Exactly. That would've made the game playable with Chaos Emerald. It doesn't seem too broken either, given that you have to do quite well to get your Ring counter above 50 once you lose all your Rings.
As it is... once that happens, you're screwed until you get lucky and collect a 100-Ring, or even a 20 or 30-ring capsule. Until you get one of those, you leg the course while all the opponents laugh at you.
Gad, great concept for a gear, but in trying to make the gear less broken they went the whole length and made it crappy instead. Figures. --- There is no hatred so great as that of a man who has been made to love a woman against his will. -Hercule Poirot Currently at 11th place in GFaqs; gonna go up!