Absolute Black’s ovalized direct mount chainrings for SRAM cranksets are finally shipping, with the company founder telling us they’re flying out the door as fast as he can make them. Check the tech specs in this post.

For current orders, the rings should be in the post, filling everything placed before December 1. Marcin says another batch arrives in two weeks to fill any orders since then, but that’s only the beginning. He’s working on the SRAM direct mount 34-tooth size now, and that’ll be followed by a 28-tooth 64BCD oval ring for those wanting really, really low gearing up front.

Also in development is an oval narrow/wide chainring that’ll mount directly to the Race Face Cinch cranksets. Marcin said he’s only planning an oval ring for the Cinch system since Race Face already makes some (very good, in our opinion) round chainrings. It’ll be 32-tooth only for starters, but, well, you can see where’s going…

In other news, Absolute Black products will now be available in the U.S. through BTI, which should ease shipping costs and speed up delivery for those of us stateside. Comments from both companies below.

Absoluteblack: “It is hard to hide the fact that US sales is a big part of our business. Initially we wanted to trade only from our website, but we realized quickly it’s becoming more challenging with orders increasing every month. It was time to look for a serious partner who could help us expand in US market and serve our customers and shops better. BTI was a natural choice for obvious reasons. Starting January 2015 our products will be widely available to all US shops and customers with very competitive prices. We encourage every shop to inquire BTI directly for a price list.”

BTI: “Absolute Black drivetrain products are almost beyond category. Marcin constantly pushes the boundary between aesthetics and physics and somehow manages to do it without compromising performance” says John Salomonsen, Purchasing Manager. “BTI is truly excited to help expand Absolute Black product availability to US bike dealers.”


  1. Derek on

    Biopace is the exact opposite of the new batch of oval chainrings (Osymmetric, Rotor, etc.). With Biopace, the tallest gear happened when you were at top dead center or bottom dead center. With the new rings, the tallest gear happens when you can put out the highest amount of torque. Biopace did suck, these do not.

  2. craigsj on

    Elliptical rings are a placebo, there’s as much science supporting Biopace superiority as these. Sure, the popular view is that Biopace sucked but it had its supporters just as these do now. These suck just as much, just with somewhat different timing.

    The crazy thing is not that people believe in lumpy rings, we all want something for nothing after all, it’s their willingness to believe this guy knows what he’s doing. Elliptical rings have been failures for decades yet there a far more experienced and educated people working on them today than this one-man band. This guy completely eliminates timing adjustment as a possibility thus assuming that everyone is biomechanically identical and their fit on the bike is the same. Why does he do this? Probably because he’s either lazy, it’s hard or he doesn’t know better, but it’s also true that Rotor has a patent.

    Junk targeting fools.

  3. pgm83 on

    Oh fun, another Biopace argument from somebody who hasn’t used it or the product in the post.

    I have an oval 32t in 104bcd and love it. No more chain guard and I love how the pedaling feels. My lap times aren’t exactly getting slower either.

  4. chris on

    I have an absolute black 34t oval on my SS El Mariachi. It kicks a**, doesnt feel lumpy as youd think- feels like youre pushing a 36 around until you climb a hill- which is a trip, feels like youre still pushing a 36 yet somehow you get to the top (easy gearing in your dead spot must account for that).

    ROTOR chainrings are one of the most sharpied-out products in the TDF.

  5. Ken on

    Would’nt a power meter be able to show if these are beneficial or not? They seem interesting but I want to see numbers that show it works .

  6. Lance on

    I have one and I can say it works. I am riding what they call 32t (kind of hard to say because it is really variable) after using 28 on a 1X11 Race Face Next SL and I can say I ride up the same hills and it feels like I am on the smaller ring. But I don’t spin out at the other end. Skeptics are out there, but I like to try for my self. I tried the Qrotor rings and they didn’t seem as elliptical and I couldn’t seem to tell much difference, the the AB ones work for me.

  7. Simon on

    I’ve never used biopace or eliptical rings on a normal ride, but the bike I use on a trainer has biopace and, at least for spinning, they feel really good! I dunno about extra power delivery or anything, but I do feel less fatigue spinning with the old biopace cranks than standard cranks. Might be in my head, but even so, it’s something that feels good to me!

  8. Ck on

    I’ll be getting one of these next year.

    I do hope they properly mark the Cinch version though. I don’t think there’s anything forcing a certain orientation like the SRAM direct mount. I could easily see some people not paying attention and installing the ring wrong, then hopping on BikeRumor to complain that it’s just like Biopace.

  9. Ck on

    And I will cancel out my original comment as I finally decided to look close enough at pictures of the Cinch interface and I see that there is a deviation to force the orientation.

  10. RA on

    THE WORST CUSTOMER SERVICE (aB that is). But they are good in charging your credit card efficiently with speed and accuracy. Not really hard to answer an email to keep a customer informed. Going on 2 weeks and still waiting…..


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