Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Bike Research

case study, the comparison between Q ring and round ring.

inspired by the osymmetric ring used by Faris Al Sultan when i first met him in Langkawi during my first Ironman. he was the world Ironman Champion the year before.

the picture below is the Shimano Biopace elliptical ring. invented in 1983. the red dots that form circle is the true circle. we can clearly see that the Biopace isn't perfectly round. by one glance, an amateur rider will not be able to differentiate the difference between an elliptical ring and the round ring.

this is the Rotor Q. the oval shape is more aggressive, and allows various oval angle to adapt to rider's cycling style. when the crank arm is at 5'o clock, the leg generate high momentum and will end up in dead spot at 6 o'clock. this is a 53 teeth Chain ring, when the oval is vertical, it generates power of a 56 T chain ring without using extra power.

the set up should be:
-when oval is vertical, crank arm will be at 5 o'clock.

however, there're riders who remain using the round ring.
this is a never end controversial about all non round ring no matter what u want to call them, asymmetric, osymetric, biopace, Q ring and etc. the Cervelo Test team is using the Rotor Q's Q ring. however, some riders in the team prefer the round rings. fastest sprinter on earth sprinted with round rings, Carlos Sastre won TDF with Q Rings.

the answer is, different body works different ways.
the Q ring users face problem with shifting from small to big chain ring, the noise is irritating.
another problem is, will the Rotor Q compatible with the campagnolo's infamous 11 speed groupset?

11 speed groupset

the Chorus, Athena, Record and Super Record are the groupsets that offer 11 speed. the invention of 11 speed was very shocking. yesterday it doesn't exist, but today selling like hot cakes. the early users of Campagnolo face the problem of weak chain that break when they pedal hard. in order to fit 11 speed in the free hub, the chain has got to be narrower.

i intended to buy the 11 speed groupset and made my own research. the 2011 version offer greater strength for the chain, more than 10% stronger. problem solved.
however, will it fit the market's wheelset? another headache.

the high end wheelsets in the market such as Zipp, HED, fulcrum racing, Shimano and Mavic was very unprepared for the invention of 11 speed.
Fulcrum racing and Mavic definitely cannot fit in 11 speed. however, bike mechanics can solve this problem by putting in a 0.55mm spacer. will it be smooth since the tolerance is small? the hub is meant for 10 speed after all. i have no idea because i'm YET to be a 11 speed user.
2011 wheels should be compatible with the 11 speed.

all Campagnolo wheels can fit in the 11 speed. smart marketing strategy.

if i were to use the 11 speed, the probability for using Campagnolo wheels are high, and the cost will be exorbitant. i'm a student, i will just look around for high end but cheap wheels, i can't afford to be a loyal campagnolo wheelset big fan as their wheels are super expensive, and hardly see riders using Campagnolo wheels in Malaysia.

sad thing is that, i went for bike hunt around KL and Penang, even top bike shops have no idea what Rotor Q is all about. in my opinion, we need to buck up our knowledge and start to keep ourselves updated with the latest technology.

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