For any repeat visitors, you may have noticed I now have a small online shop selling O-symetric Chainrings. I have decided to start selling a selection of cutting edge products that will make a significant difference to a rider’s performance, comfort, and resistance to injuries. Elliptical chainrings are the breakthrough cycling product of the 2000 decade, comparable to the emergence of tribars in the 1990′s. Due to stringent UCI rules, there have been few profound changes to bike development in the recent past, however Osymetric have managed to do so.
There are several clear reasons why cyclists, from Tour de France professionals to sportive riders, should change to Osymetric. To read about how they work, click here.
1. Increased Power- Everyone is looking for increased power, and Osymetric rings give a staggering 5 to 15%. This far outweighs any advantages gained from more expensive equipment such as stiffer, lighter frames, or the latest aerodynamic rim profile. Team Sky, famous for their ‘marginal gains’ policy, have started to use them for several riders, most notably Wiggins, Thomas, and Cioni. Those that will notice the biggest increase in power and endurance are likely to be amateur riders with less developed pedalling styles. The peaks and troughs of power throughout the pedal cycle will be larger and even more suited to the Osymetric rings. That isn’t to say that a rider with a smoother pedal stroke should not adopt O.rings. Bradley Wiggins has one of the smoothest pedal strokes in cycling but still benefits from the elliptical shape. For the science behind the increased power- please see the Osymetric site.
2. Decreased Strain on Knee- This study suggests that the forces on the knee are reduced by 7.5% compared to a standard chainring. Over the hundreds of thousands of pedal strokes that you may ride over your lifetime, a 7.5% decrease in knee strain is a significant amount.
3. Shifting is not significantly compromised- One concern of many riders when switching to Osymetric is that they will derail their chain. This is not the case if the derailleur is correctly adjusted. The pro peloton is the toughest testing ground for equipment, and the chainrings have not produced issues. If you are concerned however, installing a chain catcher may be a good idea.
4. They are not expensive when comparing speed to cost ratio- A Zipp 808 absorbs approximately 15w less power than a Mavic Askium at 50 km/h (see http://www.rouesartisanales.com/article-15505311.html). A rider whose threshold power output is 300 should increase power by 15- 45 watts by using Osymetric chainrings, yet the cost is around a tenth of a set of Zipp 808s. This comparison is also done at the rare speed of 50 km/h which is giving the advantage to the aero wheel, where as the power increase via the chainring will remain the same regardless of speed.
Many riders would benefit from using Osymetrics. I recommend the compact chainset (38/ 50), combined with a 13-28 cassette for sportive riders who have to battle Alpine or Pyrenean climbs. The 42/52 Standard combination is ideal for road racers, and the 44/54 TT combination is perfect for the time trialist looking to slash times off their PB’s.