Coincidently, Steve brought my attention to this link (tech Feature from Cycling News)
Apparently Magnus Backstedt has been using Q-Rings in training for a long time and will be able to compete with them this year (Team SlipStream may even ride them). I would assume that having the big guys using them will make them more prevalent in everyday use as well, which I think is a good thing for many people (Joe Friel agrees). With riders like Kabush and Backstedt using them on their own accord it does make one wonder !
The idea with the Q Ring is basically that by using a symmetrical, oval chainring the tooth count/ring size changes as you go through your pedal stroke. As you push down the ring gets bigger as you go through the top/bottom (deadspot) the ring gets smaller and 'helps' you get through quickly and more economically. While not accomplishing this as effectively as Rotor Cranks, the Q Ring is cheaper, much more durable and lighter.
Through my reading and experience I have found that people who have trouble transitioning from pushing down to pulling up (those who 'Mash' gears) often reap the most benefit from this tool as they have much economy to gain through a higher cadence and smoother pedal stroke. Both Steve and I have been riding them for about 2 years if not longer now on both mtb and road. Neither of our numbers changed significantly but qualitatively I do find that on the MTB I am able to effectively push a little tougher gear at race speeds and that on steep climbs that it is 'easier' to keep a smooth cadence, which may equate to better traction or improved efficiency (Note: each ring can be rotated to fine tune when the easy/hard phases)
Will they help you?? It is hard to say but next time you are looking to upgrade your drivetrain give them some serious thought, if for no other reason than the 2000 watt sprint Backstedt uses them for!
Check out Fact Canada for more info (I think Q rings are now available through a regular distributer available to bike stores) - link
Also see the Rotor-USA site