It’s interesting to note that AbsoluteBlack is the largest manufacturers of Oval Chainrings in the world, all manufactured at their production and dispatch facility in Poland (EU) from German aluminum, then skillfully anodized in the United Kingdom.

Whew! That’s a lot of distance even before these are installed on your bike. But from what we hear – it’s all worth it.


Seasoned riders have a lot to say about oval chainrings, with different opinions regarding their efficacy. Different versions of the idea have been presented to the market on a multitude of occasions, but none have really achieved mainstream use.

The argument for oval chainring suggests that round chainrings have a dead spot that robs the system of some of its efficiency. Non-round chainrings are designed to eliminate this dead spot with the promise of modest improvements in efficiency for the rider. And as detailed below – these are as important for the casual rider as well as the performance-driven racer.

Oval Chainrings Improve your Pedalling Efficiency

Sports scientists have been formally testing a variety of non-circular designs since at least 1992, but the phenomenon has ceased to grab the attention of the masses. That is until now, with AbsoluteBlack’s line of oval chainrings taking the cycling community by storm.

Over the last few years, AbsoluteBlack has been refining their design for an oval chainring, discovering that the optimal shape varies with the size of the chainring. The details are protected by a patent application, but according to their website, each chainring size has distinct timing and ovality.

Perform Best at High Gears, and Lower Cadences


AbsoluteBlack claims that their oval chainrings will provide “smoother pedaling action, enhanced climbing ability with less effort, and an overall increase in the enjoyment of the ride as a whole”, especially for recreational riders. They also believe that their oval chainrings will help “reduce or remove knee pain often experienced when riding on the road with round chainrings.

Studies led by the University of Primorska, Slovenia show significant differences when using AbsoluteBlack Oval chainrings compared to round.

  • Up to 9% increase of Force effectiveness
  • Up to 7% less oxygen consumption
  • Up to 15% less Ventilation (breathing)
  • Up to 10% heart rate decrease

What does that mean? In short, it means that you will consume less energy at the same power output using Oval chainrings so you can ride for longer and/or faster. The data shows that the higher you climb the more effort you have to put in, therefore it’s important to maximize efficiency and effectiveness and you can improve both by using oval chainrings.

Those who’ve switched to Oval Chainrings will tell you that they appreciate the advantage, especially when pedaling on higher gears and at a lower cadence. As the dead spot that tends to occur is nullified by the oval shape, increasing efficiency.


Q: Whats the power difference between Oval and Regular chainrings?

Oval chainrings don’t produce more power, they increase your pedalling effectiveness. You basically preserve energy, allowing you to push harder when it counts or simply reduce tiredness.

Q: Can I use different chain ring shapes?

There is no problem using two different shaped chainrings mounted to one crank from a mechanical point of view. However, remember that oval chainrings are most effective in two situations; when you pedal uphill and if you don’t have perfect pedaling action.

This also means you can easily upgrade only 1 chainring if you have a 2x chainring crank. Remember, you will need to replace the bolts with AbsoluteBlack longer bolts if you replace the bigger chainring.

Q: Will any bike support Oval Chainrings?

Yes of course! AbsoluteBlack offers chainrings for all kinds of bikes, from mountain bikes to road bikes. It is recommended swapping like for like, so if you have a 32T round ring at the moment, you should consider getting a 32T oval. The same applies to our shiftable road ovals, we recommend that you purchase ovals with the same teeth count as your round rings.

Q: Oval Chainrings are NOT only for Professionals!

This is an important one. Unlike Professionals, the rest of us often struggle with our pedaling action. Switching to oval rings effectively correct an imperfect pedaling action – and will help “reduce or remove knee pain often experienced when riding on the road with round chainrings.”

Q: Do I need to install a new chain while installing the AbsoluteBlack chainrings?

We recommend that you always change your chain when you change your crank/chainring. But if you have a relatively new chain on your bike – you can continue using the same chain as the chain length for round and AbsoluteBlack oval chainrings are the same.

Q: Do I need to change my derailleurs and Chains while upgrading to AbsoluteBlack Chainrings?

No, you don’t. All dérailleurs on the market work perfectly fine with an oval chainring.

Q: Is there a danger of the chain falling off because of an Oval Chainring?

No. There is absolutely no difference in the chain retention capabilities between AbsoluteBlack Oval Chainrings vs standard ones.


Here’s a video that’ll help you install your brand new AbsoluteBlack Oval Chainrings

There you have it, AbsoluteBlack Oval Chain Rings offer amateurs a chance to improve their efficiency and bring them up to par with professional athletes. The evidence has shown that the efficiency gains are quite significant, and it takes the load off your cardio-vascular system as well!

So if you want to squeeze the most out of your bike and yourself, the AbsoluteBlack range of Oval Chain Rings is the best on offer. Their wide array of sizes and research-driven designs have made them the pioneers of the notoriously tricky Oval Chain Ring segment!

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About the Author

Ayush Kundu

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT CYCLING: I love the freedom which comes with riding a bike. On my Hardtail MTB , nothing is an obstacle, I seamlessly flow down trails and through traffic like water in a river. And that flow gives me immense satisfaction and the continued drive to get back on my bike the next day. DISCIPLINE: Mountain Biking & Commuting CURRENT BIKE: Marin Bolinas Ridge Disc DREAM BIKE: Cannondale TOPSTONE Carbon Lefty 3

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