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for anyone.
Absolutely does for Jnr,
It's most noticeable following him up something "unclimbable" (often a push up with steps at the side as you can barely walk up) but his traction is very noticeably better on the oval.

I swapped cranks (same length) between his bikes and the only real difference is the chain ring - I figured he only uses the Norco for jump lines anyway so I swapped the cranks with his big bike but we have little "how far can you get" competitions and he was breaking away the back wheel on climbs he otherwise clears ... out the oval back and he's clearing the same climbs

Annoying really as I was trying to avoid buying a 96BCD oval but I was surprised just how much difference it made .. but watching his back wheel it's way more pronounced than I'd thought or it feels to me.

I might put my own experience down to subtle and conning myself but actually watching someone else from behind their back wheel was a real eye opener

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Biopace =/ modern oval

Biopace oriented the oval to maximize the power stroke, which made the dead spot really dead and the overall power delivery was whack. Modern ovals are oriented to minimize the dead spot, and it works. When we got my wife a new bike last summer the first thing she said after the first ride was "This thing is great, but I need my oval ring back!" Plus, the AB direct-mount ovals are gorgeous. They're basically functional works of art.
 

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Biopace =/ modern oval

Biopace oriented the oval to maximize the power stroke, which made the dead spot really dead and the overall power delivery was whack. Modern ovals are oriented to minimize the dead spot, and it works. When we got my wife a new bike last summer the first thing she said after the first ride was "This thing is great, but I need my oval ring back!" Plus, the AB direct-mount ovals are gorgeous. They're basically functional works of art.
I'm dropping down to a 30t chainring for my eagle so I don't wear out the bigger cogs. Is the sizing the same? 30t absolutely black oval = 30t everything else?
 

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Yes, keep the sizing the same. Some people will tell you that you can move up a size but they're full of it. The gear inches stay the same. They don't magically make you fitter, they just make it easier to get past TDC when the climbing gets steep and techy and you're close to stalling out.
 

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Yes, keep the sizing the same. Some people will tell you that you can move up a size but they're full of it. The gear inches stay the same. They don't magically make you fitter, they just make it easier to get past TDC when the climbing gets steep and techy and you're close to stalling out.
I use usually use 2T more because im actually keeping more speed on tech climbs .. whereas without it tends to be more stop go .. I feel smoother on the oval and So going a bit faster and so I clear more obstacles with momentum ..(at least it feels that way)

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In general, and for kids, I’d say stick within the same size.
The one thing I have noticed is that I might struggle a bit more spinning crazy fast on an oval ring, so that would maybe be a reason to go on the bigger side of your range. In other words, if you are debating 30 vs 32, go 32 on the oval. But only if you were regularly spinning out the 30.
 

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Regarding the original question: oval for kids?

I’d say: “maybe”

I personally do not feel a huge difference(Have it on mtb, gravel bike and fatbike). I think the biggest benefit is supposed to be traction, but my kids never put down enough power to spin out, so that’s pretty irrelevant.
In fact, due to sustainable design, and hardpack or rock surfaces, even grownups hardly ever struggle with traction on the climbs here(technique, power and endurance yes.).

So if your trails/kids are the same, I would say, don’t bother running out and swapping for an oval ring.
On the other hand, if you are buying a different size ring anyway, you might want to try it, especially if your trails are loose and your kids attack’s the steep climbs.

Hope this helps.
 

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So if your trails/kids are the same, I would say, don't bother running out and swapping for an oval ring.
On the other hand, if you are buying a different size ring anyway, you might want to try it, especially if your trails are loose and your kids attack's the steep climbs.

Hope this helps.
This is a good point. The anecdote about my wife aside, if you have a perfectly good round ring I wouldn't run out and drop $50 on an oval. If you're replacing a worn out ring or putting together a new build, give it a try for sure.
 
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