Best Chainring Size for XC Racing

I go too hard and overreach, I put myself in a deep hole and have to rest to come back, my FTP then drops 45 watts.

I ride in zero fire roads where I would use a 34 in Reno.

So there’s only downside.

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I agree with what @Nate_Pearson is saying here.

For training, there is no reason to overgear or force yourself into situations where you are going too hard.

Pushing yourself a little too easy has minimal negative consequences, wheareas pushing yourself a little bit too hard beyond your ability to recover can be disastrous.

Racing is where you take risks that you wouldn’t take in training.

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I have had a few rides on the 32 Oval now. My opinion is that it feels really, really good on singletrack, and slightly bobby on the tarmac heading to the trails. It felt smoother on climbs although I didn’t notice any super increase in traction.

This is all for a 32 AB Oval on a 2012 Giant Anthem 11-42.

I need to do more trialling to see the effect on Power readings, but I have changed back down to a 30T round in preparation for my A race in a few weeks time. I’d like to try the 30T AB Oval ring but it’s getting a bit excessive having so much money in chainrings on the shelf.

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Thanks for the feedback. I think I’m persuaded to try and AB Oval.
I’m on a hardtail but have a race next July with alot of climbing so figure any slight advantage will be good :wink:

I’m half tempting to do a ramp test on a std chainring and a couple of days later repeat with an OB to see if it has any impact.

Edit: has anyone any experience of an oval chainring on a trainer whilst using TR?

Went to 34 with a 10-48 this year and love it. IIRC I measured the clearance loss at about 2mm from a 32.

Lots of punchy climbing in New England but nothing mega.

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3.9 w/kg. I run a 1x 30t oval, 11-36 in the back. Riding in my area is quite steep and punchy, but I ride a single speed most of the time, so it feels like plenty of gearing.

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Absolute Black Oval?

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Relax dude. Who died and made you the local forum traffic cop? Jeez.

I ran ovals for a couple years on my singlespeeds.

Benefits:
Strava showed I was faster
Seemed to have fewer traction issues on climbs.
Very low cadences were a little easier to maintain

Downsides:
I had to adjust my chain more often (singlespeed problem)
It was significantly more difficult to spin smooth at high cadences above 100 rpm.

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Mine oval chainring is from Wolftooth. I really like it. When I first started using it about 5 years ago, I wasn’t as fit, and it immediately made the difference between clearing and not clearing certain punchy sections. Traction is much easier to modulate at slow speed. I just run a normal round chainring on my single speed (34 over 20). I think an Oval would be awesome on the single speed. (P.S. I climb much faster on my single speed…which is probably no surprise)

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