ROTOR's reputation was founded on its flagship Q-Rings, oval chainrings with subtle but efficient ovality that proved their efficacy by helping Carlos Sastre towards his 2008 Tour de France victory. The Spanish brand has followed up that success with cranks, power meters and bottom brackets – all honed in professional cycling and triathlon, and showcasing ROTOR's dedication to performance. Its position as a high-end alternative brand has created a strong community of riders who aspire to use the finest components in the world.
Founded in 1994, ROTOR began to develop products that would improve cycling efficiency and feel by eliminating dead spots in the pedal cycle. Focusing first on a unique bike, then more widely compatible cranksets to achieve this, ROTOR's breakthrough moment came with the launch of Q-Rings in 2006.
Q-Rings used a different orientation to other non-round ring experiments such as BioPace, ensuring happier knees, smooth feel and efficient pedalling. Q-Rings also offered five positions to choose from depending on discipline and comfort, allowing riders to tailor their perfect set-up.
While many top riders quickly adopted Q-Rings, it was Carlos Sastre who helped provide worldwide exposure and proved the technology on the sport's biggest stage by winning the 2008 Tour de France.
ROTOR has also become associated with its high-end cranksets, which combine aerospace materials with exacting manufacturing standards in ROTOR's Milan HQ to create some of the lightest, stiffest, best-performing cranks in the world. In 2010, ROTOR's crankset range advanced into the 30mm Universal Bottom Bracket (UBB) super standard, which, in partnership with ROTOR's wide array of bottom bracket bearings, offers near total frame compatibility.
ROTOR's cranks were further enhanced by the company's ROTOR Power system in 2012, which offered riders true left and right power, as well as the aerodynamic Flow cranks, which utilised a new Micro Adjust Spider (MAS) giving half-way points between the usual five positions for even greater set-up control.
With Sastre's Tour win already complemented by Juan José Cobo's 2011 Vuelta a Espana victory, Ryder Hesjedal's Giro triumph in 2012 completed ROTOR's Grand Tour triple and reinforced the company's credentials at the top of the sport.
Following pro rider feedback, QXL rings launched in 2013. A more pronounced 'ovality' meant bigger effective gears during the downstroke, giving powerful athletes and existing Q-Rings users further performance gains. Q-Ring compatibility has also increased with Shimano and Campagnolo four bolt versions coming to market.
In 2015, ROTOR launched INpower; a simplified, yet feature-rich power meter representing the latest in power technology and excellent value. The single-sided axle-housed unit is powered by a single AA battery and features a contamination and shock resistant – as well as waterproof – design. It's also the only power meter specifically designed for accurate Q-Ring power readings.
In the same year, ROTOR reinforced its commitment to cutting edge design and cycling performance with the unveiling of the UNO groupset, a system that utilises hydraulic lines to operate the derailleurs and offers disc and rim brake compatibility. UNO was launched to the press in early 2016 following thousands of miles of pro testing, which have informed the performance of the final design.
Rotor has also launched 2INpower, a new power meter that combines INpower's exceptional durability and reliability with two-legged power measurement and a host of new features.
ROTOR's focus on truly innovative performance products and the company's commitment to validate its gear at the highest levels of professional cycling makes the brand a perfect fit for Saddleback.
Q-Rings have been proven at the highest level of cycling, with Grand Tour victories including the 2008 Tour de France and 2011 Vuelta a España; a pair of Olympic golds; over a dozen world championships; and more than 30 Ironman wins.
Q-Rings' oval shape means the gear size (or effective gear ratio) you're pushing changes throughout the pedal cycle. The power-producing downstroke is lengthened – like a bigger chainring – while the dead spots are lessened, allowing you to spin through them quicker. This means strong driving muscles are maximised while the load of weaker muscles is lessened for increased efficiency.
Qarbon rings are strengthened by a carbon fibre plate that allows the alloy underneath to be machined thinner and results in a ring that's lighter and stiffer than standard Q-Rings – the next evolution for those seeking ultimate performance gains.
2INpower is Rotor's latest – and most advanced – power meter, offering true left-right power analysis in a performance crankset upgrade that's fully compatible with both round and Q-Rings.
Power data is collected independently for each leg to give the most advanced power metrics available on the market. The left leg is measured through INpower's usual axle-based strain gauges, the electronics of which are linked to new sets of strain gauges placed on the driveside crankarm that measures the right leg.
This opens up the opportunity for riders to get the most detailed pedalling analysis possible, including balance, pedal smoothness and torque effectiveness. Riders can go even deeper with ROTOR's 2INpower user software which analyses your optimum Q-Rings orientation and gives a visual representation of your pedal stroke's efficiency to hone technique.
This level of depth is available thanks to INpower's ability to collect 500 data points per pedal cycle via a built-in accelerometer. This gives exceptional accuracy and ensures full compatibility with Q-rings. Riding data from 2INpower can be transmitted via ANT+ or Bluetooth Smart, making the unit future proof for the latest head units on the market.
2INpower also features a USB-rechargeable battery that offers 250 hours of riding time per charge. The battery will take 300 full charges before deteriorating, which equates to around 41 years of use if you ride five hours every day.
Hidden behind a simple cover that swivels out the way, the charging port uses a magnetic connection to keep the internals sealed away from water ingress or other contaminants. LED lighting around the circular port indicates charging status.
The crankset itself is available in 165, 170, 172.5 and 175mm lengths and is made from CNC machined aerospace grade 7015 aluminium. 2INpower represents Rotor's stiffest crank system to date while only adding 160g compared to 3D+ INpower. The axle is connected to the driveside crankarm while the non-driveside crankarm is held in place with a simple DTT bolt.
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