Absolute Black makes a variety of chainrings, and this direct-mount ring is available in 36-48 tooth sizes and compatible with just about everything.
I replaced a SRAM Force 1 spider and X-SYNC ring weighing 147g with this 40-tooth, 100g, one-piece oval ring.
Each ring is CNC machined from 7075 aluminium with an appropriately weblike spider and 3D narrow-wide teeth profiles. These alternate between 2mm chisel shapes and square 3.5mm-wide anvil-like teeth designed to guide and grip each chain link.
The oval shape means the ring’s radius varies by 10mm between highest and lowest points, so the spacing between frame and chainring must account for this.
Absolute Black Direct Mount Oval performance
When pedalling, initially the oval shape is obvious, but within minutes it’s harder to notice.
Although difficult to subjectively claim any speed increase, riding the oval ring gave a consistently positive feel, with eager acceleration and slightly higher average speeds.
A round ring’s usual dead spot is more noticeable on steep climbs, but an oval ring partly compensates for that, allowing more even pedal strokes, each with less force.
Chain retention was faultless on and off road in all conditions, and the ring is extremely stiff, with a very hard-wearing finish.
Absolute Black Direct Mount Oval specifications
Weight: 100g (40t)
Material: CNC machined 7075 aluminium
Available sizes: 36t, 38t, 40t, 42t, 44t, 46t, 48t
Available colours: Black, Racing Red
Price: £70 / $85