Rotor QXL ovalized chainrings

Rotor’s new QXL chainrings (left and center, standard on the right) have 16% ovalization compared to their normal rings’ 10% change.

In tooth counts, that means the 53T feels like a 49 to a 58, versus 51 to 56 for their normal rings. It’s available in standard and compact, only for road and only in a 53/41 combo with 130BCD and 53/38 for compact. The reason the compact still has a 53T big ring is because they needed the extra size to accommodate the smaller cross section where it’s effectively a 49…and because their sponsored pros wanted a proper big ring for the flats but something smaller for the climbs.

They’ll have a 52/36 compact option coming soon. Retail is $320 for the pair. Following that, they’ll add a 53/38 for Shimano’s new DA9000 cranks, which lets them keep their rings on Shimano-sponsored athletes.


  1. Of course the rings are drilled up enough that you CAN mount them BioPace style, if that’s your thing.

    FWIW I used BioPace in a single ring setup one winter just for giggles. Never could tell the difference.

  2. …and 38T isn’t much for a low gear. Froome and Wiggins lost the Vuelta because the lowest they could get on the Angliru was 38×32, while everyone else had 34s. Elliptical rings might feel better at times, but there’s no such thing as a free lunch.

  3. Champs, you might want to consider Wiggo and Froomie were riding Osymetric which is drastically different from Rotor. I can say this from experience as I rode Rotor for six years before spending last season on Osymetric. Personally, Rotors feel good but the Osymetrics from a pur performance standpoint are superior. Sure, you might have a slightly bigger gear where you need it but the smaller gear on the return stroke is what you really feel.

    I don’t think you can say that Froomie and Wiggo lost the Vuelta because they were riding non-round rings. That’s not fair. I’d look at the truth of the matter: they are white Anglo-saxons. The Spanish and Italians always have a better go at the Vueltas grueling parcours.


  4. Uum… have we all forgotten that Cobo was riding Q-Rings when he beat Froome and Wiggins?

    So clearly non circular chainrings dont work “there’s no such thing as a free lunch”, thats why non circular chainring riding athletes took so much of the podium. Cause nobody else was competing.

  5. I have been on these (130 bcd) QXL rings since Dec. They are BEASTLY! I liked the original Q rings as well, but these are even better.

  6. I’m pondering non-round chainrings to help with a foot drop condition that has me weak pulling up with my RT foot. I’ve read about Osymetric rings but reviews (by non-pro riders) seem to have them a bit more finicky to setup than Rotor rings. However, QXL seems suspiciously similar to Osymetric in terms of a more aggressive oval. While it’s nice to read about what the pros ride & prefer, I need something that’s effective and can be setup & maintained by the folks at my LBS too.

What do you think?