A new sub-brand from UK-based components manufacturer Absolute Black has been launched, offering a range of cut-price transmission components. Sold exclusively through Chain Reaction Cycles, the Black Series by Absolute Black will sell cheaper and simpler versions of the aftermarket drivetrain components that Absolute Black itself makes.
These more affordable Black Series parts will carry a weight penalty, will be available in fewer sizes and won’t be as pretty as Absolute Black’s regular components. The colour chart for these bits is also limited in a Henry Ford, anything-you-like-as-long-as-it’s-black kind of way.
These parts aren’t outsourced, and will be made from the same materials, feature the same technology and be subject to the same quality control as Absolute Black's other Polish-made bits.
So, how much cheaper will these components be? Well, Absolute Black’s original narrow/wide style chainring costs £38 for the 32t size, while the Black Series version will sell for £34. That's a small but worthwhile saving for many – particularly when, according to the figures on Absolute Black’s own website, the premium chainring is just 4g lighter than the cheaper component (37g). It doesn’t look as nice as the extensively machined more expensive component though.
It’s worth noting that, unlike the originals, these new rings are only available in the most common 104BCD fitting and in 32t and 34t sizes.
Absolute Black also produces cheaper versions of its ovalised narrow/wide chainrings. These are also only available with a 104BCD fitting and in 32t and 34t sizes. A Black Series 32t ovalised narrow/wide ring retails at £40, which is a saving of £6 and a claimed weight penalty of 5g compared to the more expensive version. Perhaps the price sitting closer to £40 than £50 will get more people trying these rings though.
There’s a cheaper version of the company’s 40t ratio expander too – at £44 it's £6 cheaper than the original. The flipside is that you’ll have to live with the 3g of material that is shaved off the superbly machined original.
The components will be landing with CRC in the next few weeks, and some have already been listed at discount prices.