with oval chainrings?

Postby nutsack » Sat Feb 17, 2018 10:59 pm

Been using Absoluteblack on my ultegra di2 bike for the past 10 months and believe they have helped my riding (no numbers or data to prove anything just subjective). The only negative is changing rings on the front is terrible with needing anything from 2 -5+ crank rotations to change up to the big ring.

Next service Ill replace the big ring with the original ultegra chain ring and just keep the small ring for climbing.
Main ride: BMC SLX01 Race Master 2010 SRAM Red

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Alex Simmons/RST
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Re: So has anyone got any experience with oval chainrings?

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Sun Feb 18, 2018 7:34 am

nsvelo wrote:Have Q - rings on both my bikes one running Ultegra Di2 and the other SRAM Force both are compact 50/36 with a 11-26 cassette. Have no trouble with shifting and find them comfortable to ride especially on hills when you need that downward pressure on your pedals. Good on sprints when racing as you can push really hard on the downward stroke to good effect when acceleration is needed.

If you want "downward pressure" or to "push really hard", you apply downward pressure or push really hard. Those are physiological and neuromuscular attributes (and limitations), not functions of the shape of the chainring.

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Alex Simmons/RST
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Re: So has anyone got any experience with oval chainrings?

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Sun Feb 18, 2018 9:07 am

http://www.tradewindsports.net/wp-conte ... nd-max.pdf

This an interesting study on the subject. Interesting because:
i. three levels of chainring eccentricity were tested, including round of course
ii. it covers impacts on both maximal and submaximal cycling performance
iii. it also covers impacts on efficiency for submaximal cycling
iv. the subjects were blinded to the chainrings being tested
v. it involved detailed measurements of the actual biomechanical factors involved joint angles, velocities and forces
vi. they also tested the subjects to see how good they were at picking what chainring they were using

Some key outcomes:

No differences in performance measures.

Subjects were no better than random at picking which chainring they were using.

The biomechanics study reveals some interesting results, namely that the velocity and joint angles of the major motor units (upper legs) tended to be the same irrespective of the chainring used, and all that happened was the ankle joint took up the job of adjusting to the chainring.

Now everyone is different and YMMV but being able to do reliable testing on yourself is quite hard to do and avoid any natural bias. This study shows what happens when you remove the bias.

Ride them if you like them but don't expect miracles. There are no magic bullets in this sport.

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Re: So has anyone got any experience with oval chainrings?

Postby MichaelB » Mon Feb 19, 2018 1:10 pm

Cheers Alex, will try and read the paper..... all 90 pages !!

Thanks for the summary, much appreciated

EDIT : Interesting that the paper was part of a Doctor of Philosophy ....

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Re: So has anyone got any experience with oval chainrings?

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Mon Feb 19, 2018 1:13 pm

MichaelB wrote:Cheers Alex, will try and read the paper..... all 90 pages !!

Thanks for the summary, much appreciated

It's a PhD dissertation, which explains the length but also means we get a bit more than is typical.

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Re: So has anyone got any experience with oval chainrings?

Postby Recycler » Mon Feb 19, 2018 1:38 pm

I have a set of bio pace on my touring bike, for me they are great. I can ride for hours and still want to ride. :D

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Re: So has anyone got any experience with oval chainrings?

Postby no_gears_no_tears » Wed Apr 25, 2018 9:06 pm

I used one on my fixie conversion because it was the only suitable chainring I had at the time.
It wasn't too bad, but the chain tension was all out of whack so I quickly upgraded it.

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