OneUp Components narrow-wide oval chainring collection for mountain bikes

Over the past two years, OneUp Components has been releasing narrow-wide chainrings for just about every imaginable bolt pattern and modern crankset, including the latest Shimano XT and XTR’s asymmetric spider, SRAM direct mount and standard 104BCD and a versatile 94/96BCD design.

Now, they’ve ported all of those designs, plus a brand new Race Face CINCH direct mount design, to an ovalized chainring called the Traction Ring. It’s clocked at 115º with 12% ovality, a position and design they came to after testing for 10 months.

Mirroring the claims made by Absolute Black and others, the new non-round chainrings claim to improve mountain bike traction over standard round rings. Having ridden several oval rings on my own mountain bikes, I’ll back up that statement and as OneUp suggests, the next time you need to replace that chainring, consider one of their many new oval options…

OneUp Components narrow-wide oval chainring collection for shimano xt-xtr asymmetric spider mountain bikes

The Traction Rings are all 32-tooth designs, but they say they feel like a 34T where you’re strongest and a 30T in the dead zone. The improved traction comes from smoothing out the torque on the pedals by giving you a bigger gear where you’re stronger and smaller one where you’re weaker. Before the comments light up with all the reasons why oval rings don’t work or how the physics of what is typed here is all wrong, just try them. OneUp makes no claims as to improved power output, leaving it at improved traction with zero downsides. Oh, and they also want you to know it’s 90º offset from Shimano’s BioPace rings of yore.

All are machined from 7075AL with reinforced wide teeth to improve durability when run without a bash ring/guard, and all set up with a 49mm chainline, which puts the chain slightly closer to the larger cog for quieter, smoother performance.

Shown above and directly below are the XTR M9000 and XT M8000 replacement chainrings. Both include the necessary shims or replacement bolts to make them directly compatible with the new cranksets and their existing hardware.

OneUp Components narrow-wide oval chainring collection for shimano xt-xtr asymmetric spider mountain bikes

The XTR gets a matching gray tone, and the XT is black with a bit more machining. The XTR rings are threaded, so the bolts tighten directly into them. The XT rings pass the bolts through to thread into the spider, so they are not interchangeable.

OneUp Components narrow-wide oval chainring actual weights

Actual weights for these two are 56g (XT) and 57g (XTR).

OneUp Components narrow-wide oval chainring collection for sram direct mount mountain bikes

The SRAM Direct Mount fits any modern SRAM 10/11 speed GXP and long-spindle BB30 cranksets with the removable spider. Long spindle BB30 models include X0/X9 Cranks with 38/24, 36/22 and 34/22 ring combos.

OneUp Components narrow-wide oval chainring collection for sram direct mount mountain bikes

The three bolt holes ensure proper alignment when installing on the crankset.

OneUp Components narrow-wide oval chainring collection for race face cinch mountain bikes

The new Race Face CINCH direct mount rings have a very similar design but with a small hole to align with the center of the crank arm.

OneUp Components narrow-wide oval chainring collection for race face cinch mountain bikes

OneUp Components narrow-wide oval chainring actual weights

Weights are 62g (Race Face) and 60g (SRAM).

OneUp Components narrow-wide oval chainring collection for 104bcd mountain bikes

OneUp Components narrow-wide oval chainring collection for 104bcd mountain bikes

The 104BCD oval ring has built in shims and threaded holes, making it as easy as possible to install and go ride.

OneUp Components narrow-wide oval chainring collection for 94-96bcd mountain bikes

The 94/96BCD rings use the same slotted bolt holes as the round versions, allowing them to fit both SRAM and Shimano cranksets with symmetrical bolt circle patterns. They obviously can’t have threaded holes, but they do include shims to allow to reuse the stock bolts from your crankset.

OneUp Components narrow-wide oval chainring actual weights

The 104BCD ring is 48g, and the 94/96BCD ring is 50g with shims.

OneUp Components narrow-wide oval chainring collection for mountain bikes

I’ve got them installed, but haven’t had a chance to ride it yet. Installation of the SRAM DM ring was quick and easy on an older XO GXP crankset. This bike is set up with a 10speed drivetrain running OneUp’s 42T cassette adapters, too.

OneUp Components narrow-wide oval chainring collection for mountain bikes

OneUp Components narrow-wide oval chainring collection for mountain bikes

The rings use OneUp’s existing narrow-wide design with “crud chamfers” to help dirt and mud slice off the chain and fall  away rather than getting packed up and decreasing the chain’s grip on the teeth.

Oneup-Components-oval-32t-chainrings-42t-cassette-adapter01

Of course, they’ll work wonderfully with OneUp’s oversized cog and 16T cassette adapters.

Available in black only for now (except the XTR one), all retail for $52 USD. Available now.

OneUpComponents.com

27 COMMENTS

  1. “The improved traction comes from smoothing out the torque on the pedals…”

    This is nonsense. Round rings don’t suffer traction loss due to uneven torque so smoothing out the torque, small effect as it is, won’t matter. If you go from spinning a wheel to not spinning a wheel then that means you are producing LESS power, hardly a benefit.

    “Before the comments light up with all the reasons why oval rings don’t work or how the physics of what is typed here is all wrong, just try them.”

    Why, Tyler, would you assume that anyone who criticizes oval rings hasn’t tried them? How insulting.

    “OneUp makes no claims as to improved power output, leaving it at improved traction with zero downsides.”

    But oval rings do have downsides, they reduce maximum cadence. At least the first part is right…they don’t improve power output. They also come only in very few, or one, size. Do not want.

  2. Chris Froome just won the Tour De France on non round rings. He spins at 110rpms I think. He’s a pretty good bike rider I would say.
    I’ve been using Absolute Blacks oval rings, and while there are a few quirks to using them in order to maximize them, I feel they just make my life a bit more pleasant. You really notice the advantages when you rack up the miles, and you just flat out feel less fatigued.

  3. Unfortunately, One-Up and e.13 are too close of competitors for OU to ever make a direct mount in e.13’s pattern.

  4. They’re sending photos from Pluto, but no one can cite objective, empirical data on whether this oval chainring phenomenon holds any weight?

    How long are they going to keep selling the snake oil and, most importantly, how long are cyclists going to keep buying it?

    For crying out loud, Johns Hopkins did a study on the effects of chain lube (unnecessary, except if you can’t stand the noise of a dirty chain), so I’m sure someone can debunk (or bunk) this fad.

  5. I’m on Absolute Black rings too. One 32t oval, one 28t round on the same crankset, just because.

    I do not notice much difference compared to round rings. If anything, I find myself breaking traction on limited traction climbs precisely when the pedals go through the dead spot. Feels like you are stomping on a hard gear and suddenly you put change to a low gear in the same downstroke. Weird.

    I will continue using them to destruction, because I do not see any significant downside. But I do not see any significant advantage. Would I buy another oval ring? I’m not sure. Maybe I will try a 28t.

    Absolute Black makes nice and cheap rings. I’m happy with them.

  6. I’ve already studied these and have come to my own conclusion:

    The improved traction comes from reducing torque, due to being in a larger gear. The cadence improvement that the elliptical ring may offer can improve momentum, which in turn offers better balance, both resulting in easier riding through tricky sections.

    There’s very little downside to elliptical really. It can accelerate wear on a clutch RD, you need to have clearance for a ring that’s 2t bigger, and that it’s more expensive. Whether or not you experience minor gains is subject to individual circumstances, but it’s doubtful that you’d be any worse off if you replace a 32t round ring with a 32t elliptical.

  7. Oh for gods Sake, Just get rid of your crappy stock rings, and GO RIDE YOUR BIKES! Round, not Round, how could it make a difference? My ( Cat 2 AZ State champion ) tiny little 110lb wife HAD NO IDEA, when I put my ” non-round ” chainring on her Epic, and SHE’S an Architect/Structural Engineer! And She’s SILLY-FAST! It’s like wheel size: Pick one. Be a Jerk about it. Be DOOOOONE With it… Oh, and BTW? She’s SMOKIN’ HOT, too… Hope I’ve cleared up all confusion… Carry on…

  8. Like the nice man says, just try them, you might like them.

    I was a bit sceptical but I tried an absolute black 34 tooth ring and I’ll never go back to round rings. It’s barely noticable most of the time but when a higher power output is required on climbs and in sprints I can only describe it as feeling stronger.

  9. I used a Wolf Tooth DM 30t round front in a SC Nomad 2015, it was the perfect for my riding, after I changed to a 32t Absolute Black Oval ring, gain in power none, better pedaling feeling while in the 6 and 12 point yes, more fluid stroke yes, my mistake was ask a 32t instead of the 30t just because I read about the radius variation from 34t in the large and 30t in the smaller so I thought that the 31t virtual could be fine, wrong. So after I switched to 30t Wolf Tooth Components and the pedaling force is the same as the 30t round but the smooth feeling at 6 and 12 is fine. I don’t feel any gain in power, just feel a better and smooth pedaling cycle. What this oval ring made is ask to go a rear sprocket up that normal, if I normally used a 36 sprocket in the back whit the round chainring, now with the oval I use a 32 sprocket instead, not feeling harder while pedaling. Another thing is that the seat had to be moved forward 1cm for a better position, these chainring asked me to push harder but not feeling any extra problem or pain, it was my experience.

  10. I was skeptical (I’m a mechanical engineer – its my job to be skeptical) but I bought Absolute Black Oval rings in the spring when I had a chance to buy some cheaply.

    I haven’t regretted my decision one bit. I’d never buy oval for my road bike (I don’t believe there is any power advantage) but I do notice a difference in traction on the mountain bike on steep, loose climbs where pedaling circles is all but impossible.

  11. Turbo, there have been studies done on round vs. oval rings. Nice article in Peloton a few months ago about a peer reviewed study.
    http://pelotonmagazine.com/pages/from-inside-peloton-slo-motion/
    Rotor also has quite compelling data as to why they work but granted they are biased.

    Ripnshread, no one can pedal perfect little circles no matter how hard they try. That’s the whole point about oval rings.

    Mac, did you find any photos?

    Forest cats, can you please just post some photos? If not, then we are all going to assume you are lying and that in fact she is 4’4″ and 276lbs with oily skin and an amazing amount of acne.

  12. I’m a huge proponent of oval rings for the road. I’ve got a good 90,000 miles on Rotor Q rings. Most importantly, they’ve also saved me from constantly doing burnouts at every stoplight and stop sign due to the added traction.

  13. Ok, oK… @ all y’all. We will be spending a portion of our weekend at our local bike park ( Desert Trails Park, Mesa AZ ), and I will take some MORE photo’s of my Lovely Wife, schooling the teenage boys on the jump lines. Some of the guys at the park insist on following her down the jump lines, saying that they’re trying ” Watch her technique “… Now that I’ve said that out loud, I’m not so sure about it. Beside one of the tabletops seems like it would be a much better vantage point for the observation of her jumping technique. Hmmm… I’ll choose a couple fun pics, and post ’em up, afterwards 🙂

  14. like many i got the AB ring on the mtbs and i like them they feel good, and it does feel like it helps at lower cadence.
    on road bike, not as much, because of higher cadence and no real need for torque (minus cross bikes) albeit, you know, its just feels and all so many it helps or whatever.

  15. Afternoon Gentleman,
    Marcin @ Absoluteblack

    It took us about 15 months of very hard work to convince most of you here and on other forums/media that our oval is a great idea when done properly. Everyone were laughing (some still do:). But we knew that at some point with our work we will finally convince you how good our ovals are in mtb as they speak for themselves.

    We also knew that there will be a time where our success will be copied at point where most people already know what oval is and how good it is. This time just came now. We feel disappointed that competitors didn’t want to help push oval idea where times were hard, “Biopace thinking” was very strong and most were reluctant to try. Instead, they jump on when everything is ready, saying we have great ovals for you now.

    None the less we know where our core values are. Our unbeatable teeth profile, excellent – hard to beat durability, impeccable styling, best possible materials and actually engineered ovals per every size separately make our chainrings best ovals on the market you can get. We have spent years honing ovals to the form they are now and we are proud of that they gathered such a massive following Worldwide now from our loyal customers. We want to thank you for believing in and breaking the myth of Biopace.

    Cheap rings are one thing. Standing behind excellent product at a fair price to what we create is another. We always measure for highest possible level of excellence and our rings reflect that.

    happy weekend (riding hopefully)
    Marcin

  16. I use AB spider less rings and I’m looking forward to using Marcin’s Oval rings too. Exemplary personalized customer service! Keep up the great work Marcin.

COMMENT HERE: (For best results, log in through Wordpress or your social media account. Anonymous/fake email comments may be unapproved or deleted. ALL first-time commenter's posts are held for moderation. Check our Comment Policy for full details.)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.