eBent Recumbent Cycling

A Bent Look at Self Contained Touring

Short Cranks with Q-Rings

with 3 comments

Bikesmith Design & Fabrication - 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,

Do Rotor’s “Q” rings work?
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.

Joe Fiel’s Blog,

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


Written by Roland

March 6, 2008 at 11:53 am

Posted in Cranks and BBs

3 Responses

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  1. Good luck with the short cranks. I used Biopace on an MTB back in the 80s and hated them but I think they might work on a bent. The Q-Rings are expensive but they look to be a nice product (better than Biopace). I will try them someday when my budget permits. In my case, I have a Sugino 110/74 so I will need a new crank with Q-Rings, plus a new BB. The money really adds up.

    BTW, my name is Perry. I have some ‘bent articles over on my blog (including some about short cranks and my Tour Easy):



    March 7, 2008 at 8:06 am

  2. Thanks Perry.

    Sorry I am awful with names and web monikers. I once forgot my wife’s name when introducing her to an old girl friend.

    I read you article on short cranks, Short cranks and Easy Racers x-seams and found it very useful. Very nice work.

    I decided to wait on the Q-Rings, they added $200 to the cost of the new cranks and I am not sure yet that I like short cranks. Plus it gives me another project to plan for the future. You have to have something to do on rainy days.

    Enjoy the Ride … Roland


    March 7, 2008 at 10:21 am

  3. Roland, I understand about the cost of the Q-Rings. I am putting it off myself for that reason. Keep up the good work with blog.


    March 7, 2008 at 1:27 pm

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