Absolute Black are a small UK manufacturer making oval CNC chainrings to fit standard 104 BCD cranks, as well as direct-mount SRAM GXP.
Joel and Ethan took the plunge and bought two of their chainrings to test out. It's obvious that they're beautifully made, but does the oval shape help? We haven't decided yet, but here's what pinkbike say:
"The bottom line for Absolute Black's oval chairing is that switching to one is a sure way to ease up punchy technical climbs, and it could also be used to widen the gearing ranges of one-by drivetrains by allowing the rider to push two more teeth up front without sacrificing the bike's climbing ability."
RRP on these rings varies between 100 and 130-ish bucks, depending on teeth, fitting, colour (red or absolute black), and whether you go for an oval or a good old fashioned round one. The company also make 40t cassette extenders, which we're able to supply for $145ish (about ten bucks cheaper than Hope's offering!)
Now for the pictures.