When it comes to electric bicycles, especially premium and expensive ones running fancy Shimano, Bosch, or Brose motors, performance isn’t the only part of the equation. Longevity and durability are equally important in ensuring that this performance can be delivered reliably and for a long period of time. This is why aftermarket specialists produce beefed up products designed to prolong the service life of your e-bike.
Take, for example, the lineup of new chainrings from AbsoluteBlack, a company specializing in all sorts of bike stuff, chainrings in particular. Indeed, the firm has a range of chainrings suitable for all sorts of bikes—electric and otherwise. However, its newest Super Steel e-bike chainrings dial the longevity up to eleven. How, you may ask? Well, they’re made out of milled steel.
Understandably, e-bike motors impart quite a lot of force on the chain and chainring—way more force than a human usually exerts at any given time. Such is true with e-bike systems such as the Bosch CX Race, with a whole 400-percent pedal assist. Naturally, this means that standard stamped steel or aluminum chainrings will be eaten through in no time—the same is true with chains, which tend to wear out faster when running through worn out chainrings.
Now, whether or not AbsoluteBlack’s absolutely expensive chainrings—which start at 189.95 Euros (approximately $207 USD), plus the spider, which starts at 120 Euros, or around $131 USD—can be justified by the added longevity is entirely up to you. Indeed, swapping out your stock chainrings twice, maybe even thrice a year will still be cheaper than one of these bad boys. Oh yeah, you need to get the spider along with the chainring, too.
One thing we can’t deny is that AbsoluteBlack’s chainrings look absolutely sick. For some people, a blinged out electric mountain bike is worth all the money they can muster, so this alone could be a reason for some people to buy these fancy chainrings. From a technical standpoint, AbsoluteBlack’s chainrings have a 1300HV hardness rating, which means that they’re around four times harder than standard stamped steel chainrings.
Each chainring is made out of a solid block of steel which is then milled to the proper shape. After this, the chainring is heat treated and given multiple coatings of nitride and other stuff that make it more durable. The result is a chainring that lasts up to three times the lifespan of a stock chainring. Availability-wise, AbsoluteBlack offers the Super Steel chainrings for both 12 speed Shimano HG+ chains, as well as regular 11 and 12-speed chains. They work with Shimano STEPS, Bosch Gen 3 and 4, as well as Specialized Brose and SL 1.1 MTB motors.