In January, absoluteBLACK introduced their heavily machined Premium oval chainrings for 2x road setups. Those rings featured extensive milling to remove material from the outside face of the large ring, helping it save weight while also creating a truss-like design to keep it stiff.
Now, they’re introducing the Winter Line, which brings down the cost and might prove the better option for anyone riding in dirty, wet conditions. They lose all of the external CNC work and have a smooth surface, but share the same tooth profiles, ovality and ramp-and-recess design on the back to keep them shifting well.
Shift past the break to see details, weights and pricing, plus their all-new ultralight chain guide for mountain bike 1x systems…
Six upshift ramps on the backside help lift the chain off the little ring and carry it up for smooth, strong shifts. Tooth profiles and varying heights help release the chain when you need to downshift.
The inner rings match the ovality of the larger rings, and they also lose the additional machining of the Premium rings.
For comparison, the 110/4 BCD premium chainring (shown below) comes in at 137g for the 52T, a savings of 31g on the big ring. But they cost $29 more. The inner ring’s weight difference are less drastic, with the 110/4 34T premium ring coming in at a claimed 31g versus 40g for the Winter Line version.
These bronze anodized chainrings showed off a possible limited color option, but the hint was that they’ll have a gold to match the new SRAM XX1 Eagle’s chain and cassette.
The new oval-compatible chain guide was a collaboration with 77designz, a German brand of lightweight mountain bike components. They already had several super light chain guides, but absoluteBLACK brought along additional CNC experience to create something that’s even sleeker…
…and oval compatible. It’s a single bolt design with a keyed assembly so the parts slot together only one way, making installation a no-brainer. This one was preproduction and didn’t have the markings, but production units will have etched indicators showing where to position the guide on each chainring size.
The bolt is accessed from the front, making adjustments easy if you change ring sizes. And you don’t need to loosen the bolt to flip the outer plate upward for removing the chainring/crankset.
The chain guide will be available soon, as will additional sizes of their road oval chainrings.