Absolute Black has been pretty busy, releasing single speed cogs and direct-mount Cannondale Hollowgram narrow/wide chainrings in the past few weeks. Now, joining his 104BCD offerings is an ovalized chainring option.
The part shown here is prototype #3 and not nearly the finished version. AB’s founder Marcin told us it’s proving difficult to get perfect ovalization, so he’s taking his time on this one. Fortunately, he’s able to tell us where it’s headed. The ovalization will be about 1.10, which is similar to what Rotor does. That equates to a 32-tooth chainring with the equivalent of 30-tooth and 34-tooth sections at the extremes.
Marcin says that gives people the common 32-tooth size with the additional speed available from a 34. The other trick is clocking the highest point into the optimum position, so that you’re in the peak of your power band when you’re pushing the 34 equivalent. That lines up the 30 equivalent in your dead band, so there’s less effort required where you’re typically weakest.
The ring has 2mm spacers with threads built into it, so it’ll bolt directly onto a 104BCD without the need for nuts. The spacers help it clear the crank spider arms where it dips down to 30T heights. He says it also improves chainline.
Target release date is late summer (about 4-6 weeks if things go as planned), and only a 32T will be offered. A direct mount version could follow if there’s enough interest.