Why our oval chainrings work
Our premium Oval chainrings work because a rider does not produce power evenly through a pedal stroke; they maximize the part of the stroke where power is produced and minimize resistance where it isn't. Oval rings make the spin cycle a lot smoother and are easier on legs while climbing. Believe it (or not), but a round chainring doesn't transfer torque to your rear wheel as smoothly as an Oval one. You will actually feel your stroke to be more "round" with an Oval shape than with a round chainring.
Why it matters
Smoother power delivery to your rear wheel means that you will be able to maintain better, constant cadence; get less stress on the joints (knees) and therefore be able to keep certain level of effort for longer. This results in higher average speed. Moreover, 11 studies made by various Universities in the World show that using oval chainrings human legs utilize more muscle groups (compared to round one), but each of them to lesser degree. Load from pedaling an oval chainring is spread over greater muscle mass which in effect gives you the feeling of fresher and more relaxed legs. This in turn let you achieve higher average speed riding uphill. Another benefit from spreading the load over more muscles is reduced risk of having a cramp while riding and much better overall feeling after the hard ride.
Can I use only small oval chainring and keep big one round? (and vice versa) Or shall I use both oval rings?
There is absolutely no problem using two different shaped chainrings in one crank from mechanical and biomechanical point of view. However, please remember that oval chainrings are most effective when you pedal uphill or/and you don't have perfect pedal spin. Therefore we advise using small oval ring as absolute minimum. Many professional riders do it, so no one else can see they ride oval chainring actually. When it comes to big chainring choice, one needs to answer himself 2 questions:
* How often do I keep riding on big ring over smaller, less demanding uphills?
If the answer is "often" then big oval chainring is advised to gain the benefit. However, if the answer is "very rarely" then keeping original round big ring is a way to save some money.
* Do I have a perfect pedal spin?
This is important one. Only professionals and semi pros can spin in "circles" perfectly. Rest of us simply can't because we don't spend enough time on the bike every week to master it and remember. Hence if you are not a Professional cyclist, then big Oval ring is strongly advised to help you pedal easier, better and with less effort. This is also why many benefits of the oval chainring are hard to prove in lab tests as all of those were always done using Professional riders. They will gain least from the oval as they already pedal close to perfection. Where ovals shine however is with rest of us who ride for pleasure and not for a job. That simply means 99% of road cyclist will benefit from having oval chainrings on their bikes.