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We have a big range of Oval rings here at Wide Open, with most sizes and mounting options available.

Why would you go oval? I tried one, and it works so well that I now use them on all of my bikes, to see why, read on...


Absolute Black believe that using oval chainrings bring significant efficiency advantages to cyclists. Oval chainrings do not produce more power, they allow you to unleash your true potential. They achieve this by optimising the pedalling torque you generate, reducing your effort on the climbs and increasing your speed at the same time - so you can be faster and more efficient. Marcin is obsessed with making the finest oval chainrings in the world. He does this by spending countless hours refining the design and detail of each product. The rings are then made using the best possible materials and high-tech, state-of-the-art CNC milling machines to produce oval chainring perfection.


- Absolute Black products are designed in the UK and manufactured in Poland to the highest standards of quality.

- All Absoluteblack chainrings are compatible with 10 and 11 speed drivetrains.

- MTB chainrings are also Eagle 12 speed compatible.



Let's take a look at why our oval chainrings work;

Our premium Oval chainrings work because a rider does not produce power evenly through a pedal stroke; they maximize the part of the stroke where power is produced and minimize resistance where it isn't. Oval rings make the spin cycle a lot smoother and are easier on legs while climbing. Believe it or not, but a round chainring doesn't transfer torque to your rear wheel as smoothly as an Oval one. You will actually feel your stroke to be more "round" with an Oval shape than with a round chainring.


Why it matters;
Absolute Black oval chainrings deliver power more smoothly to your rear wheel.

On a Road Bike the smooth output means you are better able to generate and maintain a constant cadence.

On a Mountain or Cyclocross Bike, you get the constant cadence, but the big advantage is traction. With an oval ring smoothing out the peaks and troughs in your power delivery, rear tyre traction improves greatly on loose and slippery terrain.


Because oval chainrings reduce the peak loads on knee joints, riders using them get less stress on the joints (knees) and therefore are able to maintain a set level of effort for longer. This results in higher average speed. You don’t need to take our word for it; 11 scientific studies by leading universities around the globe show that; in comparison to round chainrings, when using oval chainrings, human legs utilize more muscle groups - but each of them to lesser degree. The overall load from pedalling an oval chainring is spread over greater muscle mass.

This has three key benefits;

- It gives you the feeling of fresher and more relaxed legs.

- It allows you to achieve higher average speed riding uphill.

- Spreading the pedalling load over more muscles reduces the risk of cramp, even when riding hard.


The compound effect of switching to oval chainrings; the relaxed legs, added climbing ability and reduction of cramp means your overall enjoyment of the ride is enhanced.



For Mountain Bikes;

With the smaller chainrings used on 1X systems in mountainbiking, pedalling behavior changes considerably with the size of chainring. To account for this, the smaller the chainring, the bigger the ovality has to be to help climb steep hills more effectively. This is where we specialize and optimize every size to a particular pedalling style. Even very small changes to the oval shape and timing gives an entirely different feeling and performance. We have refined our oval chainrings to perfection, so you can get the best possible advantage from the oval shape.


For Road Bikes;

Shifting quality and technology
Both inner and outer oval chainrings are optimized with smooth shifting in mind. This is why the back of the Absolute Black Oval road chainring does not feature cutouts, like other oval products on the market. Instead, we design smooth angled surfaces, to help the chain slide quickly and precisely between chainrings. Absolute Black outer oval chainrings have 6 up-shifting ramps, for easy and quick gear changes, even under load. Each outer chainring also features 12 down-shifting points. Instead of steel shifting pins we use a CNC machined "ramp and recess" solution. Special raised ramps work in conjunction with the tooth recesses to stabilize the chain when shifting. Our oval chainrings DO NOT require any modification to the front derailleur in order to work properly.


Why our Oval chainrings do not have adjustable timing
This is the really important part of what makes Absolute Black Oval chainrings so effective, we have extensively studied the relevant performance data regarding the optimum percentage of ovality, shape, and critically, the timing of the oval in relation to the position of the crank arm. We have focused this into one single mounting position – to reflect a single high performance ‘sweet-spot’. By simplifying our oval chainring design we were also able to make the process of fitting Absolute Black oval chainrings faster and easier, as well as making our rings even lighter.


Road Crank Road Back Inner

Can I use an oval inner chainring and keep the round outer or should I use both oval rings?
There is no problem using two different shaped chainrings mounted to one crank from a mechanical and biomechanical point of view. However, please remember that oval chainrings are most effective in two situations; when you pedal uphill, and if you don't have a perfect pedalling action. We recommend using a small oval ring as a starting point. Many professional riders switch to using an oval inner chainring for races with hard climbing – even when their equipment sponsors do not make an oval ring – knowing that it cannot be seen tucked behind their sponsors outer round chainring. When it comes to the style of outer chainring you need to answer two questions:


How often do I keep riding on the big ring over smaller, less demanding climbs?
If the answer is "often" then fitting an Absolute Black outer chainring is advised to gain the maximum benefit. However, if the answer is "very rarely" then keeping your existing round outer ring is a way to save some money.


Do I have a perfect pedal spin?
This is an important one. Professionals and semi pro cyclists spin almost perfect "circles". The rest of us often struggle with our pedalling action, simply because we don't spend every day of every week on the bike to master this skill. Switching to oval rings effectively corrects an imperfect pedalling action – delivering the smooth power delivery the pros have developed through thousands of hours of training. One of the key reasons the benefits of oval chainrings have historically been hard to prove in lab tests, is because they are nearly always done using Professional riders – as a user group they are the least likely to gain a performance increase from a switch to oval, as their pedalling is already close to perfection. Where ovals shine however is with the rest of us, who ride for pleasure and not for a job. - Simply 99% of road cyclists will benefit from having oval chainrings on their bikes.

Word on BIOPACE - Please understand Absolute Black’s oval design IS NOT ‘Biopace’ technology. Shimano created their non-round Biopace chainrings with a completely different orientation. Their ring orientation has since been widely accepted as being fundamentally wrong. Instead of positioning it in the power zone - which is slightly below the level of the crank - they clocked it to the dead zone where human physiology generates the least power. The result was that in the power zone, pedalling was too easy and in dead zone too hard, causing knee pain and lumpy pedalling cadence. Exactly the opposite to how it should be, and the opposite of how it is with an Absolute Black oval chainring fitted to your bike.


So there it is, all the information you could need on Oval rings, why not get down to your local, and try out an Absolute Black Oval chain ring today?

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