If you've never tried Rotor's Q Rings oval chainrings, you're missing one of cycling's best upgrades. Read on to find out why we love them so much...
Rotor’s Q Rings first hit the market in 2006 and more than 10 years on, the Spanish brand’s bestselling oval rings have garnered worldwide legions of fans across all riding disciplines – as well as Grand Tour victories, numerous world championships and Ironman titles. Here are six things that make the Q Rings experience so special.
Q Rings feel amazing
Simply put, Q Rings are a chance to make riding your bike even more enjoyable. As you pedal, the hypnotic up and down trajectory of the chain is complemented by a sensation of unparalleled smoothness that makes you feel one with your machine. Say goodbye to choppiness and hello to pedalling nirvana. Once you’ve experienced Q Rings, returning to round rings feels like pedalling in squares.
One of the best things about Q Rings is the ability to adjust their orientation to perfectly suit your specific bike position and set-up. Rotor calls each of these five-degree points Optimum Chainring Positions, or OCP for short. Not only does this allow rotation between five positions to find what’s most comfortable – or half-points too if you’re using a Rotor Micro Adjust Spider (MAS) – it also ensures the best possible performance across MTB, road and triathlon disciplines, where the saddle position differs in relation to the bottom bracket.
They help you climb
The oval shape of Q Rings evens out the power being put through your bike’s drivetrain, cajoling the spiky peaks-and-troughs profile that round rings produce into a far smoother line. This more constant power output comes into its own when climbing, allowing you to more easily spin up cols without jerkiness and offering mountain bikers and roadies alike more grip when scaling gradients with wet or loose surfaces.
More efficient riding and better running
Q Rings smooth power by spending longer on the power-producing downstroke and quickly zipping through ‘dead spots’ in each revolution – making the most of powerful muscle groups and limiting the weakness of others for more efficient riding. This variable angular velocity also means a reduction of knee and hamstring load, helping to keep your legs fresher for longer, especially when running off the bike in triathlon events.
Concentrate on riding, not pedalling
Thanks to the smoothing effect of Q Rings, you can do away with ankling and other notions of pedalling technique; with the up and down action of your legs acting like pistons, Q Rings do the rest, letting you enjoy your ride and put all your effort and concentration into scaling that mountain pass or pushing those crucial few watts more in your next time trial.
They’re light and stiff
Q Rings are CNC machined to exacting tolerances, meaning a 53/36T set weighs only 153g and gives plenty of stiffness. For the have-it-all cyclist, Rotor’s newest Qarbon rings are eight per cent lighter and 20 per cent stiffer thanks to the combination of a more thinly machined 7075 alloy and a high modulus carbon fibre plate. Either way, it’s good to know your pedalling performance boost isn’t compromised by heft or flexibility.