Rotor launched their latest product, the Flow crankset, at a press camp in Mallorca earlier this week. Designed in conjunction with the aerodynamicist from Pro Tour team Garmin, the new crank spider is designed to reduce drag and therefore improve time trial times.
Rotor also showed us their ovalised Q-Rings, which are designed to maximise power through the pedal stroke and eliminate dead spots. The change in diameter of the ring enables the most powerful part of the pedal stroke (the down stroke) to pull more chain through, while at the weakest point the gear effectively becomes easier, almost pulling the leg through its stroke.
We have tested Q-Rings in the past (read the full review here). At high speeds, pushing a hard gear, power transfer felt very smooth. When climbing in a lower gear, the effect of having your leg pulled through the top of the stroke was very noticeable. In addition to their standard rings, Rotor have developed QXL rings, which have an bigger ovalisation to further increase this effect.
With all Rotor cranks and Q-Rings, the position of the ring can be adjusted according to personal preference, by 5 degrees either side of the default setting. For example, time trialists may want the ring rotated forward a little because of the angle of the bike and the position of the rider being further forward, while a mountain biker may want it rotated back, as MTB frames tend have more relaxed geometry.
Rotor Q-Rings start from £159 / $265 for a pair, with the QXLs starting from £185 / $320. Flow cranks cost £499 / $690 without rings. For more information go to www.rotorbike.com.