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Oval Chain Ring Brands - MTB


JBK
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**This is NOT a "to Oval or not to Oval" thread so please let's not let it get back to that age old debate**

 

***This is ALSO NOT a "what size oval compares to my round" thread so please let's avoid this also***

 

My question pertains more specifically to any experience with the different brands of Oval Chain Rings. I've done some research and it seems as though they differ quite significantly between suppliers, although its questionable as to whether the differentiation is noticeable, better or worse on the trails. Also interesting that reviewers have tested most, if not all, but there's no comparisons to be found anywhere.

 

I normally ride a 34T Round and have not been unhappy with this. Most of my mates ride Oval although some tried and went back to Round. I had a loan crank whilst mine was being warrantied by the manufacturer and this had a 32T oval (CSIXX) chain ring. I rode it on two decent rides and could not feel any difference in the pedal stroke but I definitely felt less fatigued at the top of climbs that I've done enough times to know my standard. The smaller chainring is irrelevant as I was riding smaller sprocket to compensate and managing same / usual speed.

 

Coming back to my Round, I'm pretty sure that the Oval definitely has some benefit for me. So I've decided that I'm going to try one out (34T) but I've been researching and found very different Ovality and Clocking :

 

 

Ovality - the percentage above and below a normal round ring. So 10% ovality means that the oval diameter ranges from 95% to 105% of the equivalent Round Ring. This seems to range from 8% to 14%. The higher this is, the more non-round the chain ring.

 

Clocking - "describes the angle between the crank arm and the largest diameter of the oval, measure anti-clockwise from the crank arm". This seems to range from 112.5 degrees to 115 degrees. This affects where on the pedal stroke the maximum / minimum will be.

 

What I've found from different suppliers :

 

  • Absolute Block (seems the most oval / aggressive) - Ovality between 10.2 & 14.4%, with timing of 110.5-116.3
  • Wolf Tooth - Ovality 10% / clocking 112 degrees [one reviewers comment "Smoother feel than other oval rings we have tried"]
  • Race Face - Ovality 10% / clocking 112.5 degrees
  • CSIXX - Ovality 14% / clocking 115 degrees
  • ROTOR - Ovality 12.5% / no clocking info
  • One Up - Ovality 12% / clocking 115 degrees [32T & Smaller]
  • One Up - Ovality 10.5% / clocking 115 degrees [34T & 36T]
  • HOPE - Ovality 12% / clocking 113 degrees [Added thanks Ossie NL]
  • SRAM - Ovality 12% / no clocking info [Added]

 

I'm personally thinking to stick with something less aggressive, like the Race Face but any thoughts from anyone who has more insight / experience with the different rings would be greatly appreciated. 

 

If you're going to comment, please substantiate your reasoning / thoughts. Please no "yo man you have to go with absolute black because they're a cool brand.!"

Edited by JBK
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I've used Rapide, SRAM and absolute black in the past and to be honest, I couldn't feel the difference. As for quality, they all make great product.  Would go for any one of them in future.  Rapide is very well priced and their service is great :)

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**This is NOT a "to Oval or not to Oval" thread so please let's not let it get back to that age old debate**

 

***This is ALSO NOT a "what size oval compares to my round" thread so please let's avoid this also***

 

My question pertains more specifically to any experience with the different brands of Oval Chain Rings. I've done some research and it seems as though they differ quite significantly between suppliers, although its questionable as to whether the differentiation is noticeable, better or worse on the trails. Also interesting that reviewers have tested most, if not all, but there's no comparisons to be found anywhere.

 

I normally ride a 34T Round and have not been unhappy with this. Most of my mates ride Oval although some tried and went back to Round. I had a loan crank whilst mine was being warrantied by the manufacturer and this had a 32T oval (CSIXX) chain ring. I rode it on two decent rides and could not feel any difference in the pedal stroke but I definitely felt less fatigued at the top of climbs that I've done enough times to know my standard. The smaller chainring is irrelevant as I was riding smaller sprocket to compensate and managing same / usual speed.

 

Coming back to my Round, I'm pretty sure that the Oval definitely has some benefit for me. So I've decided that I'm going to try one out (34T) but I've been researching and found very different Ovality and Clocking :

 

 

Ovality - the percentage above and below a normal round ring. So 10% ovality means that the oval diameter ranges from 95% to 105% of the equivalent Round Ring. This seems to range from 8% to 14%. The higher this is, the more non-round the chain ring.

 

Clocking - "describes the angle between the crank arm and the largest diameter of the oval, measure anti-clockwise from the crank arm". This seems to range from 112.5 degrees to 115 degrees. This affects where on the pedal stroke the maximum / minimum will be.

 

What I've found from different suppliers :

 

  • Absolute Block (seems the most oval / aggressive) - Ovality between 8% and 14% / no clocking info
  • Wolf Tooth - Ovality 10% / clocking 112 degrees [one reviewers comment "Smoother feel than other oval rings we have tried"]
  • Race Face - Ovality 10% / clocking 112.5 degrees
  • CSIXX - Ovality 14% / clocking 115 degrees
  • ROTOR - Ovality 12.5% / no clocking info
  • One Up - Ovality 12% / clocking 115 degrees

 

I'm personally thinking to stick with something less aggressive, like the Race Face but any thoughts from anyone who has more insight / experience with the different rings would be greatly appreciated. 

 

If you're going to comment, please substantiate your reasoning / thoughts. Please no "yo man you have to go with absolute black because they're a cool brand.!"

 

 

 

buy them all and find out what works for you. All the research suggests that the benefits are based on your physiological response. A paper study is not going to answer your question.

Edited by DieselnDust
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Did not see Hope on your list. Specs: 12% ovality and 113-degree clocking.

 

Ridden Hope and CSIXX and do not feel the difference between the two

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I have experience with the following brands: 
 

  • CSIXX
  • Dekkas
  • Lyne
  • Rapide
  • Some Chinese brand I bought once from AliExpress.

What's my opinion on them? 

CSIXX - they are great.
Dekkas is quite soft and can be installed incorrectly (they do not have any indicators) 

Lyne and Rapide are great and don't have any issues

Chinese brand was indestructible I eventually gave it away because I could not use it up  :whistling:.  

 

So when it comes to the degrees and all of that, I am not too phased, I could not spot the difference 

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I have used sram, csixx, rotor q, some chinese brands. Only the rotor q had clocking. That was a 4 bolt ring though. I would prefer a ring to have clocking so that one can set it up to your stroke.

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Did not see Hope on your list. Specs: 12% ovality and 113-degree clocking.

 

Ridden Hope and CSIXX and do not feel the difference between the two

 

Thanks for the inclusion of HOPE - note very similar to the CSIXX 12% : 14% and 113 degrees : 115 degrees so would expect these two to feel very similar. 

 

I'm wondering if one might feel a difference between the Wolf Tooth / Race Face Vs CsIXX / AB - the opposite extremes of the curve...

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