If you have been following cycling the last few years you will have noticed that some riders use chainrings that are not round but oval. The general idea is to have a bigger gear where you can put the most power in the pedals and a lower gear when you have to pass the dead zone. It is not a new idea to make oval chainrings. In the 80'ies Shimano produced the oval Biopace rings. Lately Oval rings have been very successful with Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome both winning the Tour de France on O-Symmetric chainrings. This test is about another brand of oval chainrings, namely Rotor who makes Q-Rings. I have tested the 53/40 Q-Rings version for Campagnolo for 2 months and in that time I have ridden around 2500km in all kinds of terrain.
Mounting the rings can be a bit tricky as the front derailleur has to be adjusted. The derailleur has to be moved up as the ring has a larger diameter than a normal round chainring. This caused some problems on my bike since it was not possible to get it high enough. It was solved by placing a small ring between the derailleur and the mount. This moved it a bit back so there was enough room for the chainring,
My first impression of riding with the rings was that it felt like the chain broke every time when passing the dead zone. After a few kilometers that feeling subsided and I noticed that my acceleration had increased a lot. It still felt a bit weird and it took several rides before I got really familiar with the rings. Shifting between the rings is even better than on the Stronglight rings I used before. I have not experienced any problems with the chain jumping off the rings, not even when riding a race with very uneven dirt roads. Other than the improved acceleration I have also noticed that I am less tired the day after a hard ride. In my opinion this is the biggest advantage.
I have been very satisfied with the Q-Rings. I am sure I will also get them for my next bike. The price is comparable to that of other high-end chainrings. I think they are worth the money but you have to take your time to get used to them.
Written by Andreas