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.
When it comes to oval chainrings, AbsoluteBlack is the undisputed king. Their chainrings can seriously improve efficiency and look like a piece of art. Our customer Pete was looking for a way to eliminate his knee pain while riding. Fortunately for him, oval chainrings can help reduce stress to the knee. Check out what he had to say!
I was doing some research on Oval chainrings as I had just gone through Patellofemoral knee replacement surgery and 9 months of rehabilitation and was looking for ways to get me back out on the mountain bike using as much caution as I could. I was interested more in the stress reduction on my knees than the performance gains but was pleasantly surprised at how this chain ring helped me. It really felt different right off the start and I quickly learned that it felt like I had an extra "granny" gear on the climbs and overall just seems like smoother power delivery.
I have been riding it for a few weeks now and I am amazed at how much climbing I am able to do thanks to this oval chainring. I am able to ride everything I want and don't have any knee pain. I have even managed to PR some pedaling segments which has given me hope that the surgery was a good choice and really did solve the pain issues I have been dealing with for the last 10+ years. My leg strength is nowhere near where it was a year ago but I am still managing to ride everything and have fun doing it. I also found that on the steep rooty sections of trail that I have way more control over my rear wheel traction than with the round ring. This is especially true because I run flat pedals and rely on the down stroke for all my power and not any pull back or upwards motions like when clipped in.
The change in leverage of this ring really does even out the power delivery and therefore reducing tire spin especially when roots and rocks are thrown in the mix with the steepness. I couldn't be happier with my purchase on this AbsoluteBlack oval chainring from Worldwide Cyclery. The guys helped me choose the right ring, also told me I needed to change my chain, which I had no idea, and the parts came quickly. Installing it was so simple, you just need to make sure you have the big spanner style wrench to remove the old direct mount style ring and install the new one. I also bought the crows foot wrench that accepts a 3/8" socket drive so that I could torque the new one into place.
All in all I think it took me about 30 minutes to install as I cleaned and greased everything when it was disassembled. I don't run a chain guide and this oval ring seems to hold my chain just as well as the original round ring did. No chain drops yet. I would recommend buying this oval chain ring to anyone, for both performance and also knee stress reasons. It has been great.
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