I was lucky enough to get chatting to Bruno from Absolute Black. With the conversation ending up on oval chainrings. A week later I have an oval chainring, matching chain device and a rather nifty looking top cap .
As we were off to Saalbach in Austria for a riding trip and with me being a poor climber any possible gains were very welcome. With the new ring being 30 tooth and a direct replacement for my original 32 tooth Raceface cinch ring, it is already giving me a lower gear range. Also with the oval ring smoothing out the pedal input it should in theory give me a much better climbing experience.
The science behind the oval chainring can be found on the Absolute Blacks site here
With the parts fitted and out on the trail , I defiantly noticed the increase in climbing gear range. But also the loss of the lower range for flat pedalling. I found when on flat ground topping up speed you could feel the oval ring. It was a pulse in the power I could put down, which was easy to rectify by taking another gear (untill you run out).
When the transmition is under load I didn't really notice the odd shaped ring at all. But i did find that the rear tyre was less likly to break away under climbing with a smoother output at the wheel,
which is kind of the point .
Maybe with a bigger ring I wouldn't feel the pulse but I would much rather have the added climbing ability and capacity.
The rings also look rad too, with the cnc marks left in gives it a permium look ( to me anyway). The finish has been really durable (added another pic below) with 250km of riding over 6 days in sometimes bad conditions having minimal affect of the finish.
I would definitely go with this system again. With no dropped chains and no noise from the chain device at all. It has proved to be very reliable.
Once I decide on the cranks for the new bike I will look a getting one of the rings on there.
Just a peak at the super light (only 4 grams) top cap and bolt. Gives a clean look to the top of your stem.