AbsoluteBLACK level copy accusation as SRAM releases oval ring

London’s absoluteBLACK has re-affirmed its stance as a pioneer in the oval chainring arena, calling into question exactly where the inspiration for SRAM’s new oval rings stemmed from.

In a post to the brand’s Facebook page, the firm wrote:

“SRAM goes OVAL! Surprised? We are not. After Sram purchased dozens of absoluteBLACK oval rings to test late last year, they just released their own oval (̶c̶o̶p̶y̶)̶ version. If you still have sceptical friends around saying, “ovals don’t work otherwise ‘big S’ would make them surely” – share this news with them!

“With absoluteBLACK’s huge international success, even the world’s biggest players in bicycle drivetrain technology now join our #Ovalrevolution by mimicking our work and raising global awareness of the #gooval movement.”

SRAM this week lifted the lid on its X-Sync 2 Oval rings, touting them as the “only oval chainrings on the market that are 100-percent optimized for Eagle,” much thanks to a tooth profile optimised to be compatible with X-Sync components.

AbsoluteBLACK in its post reminded customers that it spent three years in design and development of its chainrings. The firm however cannot lay claim to inventing the concept, Shimano’s BioPace was one of the first oval systems to become popular and reaches back to the early 90s.

The post continues: “Not all oval chainrings share the same performance characteristics as absoluteBLACK. The ‘clocking’ (timing) and shape of the oval are the most crucial parts of any oval chainring design. The ride quality of an absoluteBLACK oval ring will be different and superior to ovals from other brands.

“Our long-term belief in oval and development of our design has led absoluteBLACK to become the most commercially successful oval chainring product in the world. So keep in mind that not every oval chainring is equal to an absoluteBLACK. absoluteBLACK’s motto: “Try an oval and never look back” has surely made an impression on SRAM.”

AbsoluteBLACK further says that its chainrings are optimised for SRAM Eagle, while SRAM’s product listing claims theirs is “the only oval chainrings on the market that are 100-percent optimized for Eagle.”

In the UK absoluteBLACK is carried by Velotech Services.