Just after Mohican, I ordered a shiny new Rotor Q-Ring for my singlespeed. Disclosure- like SRAM, Rotor is definitely NOT a sponsor. They gave me the “don’t call us, we’ll call you” business when I made a request last year. This was an EP (employee purchase) privilege from my place of employment (Outdoors, Inc.) who actually does sponsor me. Like I’ve said in the past- shop there, thank a sales associate for the company’s support of me. Your appreciation will be heard more than once, I promise.
The Q-Ring sat around for a while because I was having brake issues with the R1s on the singlespeed. I still have a love/hate relationship with these brakes. The feel wonderful, but they’re terribly finicky. My rear one had a piston that would not retract all the way. It made noise during the entire race in Ohio, and I spent a good bit of time troubleshooting it when I had the chance back home. It ended up being something sticky in the master cylinder that was causing the issue. Three bleeds, some drilling, and lots of cursing later, I have a cotter pin as a pad bolt, and my brake is back to working fabulously.
With that fixed, I was finally motivated to install the Q-Ring. It’s a 34 tooth, but the diameter changes throughout the pedalstroke in order to minimize the time you spend in the “dead spot” of your stroke. No, it’s not like Biopace. Shimano Biopace was the opposite, and quite a bit more extreme. Also, no, it doesn’t require the use of a chain tensioner. There’s a definite “tight spot” in the chain, but I’ve seen normal round rings with more slack/tight than the Q-Ring.
I hooked it up with an 18t and rode it yesterday morning for the first time. Since I roll out to the trails on the road, the first thing I noticed is that it smooths out your “almost spun out” pedal stroke. If you’ve ridden SS on less than desirable SS courses, you know that you can spend a lot of time at that cadence. Other than a bit of added smoothness, I couldn’t tell a huge difference as far as heart rate or ease of climbing. Granted, it was an easy, flat ride. The real test will be racing this weekend with a little climbing & tech stuff to get through. Updates to follow.
In other news worth mentioning, Niner has released the Jet9 RDO (race-day optimized) carbon fiber full suspension hotness. I’m getting one. So, the Jet is officially back up for sale, though this time, it’s got Avid brakes with fancy gold hoses, as well as my nice, light set of Crest/Hope race wheels. I haven’t figured out a price yet, but it’ll be a “get it out of my garage” sort of thing for sure. I might even throw in some new 9-speed drivetrain parts to sweeten the deal. That’ll be its own post, though.