August 8, 2012

Decisions, decisions - round or wonky rings for the Haute Route?

Recently I’ve swapped from Q-rings to O.Symetrics (more on that in another post) - but there is a small problem with the upcoming Haute Route.

After a weekend’s riding in the Pyrenees I realised the compact variant of the Os, with a 38 inside ring, wasn’t going to be small enough. I did, foolishly, forget (read: didn’t bother) to change the block on the wheels I took to the Pyrenees, and ended up doing the Tourmalet, Hautacam and Luz Ardiden with a 38 x 25 smallest gear. I was surprised my legs weren’t more shredded to be honest, but still, I couldn’t bear the thought of a week of riding at 60rpm. Or less.

So I thought I’d go back to the Qs, with a 34, for the Haute Route. But, putting them back on the bike was really quite surprising - my stroke felt awful! Incredibly lumpy. I guess this demonstrates the level of assistance the Os give.

Anyway, I needed to get this all straight - so yesterday I opted to go back to round rings, with the idea of running them for a week to ‘detune’ my legs, and therefore Qs should feel great again.

My, what another marked difference. Some people say there has been no proof that ovalised rings help, but my own ‘study’ earlier in the year disproved this, at least for me. I did a familiar climb that I’ve been riding a lot recently, and for the same power output (270w) my heart rate was a massive 10 beats per minute higher!

Today I am also noticing how much sorer my legs feel.

This just re-inforces my earlier discoveries - ovalised rings completely work for me, and I will be putting the Qs back on for the Haute Route.