Best way to start with Rotor Q Rings

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2011 6:44 pm

by hpsims

@Wookieopolis. I recently got diagnosed with PFS (patellofemoral syndrome) resulting from a inner thigh muscle imbalance. After reading your post, I couldn't stop wondering if you had the same issue. I was also considering buying Q-rings in hopes of relieving some knee stress. Just wanted to know if your knee pain was PFS related and what other changes you made in addition to Q-rings to help with your knee issue. Thanx

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Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2011 4:28 am
Location: Berkeley, CA

by Wookieopolis

PFS was one of the things I was diagnosed with, it seems like everyone I saw had their own opinion. Real quickly about the VMO imbalance, some newer research is pointing towards the problem actually being in the hip and that allows the femur to rotate rather than the VMO not pulling the patella as it should. Do yourself a favor and find a good physical therapist would be my first piece of advice and x-rays might show if the patella is tilted from a muscle imbalance.

Regarding Q-rings, I've done about 1,500 miles on them over the last 3.5 months after being off the bike for almost 5 months. I slowly built up from riding 5 miles to 50 so obviously there has been some improvement and at first I felt like the shape or the Q-Rings was possibly helpful. However, my knee does still nag me more often than not particularly after about an hour or so. I decided to swap back to round rings just a couple of days ago and see what impact that has. I've only been out on the round rings again once, but they felt pretty good. If you have access to a set of Q-rings to try they are probably worth a shot, but they are a fairly hefty investment not knowing if they will help or not. I was desperate to get back on the bike. Getting a fit might be a better investment first though.

At this point I think what possibly helped me most was swapping back to my old shoes, insoles with much more arch support, and making my position on the bike much less aggressive. And, of course, lots of rest, which is the hardest part.

Posts: 43
Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2011 2:53 am
Location: Adelaide, Australia

by SpoonMan

I'm an absolute masher - 53T for anything under 12% masher - and am going to give the Q-Rings a go. I've ordered the 52/39 combo and am interested in the perceived effect. Thanks to the data provided by those on this thread, I know it won't be an output change, or a speed change, but I guess reducing fatigue at the 150k point would be nice. Going to try it, but unfortunately for the skeptics on here (KWalker, but respect to you for being so) I'm not going to be able to provide anything more than 'I think'. Happy to provide my opinion over the coming months though.
2011 Scott Addict R3 (DA groupset, Tune Skyline RR wheelset, Rotor 52/36 Q-Rings)
2008 Giant Trinity A1 (cheapass 50mm carbon clinchers)
No easy road goes anywhere worth going

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Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2009 8:30 pm
Location: Bay Area

by KWalker

Look in the end there is just a severe lack of science for any of this kind of stuff. Studies with a small sample size, terrible controls, and bad measurement protocols.

People win and lose on rings of all shapes. I'm geared towards believing raw numbers so I'm compelled by the mechanical studies that demonstrate that the O Sys rings are superior. To each their own. Ride them and if you like them you like them. My friend is super convinced that his awkward Q ring setup is responsible for his upgrade last year and in reality its got nothing to do with it, but more power to him if that's what he believes.
Don't take me too seriously. The only person that doesn't hate Froome.
Failed Custom Bike

Posts: 529
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2011 12:39 pm
Location: DC

by plpete

All science aside, it looks like many people, including myself, like the Q rings or the O Symmetric rings for the way the feel while riding, especially climbing. Feeling is something that is very subjective and can't really be quantified. So if the rings make you FEEL more fresh 80 miles into a century even if not putting out more power, I don't see why not use them. If you prefer the FEEL of round rings, use those.

Posts: 43
Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2011 2:53 am
Location: Adelaide, Australia

by SpoonMan

Having spent around 500kms now on these, I thought I'd pop my head back in on this.

I don't measure power, but there is no way if you're going to use your power meter averaged across 2 seconds, 5 seconds, or whatever, that it'll pick up any difference at all. Won't happen. You don't/can't put down more power with these rings overall. What my experience with them tells me is that my power is more segmented than it was beforehand, as I now use less power in the non-power phase (if that makes sense) but more in the power phase. So averaged, it would be about the same.

Noticeable difference in cadence - an increase by between 7% - 10% - which makes sense - I'm no quicker through the power phase (or slower), but quicker through the non-power phase (mind you, going from 68rpm to 75rpm isn't spectacular).

Reduction in fatigue also - higher cadence held without dropoff for the full 140km Saturday.

And for a 'feel' difference? I 'feel' like you hold your momentum better. Much less work to turn your legs over on hills up to about 12%. Agree with whoever said you don't notice them out of the saddle. I'd say that'd be to do with the change in body position.

All up though, I must say I do like them, and they'll stay on. Can't see them making me a world beater by themselves, but they suit me.
2011 Scott Addict R3 (DA groupset, Tune Skyline RR wheelset, Rotor 52/36 Q-Rings)
2008 Giant Trinity A1 (cheapass 50mm carbon clinchers)
No easy road goes anywhere worth going

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Joined: Sat Apr 18, 2009 8:59 am
Location: Surrey UK

by 1415chris

Thanks for the review, very sensible :thumbup:

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