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Review: Absolute Black oval chainring

By Pants - Posted on 21 March 2015

NB: Originally posted elsewhere on the Global Riders Network and appears via syndication.

I bought one of the Absolute Black oval chainrings a few months ago and got around to fitting it recently (broke my hand so been off the bike).

See product here on Chain Reaction:

First up, I got the 32 tooth version. This is 34T in the 'power' zone and 30T in the 'weak' zone as you pedal. I normally run a 32T ring.

Pedalling on the flat with light load you really notice the oval shape and it took a while to get used to. I dont think any extra power or loss of power occurs, but you feel as though you are pedalling in a sort of a rough rhythm.

Now, pedalling under power when standing up is a different story. Because the ring rotates quickly when you are at the weakest point in the rotation, the perceived effort is much less than normal. You really do get more power coming out. Plus I believe that getting over anything techy, where you need to be in a 'hard' gear to keep traction, is so much easier. I kind of wish I bought the 34 tooth version because of this.

Now to the bad part. Because for a 104BCD ring, the 30T is too small to fit normal 104BCD chain ring bolts and the nuts (see photos to see why). The solution for Absolute Black has been to put the threaded nut on the actual chain ring itself. No problems with this, but the ring I got was manufactured very poorly and the thread was incorrectly sized and my chainring bolts would not fit. I tried contacting the company over the past few months to no avail. I gave up and bought a thread tapping tool and tapped the thread correctly myself.

In the end I'm very happy with the result and will definitely keep running the oval ring in the future. I just hope that the ring I got was a one off manufacturing stuff up!


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