Short Cranks with Q-Rings
macpublish suggested in yesterday’s comments that I consider Q-Rings if I am changing cranks. I rode Shimano Bio Pace in days of old so really haven’t paid much attention to Q-Rings, the stories sound the same to me.
However, this was the second time I heard that comment. So I decided to check a little further. Here’s what I found:
From Bikesmith Design and Fabrication, Mark Stonich says,
I’m not sure that they do on an upright bike, but we don’t have round rings on any of our eight recumbents. On recumbent discussion forums the techies are divided into two camps;
Those who think they are aluminum snake oil and those who have actually used them.
Brian Ball from ‘BentRider Online says,
In short… I’ll never buy another set of Rotor cranks. Rotor is correct. Their pricey crank system does work a bit better than the Q-Rings but the difference is so close that I can no longer justify the higher price. Everyone will react to the Q-Rings and Rotor cranks with varying degrees but for me they work very well (click on link above for complete article).
I bought my first Recumbent, a Ryan Vanguard, many years ago based on Brian’s recommendation. I listen very closely to what Brian has to say. he is practical and usually right.
Learning to smoothly pedal through the top and bottom transition areas can take months of focused training and drills. But I find using Q-Rings made by Rotor Cranks USA accomplishes much smoother top-bottom transitions almost immediately after installation. I recommend these for all of the athletes I coach who are mashers. I’ve seen great improvement in their efficiency right after making the switch (click on link above for complete article).
Joe coaches racers and his site isn’t familiar to me but what he says makes sense and I have to admit to being more of a masher than a spinner.
I talked with Mark at Bikesmith Design and Fabrication today and ordered shorter cranks without Q-Rings. It is more expensive if I decide to get the Q-Rings later but this way I will be able to judge the effect of the shorter crank arm. I will also be better able to set the Q-Rings up for me if I decide to go that way later.
Reference: Rotor USA Q-Ring Page