AbsoluteBlack claims SRAM’s new oval ring is a copy

One of these things is just like the other, sort of

Last week, SRAM announced it would be releasing a full range of oval direct mount chainrings designed to complement the brand's Eagle 12-speed groupsets.

London based AbsoluteBlack, makers of all things chainring-y, has called foul on SRAM’s new design.

“SRAM goes OVAL! Surprised? We are not. After Sram purchased dozens of absoluteBLACK oval rings to test late last year, they just released their own oval (̶c̶o̶p̶y̶)̶ version,“ the brand said on its Facebook page.

Still up for debate, oval chainrings are claimed to eliminate the ‘dead spot’ in your pedal stroke allowing for smoother more consistent power. With this, some riders and brands also claim an increase in traction, which is especially important for MTB — hence why some are called ‘Traction Rings'.

There are some definite similarities to the design, but it’s also worth noting that there are plenty of direct mount oval chainrings out there from the likes of Wolf Tooth Components, One Up Components and Rotor to name a few.

That said, each of these rings is slightly different as AbsoluteBlack, points out: “However, not all oval chainrings share the same performance characteristics as absoluteBLACK. The 'clocking' (timing) and shape of the oval are the most crucial parts of any oval chainring design, absoluteBLACK spent three years in design development and have perfected both timing and shape design elements — ensuring the ride quality of absoluteBLACK oval ring will be different and superior to ovals from other brands (as many abosluteBLACK customers already realised).”

We’ve reached out to SRAM for comment and are awaiting a reply.

Do you think AbsoluteBlack is full of hot air calling SRAM's ring a copy? Or is there something to their call of shenanigans? Let us know in the comments.

Colin Levitch

Staff Writer, Australia
Originally from Denver, Colorado, Colin now resides in Sydney, Australia. Holding a media degree, Colin is focused on the adventure sport media world. Coming from a ski background, his former European pro father convinced him to try collegiate crit racing. Although his bright socks say full roadie, he enjoys the occasional mountain bike ride, too.
  • Discipline: Road, mountain
  • Preferred Terrain: Tarmac mountain climbs into snow-covered hills
  • Current Bikes: BMC TeamMachine SLR01, Trek Top Fuel 9
  • Dream Bike: Mosaic Cycles RT-1
  • Beer of Choice: New Belgium La Folie
  • Location: Sydney, Australia

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