Early the 2020 season I wrecked my Dura Ace 9000 outer chainring due to a chain-suck and replaced it with the Rotor Aero noQ chainring, 4-arm, 110 mm bolt circle diameter.
I will share my thoughts so far and have a look at the design details of the Rotor chainring, decision reasoning and installation on the Dura Ace 9000 cranks.
Rotor Aero noQ chainring or Shimano Dura Ace 9000 chainring ?
A Shimano Dura Ace 9000 50 tooth chainring will cost around €150,– and a 50 tooth Rotor Aero noQ chainring will cost around € 83,– (so almost half the price !!). However with the full black Rotor chainring some of the typical silver color scheme of the Dura Ace 9000 will get lost.
I could also remember pictures of Marianne Vos’ special edition Liv Envie Advanced Pro, that was equipped with Shimano Dura Ace 9000 cranks, a dual-sided Pioneer Power Meter and an older model round Rotor Aero outer chainring.
The Rotor Aero noQ chainring is thinner, simply because it doesn’t follow the shape of the Dura Ace 9000 crank arms. While in theory you could think that the Rotor chainring would be less stiffer, I cannot feel any difference. You can also see some structural ribs on the inside of the chainring, that balance weight savings and stiffness.
Installation Rotor Aero noQ chainring – What bolts ?
Rotor, Absolute Black, TA, Shimano and some other brands provide after market chainring bolts with nicely integrated cap-covers that follow the crankarm shape onto the chainring. You can see these also on Marianne Vos’ Liv Envie Advanced Pro.
The price point of the Rotor Crank Covers is € 50,– which doesn’t make sense compared to the chainring price of € 83,–. While the TA and Shimano options are more customer friendly priced I opted to go your the old school set-up of chainring bolts with round black nuts. So the installation is really traditional as well, with the correct torcx bit a Wera Zyklop 8000 ratchet and some copper grease. You can see the result in the pictures.
It saves a little weight (no caps) it saves some money since the old school set-up is cheaper. The disadvantage is looks, where you have a sharp 90-degree transition from Shimano Dura Ace 9000 silver crank arm to the black Rotor Aero noQ chainring.
Concluding thoughts and wrap-up
I’m riding my Canyon Ultimate CF SLX with a 50-38 chainring set-up. Shimano Dura Ace 9000 delivers the 38 tooth inner chainring, while I’ve switched to the Rotor Aero noQ outer chainring on my Shimano Dura Ace 9000 Hollowtech II cranks (4-arm design and 110 mm bolt circle diameter).
Personally I like the all black looks of the Rotor Aero noQ chainring, and when you look more closely it is a cool print on the surface. The Rotor chainring is certainly stiff enough for me. Installation was super easy just like any other chainring. The Rotor price point of € 83,– is almost half the price of the Shimano Dura Ace 9000, so you can’t go wrong with that investment.
If this Rotor Aero noQ chainring set-up is good enough for multiple world-champion and Olympic-champion Marianne Vos, than it is certainly good enough for an ordinary cyclist like me.
I’ve purchased the Rotor Aero noQ chainring at Bike Components.