The Advantages Of Q RINGS In Mountain Biking

The Advantages Of Q RINGS® In Mountain Biking

April 17, 2024 57 view(s)

The Advantages Of Q RINGS® In Mountain Biking

Mountain bikers are often set in their ways regarding mountain bike components. It can be hard to convince them to try something new or different. One of these debates is whether oval chainrings benefit your riding or not. So we're here to talk about the advantages of Q RINGS®, ROTOR's version of the oval chainring, in mountain biking. 

What Are Q RINGS®? 

Q RINGS® are high-end oval chainrings. Their elliptical shape differs from the traditional circular chainrings many mountain bikers are used to. You can fit Q RINGS® as part of a single or 2x drivetrain with a front derailleur. 

How Do Q RINGS® Work? 

An oval chainring changes the gearing as you pedal while using the same gear. The result of this design gives you more power at the strongest part of your pedal stroke. This provides more acceleration and the ability to tackle short, sharp climbs. The shape also makes it easier to pedal at the weakest part of your stroke due to the drop in gear ratio. 

The Advantages Of Q RINGS® For Mountain Bikers 

Let's go into the advantages of Q RINGS® in mountain biking in more detail: 

Improved Climbing Ability 

We've already touched on this, but it's worth emphasizing this benefit more. The oval shape of Q RINGS® reduces dead spots when pedaling, improving climbing efficiency. You'll notice this benefit more on short and steep climbs that require bursts of power to overcome. 

You Fatigue Slower 

A significant advantage of improved efficiency is that you don't get tired as quickly. You actually consume less energy but produce the same power output with an oval chainring. 

Smoother Power Delivery 

The oval shape works with your natural power output, maximizing your effort, then eases back for recovery. This results in a smooth power delivery to your back wheel. On the other hand, a traditional circular chainring has a dead spot, causing more pulsating power delivery. 

Improved Traction 

The smooth power delivery also means mountain bikers get better traction. Your more consistent cadence with reduced dead spots means you can scramble up steep hills with loose surfaces more efficiently. 

Change Gears Less 

Mountain bikers riding bikes fitted with Q RINGS® notice that they change gear less frequently. This is down to the constantly changing gear ratio while pedaling. 

Improved Torque And Faster Acceleration 

Q RINGS® are beneficial when riding slow-speed technical sections of a mountain bike trail. The increased and constant torque they give you allows you to maintain your balance and call on the extra power when needed. Also, as Q RINGS® maximizes the power of each pedal stroke, you experience faster acceleration, which is fun and incredibly useful for riding over rocks, bumps, and logs. 

Q RINGS® Are Better For Your Joints 

Mountain bikers with knee problems benefit from fitting Q RINGS® to their bikes. The smoother power delivery means that your joints are not as stressed as when you rode with a traditional circular chainring. In addition to this, the reduced strain on your knees makes the likelihood of suffering stress-related injuries much less. 

Better Chain Retention 

One of the most frustrating parts of mountain biking is when your chain drops off the chainring. This is common when you ride fast and aggressively on bumpy terrain, but constantly stopping to refit your chain ruins your ride. But mountain bikers with Q RINGS® notice that their chain stays in place. This is because the tension between the chainring's high and low points is more gradual. 
However, it's important to note that if you ride a full-suspension mountain bike, you may need to fit a chain guide with an oval chainring. As the rear swingarm rises and falls with the extension and compression of the shock absorber, the chain tension constantly changes. Therefore, a chain guide will ensure your chain stays in place, even on the roughest mountain bike trail. 

Are There Any Disadvantages Of Oval Chainrings? 

As with most things, there are a few slight compromises you need to know about before fitting your mountain bike with an oval chainring: 

You Run Out Of Power At High RPMs 

You need to know that you will run out of power if you like to push hard. For example, if you were riding along a road as fast as you can, you'll find that you reach a point when you can't pedal fast enough to continue accelerating. This is because oval chainrings behave like an easy gear during the recovery part of your pedal stroke. But this isn't something you would experience on a mountain bike trail unless you're incredibly fast or a world-class racer. 

You Need To Get Used To How It Feels 

Mountain bikers used to riding with a traditional circular chainring may find the feeling of an oval chainring strange. This is because Q RINGS® uses your leg muscles differently, which takes time to adapt. Even though you feel the benefit instantly, it takes most people about 10 hours to fully adjust to riding with Q RINGS®. 

Extra Cost 

It may be difficult to justify changing your perfectly good circular chainring for an oval one. However, it's essential to recognize that this is an upgraded mountain bike component with many benefits. A good oval chainring, such as the ROTOR Q RING®, is made from high-end materials and is the product of precision manufacturing. These factors will always come at a cost, but you have peace of mind that you have a quality mountain bike component that will enhance your rides. 

Final Thoughts On Q RINGS® 

Q RINGS® are beneficial to mountain bikers who do a lot of technical riding. The shape and design improve power, torque, and grip on the trails. You will also notice a significant difference when maneuvering around slow-speed technical sections such as rock gardens and short, sharp climbs. Additionally, having that extra power can mean the difference between getting up and over an obstacle or not. 
There are a few minor compromises when you go to an oval chainring. But, once you've gotten used to the sensation, you recognize that these compromises are insignificant when you feel the benefits.