Absoluteblack is doubling down on their ovalized chainrings with their new option for Race Face’s amazing CINCH cranksets.
There’s no doubt Race Face got it right with their new cranksets, and the Next SL is among the lightest options on the market and gaining a decent bit of OEM spec to go with their aftermarket growth. To capitalize on that, Absoluteblack’s skipped right over the standard round chainring and launched their first CINCH-compatible version in an oval shape.
Until now, AB has offered oval rings for SRAM direct mount and 104 BCD, both of which are fixed at about the same clocking position. These, however, offer multiple clocking positions thanks to the versatile nature of Race Face’s CINCH design…
Since the chainring slides onto evenly shaped nubs on the crankset, you can mount them at any angle you’d like. Of course, there’s an optimal position, and here’s where Marcin’s explanation trumps us trying to paraphrase:
“Why we are talking with such passion about RF oval ring? As this ring as the only one in our line can also offer you chanring position adjustment. Rotor has been offering it for years but it requires special spider and special rings so the package is heavy and very expensive with multiple bolt mounting. (twice as expensive as our ring)
“Optimum Chainring Adjustment (OCA) – Our main/recommended clocking position is a fantastic setup for everyone (same as our other rings in the line). However some more experienced riders may like a bit more aggressive clocking. RaceFace oval chainring allows you to change clocking position by 22deg both ways from initial setup.
RF Cinch mounting pattern is the only one out of all direct mount chainring patterns on the market (like Sram/Hope/E13) that can be rotated by every 22.5º (16 spline design). That coincides with 2 positions that oval users love.
“Our main (signature) position is located around 3.30 o’clock. That means crank arm is located at 3.30 o’clock when major axis of the oval is at 12 oclock (vertical). That gives greatest benefits and excellent feel of the ring.
“Our second position in RF oval rings is located at 4.30 oclock. That is 22deg later than our main position. You need to turn the ring clockwise by one notch on the spline pattern. This position is favored by some experienced riders out there who already rode oval rings for few years from various manufacturers. We do not recommend it for customers who just started the experience with ovals as this position is more pronounced and aggressive. We encourage customers to play with second position only when they have ridden on the main position for minimum 5-6 months.”
The chainring has a mark on the backside that you line up with the center of the crank arm to get it in the right position.
The first batch will ship around February 27th, offered only with 32 teeth, which they say acts like a 34T in the power zone and a 30T in the dead zone. Claimed weight is 62g. Compare that to the 34T Race Face round chainring we are testing and you can drop a few grams while theoretically maintaining the same top end.
The second batch will offer a 30T option and should ship around March 15. Retail is $66 (€57 / £46), available for pre-order now.