The Specialized Factory Racing team have announced they are to use Rotor's elliptical chainrings on their mountain bikes this year.
The egg-shaped Q-Rings are said to offer easier climbing, faster acceleration and smoother pedalling, with reduced joint and tendon loads thanks to better muscle strain distribution.
Oval chainrings haven't been seen on mountain bikes since Shimano's ill-fated BioPace rings, which the Japanese firm stopped making in the early Nineties.
But team member and marathon world champion Christoph Sauser has already given the Q-Rings his seal of approval. As we exclusively revealed in November, he has had a set on test for several months.
Sauser said: “I immediately felt the difference in the traction and instantly knew I wanted to use them in competition. This is likely one of the most technologically advanced bicycle components I've ever tested.”
Rotor will supply the team, which also includes Rebecca Rusch, Conrad Stoltz, Lene Byberg and Todd Wells, with special edition red 2x9 Q-Rings (40-27) designed to fit Specialized's S-Works mountain bike crankset.
Specialized's Bobby Behan said: “We’re really excited to work with Rotor this year, and the feedback from all of our athletes has been nothing but positive. They all agree that Q-Rings are a real performance advantage. Between our Epic/Era Brain technology and Rotor’s Q-Ring innovation, we’re in a great position to win this year."
Spanish brand Rotor claim their Q-Rings increase your power by maximising use of the efficient zones of the pedal stroke and reducing the intensity of the “dead” zones.
Riders using the egg-shaped rings have already earned multiple UCI World Championship titles in road, cyclo-cross and duathlon.