Do oval chainrings work? I wasn’t sure, so I tried one out and put it to the test!

Here’s the results after 3 days of riding with one:

Day 1: The oval ring feels weird right away, but feels totally normal after about 3 minutes. I even forgot that he changed chainrings until I got to the top.

Day 2: After actually thinking about what’s going on while pedaling, I can sort of understand how the oval ring works. You can definitely feel a difference when climbing up and over things, although not dramatically.

Day 3: I start to really put the oval ring to the test and starts to hammer over short, punchy bits of his climb. This is when the oval ring is at the biggest advantage.

Overall, the oval ring is actually pretty cool. After hearing mixed reviews the past year, I wasn’t really expecting to feel much of a difference. There’s no crazy dramatic advantage over a normal round chainring, but there is at least a little bit of a bonus. In my eyes, anything that can help on the climbs and help extend your ride is a no brainer in my book!

We initially did not have any oval chainrings for sale on our website, but after this test I was impressed enough to bring a bunch of Wolf Tooth Ellpitical Chainrings into stock and put them on the website!

Want to try one for yourself? Head over to the chainring page on our web-store to snag one!


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Mister Lost Bike Shop

Bellingham, WA


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24 Replies

  1. Daegan Patterson Reply

    I bashed my chainring on a rock, now I have an oval chain ring

  2. Programming Cats Reply

    oval chainrings are great at climbing but if your accelerating or going downhill they become weird and unpredictable, i like nice stable acceleration

  3. leftymadrid Reply

    Geez, I remember having the biopace chain set on my cannondale years ago. I really never used anything else so I couldn't compare, but sure felt great… I still am road biking, but changed to a Specialized Tarmac, with 52/36t chain rings. I now am in Spain with some pretty crazy climbing, and if one doesn't have the right gearing, those 80-100 kilometers in a ride will toast you at the end of the day! I just got some Oval titanium 50/34 chain rings, and I am very much looking forward to climbing now when I ride, every little bit of help on long steep climbs these roads helps!
    I don't like the looks of an egg shaped ring, but heck it is not important, what's important is that they actually work. And the more you use them, the less you notice them. Especially when you made your climb and say "heck, that wasn't that bad"… it's a personal choice of course, to each his own way. But I would at least try them, then make your own opinion 🙂 🙂 🙂
    Great video bud!!

  4. Dennis Davis Reply

    Had one in the late 70s I put on as are replacement. asked about them a few years ago was told discontinued because they hurt the knees.

  5. Philk K Reply

    Annoying as fuck and you have a man bun. Looking like a mtf transgender

  6. raheem gahel Reply

    It does exactly what you just said! I've got one, and I'm loving it!

  7. _Isaac___ Reply

    I assume this would help with accelerating from a standstill at a high gear

  8. Phil Putnam Reply

    Thanks for the video. I've been considering trying one.

  9. Alen Odbu Reply

    why not just put a bigger chain ring

  10. Jackson0405 Reply

    I do not belong here i am a bmx biker with a 25 tooth one with a guard and i call it a sprocket

  11. Hugh Clarke Reply

    I love mine, and it looks sick too. Absolute Black 34t. Awesome for XC racing

  12. Steven Collins Reply

    Cool, informative video! Was wondering that if I change my 30 tooth round to a 32 tooth oval, would i also need a new chain?

  13. dair805 Reply

    Hi Mike!
    Help me out here..
    Mtb Superfly 9, 32t Front 1x with 11/36 cassette.. I love going to the mountain but I find my gears hard going up hills.. Terrain is pretty rocky with nice up hills.. I need lower gearing, tell me the set up you will use in this case. Again, superb technical terrain.. thanks man!!

  14. The Adventure Biker Reply

    I call B.S. on oval chainrings. They're just a gimmick. Want better power at the pedals for climbing etc? Ride more, use clipless pedals, and work on a smooth, even, and complete pedal stroke. Don't throw your money away on this crap. Shimano had these in the early 1990's (known as BioPiss LOL). There's a reason they discontinued them….

  15. Cycle Tech UK Reply

    If you normally ride a 32T round and change to an oval, best to buy a 30 t or 32 t?

  16. Connie Back Reply

    I have one. Of course they work. But not different from round. What you gain in one phase of the revolution is lost in another phase. It is a gimmick for sales.