absoluteBLACK Oval Chainring [Rider Review]

Our "Rider Review" article series features the honest reviews from verified purchasers of Worldwide Cyclery. They contain the photos, thoughts, feedback & overall review you are looking for. 

AbsoluteBLACK makes some of the best oval chainrings in the world. The engineering behind their chainrings stands true with each ring they sell. Oval rings can help increase pedaling efficiency which can drastically improve anyone's ride. We stand by oval rings as a much needed upgrade for any rider. Let's see what our buddy Bret thought of the oval ring after his upgrade! 

Bret's Review

I recently (Jan 2021) purchased the absolute black oval 32t chainring for my 2020 Santa Cruz Hightower C size large. I am 5'11" and around 165lbs, so I'm not pulling a ton of weight up or down the trails. I like riding all types of terrain around GA, AL, NC, SC, and TN. I do hit the jump lines occasionally, but prefer steeper trails with technical aspects. I have a couple of enduros under my belt and plan to do more in 2021 as COVID allows. Luckily I bought my bike in late 2019 and have started to make more changes to the bike in 2020 and 2021. This was one of my first purchases from WWC and shipping was quick and well packaged. I actually came to know of WWC first through their content on YouTube, but then found that they stock a ton of parts, and I also able to use a promo code to save a few bucks on the upgrade.

AbsoluteBLACK Chainring Review

I was looking for some more top end for downhills and also had read that the climbing was more efficient. I feel like I am a pretty good climber and do feel a bit more resistance going from 30t to a 32t, but over time I think that will be an afterthought. I will probably bump my rear cassette to a 52t at some point so any loss of spinning climbs will be negated down the road. The look of the new chainring is spot on and a bit to my surprise it doesn't I to feel like to are peddling a wonky shaped ring by any means.

The power delivery is a bit more consistent on techy stuff while climbing and definitely see more power when headed down the trail. AB packaging is classy as you might expect from a respectable company.

I was tempted to drop the extra money for the oil slick but went with the titanium. I ended up putting that "savings" towards the AB chain guide and bash guard to prevent damage to the oval ring and prevent dropping the chain on rowdier terrain. I don't expect that the oval would lead to more dropped chains, but figured the extra protection could come in handy. I also think that it looks pretty cool and weighs so little I decided to drop the extra coin.

absoluteBLACK Chainring Review


"I have 4 or 5 rides on the new setup and so far feel like it was a great upgrade to the drive train. I don't feel like there are any negative impacts to power, stroke, or output that should stop you from making the leap. I also imagine that the AB Chainring might save a few grams for those that are super concerned with weight.

Lastly, I have Hydra Hubs on i9 Enduro wheels, which I'd say was the best drive train upgrade out there - immediate access to power vs. stock setup. The MegNeg is also a very worthy consideration if looking to get more out of your shock. Next up is beefing up the front fork to 160mm..." - Bret

absoluteBLACK Oval Chainring Review

March 03, 2021

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