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Absolute Black is one of the leaders in the oval ring market because it leaves no stone—or crank, in this case—unturned. The Race Face Oval Cinch Boost Direct Mount Traction Chainring's very specialized application proves this assertion: its offset and direct-mount design work with a Cinch crank mounted on a Boost frame. This makes installation comically easy and lets you get straight to the chainring's raison d'être, which is reducing the dead spot in your pedal stroke to reanimate lost watts.
By reducing that dead spot, Oval Traction Chainrings boost traction by essentially spreading the power input load more evenly across the pedal stroke. Keeping power constant lets your tire exert a steady force on the trail, so there are fewer instances of slipping out in wet or mucky conditions. The ring shape also spreads the work your body is doing more evenly across the different muscle groups involved, which means less strain on your biological machine, too.
- An innovative chainring that increases traction in muck
- Oval profile generates more consistent power and traction
- Compatible with Race Face Cinch crank arms and Boost frames
- Item #ABC0009
- Q & A
Improve Your Efficiency
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
Absolute Black was my first foray into oval chainrings and I have to say a lot of my initial hesitations were immediately dispelled. The clocking of their rings is perfectly set to where you'll notice minimal change to your pedal stroke. Be sure to check your frame max chainring clearance and whether or not you'll need the boost-specific version of this chainring.
The Cinch direct mount system offers an easy install. Improve the efficiency of your ride with an oval ring - you won't go back.
Oval is where it's at
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Absolute Black makes an absolutely amazing chainring. It's a beautifully machined and the oval timing is incredible. I've been using oval chainrings for years and love them. When the time is correct, ahem Shimano, you don't notice them and they actually make sense biomechanically.
Makes the uphill more fun, removes that dead spot in the middle of your pedal stroke. No complaints.
Oval, Cinch, boost...what's not to love
Put my first oval chainring as a replacement/updgrade onto an Ibis last summer. With some upgrades to a snow bike and a plus bike build in the mix for this winter, I bought a couple more. Quality/fit/finish of the absolute black stuff seems great--on par with their competitors that I'm familiar with(Wolf Tooth, Race Face etc.,) who do great stuff too. The rings have mounted up smoothly to turbine cinch crank arms I'm using on all my builds. You'll need a bottom bracket tool to remove and then install the direct mount rings from the crank arms (BC/competitive sells the tool).
Regarding riding performance--after pedaling out of the parking lot, I don't notice the oval ring at all. When riding, the only outward evidence you've got something different going on in the drivetrain shows up in the rear derailleur--the bottom pulley on the cage will rhythmically move back and forth as it adjusts for the differing chain length due to the cadence of the oval ring. As I don't race or ride with a power meter, I'll trust the experts that the oval chain rings provides some slight biomechanical efficiencies. It may be all in my head, but I don't think I'm downshifting into the 42 tooth ring as often with the oval chain ring up front when grunting through tough climbs. As a result, I'm putting an oval ring on my fatbike to help with the slog on snowy trails and my plus bike is getting a boosted version to help clear the 3" tire.
I currently ride a 28t round ring. What size would you recommend in the AB Oval?
Months later, but if you are still looking for an answer... go like for like. If you are happy with your current tooth count on the front and feel it's putting you in the sweet spot of the cassette, the same should hold true for the oval. It's a subtle difference and just helps with your pedaling efficiency.