Words by Adam Englander
Building a new bike is always fun, especially when you get to handpick all your favorite parts. My last bike had an AbsoluteBlack Oval chainring on it and I absolutely loved it. Obviously, I had to carry that over to the new bike only this time, I added the AbsoluteBlack oval chainguide/bash guard combo. For the type of riding I do (chunky, fast, loose) having a chain retention system is not mandatory, but highly recommended. So how did the AbsoluteBlack system hold up? Read on to hear more!
For those unfamiliar with AbsoluteBlack, they are a European company that designs and crafts some of the best looking and best performance Oval chainrings on the market. We did a full video comparing oval chainrings with the standard round and if you haven’t seen that yet, we definitely recommend you give it a look. Their products are extremely well made and when you see them in person you can really tell that a serious amount of time went into the development.
So when it came time to select a new chainguide for my bike I knew that I wanted to go with AbsoluteBlack. Their guides are specifically designed for oval chainrings and since I was already using their Direct Mount oval chainring I knew it would be a perfect match. Coming in at $112.99 and just 69g, this might be one of the lightest chain retention systems on the market. So for barely any weight you can secure your chain and save your bike from scratch/dings, sounds like a win to me.
Installation is just like any other chainguide on the market. Just remove the front chainring, slide, and position the guide, then bolt it on. Personally, I love the way this thing looks. It’s simple, clean, and even has titanium bolts! Ya, that’s right, now you can match your chainguide to AXS cassette or SRAM G2 Ultimate brakes. Not only does it look great, but it is insanely light. As in I didn't notice it all when riding (except when I needed it). And that is exactly how it should be, I don’t want to be thinking about or hearing my chain rub on the guide while riding, I want to forget it’s on there and enjoy being on my bike.
So far I have been running the AbsoluteBlack oval chainguide/bashguard for the past month have never dropped a chain or had any kind of issues. I have 100% smashed the bashguard on a few rocks and am extremely happy I opted for the version with the guard. AbsoluteBlack does make the same chainguide without the bashguard, but considering the one with it is only weighs 69g, why wouldn’t you pick the version that better protects your bike?
If you have an oval chainring and like to ride chunky, loose, and fast terrain, this chainguide/bashguard combo is calling your name. It checks all the boxes for me and has performed flawlessly over the past few weeks. The build quality is top-notch and I have yet to have any sort of chain issues while riding. Well done AbsoluteBlack.