So the oval chainring’s been out for a while and I can search peoples reviews but most were just short term opinions. Maybe we have some “long term”users here that could enlighten us(or me specifically) with your experience?
I like mine. I have been using a One Up oval for 6 months now. For me it makes climbing a little easier, and other than that I find I don’t notice it. there are several different ones, the old biopace oval had their oval about 90 degrees from where the new ones are. And didn’t really work for anyone. New ones still have a variation in the degree of offset from brand to brand to fit personal preference. And they just don’t work for some people.
I have used a 32t oval rings (Absolute Black & Wolf Tooth) for nearly two years. They rule. If you did not look at it you’d never notice anything weird about the way it pedals, no pulsing, nothing. What you do notice is that you are climbing faster in a higher gear and you feel far less burned out on long climbs. I won’t go back to round. The only downside is that the rings can be damaged more easily than round, but I run a bash guard so it’s not an issue. Do that or get a chain guide like the MRP AMg.
Oval x 3 years, won’t go back. They are a subtle improvement over round imo, more subtle than the difference between 26 and 27.5. In my experience they wear the same, drop chains less, provide a smoother pedal stroke, and help with cruxy tech climbs as you are in the dead spot for less time. Hope that helps.
The reason many of these reviews might be short term is because the reviewers, myself included, don’t care for them. For me personally, it didn’t seem to provide much, if any, benefit. And because I switch between bikes often (review bikes, etc.) it meant having to get used to the oval chainring all over again every time I went back to that bike.
Bottom line: the oval chainring could be beneficial for you, but everyone seems to be different. Not only that, if you have multiple bikes, I suggest outfitting all your bikes with oval rings because I found it tough to switch between oval and round and back again.