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Absolute black adds oval narrow wide CX chainrings in Direct mount, 4 bolt, and 5 bolt

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absoluteblack-sram-direct-mount-cx1-oval-chainring-cyclocross-chainring

If you’re looking to bring a bit of ovality to your CX bike, there’s a new option in town. Adding to their already impressive collection of 1x narrow wide rings, Absoluteblack is eyeing the world of cyclocross with their latest additions. Their claim, is that the oval rings offer a smoother power delivery and reduce the spikes of high torque in the pedaling stroke that can cause a rear wheel to break loose in low traction scenarios. More importantly, the narrow-wide tooth profile will help keep your chain in place in the worst conditions and eliminate the need for that pesky front derailleur…

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absoluteblack-cx-oval-110bcd-5-chainring-3 absoluteblack-cx-oval-110bcd-4-chainring-5

Each Absoluteblack 1x ring makes use of specific machining to make sure mud and debris has a place to go, rather than building up and forcing the chain off the ring. The rings are designed in the UK, manufactured in their own factory in Poland, and then anodized in the UK.

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absoluteblack-cx-oval-110bcd-5-chainring-1 absoluteblack-cx-oval-110bcd-4-chainring-4

Offered in SRAM Direct Mount and 4 x 110 and 5 x 110 BCD, the bolt on rings have a fixed ovality of 11.4% with a timing of 110.5° after top dead center. The SRAM DM rings instead have an optimized ovality to each size ranging from 10.2-12.1% and with a timing of 110.5-112.3°.

Both the 4 bolt and 5 bolt rings will be available in 38, 40, and 42t rings in black or Racing Red, while the SRAM DM gains a 36t option. Claimed weights are listed as 63g for 5 bolt, 65g for 4 bolt, and 89-104g for the SRAM DM. The 7075 aluminum rings will start at $78.99 for the bolt on rings, and $84.99 for the direct mount.

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Ed Ng
Ed Ng
6 years ago

Have been riding with the 110bcd, 5-bolt 38T narrow-wide ring from absoluteBLACK for over a month now and it is fantastic. Chain retention has been rock-solid far (zero dropped chains), it’s dead quiet and it just plain works. Can’t say that there’s any increase or decrease in power compared to the stock circular rings on my setup, but it does reduce fatigue and eliminated knee pain for me on the gravel bike I put it on (also used it to convert to 1X from compact double). It’s my second oval from absoluteBLACK; the first was the 30T narrow-wide I got from them for the XT 8000 crank on my hardtail. Liked that one so much that I decided to get this one for my gravel bike and am so glad I did!

knarc
knarc
6 years ago

I was thinking to use oval rings in road. Have anyone used on the road? Have any benefit?

Veganpotter
Veganpotter
6 years ago
Reply to  knarc

I’ve got close to 100,000 road miles on oval rings and will never ride round again.

Technician
Technician
6 years ago
Reply to  knarc

Depending on which ring you’ll ride. Clocked nearly 26000 km on Shimano Biopace and I would never ride them again. They were the source of knee pain and I couldn’t detect what causes it.

Not all ovoid rings are the same, though.

Xyphota
Xyphota
6 years ago
Reply to  Technician

Every oval ring on the market is clocked opposite of shimano Biopace.

dustytires
6 years ago

Been using oval, one brand or another for years. Love it, but the shifting will not be as awesome even with DA front mech. when riding the road, I think like a ‘pro’, stay in the big ring as long as possible, then only go to small ring when on a climb. Unlike a real pro I use a smaller big ring and bigger cogset.

I have AB singles on my gravel and mtb and love them, I really notice how much I like oval when jumping to a round ring feels wonky. Going to oval is easy.

arp
arp
6 years ago

I would like to see these in a Cinch mount for the new Easton cx cranks.

Zach
Zach
6 years ago
Reply to  arp

Easton and RaceFace are under the same umbrella….I believe RF is already making Cinch oval rings? Have your local shop check QBP for options.

aeroking
aeroking
6 years ago
Reply to  Zach

no all the RaceFace and Easton cinch rings are round.

David
David
6 years ago

I’ve got them on my road bike (compact). Love the little ring (34) as it doesn’t impact shifting at all and is a little less oval (6% I believe). The big ring… jury is still out on that as it makes big-big rather a no go and I use that for short climbs in town like going over bridges, where I don’t want to drop to the little chain ring. Like has been said before, shifting isn’t quite so hot either. But it does look different and I haven’t noticed any reduction in power.

Absoluteblack
Absoluteblack
6 years ago
Reply to  David

Providing you’re running enough chain to allow normal operation of the rear derailleur in big-big, (ie enough chain that the jockey arm isn’t at maximum stretch – which it shouldn’t be regardless of the shape of the chain ring) then there isn’t a problem using an Absoluteblack big ring in conjunction with the largest rear sprocket.

ronshev
ronshev
6 years ago

Been using one these Ab rings…in a SRAM direct mount 42t…since August. 4.5 month press release..sweet!

Ck
Ck
6 years ago

At this point I know it’s a tiny market share, but they don’t make a CX oval ring for SRAM Exogram cranks with the hidden 5th bolt. So if I switch to oval like i’m planning to then i’m going to have to go with Wolftooth.

Greg
Greg
6 years ago
Reply to  Ck

you just clock it 180degrees

sam
sam
6 years ago

Would love to try these, I tried the rotor q-cx1 ring and it would regularly and inexplicably drop the chain quite often.

Scott
Scott
6 years ago
Reply to  sam

These are noticeably better when properly set up!

Pinko
Pinko
6 years ago

Their product may/may-not be valid, but I can’t make myself buying AB. What drives me away is the “we know it all” claims from people barely out of college. And other bs claims on their site “lightest aluminum chainring” “most advanced” etc. etc. etc.
that did 1x for cx is a joke as they chain fall off and world championships have been lost because of it.

sad
sad
6 years ago
Reply to  Pinko

i dont care much how good or bad their marketing is when everyone and their dog love their rings.
I have their rings myself and I can’t fault them. I certainly don’t drop chain and while they might not be faster, they do noticeably feel better and they help with traction at slow speeds. Plus, they don’t break the bank (yet)

things that work > feelings about words.

Absoluteblack
Absoluteblack
6 years ago
Reply to  Pinko

Hi Pinko,
I’m sorry you think we know know it all. Which we don’t claim.
We do know enough about chain rings to make a brilliant, functional and, some say, beautiful product. That also seems very popular.
BTW I left college in 1990 ; )

Scott
Scott
6 years ago

Had Rotor Q-rings 50/34, but decided to switch to Absolute Black when I jumped up to 52/36… Love their quality and they ride nice. On a side note, their front shifting is noticeably better that my prior ovals.

Sam Burgess
Sam Burgess
6 years ago

Try oval on a budget instead and go for something from Superstar, One Up, or the cheapest I have found Works – http://www.workscomponents.co.uk/chainrings–cogs-19-c.asp

You can market the rings with small differences of a degree here or there or percent of ovality etc but I used an AB and a Works and couldnt tell the difference, we are on MTB’s not spinning perfect circles in the velodrome……

feldybikes
6 years ago

@AbsoluteBlack (or Zach) Why is the ovality of the DM rings optimized whereas with the bolt on rings it’s fixed? I could see limitations with fitting the smallest bolt on rings, but the larger sizes could be different if that’s indeed optimal.

feldybikes
6 years ago
Reply to  Zach Overholt

When I said fixed, I was referring to the ovality across ring sizes, not clocking or anything like that. I’m wondering why they chose to optimize the ovality for the DM rings but have a single ovality for the bolt-ons. Curious if there’s a engineering/fitment limitation or something

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