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  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by aclinjury View Post
    oh man, back in the 80s and thru the early 90s, my biking experience has been a kmart Huffy! Then in mid 90s, I gave myself a gift when I went to college, bought myself a high end Italian Casati (still have it to this day). But I've never ever once heard of aero oval top handlebars, until recently! Honest.
    Here's a really common aero top section bar:

    https://www.competitivecyclist.com/3...-pro-handlebar
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  2. #27
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    I love this thread.
    It's quite normal for riders to adapt to the feel of an oval chainring in a short time, often during the first ride. Humans are good at that sort of thing. We often hear riders who fit an absoluteBLACK ring say, 'If felt it for twenty minutes, then it was gone..' . This is good, as nobody wants to feel anything other than the wind on their face when riding.
    However, just because you now don't feel it, it doesn't mean its not working on every stroke.

  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Absoluteblack View Post
    I love this thread.
    It's quite normal for riders to adapt to the feel of an oval chainring in a short time, often during the first ride. Humans are good at that sort of thing. We often hear riders who fit an absoluteBLACK ring say, 'If felt it for twenty minutes, then it was gone..' . This is good, as nobody wants to feel anything other than the wind on their face when riding.
    However, just because you now don't feel it, it doesn't mean its not working on every stroke.
    "Working" needs to mean something. Either it produces more power after you adapt or it does not.
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  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kontact View Post
    "Working" needs to mean something. Either it produces more power after you adapt or it does not.
    Maybe it will make you go 0.001 mph faster.
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  5. #30
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    I never mentioned power. We don't make power claims.
    We call our oval rings traction rings. Because we feel, with the way the oval relates to the crank arm position (the 'timing' of the ring) they help riders with choppy pedalling technique find traction, in loose or slippery conditions. This is the major advantage quoted by MTB users of oval rings (of all brands). So, in that way they are working on every stroke.

  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Absoluteblack View Post
    I never mentioned power. We don't make power claims.
    We call our oval rings traction rings. Because we feel, with the way the oval relates to the crank arm position (the 'timing' of the ring) they help riders with choppy pedalling technique find traction, in loose or slippery conditions. This is the major advantage quoted by MTB users of oval rings (of all brands). So, in that way they are working on every stroke.
    The highlighted part is worth considering. This is focused on particular pedaling techniques. I can see it working for many....not everyone, but for many. Just not sure that is an issue with seasoned racers who have already mastered their cadence on round chainrings. Mountain bikers, serious climbers, or just riders who live in really hilly areas should benefit the most from these.

  7. #32
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    I tried Q-Rings and liked how they feel. They even out the ďstrainĒ on my joints by creating a longer, smoother peak power phase (same power, just different.) My best sustained efforts last spring were with Q-Rings, I suspect because I was simply more comfortable.

    I went back to round rings however. Shifting with eTap just wasnít quite good enough. Depending on where in the pedal stroke you are, shifting up can be lazy or you can drop your chain over the big ring.

    At some point I will go 1x, and I will swap back to Q-Rings again.

  8. #33
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Quote Originally Posted by aclinjury View Post
    Here's a point data. Bradley Wiggins used oval rings during the 2012 TdF which he won. After that, he switched back to round. Then he set his Hour Record on round ring.
    On the track...pretty much had to be a round ring. Rotor made(makes?) 'No Q' round track rings.

    I know a few pros that swear by Rotor rings, one of them has 3 Olympic Gold medals. But...I still don't think there has been any irrefutable scientific evidence that they make a rider faster, but there are definitely some that use them.

    I tried them a bunch of years ago. I rode them an hour the first day, then about 2 hours the next day and my hamstrings were so sore I took them off as I was about 4 weeks out from Masters Track Nats and didn't want to have sore legs if I could avoid it.
    ETA: Rotor rings and BioPace trying to accomplish completey opposite goals. Rotor is trying to make more power, BP was trying to smooth out a riders pedal stroke...it wasn't a 'performance' thing.
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  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    On the track...pretty much had to be a round ring. Rotor made(makes?) 'No Q' round track rings.

    I know a few pros that swear by Rotor rings, one of them has 3 Olympic Gold medals. But...I still don't think there has been any irrefutable scientific evidence that they make a rider faster, but there are definitely some that use them.

    I tried them a bunch of years ago. I rode them an hour the first day, then about 2 hours the next day and my hamstrings were so sore I took them off as I was about 4 weeks out from Masters Track Nats and didn't want to have sore legs if I could avoid it.
    ETA: Rotor rings and BioPace trying to accomplish completey opposite goals. Rotor is trying to make more power, BP was trying to smooth out a riders pedal stroke...it wasn't a 'performance' thing.
    I think that's an odd way of looking at Biopace. It was made to be more efficient - no one cares about 'smoothness' all on its own. Biopace is supposed to take away the dead zones - I don't see how you can be more efficient and not also produce more power through that efficiency.
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  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kontact View Post
    I think that's an odd way of looking at Biopace. It was made to be more efficient - no one cares about 'smoothness' all on its own. Biopace is supposed to take away the dead zones - I don't see how you can be more efficient and not also produce more power through that efficiency.
    And of course in reality it forced you into being in the dead zones longer because your cadence would slow at 12 and 6 and accelerate through the peak power phase at 3 oíclock...completely counter-intuitive from in terms of how we generate power.

    I find it interesting that cxwrench got sore hamstrings from Q-Rings. If anything they emphasize the use of your quads and glutes between 12 and 6, while the hamstrings are as a result being used slightly less.

    Q-Rings are for people who subscribe to the notion that pedaling smooth circles is less efficient than mostly just pushing down on the pedals.

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by ceugene View Post
    And of course in reality it forced you into being in the dead zones longer because your cadence would slow at 12 and 6 and accelerate through the peak power phase at 3 oíclock...completely counter-intuitive from in terms of how we generate power.

    I find it interesting that cxwrench got sore hamstrings from Q-Rings. If anything they emphasize the use of your quads and glutes between 12 and 6, while the hamstrings are as a result being used slightly less.

    Q-Rings are for people who subscribe to the notion that pedaling smooth circles is less efficient than mostly just pushing down on the pedals.
    Not really. Biopace decreases the load at 3:00 so the crank accelerates into the dead zones which should keep cadence up. You aren't putting power into the dead zones whatever the diameter, so the having a smaller diameter before the dead zone should let the crank enter the dead zone faster. Which is smoother, as CX says. I just think that decreasing resistance to spin should also increase total power output.

    I imagine CX's hammy's didn't like doing something that they are totally unused to doing, since he rides a fair amount.


    Of interest, I believe that oval rings can be used on single speed bikes because the amount of chain wrap actually never changes - the weirdness of ellipses.
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  12. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kontact View Post
    Not really. Biopace decreases the load at 3:00 so the crank accelerates into the dead zones which should keep cadence up. You aren't putting power into the dead zones whatever the diameter, so the having a smaller diameter before the dead zone should let the crank enter the dead zone faster. Which is smoother, as CX says. I just think that decreasing resistance to spin should also increase total power output.

    I imagine CX's hammy's didn't like doing something that they are totally unused to doing, since he rides a fair amount.


    Of interest, I believe that oval rings can be used on single speed bikes because the amount of chain wrap actually never changes - the weirdness of ellipses.
    How come their track rings were round?
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  13. #38
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    Coming next week: SQUARE rings!!!!!!!!
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  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    How come their track rings were round?
    I could be wrong, but track bikes have lots of things that are different. Do you know the answer?

    No matter what position the rings are in, the chain will be on half the teeth. On an ellipse half the teeth is always the same number and same amount of chain wrap.
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  15. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kontact View Post
    I could be wrong, but track bikes have lots of things that are different. Do you know the answer?

    No matter what position the rings are in, the chain will be on half the teeth. On an ellipse half the teeth is always the same number and same amount of chain wrap.
    I agree w/ you, and no...I don't know why they made them round. Now that I think about it I'd swear Ben JM had some very slightly elliptical track rings at some point that he was trying out. I'll see if I can find out from him if that was the case. What you're saying does make sense.
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  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    I agree w/ you, and no...I don't know why they made them round. Now that I think about it I'd swear Ben JM had some very slightly elliptical track rings at some point that he was trying out. I'll see if I can find out from him if that was the case. What you're saying does make sense.
    Maybe oval rings aren't great when you only have one gear and you have to control speed entirely with a wide cadence range? Up over 110 rpm their 'phase' probably changes. An ideal single speed set up would precess the peak with rpm increases.
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  17. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kontact View Post
    Not really. Biopace decreases the load at 3:00 so the crank accelerates into the dead zones which should keep cadence up. You aren't putting power into the dead zones whatever the diameter, so the having a smaller diameter before the dead zone should let the crank enter the dead zone faster. Which is smoother, as CX says. I just think that decreasing resistance to spin should also increase total power output.

    I imagine CX's hammy's didn't like doing something that they are totally unused to doing, since he rides a fair amount.
    Power is power. Per revolution you aren't gaining or losing power with oval rings if the cadence is the same. So if you are accelerating through the peak power phase, you are by necessity experiencing some negative acceleration and additional resistance in the dead zone. Since our biomechanics heavily favor the use of our quads and glutes for peak power, it makes sense to have that peak power phase between about 2 o'clock and 5 o'clock and not shorten its duration.

    That's how I think about BioPace vs Q-Rings anyway.

    e: Anecdotally, I found it easier to spin a higher cadence with Q-Rings in a lower gear for a set power...so it may have had a minuscule effect on how often I dipped into anaerobic efforts. Not saying peak power or anything was affected, still mostly a comfort thing. BioPace would have likely made my pedaling technique even jerkier.
    Last edited by ceugene; 12-13-2017 at 09:38 PM.

  18. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by ceugene View Post
    Power is power. Per revolution you aren't gaining or losing power with oval rings if the cadence is the same. So if you are accelerating through the peak power phase, you are by necessity experiencing some negative acceleration and additional resistance in the dead zone.
    I don't agree. Definitely can have a more or less efficient conversion of leg energy to chain power.

    And I did not mean that the cranks were constantly changing speed, but that going from lower to higher gearing from the top to the bottom of the power stroke means that the chain is moving fastest as the leg starts to lose power. That's an advantage in getting past the dead zone - you have a peak to come down from.
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  19. #44
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    Why do you want to shorten the duration of the peak power phase where our biggest muscles are being used? Why do you think the BioPace ovoid orientation is beneficial over the Q-Ring one in the dead zone? The Q-Ring setup decreases the time in the dead zone much like BioPace decreases time in the peak power phase.

    You're basically claiming that the increase in cadence from the peak power phase will help you coast through the dead zone faster...Why don't you think this happens with Q-Rings where the dead zone is actually easier to pedal through at a higher partial cadence. That...simply...isn't true. If that were the case, we'd be spinning a higher cadence with the same gear-inches, producing more power. The dead zone isn't really a dead zone. It's still a weak power phase.

    This is precisely the reason why some power meters aren't accurate with non-round chainrings. They don't measure your cadence at a high enough frequency to record the accelerations inside one crank revolution.
    Last edited by ceugene; 12-13-2017 at 11:39 PM.

  20. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by ceugene View Post
    Why do you want to shorten the duration of the peak power phase where our biggest muscles are being used? Why do you think the BioPace ovoid orientation is beneficial over the Q-Ring one in the dead zone? The Q-Ring setup decreases the time in the dead zone much like BioPace decreases time in the peak power phase.

    You're basically claiming that the increase in cadence from the peak power phase will help you coast through the dead zone faster...Why don't you think this happens with Q-Rings where the dead zone is actually easier to pedal through at a higher cadence. That...simply...isn't true. If that were the case, we'd be spinning a higher cadence with the same gear-inches, producing more power.

    Again, if were are accelerating through the peak power phase, less time is spent there and more time is spent elsewhere. If we continued to past the dead zone at a higher angular velocity, our RPM would be faster and we'd be producing more power.
    I'm not really making any claims as far as Q rings go, and it really isn't about "time". What I'm saying is that Biopace should make your legs feel like you are pushing a lower gear because the power stroke is eccentric - starting low and ending high. Essentially making a 52t ring feel like a 50t but put out like a 52t. The gearing is lower when your torque is high, and climbs as the muscle peaks, like a motor and a transmission going up in gear. Then you go through the largest gear in a section where you can't really feel it. Also comparable to a compound bow. Biopace should allow you to spin more efficiently, and higher RPMs are more efficient for a bike.

    Q Rings reverse that, and it doesn't make sense to me why unless you want to take advantage of someone who is stomping on the pedals at lower RPMs and then relaxing for the rest of the stroke. Bam, bam, bam.

    But in either case I think people just adapt to them by changing heel position and when they activate different muscles, so it is a wash. And that is largely what anatomists have found when they studied eccentric chainrings and fast riders - they adapt.
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  21. #46
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    Itís a dead zone because itís the lowest power phase, not because itís somehow a low resistance phase. You are still actively using muscles in all phases of the pedal stroke.

    TL;DR

    Q-Rings = Big muscles, big effective gear; small muscles, small effective gear.
    BioPace = Big muscles, small effective gear; small muscles, big effective gear.

    Human legs really donít pedal circles in terms of power distribution. We are really mostly stomping down on them outside of short maximal power efforts.

  22. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by ceugene View Post
    Itís a dead zone because itís the lowest power phase, not because itís somehow a low resistance phase. You are still actively using muscles in all phases of the pedal stroke.

    TL;DR

    Q-Rings = Big muscles, big effective gear; small muscles, small effective gear.
    BioPace = Big muscles, small effective gear; small muscles, big effective gear.

    Human legs really donít pedal circles in terms of power distribution. We are really mostly stomping down on them outside of short maximal power efforts.
    It is a "low resistance phase" when it comes after what is essentially a high acceleration in the high power phase. The small effective gear sling shots the leg through the dead zone, despite the increasing resistance.

    I'm not really using the right words because all of this is constant, not accelerations. But Biopace is like building up steam pedaling downhill and then going up over a short hill. High effort with low resistance, low effort need for higher resistance.
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  23. #48
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    You still donít get it. Iím not talking about the bike accelerating along a linear path. Iím talking about your RPM increasing and decreasing inside of one crank revolution. This is definitely happening and itís why power meters which measure cadence at a low frequency do not work well with non-round chainrings.

    You know what slingshots the leg through the dead zone? An effectively smaller gear.

  24. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by ceugene View Post
    You still donít get it. Iím not talking about the bike accelerating along a linear path. Iím talking about your RPM increasing and decreasing inside of one crank revolution. This is definitely happening and itís why power meters which measure cadence at a low frequency do not work well with non-round chainrings.

    You know what slingshots the leg through the dead zone? An effectively smaller gear.
    Just because you don't agree or we aren't explaining things to each other well, doesn't mean that I "don't get it".

    I agree that an effectively smaller gear with sling shot you through the dead zone. But to do that you have to place the smaller gear where your legs can use it - before the dead zone. Are you familiar with the term "phase lag"?
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  25. #50
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    In your example, the crank is accelerating in the peak power phase and keeping that angular velocity through the ďdead zone.Ē This cannot be true unless your overall RPM has increased. If your overall RPM has increased for any chainring size / tooth count, then your power has to go up.

    We all know that oval rings really donít increase your maximal power.

    Phase lag is irrelevant to this discussion. Your crank velocity will be slower headed into the peak power phase. The whole point is the sum of all phases ends up the same, so it just changes 1) muscle response, and 2) crank velocity inside of one crank revolution.

    Q-Rings are positioned the opposite way because the assumption is made that most people pedal in a piston-like motion, putting most of their power through the peak power phase and close to nothing through the dead zone. They assume that these micro crank accelerations are already happening, and the positioning of the ovoid helps reduce the amount of acceleration. As AbsoluteBlack mentions, this smoothing can help with traction, comfort, etc.

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