Pinkbike Poll: Oval Chainrings?

Nov 7, 2014
by Richard Cunningham  
Absolute Black 32-tooth oval chainring

Absolute Black's 32-tooth oval chainring on a Shimano XTR 104mm bolt-circle crankset.



Oral tradition and the written word states without question, that experienced cyclists pedal in perfect circles, and that doing so ensures every muscular contraction which occurs in the braided musculature of the rider’s legs is efficiently converted into forward motion. The analogy of a smoothly balanced piston engine is often used to describe the cadence of professional cyclists in action. Inexperienced cyclists, those who have not attained such mastery, are jeered because they “pedal in squares.”

Cycling science, as it presently stands, supports the sacred circular stroke, but before we believe every sports doctor’s advice and take their revered training manuals as gospel, we should consider that most of the research which upholds the perfect pedal circle was generated by old-school cyclists who were established believers. Have presumptions poisoned the science of cycling? Could it be possible that after seeking the perfect pedaling circle for one and a half centuries, that cycling got it wrong? Could there may be a more efficient method of pushing pedals around a crankset?

With practice and determination, a healthy human body can be successfully taught to master a wild range of physical activities and repetitive motions. Those who need proof need only to watch Eddie Van Halen play guitar, attend a circus, or take in a Bikram Yoga competition. Pedaling in perfect circles should seem laughably easy after that trio of performances – so, why is it so hard?

Absloute Black 32t oval chainring beside a 32t MRP round chainring 2014

Both are 32-tooth chainrings and both will drive the bike forward at the same speed at a given RPM.The Absolute Black Oval sprocket can actually smooth out your power stroke during high watt efforts.



The answer may be hidden in the first paragraph of this intro. Perhaps the reason that newbie cyclists pedal in squares is that the human body was not designed to pedal in perfect circles. Perhaps today’s most elite cycling professionals could benefit by deconstructing their “perfect” circular pedaling and adopting a motion that favors human kinematics that evolved over millions of years for walking and running upright. As it is with all idealized forms and philosophies, reality and truth can always be found somewhere in the middle.



Bionicon's B Lab oval chainring uses a less exaggerated
oval shape. The narrow-wide tooth profile is a must.
Widespread acceptance of one-by drivetrains has created an opportunity to re-evaluate conventional pedaling logic. There are a growing number of riders and component makers who believe that oval or cam-shaped chainrings should be used to better match effort required to turn the cranks with the kinematics of the human skeleton and musculature. Asymmetrical and oval chainrings have been in use for quite a long time and have earned victories in every form of cycle racing with the possible exception of DH.

OEM drivetrain suppliers, however, have not participated, primarily because reliable shifting is a struggle for even the best front derailleurs when the diameters of the sprockets are constantly changing. But, the recent domination of one-by drivetrains and their companion, the SRAM-developed narrow-wide tooth profile, have eliminated the need for a front changer and also paved the way for OEM drivetrain makers to experiment in earnest with asymmetrical chainrings.

The concept of optimizing a mechanism to operate in a non-linear mode that more closely mirrors human kinematics has been successfully employed in other areas. Cam-driven weight machines and high-power compound archery bows are two examples that pop into mind. I counted a half-dozen aftermarket drivetrain suppliers that offer asymmetrical chainrings for road - and beyond Rotor, the Spanish pioneer that has been the point of the spear for their development - at least four more brands have jumped into the mountain bike arena with oval or asymmetrical rings.


Rotor learned that adding timing options to its chainrings
was an essential tool which allowed riders to tune the
sweet spot to their pedaling styles.
Mountain bikers, haunted by the ghost of Shimano’s asymmetrical Bio-Pace chainrings which plagued early mountain bikes will no-doubt resist the mere mention of a chainring that is not round, but times have changed. Powermeters and other devices that track and measure riders’ watt outputs and real-time cardio-vascular data are commonplace, and cyclists regularly use those tools to personally evaluate performance items. Seeing is believing. Presumably, the popularity of asymmetrical chainring among elite road racers is also directly related to the fact that most race and train with power meters, so they can measure results and eliminate guesswork and presumption from their performances.

At present, most offerings for mountain bikes are simple ovalized sprockets, a handful of which, Pinkbike is presently testing. Initial impressions are that the concept is not perfected, but it has legs. There is a learning curve required to time your cadence to the pulsing effect. Speed remains about the same - the bottom line is that, round or oval, one revolution of a 32-tooth sprocket still advances the cassette by 32 teeth. The difference felt is in how the legs mete out pressure on the pedals through the crank circle, and it seems to help most when laying down lots of torque.

Ultimately, the basic oval will probably evolve into a more optimized shape - which is what the more experienced players, like Rotor and O,Symetric, are already doing. Ironically, the evolution of the asymmetrical chainring is leaning towards a slightly rectangular profile – which suggests that the human body actually is designed to pedal in squares.

So, the question for today’s Pinkbike Poll is: If it could be proven without a doubt that using an asymmetrical chainring would improve your pedaling output or efficiency, would you switch over from round rings?




If it could be proven without a doubt that using an asymmetrical chainring would improve your pedaling output or efficiency, would you switch over from round rings?



Where to look for asymmetrical chainrings: Rotor Bike, Absolute Black, Bionicon B-Ring Oval.




205 Comments

  • + 212
 What's next? 26" wheels
  • + 227
 not just 26" wheels... that is old news..... oval 26"!
  • + 19
 I tip my hat to you funflow
  • + 98
 its science: on 50% of the wheel you will have the rolling resistance of a 29er, and you can round 0,5 to 1. so 100%
on the other half you will have the acceleration and weight of a 26er. you can also round that up. again 100% of the wheel
so in the end you will have a wheel that is 200% better.
trust me, i`m a sciencer
  • + 20
 so scientifical
  • + 7
 You can do it by not letting one side of your tyre fully bed into the rim.
  • + 5
 no... 24"
  • + 10
 this is definitely a more technicaller article than i am used to
  • + 7
 I RUN THEM ON MY ROAD BIKE AND NOTICES A 20WATT ENCRESE IN POWER
  • + 3
 " its science: on 50% of the wheel you will have the rolling resistance of a 29er, and you can round 0,5 to 1. so 100%
on the other half you will have the acceleration and weight of a 26er. you can also round that up. again 100% of the wheel
so in the end you will have a wheel that is 200% better.
trust me, i`m a sciencer"

You forgot to mention that you will have a awesome feeling of pump track, and will boost your skill and power like on pump track.
  • + 2
 It would also employ the advantages of the 27.5" aswell.

Really it would be the best of all 3 worlds.
  • - 1
 Pinkbike Poll......Pinkbike Poll ?
  • + 7
 Ive had many an oval 26" wheel. They are truly over rated.
  • + 13
 Don't you mean truly oval rated
  • + 96
 This debate will only go around in circles.
  • + 19
 Pinkbike is always geared up for a chance to tackle the big questions though...
  • - 9
flag sewer-rat (Nov 7, 2014 at 5:39) (Below Threshold)
 Too right, it will have legs
  • - 9
flag lightningskull (Nov 7, 2014 at 5:56) (Below Threshold)
 Fresh strokes in this arguments. Though its got chains of the ol pb flame war in it
  • + 5
 It would seem to me, like you are trying to put a square peg into a round hole.
  • + 2
 it's pinkbike so one can assume both sides will fight tooth and nail to prove their point
  • + 13
 Don't be so obtuse.
  • - 8
flag Hammm (Nov 7, 2014 at 11:55) (Below Threshold)
 this is going around in circles...
  • + 42
 As long as there are no studies that prove that cyclists are generally faster on one type than the other, it is all he-said-she-said stories. I would like to see them have 100 cyclists try both on a bicycle standing still in a lab where the rear wheel is connected to a computer that will compare the results per cyclist
  • + 6
 I agree I think its time for some comparisons to end the shroud of uncertainty.
  • - 24
flag Bananafish (Nov 7, 2014 at 5:38) (Below Threshold)
 On the rotor website for the q-ring chain rings, they say that the oval rings only save 1.6 seconds over a distance of 1km.

If you're going to test which ring is better then you need a machine providing a constant force to the cranks, then measure the power output. An actual person can't be relied upon to provide a constant cadence/force to cranks for this test
  • + 47
 @Bananafish

If a machine does it then there will be no difference. The entire point is that humans don't provide a constant force to the cranks.
  • + 1
 True ^
  • - 28
flag Bananafish (Nov 7, 2014 at 6:01) (Below Threshold)
 So you are saying we should use people to see which suits us more biomechanically?

If you're testing anything else it's not right to use people for the test.
  • - 27
flag scott-townes (Nov 7, 2014 at 6:11) (Below Threshold)
 Screw tests, all they do is waste taxpayer money. Egg me up and all the proof you need will be me pedaling asymmetrical circles around your tired lycra asses.
  • + 3
 There's evidence showing they do work, and evidence showing they make no difference. I'm not a fan as the look daft. This is a pretty well balanced article if anyone wants a read. It's only a small sample size but is well conducted and references lots of other work on there.

"The slight tendency towards improvement in power output when using the oval Q-rings (increase of 2.5–6.5 % relative to circular chainrings) suggests that Q-rings could result in slight improvement during on-road cycling performance."

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3990898
  • + 9
 I find it pathetic that the mtb industry can make bold claims with hardly any numbers or hard facts to back them up and get away with it. This wouldn't fly in a lot of circles but its ok, they'll pound you with the marketing hammer until you believe it's true.
  • + 7
 @noahhowes - "There's evidence showing they do work, and evidence showing they make no difference." - there! you got it by the balls! That's THE real science! One bloke makes one research another make another research, third bloke researches their research and looks for stuff he thinks is common in both, while the two blokes may have looked at it from a different angle. Then the fourth bloke tries to straighten things up, makes another research and comes to different conclusions, then fifth bloke makes experiments and says that the first bloke was right. All were theoretically working with best intentions, but the question always is: who paid for the research? Someone has to - that's what the freaking science is about! BTW I am not religious...
  • + 4
 @WAKIdesigns Yeah, it's hard to know who to believe. Several have good methods but none are robust enough to be conclusive. That study was university funded rather than industry, I think. The gains, if any, are so small on the road that I find it hard to believe I'd notice any off-road, unless all I rode was fire track! Marginal theoretical gains are not my thing, I'll wait until someone's proven my round ring is wrong. (that last sentence is wrong, urgh)
  • + 3
 Why everybody seems really hate the words called "Technology Developement".
IMHO, we can't stop it. We must accept the developement.
Please let me ask y'all this. Why y'all choose a modern DH bike rather than Klunkers?

My fams told me this "You will never know before you try."
The worst word that people really fear is "Change". Yes, i must admit i hate changes. But, why not change for a better thing.
I'm not saying this asymetric / oval chainring is great. Because i haven't try it.

Indeed, nowadays bicycle industries make a ridiculous price for their products.
I have a friend in Taiwan (where BIG names in bike industry make their carbon bike) and Japan who work in that HUGE bike components industry.
They said the original price for each product is WAAAAAAAAAAAAAY below the MSRP price. Especially for a carbon frame.
For example, a carbon hardtail bike w/ top notch components will cost you at least US$2-4k. CMIIW.
The original price would be around US$400-700.

@PLC07 hey man, if you're not happy with their price, don't buy it. But, if you think the price tag is worth with what they offer to you, IMHO at least consider it. Simple as that.
Me too, if i think i don't have that paper to buy their product(s), i wouldn't buy it.

Best regards.
  • + 2
 I've worked in a number of very high end bike shops in the UK selling primarily custom builds and high end bikes to racers and tri-athletes. We sold a lot of Rotor rings.

ep1.pinkbike.org/p4pb8900868/p4pb8900868.jpg

Speaking to the customers they definitely found improvement in their times, after developing a different pedalling style to work with the oval rings. Customers said all of their bikes (many had multiple bikes) had to be switched to oval rings, because they could not tolerate running round rings on 1 bike and oval on the 2nd bike.

Have "ridden" a few bikes with ovalised rings, not owned and changed my pedalling style, so cannot comment with authority on the effect on a rider myself?
  • + 0
 A lot of power meter companies have said that oval rings aren't accurate so I don't think you can measure that way... personal preference is a key thing for these rings.
  • + 2
 being that its only a chainring and you dont need to change anything else, I'd just try one and see if i liked it or not, regardless of studies. In theory it should help considering a pedal stroke is not even close to having an even power output throughout. I think Fabien barrel started using one of these to compensate for his one leg being shorter after breaking it.
  • + 1
 Ugh. Everytime there is something like that chain ring coming up two groups arise and fight for God knows what. I know because I've been a Zealot from Appleland and a Berserk from Ludditenia. What is apparent is that the less thing seems to matter the higher values are summoned to be put into battle. Development and progress - please, stop sounding like someone just performed fusion and drove on a bottle of Evian from San Fran to Washington DC, or that they found event horizon by flushing a broken toilet in uni-quantum sequence. Being affraid of change? - what? What does this change? It puts a bug to your head that you may be missing something, you get improvement in race results, Jesus... it's like this insinuation of RC that Sam Hill had Secret weapon in form of latest Schwalbe tyre, meanwhile some bloke got 4th on world champs, riding the whole track without a chain - an amateur got improvement in his race results - that tiny gap in Peloton, 0,05s later and he'd hit a bloke to the left, but no, he found ideal opening to shoot out from behind of Morgentosser and he escaped for 155,5 meters on 34th mile and kept the lead for the rest of the race... post purchase rationalization - maybe?

Complication, hype? That thing takes exactly same money to make and 4h of CADding more to draw than a perfectly round chain ring. Yes it will feel different, but not as much as changing from a round 32t chainring to a round 34t chain ring. If suddenly someone declares that the whole industry will be running those then i could not care less. What? Does it pollute a river in China?

Look someone just made something it is an oval chainring - nothing - still nothing - yaaawn - faster, quicker - aaah - brrrp - it's gone...
  • + 2
 I'm actually generally indifferent-to-enthusiastic about technological improvements in the bike world. If this ring ends up being a gamechanger then that's great. I'll get one when my round ring wears out.

What gets to me is people jumping the "OMG ULTIMATE REVOLUTION!!!!!!1111eleventyeleven!!1!" bandwagon before a product has proven its claims and then proceed to castigate those who show a healthy dose of skepticism. I understand that most of it is clickbait but I can't help feeling like it is lazy "journalism" at best.
  • + 3
 Testicles are oval and not round, so debate solved. But ovaries are oval too. Makes you think!
  • + 1
 Sooo Sithbike - does that mean that you became at leadt slightly conscious of the woman inside of you?
  • + 0
 What about chain clearance? Am I being thick or would oval rings make it worse?
  • + 1
 And do oval rigs have a greater impact on suspension designs because you've moved where the chain sits giving less consistent suspension feeling?
  • - 1
 @graeme187 I wonder this too, but I have a feeling the variance is too small to really matter at the cadence most riding takes place at. Virtual pivot/parrallel link/dw type bikes have a constantly moving pivot point too....so I'm not sure it would matter much, would also depend how oval the ring is, nobodies mentioned a standard here for that, it could vary from company to company.
  • + 0
 It could only be a good thing for suspension as that would mean more even power transfer thus less bobbing IF(!) oval chainring could affect suspension action more than a click of low speed compression (before CTD stuff was made that everyone is using, but only Fox got sht for that)
  • + 3
 As a father and 9-5 working type, I'm just stoked to be on my bike with a few hours spare and a bunch of singletrack. Last thing I'm worried about is if my chainring was oval, I'd be more effiecient....
  • + 1
 @BobChicken just think about that 1% efficiency gain bro, you could be riding an extra 100yards of trails per ride for just for one easy payment of 89,99$*!

*Doesn't include shipping fees.
  • + 27
 On a mountain bike we often find ourselves in situations where more power is needed at odd points in your pedal stroke; to clear a small obstacle or to ensure your pedals are balanced for an upcoming obstacle, etc.
What we need is consistency. And I think that is best found with a circular chainring.
Oval chainrings might be worthwhile in other forms of cycling but I don't think its gonna help on a mtb, in fact I think it would create a disadvantage if anything.
  • + 3
 Came here to say this. Last thing I want is sections of my pedal stroke in which I don't generate as much torque.
  • + 8
 You aren't generating any torque with yout pedals at 12 and 6 though so it helps you get through there quicker and into the power stroke.
  • + 2
 maybe not at exactly 12 & 6, but what about 1 & 7? I'm not generating the torque I do at 9 & 3, sure, but I'm generating enough torque to get over smaller stuff, & sometimes I need that due to the imperfect surface of a trail.

Setting that aside though, maintaining traction in the dirt can often be about keeping even torque output, big spikes cause the rear tire to break free(lots of roadies have problems with this when they first try riding in the dirt, because road riding doesn't punish you for uneven power output.)

I'm not convinced that making your torque output even less symmetrical is a good idea. I'm sure RC can compensate, but this sounds like a way to make cleaning a tricky climb even harder for a newbie.
  • + 3
 Nah. If you need to generate torque at any point in your pedal cycle you can do it. I agree as much as there are points where it's obviously easier to do so but there are times when I need to find torque at odd points, going through that point quicker to get to the power stroke is gonna mess up my shit and I smash a pedal, roll into an obstacle not properly set up and/ or come off. I used to ride trials but I regardless I think being able to find torque where ever you are in the pedal cycle is a necessity on a mtb.
  • + 2
 Agreed. One of the biggest difference between road & Mtn riding is that one uses pedaling as a means of generating forward movement, while the other uses it as a method of handling as well.
  • + 11
 @ThomDawson I agree 100% with your opening statement "We often find ourselves in situations where more power is needed at odd points in your pedal stroke... What we need is consistency" but I draw the exact opposite conclusion. We need consistency and we need torque at odd points in the pedal stroke, so isn't that an argument for an off-round chainring that smooths out power distribution throughout the stroke and gives you even force no matter where you are in the circle? Seems to me MTB's stand to benefit even more than road, because pedaling isn't just about net efficiency over many miles, but also about moment by moment power at odd places in the pedal stroke.
  • + 2
 There are many times when climbing that you can be in "too easy" of a gear, so your torque causes the rear tire to spin out. You learn to use a taller/harder gear to prevent that situation. However, using that taller/harder gear means you are in the "dead zone" of the pedal stroke longer, potentially loosing momentum. The oval chain rings shorten the time you are in the "dead zone", and help even out the power delivery. I think there would be a benefit once you get used to them.
  • - 2
 @TEAM-ROBOT That's what biopace did. this does the opposite. less power at 12 & 6, but even more power at 9 & 3. Their argument is that it gets you out of 12 & 6 quicker, which works fine if you're spinning circles. I'm not convinced having points in your pedal stroke that have more or less power is so desirable in MTB, where you often take abbreviated turns on the cranks, in order to keep your pedals clear of obstacles.
  • + 2
 wouldn't the setup just have the minimum mechanical advantage equal to that of your current chainring mechanical advantage, and the oval shape just gives the rider more mechanical advantage in the power section of the pedal stroke?
  • + 1
 @groghunter you have it the wrong way around. Biopace gave you minimum leverage at 12 & 6, meaning it pulled the most chain, these do the opposite. Biopace was intended to reduce the stress on your knees/body, by providing strong acceleration at 9 & 3 so that momentum would carry you through the dead zone. sheldonbrown.com/biopace.html
The issue with this is that it gave the most resistance in the part of the stroke that you have the least power. Modern elliptical rings (which funnily enough are more similar to the very first elliptical rings than Biopace) do the opposite, and give you the most resistance at the point where your body can naturally generate the highest force, and a lower effective gearing in the regions where you can't put out as much torque.
  • + 1
 @groghunter yeah that's exactly what I'm trying to say dude, pedalling often becomes a big factor in handling when negotiating obstacles and certain gradient changes etc. I can't be the only one who cranks the pedals through stuff? Maybe it depends where you ride and if your bb is a ft off the ground. I haven't tried these rings and I have to say I'm intrigued, I'd really like to have a go. But on my usual rides with a lot of rocky and steep climbs I think I'd prefer a trusty, round ring to help me out of those tricky situations; enabling me to power up even on the 12/ 6 part of my stroke.
  • + 1
 You may think it dosen't help but you're wrong. I ve been using Doval ovalized rings on the North Shore for two years now. I have less knee fatigue on longer rides and are more comfortable and faster on climbs than I was with the same tooth count round rings. Q rotor has a lot science behind as does Doval brand.
  • + 1
 @Socket I don't have it wrong way around, you're talking about the mechanical advantage at the cranks, while I'm talking about the output at the wheel. To clarify: it's like you're driving a bigger ring at 9 & 3, & a smaller ring at 12 & 6. your pedal stroke at 9 & 3 will carry you farther, your pedal stroke at 12 & 6 get's less distance, but at a greater mechanical advantage, so that you can move through it easier.

BTW, I love how all the people who like them are content to harp on how much greater they are, without addressing specific points about them like the one I keep bringing up: I take abbreviated pedal strokes, in order to clear obstacles. having differing levels of resistance at different points in my pedal stroke isn't something that sounds like a great idea in that respect.
  • + 18
 As someone who has ACTUALLY USED THEM, i thought i would share my 2 cents:

Not all oval rings are created equal: They need multiple mounting positions to time the pedal stroke. depending on your bike fit/anatomy, you apply power in a slightly different spot.

For me, they have helped the most on steep climbs, where you may be overgeared(especially with a single ring) and keeping traction on the back end is difficult. The "easy" spot in the pedal rotation sort of guides your foot underneath, setting you up for your next stroke.

Not the same as Biopace. The timing is complete opposite.

Seems to me they are more useful on mtb than road, but ive only tested the road setup briefly.

They aren't going to give you free power or any silly shit like that, but if you try them you might be pleasantly surprised by how they feel.
  • + 8
 I'm in agreement with this guy. I've been using the chainrings on 1x set ups for a few years. The big improvement for is the ease of climbing technical terrain. With the oval chain ring technology it's much easier to coast thru the dead spot in the pedal stroke, and get your cranks into an orientation where you can generate torque and control.
  • + 2
 Thanks for this comment. I've long been interested in oval rings because I've always felt that i have a really bad dead spot in my power delivery somewhere around 2 to 3 o'clock. If im feeling strong and im in the perfect gear it's not a problem but as soon as i get tired it starts to show up. Im a flat pedal rider who uses clips occasionally and i climb with a freakishly high cadence, it looks like i spin twice as fast as my riding mates.
  • + 2
 I've had oval rings on my mtb and road bike for years and will be using them from now on. Can't bash it till you try it...but don't bash it physically cuz they can be expensive. ;P
  • + 3
 I have one and barely feel a difference in high cadence pedaling. But climbing loose gravel out of the saddle its great. There is that point in the pedal stroke that when you are climbing loose terrain you have to be very gentle so you don't loose traction. The oval chainring decreases the force you exert on that point of the pedal stroke so its much easier to climb loose shit while standing. I think the chainring will be appreciated by people who prefer to stand and mash. People who sit most of the time probably won't get it.
  • + 2
 @acali I think the benefits are there even when sitting. Not as exaggerated, granted, but you still put out max power in a similar position. On loose ground the benefits stand to be really quite significant.
  • + 10
 I want to be professional about it, but jeez, I find RC's writing on this site to be either:

a) Ad copy

or

b) Completely incomprehensible (like today's story).
  • - 1
 Your comment is nothing more than a blatant insult.
  • + 1
 Neg props mounting, I guess I need to defend my first comment. In all seriousness, I completely disagree with you. I didn't get any hint of preference for a particular product or brand in the article. You really don't have any basis for calling it an advertisement. He also did not flat-out state that the technology is better than what is currently the norm. If anything, he simply posed a few simple questions to form a discussion (Professional or otherwise XP) and not to push a product.

To help you out... He simply questioned optimal human kinematics in respect to pedaling and wrote a concise history, including the present direction of the tech. Commentary in the article was minimal and definitely not (blatantly) opinionated. What is so difficult to comprehend?

In my opinion, it is well written. It was a neat little story with just enough info and something to think about. I especially like how he tied "square pedaling" into the beginning and end.


If they have any benefit what so ever, I'm open to running one of these rings. But please, make them compatible with a bash ring because they are frack'n ugly.
  • - 3
 Reading comprehension is hard, I know.

My overall comment, as stated in the first sentence, was related to his writing as a whole. The "incomprehensible" comment was directed at this specific story. Does that help?
  • + 4
 People that don't realize RC is an industry hype man have their heads buried pretty far in the proverbial loam (or duff, or whatever the hell it is).
  • + 1
 You know, when RC arrived on PB a lot of people already hated him due to his history with other magazines. I figured I'd give the guy a chance because I usually want to make my own opinion on people. I tried hard to respect the guy because he's probably been riding bikes for longer than I have been alive so he must know a few things that we don't but a lot of his posts sound like either straight up ads, like he's brown nosing the industry so bad he is hip deep in their asses or like he's trying to get credit down the road for being an early adopter so it's really hard to take him seriously. Maybe I'm crazy but it seems to be the general direction pinkbike has been taking lately. All I do on the site anymore is click on product reviews and skip to the conclusion part. I don't know if the other websites are any better as I haven't had the time to look around but this is becoming such a joke I'm strongly considering finding a different news source altogether.
  • + 1
 Thanks for chance PLC07. The industry has grown up. Manufacturers have adopted standards and product testing protocols. With few exceptions, today's bikes and products perform very well. So, why say bad things about good stuff? We are enjoying a rare moment in the history of MTB, where improvement has been more prevalent than true innovation. It won't last much longer. Providing that the global economy holds up, and customers will continue to buy new and expensive things, the next round of wild "standards," weird suspension, funky bikes, and breakthrough riding styles is right around the corner. There should be plenty to complain about then.
  • + 1
 I understand that we got to the point where there is no excuse for making a bad product and thankfully, it doesn't happen much anymore. As a consumer and a biking enthusiast, I am very happy that it got to the point I can just get to a bike shop and randomly pick a bike or a component and barring a few exceptions, it is probably going to perform well and I'm actually quite grateful for that. And I should probably also be grateful for the internet and websites like pinkbike who probably indirectly force manufacturers to make high quality stuff, knowing they will be exposed sooner or later if they don't.

What gets to me is the massive hype about just anything new. I understand everybody has to sell their stuff and that the marketing dept has to justify their jobs but take this ring for example, it hasn't even been proven to do anything so far. Some people (and studies) say it does, and some say it doesn't. Even if it does, for the average pinkbike user, is it going to be enough to make an actual difference in their riding?Is the media that desperate to get any sort of news headlines? I understand that the possibility of a 1-5% ish performance gain would be very appealing to the road crowd but here? (..)
  • + 1
 (..) I think the poll shows that mountain bikers really don't mind switching to a proven concept and there is even a lot of early adopters out there. The widely adoption of clutches, narrow wide rings, wide bars and droppers post prove that when something works, people will buy it. I feel that this much hype about products is more harmful than anything else to the product, as everything now is portrayed as a revolution waiting to happen, or at the very least "next level stuff". It can only disappoint/alienate consumers when manufacturers fail to deliver a product that meets the sky high expectations, which will breed even more bitterness and skepticism, not only toward the manufacturer who failed to deliver a product worthy of the expectations but also toward the media who made a big deal of something that ultimately wasn't.

I first found the oval ring concept somewhat interesting when it was featured in one of the bikeshows articles and I was curious to see how far this concept would go (knowing biopace's previous failure) but now I'm just hoping it's not going to turn into another marketing mess like some of those we've seen recently.
  • + 7
 I see another aplication ot that oval rings. If you ride 1x10 with small ring (26-32), you have more pedal kickback with most of the suspencion systems. With this ring, if your pedals are horizontal (like when you are decending), the upper part ot the ring will be higher - so less chaingrow and pedal kickback - better suspencion performance.
  • + 6
 I have ridden a Niner Air 9 Carbon that had Rotor Q Rings and it was very different. I will say that I had a slower cadence but was able to remain in a harder gear with the same effort. They do work and no this is not Shimano Biopace. Good writeup Richard!
  • + 2
 Fabian had been on Rotor Q Rings for a long time now and his record speaks volumes.
  • + 0
 but that wasn't directly because they were more efficient, but because of a knee injury he sustained. using an oval chain ring put less pressure on his knee.
  • + 0
 If you have a slower cadence in a harder gear, you're likely just putting out the same power. There would be no point to oval rings then. Power is the cross product of torque and cadence.
  • + 0
 Not according to my Garmin. It was a timed segment.
  • + 0
 Also I have horrible knees.
  • + 4
 I've been running on Osymetric rings for more than 2 years now and they perform amazing. Much more comfy than round rings and much easier to climb with. This and the fact that legs feel more fresh at the end of the ride.

It is a mistake to consider that asymmetrical rings are comparable:

- first BioPace had an opposite design to the other non circular rings because it relied on dynamic rather than static leg position. The idea was to lower the diameter where the leg is trong to provide acceleration and "help" going through the dead spot quicker. This design proved to be wrong and has actually nothing to do with most modern design.

- second, all asymmetrical rings are not equal. Rotor makes barely oval rings which do not provide significant difference IMO. Also the position of the big diameter is crucial and differs between designs. Some rings such as Ogival have a very exaggerated shape that (apart from gerashifting issues) feels wrong under the leg. There is a sweet spot to reach and no commercially available design out there is perfect at the moment. In my experience however, I can tell that Osymetric is by far what is the closest to the perfect design.

It is striking that most asymmetrical designs are in majority used by roadies or triathletes while I do thik they offer maximum benefit for MTB only. These rings are of course of little to no use for DH. Despite some wild claims in terms regarding power gain from manufacturers, the advantage resides more in the fact that your muscles will fatigue less and offer benefits for long XC/AM rides mostly. I also do see that I am able to fuel through higher cadences on climbs.

Overall I couldn't think of going back to round rings because they feel much more natural under the pedal than standard rings. Would be cool if some science can prove their benefits but the thing is there are many poorly designed oval rings out there that just f*ck up the concept. One has to carefully choose when purchasing...
  • + 8
 Wait, biopace is cool again?
  • + 1
 Everything new is well forgotten old
  • + 1
 I had that on my late 1980s (?) muddy fox courier comp.
  • + 6
 I have biopace on my 1990 Marin Palisades. www.pinkbike.com/photo/10707638
  • + 3
 My second mountain back back in 1990 had ovular chainrings. They were Shimano, I think they may have been called biopace or something like that. I always switched bikes with a friend and could never notice a difference between circular and ovular. One day I bent the top chairing and replaced with a round ring, cause it was cheaper; this made shifting weird but still werked. I also could never bring my self to show ppl the shape of my genitals by wearing spandex. While I am sure there may be some efficiency advantage of either dressing like a ballerina to go biking, or spending cash for off round peices to go on yer bike, i think it is better jus to ride yer bike and have fun.
  • + 2
 Sounds good and after watching the sky team run them in the last few tours may give them some validity.
wonder if they might affect rear suspension or the clutch in a rear mech? seeing Froom's driveline at high cadence is whack and how that would go on a long/med travel trail bike?
  • + 3
 There is no pulsing effect on the rear mech because, at any given time, the chain engages the same amount of teeth as a round ring. There is a video on the Absolute Black site that shows this in action.
  • + 1
 Then why does it happen on my bike?
  • + 1
 hmmm, you would have a constant change in the relation between pivot point and chain torque point, but i dont think we turn a high enough rpm for this to matter with how small of a change it actually is?
  • + 2
 @beetardfoozer I've seen the same thing happen with a round ring that wasn't mounted to cranks properly. RC is right, it isn't the ring, it mathematically can't be.
  • + 1
 wrong. double checked all my bike, those with and without oval rings. 100% consistent, ovalised ring = small amount of cyclical derailleur pulley movement. not a lot, but it's there.
  • + 1
 beetardfoozer, The variance could be that the machining of the tooth profile of oval rings that you tested was not perfectly concentric with the BB axle. The same thing can happen with round rings if the crank spider is a little off or if the bolt circle is not concentric with that of the chainring's teeth. Or.....I could be dead wrong.
  • + 2
 @RichardCunningham, I think I've figured it out. so if chain wrap doesn't change, we can assume that the line of chain between the lower pulley of the derailleur and the chainring also doesn't change in length. where the chain leaves the chainring changes relative to the BB, and derailleur must follow.
i think that makes sense.
BTW, wasn't trying to be argumentative, its just interesting!
  • + 2
 I had some Rotor rings way back when I used to road race. Not sure what it was about them, but as soon as I put them on the bike, I started getting the worst knee pain on every ride. I tried all the "timing" options, but eventually just ditched them and went back to round rings. Instant knee relief. Never again. No matter how popular they become.
  • + 1
 Same here
  • + 2
 Had a Rotor Q-ring on my singlespeed for most of the year this year. At first, I was a big fan. By the end of the summer I was wanting to try a round ring again to see if it felt any different. Didn't seem a whole lot different. For the price of a Q-ring ($135 retail), I think I'll be sticking with a Race Face or E13 round ring. The tooth wear on the Q-ring was wayyyyy uneven too.
  • + 2
 How was your SS set up? I mean was it a dedicated SS with horizontal dropouts or EBB? Or did you use one of those conversion kits with the little pulley where your derailler goes? I'm wondering about chain growth - I've heard both. Some say the chain length changes during the rotation, I've heard elsewhere it doesn't. Thx!
  • + 2
 Kona Raijin with paragon sliders. Honestly it was very similar to a round ring at initial setup. I set it up with a loose spot rather than a tight spot. Which is the case with a round ring as well. I do kinda feel like it stretched chains faster.
  • + 1
 Ride. Rotor ring sometime and you'll get it. It is just ever so noticeably faster withot having an odd pedal stroke. It excels in those little "punch it" situations where you need a quick snap and that alone is worth it even when for those who don't immediately notice the more efficient pedaling. Try it.
  • + 1
 Even shimano biopace worked better than its given credit for today. The problem wasn't the idea, it was the implementation...pro cyclists who bought into the circle myth and had spent thousands of hours mastering circular pedaling in contradiction to human evolution, resented being forced to re-learn what they "knew" better than the computers and lab monkeys at shimano's R&D center. When Shimano brought out biopace, they did so at the top pro-level first and offered NO alternative chainrings, and then trickled it down to all other groups (especially low end steel rings on Exage series and lower mountain cranksets. For several years you could NOT buy a bike with a new shimano drivetrain without biopace rings. Amateur cyclists who were ready to believe anything the pro's believed, then fell victim to the round good / oval bad mythos and repeated the complaining in bike stores. An accidental side innovation that came out of that period and the cheap stamped steel biopace rings though was the discovery of RAMPS to aid the chain pickup. All the stamped middle/outer rings of 1991 and earlier steel biospace as you found on millions of Exage 300LX/400LX/500LX and 100GS and 200GS cranksets had ramps and they shifted faster and smoother than the alloy biopace rings found on the Deore LX/DX/XT groups without them. Shimano soon realized that an accident of how steel rings were manufactured could be made to improve alloy rings as well, and presto... XTR when it debuted had pick-up ramps and pins pressed into the alloy middle and outer rings (and now today they're machined as part of the ring itself with many brands).
  • + 1
 Interesting bit of tech history, thank you for that.
  • + 1
 My opinion: It definitely works better and it is not any new idea. It certainly looks like shit. Chain in such is a very far from perfect solution and it is high time to think about alternatives. Would I shift into an oval chainring? Yes, provided that I am still using any chain, which I wish to leave far behind as soon as possible.
  • + 2
 "If it could be proven without a doubt" ... If it is proven without a doubt you'd have to be an idiot not to switch... But then again, proving without doubt is tricky business.
  • + 1
 Agreed and my point exactly above. I don't understand the point of poll questions worded in a way that mainly force people to pick the same answer.
  • + 2
 Aluminium is the worst material for hardtail, but there is aluminium hardtails.
High pivot suspension with chain pulleys are better without a doubt, but there is not many DH frames with chain pulleys.
Two connondale lefties creatig a whole fork, with 200mm travel and good internals would be without a doubt the ultimate fork, but it simply don't exist.

So, something "proven without a doubt" is not always the only way to go.
  • + 1
 its cool see all the different all the different types and styles of bike parts and dreaming about how much faster they would make us, but really we are talking about getting a couple watts of power extra or saving a few grams of weight by spending a lot of money! when really the biggest improvements don't need to be in the bike but in the rider. a couple days a week in the gym are going to make WAY more of a difference then a chain ring that isn't round
  • + 1
 its not new, I still have two bikes in the family, booth are Made in USA, one of them is very strong BCA bike, with shimano components from the time which is equal with todays best XTR lineup, and it has an oval chainring set on the front, 3 of them, cause its a 3 speed up front, and its woking very well. Pedaling with that bike is very good, but I didnt realized a very big difference between this and a good non-oval chainring setup.. Smile
  • + 1
 I've been running Rotor rings for many years now. They work well for me but they aren't for everyone. They are easier on my knees and I can push harder gears for longer. My XX1 setup took a bit to get used to round rings again. I finally got a Rotor Rex 32t ring for it. Noticeable improvement for me. Thinking I could easily get away with a 34t. Even up here in the high country.
  • + 1
 Of course RC would be posting about the next iteration of Biopace hahahaha. How about we look into that Roundtech technology - it's the next big thing on the horizon! I have biopace rings on my late 80's Raleigh Technium road bike and I honestly can't tell the difference - which as they say, is a good thing.
  • + 1
 Ironically enough, this inconsistent chain should, in tty theory give us more consistent torque xfer to the we wheel. You just need to align the chainring right so the oval is vertical when your crank arms are. This effectively puts you in a slightly lower gear at the moment your legs are in a position that is slightly weaker. I'd like to try it on my SS!
  • + 1
 There are things I like about it and things I don't. It is great for high RPM spinning, and cruising up moderate climbs. In these instances it makes your pedal stroke feel more natural. Things get weird when you have to lay down the torque at real low cadence, liking cresting the top of a really steep climb. Or punching up over a ledge or log. It feels like your going to stall out. It feels too like it increases the available gear spread range in a 1x setup. It feels like you have a lower low gear and a higher high gear. For long fire road climbs its great. If I lived in a place that had lots of slow, steep technical climbs it would not be my choice.
  • + 1
 Good article, but the poll question is pointless: basically you are asking people if they would choose something that was proven to be better. Of course, a person would be an idiot not to choose something was proven/widely accepted to be better. It's like asking: "If it were proven that drinking wood-alcohol causes blindness, would you continue to drink wood alcohol?" I said "no" because dumb questions deserve dumb answers.
  • + 5
 Not necessarily true Wheel-addict.^^^ If it were scientifically proven that flat pedals were more efficient than being clipped in, would the entire cycling world switch to flats based upon that information? I have no idea where the asymmetrical chainring thing will end up, but this is the first time in history when it makes sense for major OEM parts makers to seriously consider it. Any potential shift in the mountain bike landscape is a worthy discussion.
  • + 1
 "Worth discussion" Indeed. This is what I value the most about Pinkbike. It can be felt, there are great people on the other side of the articles and content, remaining active in discussion. There is also reason for an impression that each Pinkbike user can gave a vote in a discussion about the future. This is why every bike enthusiast should be a Pinkbike user. Still need some more evidence to learn if the community is really deciding about any possible results of a worthy discussion. My best guess is:

A discussion for the sake of its own and producers doing their politics alone.
  • + 1
 @RC^^^ If it were scientifically proven that flats were more efficient than clips (whatever that means) then I think people would switch to flats. Of course, the exact opposite has been well established (through consistently faster race times by pros) and this is why people mostly use clips except for in the case of DH/dirt-jumping where there are other concerns than pure power. I think it will be difficult to prove "scientifically" that asymmetrical rings are better since it's going to be very difficult to isolate exactly what's going on since this is complex human anatomy we're talking about.

I still don't really understand the point of your poll question still. If something proves to be better, many people will switch to it over time. In this case the "proving" is going to be difficult. I agree with you that the discussion is worthy, but your poll question pretty much backs people into a corner, hence predictable massive single bar in the poll.
  • + 1
 When someone comes out with ovalized CR's that can be reliably INDEXED. You will have something cool. I think the optimum radius and engagement point for each individual varies which is why the fixed indexing solution has never worked for the masses. I also think that the old Shimano Biopace was not horrible but needed indexing to make it work.
  • + 1
 True chasejj^^^ Timing seems to become more critical with rings that have a greater difference between their major and minor axis. Seat tube angles, leg configurations and whether one stands or sits to pedal all effect the timing, Initially those sensations are acute, but once the body adapts, the rings create a natural cadence. I imagine that an OEM ring would have transition zones following the peaks to average out the timing issues and thus simplify the concept for rank and file cyclists.
  • + 4
 No. primarilly cos i dont give a shit about improving my pedaling output or efficiency, i just want to shred!!
  • + 0
 Can I vote no more than once?

Bio pace may be good for some but I hated it back it in the day. I like the smoothness over the pronouncedup and down feeling of the oval.

If the industry orders a code red on round rings like it did on 26" wheels, that will be a sad day.
  • + 0
 Simple "google scholar" search on "elliptical chainring"s pulls up dozens of studies that shed light on this matter. Here is a sample abstract from one:

The use of elliptical chainrings (also called chainwheels or sprockets) has gained considerable interest in the amateur and professional cycling community. evertheless, we are unaware of any scientific studies that have examined the performancebenefits of using elliptical chainrings during an actual performance trial. Therefore, this study examined the influence of elliptical chainring use on physiological and performance parameters during a 10 km cycling time trial. Nine male cyclistscompleted, in a counterbalanced order, three 10 km cycling time trials using either a standard chainring or an elliptical chainring at two distinct settings. An attempt was made to blind the cyclists to the type of chainring used until the completion ofthe study. During the 10 km time trial, power output and heart rate were recorded at a frequency of 1 Hz and RPE was measured at 3, 6, and 8.5 km. Total power output was not different (P = .40) between the circular (340 ± 30 W) or eitherelliptical chainring condition (342 ± 29 W and 341 ± 31 W). Similarly, no differences (P = .73) in 2 km mean power output were observed between conditions. Further, no differences in RPE were observed between conditions measured at 3, 6, and 8.5 km. Heart rate was significantly greater (P = .02) using the less aggressive elliptical setting (174 ± 10 bpm) compared with the circular setting (171 ± 9 bpm). Elliptical chainrings do not appear to provide a performance benefit over traditional circular chainrings during a mid-distance time trial.


Most of them say that there is little to no difference. The ones that do affirm that it makes a difference only make the claim for professional athletes AND over a long course. My conclusion: Unless you are in the top 1% of all athletes... move on.
  • + 2
 I ride rotor's Q-ring on the road and my 1x on the MTB. Love it. Hard to describe the benefit, but turning the pedals just seems harder when you go back to round rings.
  • + 1
 I had a late 80's lugged steel Nishiki road bike with oval front rings. Cant wait for other old-new stuff to crop up. Patiently waiting for the return of quill stems and 75 deg HT angles.
  • + 3
 Round rings fit & work better in chain devices & for me thats enough to stop me buying oval.
  • + 1
 Why won't the biz give racers what they really want? less sprockets on the rear cassette! Soo tired of the +1 nonsense every 3 years.
  • + 0
 Isn't this going to fcuk up the new clutch mechs?
As the chain grows its going to pull on the mech until the clutch lets go.
So every time you spin the cranks you wasting energy on the clutch.
  • + 2
 Can anybody confirm if these things work on a Single Speed? I've heard they do/don't.
  • + 3
 yes they can, it's quite weird to watch but the chain length doesn't change
  • + 1
 thanks!
  • + 1
 yes they do. Regardless of the "shape" the same number of teeth are always in contact with the chain.
  • + 3
 Oval technology is much better than the Time Cube theory...
  • + 1
 TIME CUBE!!!
  • + 3
 Dang, we'll buy anything, won't we....
  • + 2
 brace yourselfs! scientific facts that are proven without a doubt, from component makers, are coming!
  • + 1
 I don't care if people want to use oval rings, but I hate them, no benefits, my knees hurt, chain feels like an engery robbing rubber band effect? Load of bunk
  • + 1
 I've got one on my Stumpjumper FSR. It's an AbsoluteBlack 32 and it's good. But it seems that here we have more people that speak without having tried.
  • + 1
 I hear a lot of noise about 'pedalling in circles' and see very little evidence in support of it. This article merely adds to the noise.
  • + 1
 I have been using Doval Brand ovalized front rings for 2 years now. would never switch back to round. Knees are not as sore and I climb better/faster.
  • + 1
 It must be a no brainier to switch if your getting more out for your effort in over a traditional chainring. A interesting article
  • + 2
 cant wait for a square shaped chain"ring", and then maybe an octagon one, just to keep production lines rolling.
  • + 11
 Pick a chainring shape. Now be a dick about it.
  • - 2
 Pick a comment that doesn't buy the hype on the 20 year old technology. Now be a dick about it.
  • + 0
 the fun part is that with a 1x drivetrain, there's nothing preventing you from making a chainring in either of those shapes, or even odder ones.
  • + 1
 I would like to try but I'm "" afraid"" of the new the pedaling movement to provide. If I buy and I it doesn t feel great as sensation I'm f*cked.
  • + 1
 I currently have oval chainrings on my old giant touring bike!! and it pedals amazingly well and is one of the comfiest and easiest bikes to ride!
  • + 3
 Get off my lawn you damn kids!
  • + 2
 Fabian Barral won a DH would cup with an oval chain ring. It was 2011 I think? He had a hurt knee and his number was 69.
  • + 1
 oh boy, an article about a 25 yr old alpinestars, and now a resurgence of interest in oval chainrings. just when i thought we were making progress...
  • + 3
 I like jumps and not pedaling for long periods of time.
  • - 1
 my toughts: that´s such an old concept, in mid 90´s there were oval chainrings too... if they were really helpfull i think they had time to rise!! just look what happened with N/W.. very popular nowdays!
  • + 2
 Do tdf guys use oval rings? They have been at this awhile now...
  • + 1
 Back in the days the riders who us that will have a bigger side of there leg and look goofy.
  • + 2
 Idiots are born everyday that will buy into this useless crap.....again!
  • + 1
 I have an oval wheels and square chainring. Just to be sure i'm in front of mainstream
  • + 1
 Anyone remember BioPace? Shimano already tried this, 83-93. If it was any good it'd still be around.
  • + 2
 I thought this was a joke...
  • + 0
 Well, this wasn't
  • + 1
 This is nothing new my neighbor has a bike with this tech from back in the 80's. It failed then why try to bring it back.
  • + 3
 because in the 80's they put the peaks and low points in the wrong place.
  • + 1
 www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzAZPMEK-tg

skip to 2:10 pretty interesting
  • + 1
 Oh I've heard of these!! They are supposed to work really awesome with those crank arms that are one longer than the other.
  • + 0
 Bio pace has been done and it failed. Sure bring it back so you can sell some more stuff. It does not work! Buy it suckers. YOU need it!
  • + 2
 I don't see any reason NOT to try it out.
  • + 3
 I think you don't have a chainguide.
  • + 2
 I have a chain guide, and I thought about the fact it would make chain guide set up a little goofy, but like I said, there is no reason NOT to try it. I'm not saying it would work, or it's the next 29'er...errr....27.5.....I'm just saying it wouldn't hurt to give a whirl.
  • + 1
 Want proof they work?
Wiggins and Froome use(d) the oval chain rings and they have both won the Tour de France.
  • + 2
 Just waiting for mine to turn up to test.
  • + 1
 Or just take your bike and go ride....
  • + 1
 The science is sound....The judgement....Reserved till I try.
  • + 1
 I still think it is a gimmick. Someone prove me wrong please.
  • + 4
 There is a legend that an American Indian once said about daylight savings time - that only a white man would cut one foot off the bottom of a blanket, sew it back onto the top, and then call it a longer blanket. That may also apply to oval chainrings - time will tell.
  • + 1
 brilliant reply! Smart Indian.
  • + 1
 RC, that was your best analogy ever! Perfect for this.
  • + 1
 Chain Guide. This reason alone is enough.
  • + 1
 this post has started a chain reaction of comments...
  • + 1
 Didn't know you could get oval rings . Where can I get one ?????
  • + 1
 Biopace. Sucked in '89 and sux now. Industry whores love gimmix.
  • + 1
 oval rings only work when you are using clipless pedals
  • + 1
 Wont make you as fast as oval wheelsets...
  • + 0
 Regarless of opinions.... I still enjoy my biopace driven road bike and my winter beater mountain bike with biopace rings.
  • + 0
 Does anyone remember biopace? All those years later customers started to wonder why their knees hurt.
  • + 0
 Weren't biopace chainrings listed as one of the 10 worst inovations in cycling?
  • + 1
 that thing makes me think my monitor is not set up right!
  • + 1
 Isn't this the same discussion as with 26", 27,5" and 29" wheels?
  • + 1
 How would an oval ring work with a chain device?
  • + 1
 Depends on the device, but most folks don't really optimize their roller/guide adjustments around a SPECIFIC ring size.
  • + 1
 I think that the rear derailleur spring constantly has the role of stretching the chain ! Not sure
  • + 1
 it works well the rear derailleur doesn't move at all. Just like with a round chainring... Check on AB facebook page.

www.facebook.com/video.php?v=505979186171418&set=vb.115426098560064&type=2&theater
  • + 0
 Biopace sucked why try again
  • + 0
 Did everyone all ready forget shimano biopace rings?
  • + 1
 Have one. Love it.
  • + 2
 Same to me. Have one and love it.
  • + 0
 perfect for a flat rider that cant pedal in cycles
  • - 1
 I don't think oval chainring will make a big difference, except for road bikes.
  • + 3
 It depends dude.
If you say like that without any official and scientific lab test result, you have no right to say it.
IMHO, we can't stop technology developement.
Did you see what Fab Barel use for his strive CF on finale ligure?
open this link -> www.vitalmtb.com/photos/features/WINNING-BIKE-Fabien-Barels-Canyon-Strive-CF,8214/Slideshow,0/sspomer,2

It is indeed interesting stuff.
Honestly, i want to try it.
  • + 1
 He has also used them on his DH bike. 2009 world champs he was running an asymmetrical ring with the logos sharpie'd off.

www.vitalmtb.com/photos/features/World-Champs-Fabien-Barels-Tweaked-Mondraker,202/Slideshow,1643/sspomer,2
  • + 1
 Anyone else?
  • - 3
 This has been done in the 90's. Gives people knee issues..
  • + 3
 shimano did this with biopace - they had the oval out by 90 degrees (or something like that) - so the wrong way, which is what caused issues.
  • + 1
 shimano did something wrong?
  • + 1
 Sometimes Shimano makes mistakes. Like dual control and stuff
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