Riding with an Oval Chainring on a Mountainbike

I see a lot of riders in my local area riding with these. So I decided to see what is was all the fuzz is about. I bought a Blackspire Snaggletooth Narrow-Wide Oval Chainring (That’s a mouthful!). It was one of the cheaper options available but it seems to be working fine after 2 months of use.

How does it feel riding with an Oval Chainring?

I went from a 30 tooth normal chainring to a 32 tooth oval chainring. I jumped up because I was spinning out on normal roads if I gave it full gas. And I haven’t found many places where gears is the limiting factor in me getting up a climb. It’s mostly technique that gets me on climbs. 

At first it feels a little strange to pedal. You will definitely feel a spot where the tension is reduced during your pedal stroke. It’s not really a super big difference and it will become normal within 15 mins of riding and then you’ll stop thinking about it at all. 

Is an Oval Chainring better?

The one place where you will keep noticing a difference is on steep and loose climbs, I feel it is easier to keep the pedals turning over and keeping the backwheel from slipping. It is not magic and the difference is not massive. But I am getting up some hills that I have problems with normally. On loose uphills it is much easier to keep traction. And I haven’t really found any downsides to using it yet.

Would I recommend an Oval Chainring?

Given the fact that oval chainrings are relatively inexpensive and easy for us, less than professional, home mechanics to swap out. I would recommend that you give it a go if you are interested and are already running a 1x setup on your bike.

Posted in