One of my mates, Paul Verlander, recently graced the UK with his presence (he’s an international playboy who flies helicopters in Australia in his spare time). As well as spending time catching up with old buddies here in Cambridgeshire, Paul also spent a week or so up in Stratford upon Avon with his former employers Velotech Services. During extensive and exhaustive testing of lots of new energy products in the local McDonalds and Kentucky Fried Chicken outlets, Paul persuaded Velotech’s ‘grand fromage’ Robin Corder to send me some Rotor products to try out and report back on. Paul’s argument was that I’d had been around the block more times than a Monopoly board’s top-hat and would therefore know a good thing if I saw one and if Rotor’s products were as good as they’re claiming, who better to have on board than the old man himself? I’d run with that … but if you think a few freebies are going to sway my judgement in any way, I’m afraid you’re mistaken!
Here are my ‘straight as a die’ findings (they don’t call me ‘Honest Ian’ for nothing … they don’t call me ‘Honest Ian’
either actually but I think it’s got a nice ‘ring’ to it so let’s stick with it eh?) …
types myself, ‘back to back’ so to speak, and be able to draw a conclusion as to which I thought would be best
and which I’d continue to use for the rest of the season.
I therefore set about road testing i) Rotor’s 56t Aero QRing, ii) Rotor’s new QXL 53/41 set up, iii) Osymetric’s tt
specific 56 / 44 combo and iv) Doval’s 56t rings.
So far this season I’ve been racing on the Osy’s in preference to the Dovals and have been impressed with the
results (although I’d have liked to have gone faster of course) … but it must be said I’ve experienced a lot of
‘jerkiness’ when using smaller gears due to the extreme shape they have. Admittedly this has subsided after a while
but during a recent ‘10’ on the F11 (the course with the 2 mile downhill stretch after 4 miles of racing) the ‘jerkiness’
returned mid-race when I was called upon to increase my cadence to something approaching 150 rpm. It was not
a nice feeling! Post race I have also been experiencing some pain behind the knee which suggests something’s
not quite right so I welcomed the opportunity to try out something not quite as extreme (the Rotor QXL) and
something a lot less extreme (the Rotor QRing).
It’s interesting to note at this stage that there appears to be an awful lot of people selling on their Osy’s … be it on
Ebay or via the classified sections on the various forums we've all got access to at the moment and I wonder if this is down to the ‘jerkiness’
being experienced? If so … read on!
I like the simple things in life and since the shape of the QXLs (and their graphics) appealed to me, they
were the first I tried out. They were definitely different from round rings but without a doubt much smoother
than the Osy’s. I particularly liked these … they were good for fast pedalling as well as ‘rolling’ the bigger
gear and I went as fast as I have in training on these as I have on the Osy’s. The big plus was no knee
problems and no jerkiness.
I found the QRing ideal for fast smooth pedalling My findings (strangely) didn't replicate Rotor’s claims and
recommendations that the QXL rings were more suited for sprinters / riders with large muscle mass with
fast twitch muscle build. QRings (apparently) are more for ‘riders with lower peak and average power
output’. I’ve hardly ever considered myself to be a sprinter but the QXLs were definitely my preferred option
… and by far. Unfortunately, the biggest size they produce at the moment is a 53 which would mean
changing all my cassettes to 11 ups if I wanted to stick with the QXLs for the rest of the season.
I’d go along with Nob’s views that all the Rotor rings are better finished off than the Osy’s. They have ‘pins’
to assist gear changing and a range of fitting options to optimize your pedalling style … they call it OCP
(Optimum Chainring Position), something which isn’t available on the Osy’s. They all look nice too!
For the time being then, I’m going to fit the QRing to my testing bike and give that the benefit of the doubt
until (hopefully) a 56t QXL becomes available.
If anyone has sold on their Osy’s due to ‘jerkiness’ or knee problems, I would highly recommend the
Rotor’s as an alternative.
In my opinion ... the winner ...
if only they made them in 56s though!
Are Osy's losing favour with the peleton?
Quite how Wiggo and Froome can pedal as smoothly as they do in the small gears they use is beyond me.