Tippie Rides Rotor's R-Hawk Crank System

Aug 2, 2017 at 16:11
by ROTORBikeComponents  

Press Release

Tippie with the technical rock move.

Brett Tippie plays hard, every day. He’s never been one to hold back, so when it’s on, he’s all in, not just the tip. Even a quick peek at his Instagram account will clue you in to his rowdy brand of fun and certainly have you wondering what sort of bomber gear it takes to stay above board in his energy drink soaked escapades. Bottom line, he needs bulletproof, no-nonsense components that can charge as large as he does.

The R-Hawk Crankset

Tippie uses the R-Hawk crankset and like the man himself, this is no timid creature clinging to the soft underbelly of the bicycling world. It is a bold and durable piece of equipment destined for abuse beyond reason. It’s forged for strength and machined into a manufacturing masterpiece of the tightest tolerances. The strength is key, but because of the attention to weight saving details, the R-Hawk is a lean fighter punching well above its weight.

The R-Hawk’s modular design is the key to the system. The crank axle is actually an individual piece of the system instead of being bonded to the crank arms. It helps keep the weight down, but just as importantly, it makes the cranks future proof. That means that you can pair the R-Hawk with any Rotor bottom bracket, and because they’ve got all the ‘standards’ covered, you’re not going to be left with an obsolete crankset when spacing standards change. So when the next rage in spacing hits, ‘Ultra Mega Boosted Big Box’, or whatever it might be called, you can laugh off the stupid name and keeping using your favorite cranks with a new axle. And heck, for the Pivot Switchblade owners out there, using the R-Hawk system with our [Boost] axle already improves your chain line dramatically.

Blue Rubber Bumpers


Since we’re talking about modern touches, lets throw in some trendy colors while we’re at it. Got a high-dollar rig with some color matchy-matchy going on? Well don’t stop at your cranks! Choose from seven different crank boots to show your bike some love. Protection is important, especially when you’re charging into unknown terrain. The rubber sleeves keep your cranks safe from would be hazards, even when you’re sending it deep.

Boost Axle Spindle

Tippie also uses Rotor Q-Rings. You may have seen your road biking buddies using them, especially if they pepper terms like "Coaching" and "FTP" into their conversations. That's because many of the world’s best road racers have been using Q-Rings for years. It's only now that mountain bikers are beginning to see their benefits, especially now that so many have embraced the single-ring drivetrain.

Direct Mount Q Ring

Before you roll your eyeballs deep into the back of your head, this is not the old Biopace that destroyed connective knee tissue back in the 90s, nor is it the same as some oval option other current manufacturers tout. The Rotor Q-Ring can be rotated in 0.5-degree increments in relation to the cranks, letting you deliver maximum power to the rear wheel and in a way that best suits your individual pedal stroke. Not quite comfortable with the chainring orientation? Then go ahead and clock the position another increment until it’s perfect. And because you’re able to completely dial in your pedaling, you get the added bonus of better traction as a result of smoothing out your stroke.

Tippie throwing the horns. This was taken before Gene Simmons tried to trademark the hand gesture.

So if you’re looking for dependable and efficient new components to let you uncover your pedaling performance, follow Tippie’s lead and crank it up with the Rotor R-Hawk.



MENTIONS: @ROTORBikeComponents

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89 Comments

  • + 67
 So you're saying it's not biopace, but if I want to rotate the ring a few notches I can make it just like biopace?
I'm in
  • + 34
 as long as it's heavier and more expensive than the alternatives, sign me up!
  • + 2
 The good news is it's adjustable to that degree. Wink
  • + 41
 Oval chainrings- because derailleur clutches just last too damn long.
  • - 4
flag Ron-C (Aug 2, 2017 at 19:45) (Below Threshold)
 I was wondering the same thing. It turns out that there is quite a bit of slack in the chain to not break the clutch free. Same thing with chain growth as suspension cycles.
  • + 19
 I was under the impression that, since at any given moment 50% of the ring is being covered by the chain, there isn't any chain growth since the ring is oval and symmetrical along an axis.
  • + 6
 @Powderface:


Yes that's simple meth. But only when 50% are covered. More or less and it moves the derailleur
  • + 52
 @emptybox: Simple meth is the best meth
  • + 8
 Are you ready to stand corrected?
youtu.be/Ejz9c0QnUzk
  • + 9
 @bmxRC009: Blue meth is the best. Respect the chemistry.
  • + 6
 Been running the Rotor Hawks + Q ring all year. You're more likely smash your derailleur before the clutch fails. Additionally if you run a Shimano derailleur you can always tighten the clutch a bit down the line if it does become an issue.
  • + 1
 @Ron-C: Yup, I checked this with banshee support before ordering an absolute black oval (which is awesome btw), no issues with using a Shimano clutch with it even on hits. I guess it depends how your frame handles chain growth also.
  • + 2
 I don't see how it would have any more effect than the chainstay growth from a full-suspension frame
  • + 1
 There is no growth because at any given time, the chain is on the same amount of teeth of the ring. This does not effect the clutch as the bottom run of chain always stays the same length. It moves up and down essentially pivoting around the lower pulley but does not pull tighter or looser.
  • + 1
 @hirvi: did the mech oscillate or was it me?

Also, would there be an issue with a double ring setup and a clutch mech? I know it's irrelevant here yes.
  • + 3
 @Tmackstab: Oval ring chain growth isn't a constant thing. On my 28T oval Wolf Tooth the derailleur moves quite a lot.
  • + 24
 I hate ads dressed up as articles!
  • + 3
 Which is pretty much every pinkbike article with a product in it. I hate the lack of transparency over it. I don't care if it's an ad if it's been announced as such, just don't throw shit in my face and then tell me it isn't shit!
  • + 12
 Future proof?
No worries about compatibility?
How about your stupid custom chainring interface that nobody's ever going to produce.
It'll be sweet wearing out your insanely expensive custom chainrings in a month and not being able to get them anywhere or made by anybody else at a reasonable cost.
Good job guys.
  • + 14
 the microadjustable chainring timing oval ring thing is a good idea. not that a bunch of fat internet trolls who only ride park would understand.
  • - 1
 I may be wrong but I think other companies do produce em and it is a standard...or at least looks like the other standard system. I have my doubts about an attachment beo g stronger and lighter than a single piece unit though.
  • + 2
 @getsomesy: Hey, I resent that comment.

I don't ride park!
  • + 0
 @getsomesy: park is overrated!
  • + 1
 @SacAssassin: you didn't dispute the other part though!
  • + 3
 Stoked to see so many people engaged in the conversation! To clarify, we make chainrings in a variety of interfaces (cinch, GXP, BB30, etc,) but the only way we could make an *adjustable* position oval ring was to change the interface a little, to make it work even better for our riders. (That adjustable chainring position is a thread unto itself.) The other cool thing is we use a super hard 7055 alloy for our rings- (and cranks, but we're talking rings here,) so they hold up to about 10x the abuse of a less sturdy aluminium. Despite the fact that these are made in Spain with the highest level of manufacturing assurance, we worked hard to keep the price at a level we can all appreciate.
  • + 2
 @ROTORBikeComponents: For the record, GXP and BB30 Sram cranks take the same chainrings.
  • + 9
 Tippie and YT is like beer and canada...they just go together....
  • + 2
 anywhere and beer go together
  • + 1
 @makripper: I tend to agree with you
  • + 8
 Tippy just gets people cranked
  • - 1
 Pedal to the Metal! \m/ o,o \m/
  • + 4
 More like Race Face for three months then Race face fail. I'd love to try a set of Hawks but they're backorders till God knows when!
  • + 4
 Not sure where you've got them backordered, but they are in stock at Rotor
  • + 2
 I wonder how these axle and chainring interfaces stand up long term to serious hammering under heavy/powerful riders in MTB conditions. It seems like it would be vulnerable to eventual creaking- anyone have experience with these?
  • + 11
 This is a pretty similar system to a lot of BMX cranks, and those hold up to way dumber stuff. So, hopefully good?
  • + 3
 Umm if anyone is going to slap them silly, it'll be Tippee!
  • + 2
 As a heavy/powerful rider... i'm not going to find out. Proven tech is the best tech.
  • + 2
 Are all your current cranks creaking? Because this has a very common looking axle interface, just at both ends. I have not had any problems with this style of cranks, so wouldn't worry.
  • + 6
 I've been running a set of hawks + q-ring on my Evil calling and I love it. Will creeks eventually develop? Sure but that's fixed in a few minutes with 8mm hex wrench and a bit of grease. You can check out my YouTube Channel (Skills with Phil) for several videos on my bike set up if that interests you.
  • + 0
 @PhilKmetz: Phill, your videos are great! Thanks for putting them up. Still haven't figured out how to hold an endless wheelie though. Can you come to the NorthWest and give me and my family private lessons? I'll buy you a beer!
  • + 3
 We had the same question! That's why we got Cedric Gracia to help us develop the crank, and stellar riders like Brett Tippie & Phil Kmetz to do their best to destroy it! It's been cool to see it take the best they can throw at it- Brett just sent some pics of his with a bunch of - if not miles, vertical feet- on it, and he's still stoked and doing his best to destroy them. We get our product feedback from these guys so we can keep making it better.
  • + 1
 This is bad. Did Rotor just pay to use Tippies name and a few pics and not splash out for a quote or two??

Wonder what the quote would have been?

Because we all saw the stickerless Pikes on Tippies instagram when he was selling his bikes after his RM and SR Suntour days
  • + 15
 My quote would have been that..."I am pumped to have found a wicked set of cranks, bb and chainrings! I've been using Rotor RHawk's since the winter on my DH bike, 170mm trail bike, and 140mm trail bike and they have performed flawlessly. No dropped chains, flex, or loosening of any kind. I've kind of forgotten about them cause they just do their job consistantly great. I've hammered them with some medium big drops, harsh g-outs and hundreds of thousands of vertical feet of tech riding. You can trust them."
(SRSuntour did not yet make a Plus size fork last year when I was asked to test and promote the RM Pipeline 27.5+ mid season so I used it with the stock spec'd fork that came with it to get the job done before I sold 'er.)
  • + 5
 @bretttippie: cool, thanks tippie makes a big difference to the article actually knowing your view.

Sorry about questioning your integrity. Didn't mean to put you on the spot.

It's my cynicism and I'm a bit bummed about seeing such blatant advertorials on here.
  • + 2
 @KiwiXC: and he's f*cking heavy!
  • + 3
 @KiwiXC: Hey sorry it came across as an advert! We just started doing the blog thing, (first go at it!) so our default is to do what we know: product. We'll get better at it, promise. Wink
  • + 3
 @ROTORBikeComponents: No problem. Apologies to both you guys and Tippie for being a dick.

It's always good to see more competition.

Anyway while you're here, why are you not using a removable spider with a standard BCD so people can choose to use your rings direct mount or 3rd party ones?
  • + 1
 @ROTORBikeComponents @Bretttippie Is Brett no longer with RaceFace?
  • + 1
 Has everybody else here missed that it has a boost axle? like....seriously! Rubber boots on alloy cranks, oval rings and a boost axle - never go full enduro-bro! Also note the advert completely fails to mention what the cranks are actually made from, I'm just assuming they're alloy - could be steel!? carbon!? cast iron?!
  • + 8
 Actually made from the tears of a mermaid and unicorn farts. All jokes aside they're a sweet company to work with and I'm stoked to throw a set on my new rig
  • + 1
 Boost spindle would actually be pretty cool if it didn't have a proprietary chain ring. It would mean that you didn't need to run a 3mm offset ring like other Boost systems.
  • + 6
 They're made of alloy. They boost axle/spindle means I can have this installed on my trail bike with boost spacing and then if I were to get a new trail bike next year that uses a different wheel spacing all I would need to do is get a different spindle and use the same BB + Cranks.

Also, a lot of people are getting caught up on the proprietary chainring mount which I can understand the sentiment, I am not a fan of proprietary tech. I believe in this case this was done to allow the chain ring to have a few more incremental adjustments in terms of where the oval is positioned. There are 5 recommended positions and I don't think it would have been possible to do as easily with the other mounting options.
  • + 0
 @PhilKmetz: Thanks for the clarification.

Also if people are worried about finding chain rings... just go buy spares. If you can afford the crankset, then buy the spare parts to keep it maintained. Dumb, I know, but nothing is standard in mountain biking and nothing ever will be. Canti brakes, straight steerer tubes, high geo frames, rear QR axles, are all "standard" equipment/features that have become less than normal or non-existent now.
  • + 3
 Every time I see a picture of the R- Hawk, I think someone has invented adjustable length cranks - which would be kind of handy.
  • + 1
 @GorgeousBeauGaston: I'm assuming this is a joke. That's an adjustable stationary bike for determining fit.
  • + 1
 They do exist. Can't think of the names now...meant for temporary use. Lets you try 165/170/175 before committing to a crank length. I'd try one as I don't have an assortment of cranks just laying around, well, I have 165 on the DH and the Trance came with 175.....of course, I'm curious to try 170 on the Trance....lol
  • + 1
 @loopie: I was thinking that if you are hitting a rooty climb you could go to 165 to avoid pedal strike then return to 175 for normal riding.
  • + 6
 back in the olden days of bmx, shimano made an adjustable length crank using an eccentric:

uploads.bmxmuseum.com/user-images/222596/img_166958009b1835.jpg
  • + 1
 @xy9ine: Thanks...I am getting more knowledgeable by the second :-) Although by the looks of it you needed to take the crank off and flip the eccentric part around and refit?
  • + 1
 @StackingItSince1991: This was not a good idea, crank arms never stayed tight
  • + 4
 So can you run these with round chainrings if you don't want to go oval?
  • + 3
 Yep, they have round rings as well.
  • + 2
 Yup! I run a Q-ring on my trail bike and a standard chain ring on my downhill bike.
  • + 1
 From an engineering pov the shape (axle side and pedal side same thickness) doesn´t make sense... plus it´s kind of ugly...
  • + 1
 That second part sounds a lot like "nobody really knows which way to point the rings, but this looks better".
  • + 1
 Sorry, was replying to the company's "You can read white papers about Oval rings and cycling performance all day long with differing outcomes: the difference is (and what Rotor specializes in,) is our ability to position in the correct position for the rider to get maximum benefit from it."
  • + 1
 So does anybody make 177.5mm cranks these days? I'm on 175s right now and want more leverage for those steep climbs!
  • + 3
 How much $?
  • + 0
 My dad loves his Rotor crankset, and then theres' this:

"He’s never been one to hold back, so when it’s on, he’s all in, not just the tip."
  • + 2
 why do i need this why is it better to Shimano???oh ! Tippie rides it!
  • + 1
 waiting for the rider to do his write up....
  • + 0
 congatulations you just ensured I never even consider buying your products.
  • + 1
 Pluit phobia crank.
  • - 1
 Still biopace. Still gonna F* my knees. No thanks.
  • + 10
 the cranks still go around in a circle... sigh. biopace never fucked up anyones knees, i've owned biopace bikes, it really isnt so bad as the hypestars of pinkbike would like to narrate for the sake of sounding like they know everything. all it does is change the torque applied to the rear wheel though gear ratio variation. poor cleat alignment, bent crank arm, collapsed shoes, riding a fixed gear... that may fuck up your knees, not oval chainrings.
  • + 3
 @getsomesy: But...you do apply more pressure at a certain point in the spin.
The modern ones are backwards and reduce the pressure.

I've never tried the old ones but I am more power than spin in my usage and have been through the knee pains. The modern ones do reduce that damage.
  • + 3
 I'm going to attempt not to sound too tech-nerdy here: the oval is positioned at 180* difference than Biopace in the rider's point of maximum power. This design actually takes strain off the knees, and functionally smooths out the rider's power output. You can read white papers about Oval rings and cycling performance all day long with differing outcomes: the difference is (and what Rotor specializes in,) is our ability to position in the correct position for the rider to get maximum benefit from it. Hope that helps!
  • + 1
 @ROTORBikeComponents: what is the correct position for one person will not be the same as the correct ring clocking for another rider. depending on femur length, seat angle, reach, trail gradient, body position. that is why it is great to be able to adjust the ring position, as im sure you know. it would also be cool to have different %ovality availible. i found that my oneup ring worked ok well while seated, but out of the saddle the ring clocking should have been advanced, for best compromise.

biopace and modern oval designs both in function seem to make a higher brake torque (torque at the wheel) when pedals are vertically oriented, and less torque, but more revolution:ground distance while the cranks are horizontal.
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