AbsoluteBLACK Hollowcage $700 OSPW leaves company reputation in tatters

Posted on 30 Comments
AbsoluteBlack hollowcage OSPW

Introduction

Absolute Black, a Polish company that operates a design office in the UK and claims to have several offices in other countries (albeit nobody seems to be able to find any existence of them) recently released a $700 Hollowcage Oversized Pulley Wheel (OSPW) with much funfair and some extravagant claims. This is one of the most expensive OSPWs on the market.

AbsoluteBLACK OSPW
AbsoluteBLACK OSPW

Absolute Black have been marketing this product aggressively throughout social media. Many users have Instagram and Facebook accounts that have been bombarded by targeted advertising from Absolute Black.

Of late, they have intensified their marketing and moved to YouTube. It became a subject of discussion in a recent Hambini PeakTorque Q&A session after which Absolute Black threatened Peak Torque (the publisher) with legal action.

Hambini was more upset they took aim at his hair.

The CEO of Absolute Black is Marcin Golec (a photograph of him is available here). He has a number of trademark applications that he has filed with an office in Munich that relate to Absolute Black products and a perfume brand called Monaci. Interestingly, the registered filing address on the trademarks is a Virtual Office in the UK and not one that is owned outright. Given that Golec is keen to point out the multi-national status of his company, it seems somewhat misleading.

Golec describes himself as a “Polish/British” Engineer with a background in physics and CAD. In the about page on his website, he has stated he was a former employee of Trek Bicycles.

Many believe it is Golec who is in charge of Social Media posts for Absolute Black. They operate the with the username absoluteblack.cc on YouTube and Instagram.

Claims from AbsoluteBLACK

The issues presented in the discussion revolved around what appeared to be questionable claims on the Absolute Black Hollowcage Product page. Some of these claims are summarized below

  1. Bespoke Bearings are made by Absolute Black in Poland (ie not sourced from a supplier)
  2. Claiming their bearings were fully ceramic (balls, races, cage and seal)
  3. Aerodynamic Drag claims using a derailleur in an untensioned position with no chain and perfectly streamline airflow.
  4. Bearing friction numbers that were obtained from an unnamed “Top University in Portugal specializing in Friction”
  5. A Bearing that comes with a seal that is discarded after it’s first service. I.e. running open after the first service
  6. Claiming grease is the best lubricant for their bearing despite oil showing lower friction coefficient in their own data.

It is of note that Absolute Black did not want to reveal the university that conducted their claimed research despite being asked on no fewer than 20 occasions.

AbsoluteBLACK Social Media Response

Absolute Black responded on both videos from Peak Torque and The Hambini YouTube channels. None of their comments were deleted by either of the two channel operators.

Absolute Black responded with over 50 comments on the Hambini Channel alone and their comment was pinned to take prominence over the others. This was left up for a period of approximately 36 hours before Absolute Black deleted all of their comments, and some 200 child comments of the primary comment.

The response on YouTube to their conduct was scathing. Many users were reporting that any questioning of their data on any social media platform was greeted with a block and deletion. Many users were dismayed by their futile attempts to describe ceramic bearings as both brittle and tough at the same time, describing cage flex as a desirable characteristic and some bizarre comments about eggs.

This is not uncharacteristic of Absolute Black. They had a similar response to a slowtwitch user who ended up with a broken Absolute Black Hollowcage OSPW.

Absolute Black went further and blocked the Hambini Video to all UK viewers.

AbsoluteBlack ban technical analysis of the HollowCage

Absolute Black banned the critical analysis of their hollowcage rear derailleur from UK viewers. Leading many to use VPNs and Odysee to circumvent the censorship. The subsequent roasting of the brand on Social media was inevitable.

Absolute Black get reamed on youtube (not available in the UK)

Viewers in the UK can still see a copy of the video on Odysee.

And a user called I’m not Hambini has this version here

AbsoluteBlack block anyone who questions their data

Further users have been commenting in their droves that any comments about their testing systems are swiftly removed from their social media with an accompanied block. Here is just one example.

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Absolute Black censoring their social media

A complete lack of understanding of Tribology

AbsoluteBlack have used a Hambini video which was entitled ceramic vs steel bearings (You can watch here) to highlight the reasoning their pulley wheels do not spin. Their statements and the context of the video highlight their apparent lack of understanding of any basic tribology and reference a “special type of grease”. They have suggested that free spinning is a marketing ploy, which would be correct in loaded applications such as bottom brackets or wheels. In the case of rear pulley wheels, these items are not heavily loaded and many lower tier groupsets use brass or nylon bushings. Nylon bushings would be unsuitable for any loaded application, they would wear quickly.

Their statements are contradictory and quite alarming given their apparent extensive research conducted at a “Top Portuguese University” which also claimed ceramic bearings are both tough and brittle at the same time.

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30 thoughts on “AbsoluteBLACK Hollowcage $700 OSPW leaves company reputation in tatters

  1. Absolute fakes. I watched the Youtube thread unfold before they deleted it.

    Hambini: Which University did your research
    AB: We don’t want to disclose that, we don’t want to trouble them.

    Seriously WTF? Who would buy from these cowboys, he makes nothing, he’s one step up from a drop shipper.

    1. But didn’t you see all the pros using this kit in Paris-Roubaix yesterday? Oh, wait . . .

  2. I asked them a bunch of questions on their instagram. They’ll love them, then probably block me. Whupz. I have a screen shot of a vid of them testing the OSPW inside that supposed big time University.

    1. Please do send in!

  3. If you take a look at slowtwitch forum, the design is actually flawed as it allows the chain to just fall off: https://forum.slowtwitch.com/forum/Slowtwitch_Forums_C1/Triathlon_Forum_F1/Move_over_ceramic_speed%2C_Absoluteblack_is_passing_by__P7556145/?page=-1

    1. A manufacturer that looks you up on social media and then posts in a public forum. Unbelievable.

  4. AbsoluteBlack don’t make anything they are one step up from a dropshipper. Marcin lives in the UK, operates from a virtual office, gets his parts made by a third party machining company in Poland and then gets them anodized in the UK. The fact this multi million euro company has no offices and no published address on their website is no coincidence. The slightest hint of questioning of their data and you will get blocked. No reputable company would do that, it’s a scam.

  5. Bell ends, they’ve deleted any comments about their data or any comments about the video. ROAST ROAST

  6. Hambini, I see they wrote “Gentleman above captured the essence of…” So I guess they are actually talking about you on the video as gentleman is a singular form.

    1. Let’s be honest, their grammar is absolute crap

  7. An embarrassment. Marcin Golec runs this company like it’s a multinational. His London office is nothing more than a virtual office. He has a few people around the world operating from their bedrooms which he counts as real offices. And to top it off, their social media strategy is plain creepy. The slowtwitch thread linked shows absolute black scouring the users social media profiles to come back with a sarcastic reply. There is a strategy to presenting a professional image, blocking people, stalking and generally behaving like that in a public forum does them no good whatsoever.

    I used to use AB chain rings, I won’t use them again. Disgusting behaviour

    1. This is how 21st century companies operate nowadays which in current covid situation is great. I would happily work for company like this – no daily commuting, no office bullshit, more time for myself and you can get best talent from all over the world not just around company office. Time are changing. You ridicule them but in 5 years time you will most likely work for company like this as normal traditional companies will struggle more and more to keep their margin and attract good talent. Look how may companies already went direct to consumer like Canyon – virtual offices around the world is next step.

      1. You what?

        1. Andreas aka Marcin Grolec. He’s the CEO of absolute black. He has used a VPN to post on here. The only weird thing is he has used the same fake email address but multiple names, Andreas, Don, Jorg…

          The bizarre thing is you don’t even need some elaborate tracking tool. His English grammar gives it away.

  8. hi, just a quick question , i saw your video on facebook talking about the spin test being a scam. in your video about hollowcage you have legitimised the claim from some other, quite strange video, that spin test is actually a viable indicator of friction .Could you please explain ?

    Also, you have said that the bearings they use are ‘probably’ from China. Are all bearings manufactured in China bad ?

    thank you

    1. It’s to do with loading. Bearings are believed to be infinitely hard but in reality they are elastic. When there is load, a small amount of deformation takes place and this is a frictional loss. If there is no load then no deformation takes place so the friction reading is not representative. In the case of a rear pulley, the loading is very small. Lots of lower tier groupsets have bushes instead of bearings. If the loading was high then unlubricated brass or nylon bushes would be unsuitable. hence in the the case of the rear mech the friction you generate by hand would be representative of the friction when it’s in use. In the case of a bottom bracket, an unloaded test is a poor indicator of friction – it’s heavily loaded.

      1. It seems we have finished different schools. I learned that brass bushings are for high load, high impact applications with low rotational speeds because of the contact surface they have compared to balls. They can take a lot more load than ball bearing for that reason at any time.
        What bushings are not good for is high speed applications because of stiction – the grease friction itself between contacting surfaces because… there is a big surface.

        1. there is no external lubrication in a pulley wheel.

          If anyone is wondering, “Jorg”, “Andreas” and “DON” are the same individual using a VPN VyperVPN.

        2. LOL. embarrassing Marcin

        3. Thoughts on floating journal bearings in turbo-chargers?

      2. The bearing in the AB OSPW cage system is as Hambini points lightly loaded. There are two main sources of resistance to movement in a lightly loaded bearing.
        1) the coefficient of friction between parts in contact
        2) the viscous drag of the lubricant
        3) there can be some small degree of drag from the seals but since many of the bearings used in this application apply a non contact seal of sort this is often not an issue.

        So if you want the least drag for the bearing then its obvious that viscous drag should be kept as low as possible.
        It seems obvious that the smallest bearings possible should be used to keep the area in contact as low as possible.
        ….yet here is Absolute Black defying all the engineering practice…….and losing

  9. Hambini, just get hold of one and test it. If they are as good as they claim then you can apologize. If not them roast full scale, upload to odysee and watch them wince.

    Crazy they don’t want us to see the video you made about them but they are happy to take your video and use it for their marketing.

    The damage to them was their response from them in the comments. Arrogant and condescending behavior. I won’t buy from them just because of that.

    1. Thanks to GC performance all your wishes will come true https://youtu.be/5Yzrp5eKSS8

  10. What even is the legal basis for them causing YouTube to block the video in the UK?

    1. They’ve applied under defamation. Youtube are will generally uphold the complaint purely out of caution

  11. An academic tested it…… Really……

    Not that it matters but I am a long time soils/pipeline engineer that is an academic. I am a closet academic and hang out with academics.

    1) Academics may not have any real world experience so you need to know who is doing the testing and what are their credentials. Was it tested by a gender studies prof?

    2) Academics need to blown their horn and hard. In academia the whistle pulls the train rather than the engine. If they do any work they need to publish it to increase the amount of times they are referenced. The whole thing seems fishy. I doubt it is true.

    3) Academics like to debate. if AB actually had a leg to stand on – Peak Torque and Hambini would be assaulted with testing data and fact. Not the “no trouble clause”.

    4) If AB paid good money to have a whole bunch of testing done – why wouldn’t they use it? That truly makes no sense.

  12. no one has mentioned that ive seen up up on the rubber o seal which the chain links run over – to acheive the 12db sound reduction I suppose. does this not introduce undesirable extra drag force, surely?

    1. yes it does and that is something that needs to be discussed!

  13. Heres another pic….WTF is he wearing?! (Rupert Bear will be asking for his jacket back…) ; )

    And whats with the pose with the glasses? hes meant to be an Engineer, not an 18th Century Librarian!!

    https://bbs.fobshanghai.com/company/14jeet9372888e0.html

    Marcin Golec uses the name Martin Golec of AbsoluteBLACK

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