Absolute Black Oval Chainring (Cinch Version)

Discussion in 'Drive Trains' started by Faust29, Mar 6, 2018.

  1. Faust29

    Faust29 iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Rancho Santa Margarita
    Name:
    Steve
    Current Bike:
    Chameleon & Highball C
    First Impression:

    I've wanted to try an oval ring for awhile now. After I looked up the weight of the steel chainring that shipped on the Chameleon, I decided now was the time! 146 grams for the steel versus 62 grams for the aluminum Absolute Black.

    I wasn't really concerned with the brand... But the Path had the AB. I've had an AB aluminum single speed cog on and off the bike for a couple years, and it's worn better than any of the other aluminum cogs, so I figured the chainring was a safe bet. In comparison, I went through two Wolftooth SS cogs in under 1000 miles each. At $40 a pop...

    I started the ride today on Maple Springs, which has a 3.5 mile pavement section that gains about 1000 feet, with the last mile before the dirt being the steepest. It is a "stand and mash" finish. The rest of the climb to elevation is another 4 miles and 1500 feet. Today was my 2nd fastest up it.

    I wasn't trying to push the pace, and just wanted to get a feel for the ring. The first thing I noticed was that it feels "funny" on slight downhills, almost like a "crank slipping" sensation. After the second or third little downhill, that wasn't an issue. And most likely, a geared rider wouldn't notice it at all, because you aren't spinning like a hamster trying to catch up...

    As far as climbing, I did notice that it was easier to maintain cadence and momentum on gentle grades. I've ridden Maple Springs a lot, and know where I stand and where I sit. There were a few little sections that I pedaled through seated today. Adrenaline maybe? A few more tries and I'll know for sure... When the climb became steeper, the effect was still there, but not as significant.

    Now... I didn't think I was pushing the pace too much. I was trying to be steady and not fast. Turns out I PRed the entire 17/3600 loop by over 7 minutes. :confused: My last PR was almost a year ago, and I really pushed that day.

    More to follow...
     
    PATKOUG, MattB, Chevrolegs and 21 others like this.
  2. Runs with Scissors

    Runs with Scissors iMTB Addict

    Location:
    West Anaheim
    Name:
    Mark Whitaker
    Current Bike:
    2015 Giant XTC Advanced 1 29er
    Well, hell, that almost makes me willing to try that...

    Sounds like a great multiplier. :thumbsup:
     
  3. Voodoo Tom

    Voodoo Tom MTB Addict

    Location:
    Castaic
    Name:
    Tom
    Current Bike:
    Pick one, got a few
    So is chain adjustment a challenge with an oval on the SS?
     
  4. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    J
    Current Bike:
    SC Chameleon SS
    Even round rings are not entirely round. You always get a tight spot and a loose spot. I'd imagine that you can adjust out most of the difference.
     
    Sidewalk, Old&InTheWay, Grego and 4 others like this.
  5. Faust29

    Faust29 iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Rancho Santa Margarita
    Name:
    Steve
    Current Bike:
    Chameleon & Highball C
    Nope... I set the tension with the ring at the tightest spot. Took the same amount of time as a normal ring.
     
  6. singlespeedrider

    singlespeedrider Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Irvine
    Name:
    Mark
    Current Bike:
    On One Lurcher Single
    I’ve been on an oval for a few years now. I almost want to go back to a round one to have a comparison. I do feel a little more of the loose / tight sensation with the absolute black vs the wolf tooth.
     
    Danmtchl, mtnbikej, Faust29 and 3 others like this.
  7. Tom the Bomb

    Tom the Bomb Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Alta Loma, Ca.
    Name:
    Thomas Cosgrove
    Current Bike:
    Niner rip 9
    I have been riding an oval on both of my bikes. I like it. It makes it a bit easier cresting a tough hill allowing me to get the crank over the top for that last pedal stroke. It only took a couple ride and the oval feeling went away. Do not even notice it.
     
    Danmtchl, UPSed, mtnbikej and 6 others like this.
  8. Faust29

    Faust29 iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Rancho Santa Margarita
    Name:
    Steve
    Current Bike:
    Chameleon & Highball C
    I think that's the key phrase: "a bit easier", which adds up over a long ride to a bigger benefit.
     
  9. Danmtchl

    Danmtchl Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Bakersfield
    Name:
    Dan
    Current Bike:
    2015 Devinci Troy Carbon 27.5
    My Kona has an oval ring and my Devinci does not, I can tell the difference between the bikes. Its slight, but enough to notice the first few miles.
     
  10. Sidewalk

    Sidewalk Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Unknown
    Name:
    Josh
    Current Bike:
    N+1
    My E29 is round, my XC HT is oval. Both have the same gearing.

    The oval felt weird on the HT, still feels odd at times. I don't feel any gains from it until I really put the hammer down. When I am at my power limits, that's when I notice it, especially when I am at my limits in a tech area. Worth it enough that I will stay with oval on that bike.
     
  11. Faust29

    Faust29 iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Rancho Santa Margarita
    Name:
    Steve
    Current Bike:
    Chameleon & Highball C
    2nd impression really quick... Zen Loop with all of its loose climbing. Friggin' awesome! It makes the "half pedal" much easier to get moving again.

    We'll see how it feels after the big boy ride today. :thumbsup:
     
    PATKOUG, MattB, Cyclotourist and 7 others like this.
  12. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    '15 Intense Tracer 275c DVOish
    Good luck out there!
     
    Faust29 and Cyclotourist like this.
  13. mike

    mike iMTB Addict

    Location:
    Western US
    Name:
    Mike O
    Current Bike:
    Guerrilla Gravity Smash
    I tried to buy a chainring from Absolute Black. For whatever reason, my PayPal payment would not go through, so I sent them an inquiry. Never heard back; CS failure. Hello, Wolftooth...
     
    RS VR6, pperrelle, doublewide and 3 others like this.
  14. Faust29

    Faust29 iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Rancho Santa Margarita
    Name:
    Steve
    Current Bike:
    Chameleon & Highball C
    I'm sold on oval after riding the True Grit course with all of its loose chunky climbing and endless step-ups. If anything was lacking that day, it was upper body strength. If I do the race again, I need to hit the weights beforehand. :oops:

    The recipe for success? Keep (or get) the pedals slightly off of "flat" and you can easily "flip" into the next pedal stroke to keep momentum. There were several spots on the course that I got too close to a "granny gear" in front of me, and they lost momentum going up. One almost took me over the side shortly after the waterfall section.

    Later in the day, when I really should have been crawling, I hit the Barrel Roll trail. The back end of the 6 mile loop is as chunky as Zen Trail. There were a few HAB sections for me going down, but I cleared (most of) a series of step-ups that came one after another. The high school kid in front of me didn't do so well with his standard setup, and I don't think I would have either...