I was thinking about getting ABSOLUTEBLACK oval chainrings. But have a stages L PowerPoint meter but heard an oval chainrings can make the readings inaccurate. Any thoughts

My only thought is that AbsoluteBlack as a company has a questionable reputation. Check out their treatment of Hambini on Youtube and their response to his claims their OS pulley wheel is a scam. I ordered some wax from them a couple years ago and literally waited months while they continued to spam facebook piling up orders knowing they couldn’t deliver them. I wouldn’t buy anything from them ever again.


I use a oval ring on my MTB with a left-only 4iiii PM. 4iiii says that this may result in a 1-4% overestimation of power and I’ve seen similar things reported for other manufacturers.

For me, using a L-only PM is already a pretty big compromise since I am right leg dominant by about 3% on average. In that regard I don’t worry about it since the sources of error are potentially offsetting, but overall I interpret my MTB power data through a more skeptical lens then I do on my road bike due to the possible sources of error.

I got an AbsoluteBlack oval chain ring on my road bike for unique situations:

  1. Bad knees
  2. Easy to find and get installed
  3. Wanted the lowest possible gear ratio for easy climbing up 1/4 mile or longer >8% gradient hills.

As a newer road bike cyclist, the last reason - getting up long hills - has transformed my riding and I now climb 1+ mile hills with confidence. It has been worth the expense. It effectively created a mountain bike ratio on my road bike.

That said, the research is mixed on how they will work for the broader community. Here is a video that does a good job reviewing oval chainrings (TL:DR it’s inconclusive) and this is the article that originally got me excited about getting them installed in the first place. Would love to hear others’ experience.

1 Like

I run AB on my mountain bikes and probably always will. I don’t care about the power data or anything else, I enjoy them there.

I bought some for my road bike since I needed new rings anyway, I can’t tell the difference. But they look great and cost about the same as replacement rings for my bike so that’s fine.

See the thread on that guy, I don’t think he deserves any defense.


All HUGE RD pulleys are stupid and it should make you criticize their whole product line. If we were going to do that, we would look to their chain lube first and then the pulleys and then the centerlock lockrings.

They’re fine chainrings. On average, your PM reading will be fine. On detail, they will not be. The ring are fine and better than Garbaruk and probably on par with Rotor and Wolftooth

My only criticism is that they don’t call out what specific 12sp chains their rings work with - HG+, eagle, Sram Flat?

Check out the crappy quality of their overpriced hollowcage. Maybe Hambini’s form needs work but that is not a good quality component.

As to chain rings, quality seems fine. My personal experience is they made my knees hurt. (swapped the small chain ring to oval AB)

I’d like to not turn this into another Hambini thread.

Keep to the AB oval chainrings in this topic, please.


Yes, i liked the look of the chainrings, it looks niceley engineered, saying that as an engineer myself, but the way they interacted with Hambini made me loose interest in them.
There are enough other chainring manufacturers to choose from.

I recently put an AB oval chainring on my 1x road bike and love it. I’ve been running ovals rings on my MTB and CX bike for years and wouldn’t go back. Have an inner oval ring for my 2x bike and I like the feel on climbs. I run Assiomas so haven’t had any issues with power readings, but even if I did I don’t think I’d go back to round. I have Wolftooth, Garabuk, and AB and all three have been solid.

1 Like

AFAIK the only power meters that are designed to work with oval chain rings are Rotor’s power meters. And I reckon they only work with their Q rings. Since you presumably don’t want to change cranks, I don’t think there is a way to have accurate power data from your stages.

My large chainring on the road bike is AB. Bought it simply because I cracked my shimano one and mid 2020, AB was the only company that could get me back up and running in a reasonable amount of time. I know people that swear by oval. Seems to make more sense on MTB than road.

I dont love my chaining, I dont hate my chainring….its like the internet…if youre not thinking about it, its working. I guess it looks cool?

Their customer service is questionable at best

I have Absoluteblack oval chain rings with a 4iiii left only power meter. It works just fine if you ask me.

I actually have a dual-sided power (with some battery issues so I only use it as a sanity check) and a Kickr. I find my 4iii Left cranck PM reads lowest, the Kickr is all over the place depending on calibration and the pedals read highest.

I just use the 4iiii as single source of truth and train to what that reads. Your mileage may vary…

1 Like

Assioma and power2max should give good data with oval besides rotor. Other brands make assumptions about the speed of the cranks so will read a bit high

1 Like

I have not heard that to be honest. Do you have any links?

I tend to believe Rotor’s claims, because they have been making asymmetric chain rings for longer that they make power meters and have designed their power meters around them.

The issue as I understand it is that the angular speed varies differently on an oval power meter, and you’d have to do more measurements per time to make sure you capture angular speed and force at different points during the pedal stroke. A good model for how the force-speed curve changes with oval chain rings will certainly increase accuracy.

And the manufacturer web sites make the same claim.

They should don’t assume the speed of the crank stays the same, they don’t care the timing or shape of the oval

1 Like

Thanks for the links, it is good to see that manufacturers are catching up.