In need of some new bumper plates for your garage gym or affiliate? Whether you’re just getting started and buying your very first bumper plates set, looking for an upgrade to your existing weights, or you just need access to more weights than you currently own, this post should help. I have scoured the net for the best prices on sets for standard black bumpers, training bumpers, and competition bumpers from reputable vendors. I have considered bumper plates sets from all the major manufacturers and found what I believe to be the best prices on bumper plate sets.
For a primer on bumper plates, including the difference in the types of bumpers, the advantages of bumpers vs steel plates, and average prices per pound by brand, see my original bumper plate guide.
Table of Contents
- Basic Black Bumper Plate Sets
- Basic Kilo Bumper Plates
- Colored Bumper Plate Sets
- Bulk Bumper Plates
- Training Bumper Plate Sets
- Competition Bumper Plate Sets
Basic Black Bumper Plates Sets
The contenders: HI-Temp, Rogue HG 2.0, Vulcan Strength, Rogue Echo, Eleiko XF, and Fringesport OFW bumper plates.
Brands left out – but not forgotten: There is no shortage of other basic bumper brands; Kraiburg, AF, Ader, York, Pendlay, and all the small CrossFit shops that get their names stamped on versions of these very same bumpers.
In an effort to keep the black bumper plate section of this article even remotely easy to read, brands not offered in sets, redundant brands with higher prices, brands with inferior or no warranties, and brands known to be poor quality have been left out or even omitted from this post.
Weight sets: I’ve priced out the following sets: 160 lbs (pairs of 10’s, 25’s, and 45’s), 260 lbs (pairs of 10’s, 15’s, 25’s, 35’s, and 45’s), and the 350’ish range (included plates vary slightly in this range). There are many other sets of varying weights available, but these three were the most common and therefore easiest to compare. This should be more than enough to give you a solid idea of how each brand is priced.
The specifications: When it comes to black bumpers, these brands are all very similar; some are even made in the same factory. With the exception of HI-Temps, all of these plates are the IWF standard 450 mm diameter plates with 50 mm steel inserts (HI-Temps are 17.5″, or 444 mm.) When shopping other brands, avoid plates with brass or bronze inserts; buy plates with steel or stainless steel inserts only.
The width of each size can vary slightly by brand. The unique bumper plates in the bunch are the HI-Temps and XFs; both of which are crumb rubber rather than dense virgin rubber. The OFW and the Vulcan plates do have an innovative insert assembly that increases the life of the plates, and the OFW plates are the narrowest non-competition bumper you’ll find. I summarize each brand briefly below.
The HI-Temps are significantly thicker and more resilient than the virgin rubber brands, but they produce more bounce. These are great plates, and they are one of the only bumper options suitable for outdoor use. They are also one of the only brands of black bumpers that are made in the USA, though that is reflected in their slightly higher cost. The only drawback to HI-Temps is that they do not mix well with non-HI-Temps, as their diameter isn’t a true 450 mm (don’t drop a bar loaded with different diameter plates.)
The Vulcan Strength bumpers are competitively priced (especially on the larger sets), and they offer the largest variety of set options; about 10 different sets from 160 pounds to the high 300’s (when inventory allows.) Vulcan plates have a longer lifespan than most other bumpers because of some innovative design features such as a reinforced, anchored steel insert and wider edge on the lighter plates. You should expect the Vulcan 10 and 15-pound plates to take far more abuse than other brands.
The Fringesport OFW bumpers are just as durable as the Vulcan plates, but they have more of a rugged, utilitarian look to them. Their appearance reminds me a lot of HI-Temps. They feature the same anchored insert and wider edge on the light plates as the Vulcans, and they tend to be in stock far more often. The OFW plates are also probably the thinnest you’ll find for non-competition plates when it comes to the heavier, 25-lb+ plates.
Always check prices of OFWs before pulling the trigger on bumpers anywhere else as their free shipping on orders over $300 can make a huge difference in overall price. Fringesport has finally added 55-pound plates as well.
The Rogue HG 2.0 is the standard basic black bumper model. This is the plate design that most of us are familiar with; as they are the most similar to the Yorks, Pendlay HD, Echo, etc. However, the HG was recently improved to be even better than the lookalikes; they are now even more refined and nicer looking… and thinner.
If you go with this style/model of bumper, I strongly suggest that you stick with Rogue. They offer a large variety of sets, free shipping options, and they are priced lower than or at least the same as the competition’s. Rogue also has a solid, hassle-free warranty on these bumpers, where as many of the others have only 30 days, or not at all! For instance, Pendlay doesn’t warrant their bumpers beyond 30 days, and that’s just ridiculous. Defects will not always show themselves within the first 3o days; you really want a warranty.
The Eleiko XF is Eleiko’s way of offering “economy” bumpers to CrossFitters. They are the thickest bumper around, and about the most expensive as well. XF plates are only offered in a 370-pound set or 100 kilogram set. You’ll have to buy pairs if you want less weight than these sets. Very nice plates, but obviously not idea for anyone on a budget.
Update! Sadly, I recently discovered a design flaw in the XF plates. The insert has a seam in it. If you just so happen to line up this seam at exactly the 12 o’clock position as you’re either putting on or taking off the plate, this seam will leave a nice long scratch down the length of the bar sleeve. I put these plates on and off hundreds of times before I managed to pull this off, but it just so happens that it happened to a brand new bar. It’s avoidable once you know, but it’s still unfortunate nonetheless.
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160 lb Bumper Plate Set
The 160-pound set is the smallest available set and it contains a pair of 10’s, 25’s, and 45’s. This set is small, and I would suggest at least a 260-pound set if you’re starting from absolutely nothing. Having said that, it is the one set that just about every merchant offers so I have included it anyway. Just remember that the larger the set is, the less you pay per pound, and the more time that you have before you need to add more weight to it.
- OFW Bumper Plates – $274 @Fringesport
- Vulcan Strength Bumper Plates – $269 @Vulcan
- Rogue HG 2.0 Bumpers – $275 @Rogue Fitness
- HI-TEMP Bumper Plates (USA) – $323 @Rogue Fitness
- American Barbell Sport Bumpers * – $248 @American Barbell
* currently offered with free shipping as part of a sale.
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260 lb Bumper Plates Set
The 260-pound set is a well rounded intro set that includes pairs of everything from 10 to 45 pounds (10’s, 15’s, 25′, 35’s, and 45’s). I prefer the Vulcan’s for this set size if you live within their free shipping zone because the price is just fantastic, and Vulcan plates have those durability features that I addressed earlier. If you’re outside of that zone, or the Vulcan’s are out of stock (as they commonly are), I’d say definitely go with OFW.
- Rogue Echo Economy Bumpers – $385 @Rogue Fitness
- Vulcan Strength Bumper Plates – $379 @Vulcan
- American Barbell Sport Bumpers * – $414 @American Barbell
- Rogue HG 2.0 Bumpers – $425 @Rogue Fitness
- OFW Bumper Plates – $424 @Fringesport
- HI-TEMP Bumper Plates – $498 @Rogue Fitness
* currently offered with free shipping as part of a sale.
FYI, Vulcan also has a 250-pound set that ditches the 15’s and 35’s, and comes with an extra pair of 45’s. I actually like this set more than the 260-pound set since more 45-pound plates is really what matters in the long run, but to each their own.
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350(ish) lb Bumper Plates Set
These big sets are not as easy to side-by-side compare as the previous two due to the difference in total weight and difference in plates offered in the packages. They range from 340 pounds to 370 pounds depending on the vendor, but in all cases these are the most economical sets offered.
If you are within Vulcan’s free shipping zones, their big sets are a steal, and there are two 370 pound sets available (one of them has 55’s.) If you are on the west coast, Fringe may be cheaper. You’re kind of on your own with these sets, but there is a way to get exactly what you want; just pay attention to the total weight as well as the price.
- Vulcan 370 lb set B (10’s,15’s 25’s,35’s,45’s,55’s) – $519 @Vulcan (wow?)
- Vulcan 370 lb set B (10’s,15’s,25’s,45’s,45’s,45’s) – $527 @Vulcan
- American Barbell Sport (10’s,15’s,25’s,35’s,45’s,45’s) * – $544 @American Barbell
- OFW 370 lb set (10’s,15’s,25’s,45’s 45’s,45’s) – $579 @Fringesport
- Rogue HG 2.0 350 lb set (10’s,15’s,25’s 35’s,45’s,45’s) – $545 @Rogue Fitness
- OFW 370 lb set (10’s,15’s,25’s,35’s,45’s,55’s) – $599 @Fringesport
- HI-TEMP 370 lb set (10’s,15’s,25’s,45’s,45’s,45’s) – $739 @Fringesport
- Eleiko XF 370 lb set (10’s,15’s 25’s,35’s,45’s,55’s) * – $738 @Eleiko
* no free shipping options.
* currently offered with free shipping as part of a sale.
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Basic Bumpers in Kilos
Finding basic bumper plates in kilograms is not as easy in the states as it is in the rest of the world; you have a few options though. Eleiko offers the XF discs in kilos, and Rogue has the HG 2.0 KG bumpers. Inventory at Rogue is iffy when it comes to these, but it’s been getting better. American Barbell has colored basic plates in kilograms, but not in black. York also makes black kg bumpers, but the price doesn’t appear to be very competitive no matter where I find them.
- Rogue KG Echo Bumpers – discontinued – remaining inventory marked down.
- Rogue KG HG 2.0 Bumpers (regional free shipping on sets only)
- American Barbell Color KG Bumpers (not horribly priced for color, no free shipping)
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Black Bumper Plates in Bulk (500 lb+)
Rogue, Vulcan, and Fringesport all offer bulk pricing on bumpers. This is great for CrossFit boxes and small gyms that want to get as many plates as they can with their bumper budget. You just select how many pounds you want and then choose what combination of plates you desire. Fringesport is the only one to continue to reduce the price beyond 1000 pounds. Fringe and Vulcan both offer bulk plates in color as well.
- OFW Bumper Plates 500 pounds: $725 (free shipping – $1.45/pound)
- Vulcan Strength Plates 500 pounds: $729 (free shipping – $1.46/pound)
- Rogue HG Bumpers 500 pounds: $775 ($1.55/pound)
- Rogue HI-Temp Bumpers 500 pounds: $925 ($1.85/pound)
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Basic Color Bumper Plates
The Vulcan, OFW, American Barbell Sport, and Rogue Echo bumpers are also available in colors. It’s a little more pricey to buy them this way, but that option is available if you’d prefer. Here are some prices to give you an idea of that price difference. All three of these brands are the same as their black basic bumper counterparts in terms of durability. Rogue, American Barbell, and Vulcan use a color scheme that more closely mimics the IWF kilograms scheme, not that it ultimately matters.
The OFW colored plates are also offered in bulk, which is by far the cheapest route to go if you’re buying colors for a small box or gym.
- Rogue Echo Colored 260 lb set (10’s, 15’s, 25’s, 35’s, 45’s) – $475 @Rogue
- AB Colored 260 lb set (10’s, 15’s, 25’s, 35’s, 45’s) – $494 @American Barbell
- OFW Colored 260 lb set (10’s, 15’s, 25’s, 35’s, 45’s) – $519 @Fringesport
- Vulcan Colored 260 lb set (10’s, 15’s, 25’s, 35’s, 45’s) – $504 @Vulcan
- AB Shields 300 lb set (25’s, 35’s, 45’s, 55’s) – $718 @American Barbell
- OFW Colored 500 lb (you choose plates) – $849 @Fringesport
- Troy VTX Colored Bumpers – $no! $no! $no!
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Olympic Training Bumper Plate Sets
Training bumper plates are the non-certified version of competition plates. They have a dead bounce, are generally color coded, and have a significantly larger steel hub/insert and much stricter weight tolerances than basic bumpers. The allowable deviation for plates of this caliber is +/- 10 grams of claimed weight, and they are typically sold in kilograms, although some manufacturers like Rogue, American Barbell, and Eleiko do offer them in pounds.
Many manufacturers call their training plates “competition bumpers” despite the fact that they aren’t certified to be used in any sanctioned events. Ignoring this fact, I still categorize bumpers based on their given name (training or competition), so just keep in mind that unless a bumper plate is actually certified, it’s really just a training bumper. Rogue Competition Bumpers are sort of an exception; they are not IWF certified, but they are the official bumper of the CrossFit Games.
In all honesty, you should probably only buy training bumpers if you’re hell-bent on using an IWF brand, but can’t afford their actual certified line. For instance, you can save over a grand by using Eleiko Sports plates rather than Eleiko Comps. It will still cost you $1400, but they are Eleiko. The underdog brands like Vaughn and Vulcan offer “competition” plates for less than the big boys’ training plates, and they’ll last just as long. Just something to consider.
140 kg sets of Training Bumpers (or 320 pounds)
The 140 kg set includes a pair of 10’s, 15’s, 20’s and 25’s. The 320 lb set includes a pair of 25’s, 35’s, 45’s, and 55’s. You will find that Rogue has the best prices on training bumper plates, although you can find lower priced non-certified sets in the Competition section below (like the Vaughns.) You will also probably notice that Rogue intends to be your one stop shop for all training bumper plates, which isn’t a bad thing. Sets are not ordered by price.
- American Barbell Pro KG Urethane Bumpers – $1240 @American Barbell
- Rogue KG Training 2.0 Bumpers – $915 @Rogue Fitness
- Rogue KG Black Training Bumpers – $940 @Rogue Fitness
- Vaughn Weightlifting Training * – $829 @Fringesport
- WerkSan KG Colored Training – $1485 @Rogue Fitness
- American Barbell Color KG Trainers – $980 @American Barbell
- Uesaka KG Varsity Training Plates – $1406 @Rogue Fitness
- Rogue Training Bumpers (pounds) – $950 @Rogue Fitness
- Rogue Urethane Bumpers (pounds) -$1150 @Rogue Fitness
Rogue has a multitude of basic, training, and competition bumper plates in the Closeouts section of their website right now, including used plates from the 2015 CrossFit Games. It’s a good time to be in the market for plates.
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Competition Bumper Plates Sets
While I initially did price out all of the major brands and multiple weight sets, I have decided not go into too much detail with the competition bumpers since so few people actually require them. However, in order to give a general idea of prices for various brands, I will list the current pricing for the 140 kg sets and then provide links for each brand so you may research them further if you would like.
Note: As I mentioned above in the Training Bumper section, it can be argued that most of these bumpers are actually training bumpers as only a handful are actually certified, but I’ll play along with the manufacturers and call them competition plates. If you are buying plates for an event, research very thoroughly which discs/brands are approved for your event.
140 kg Competition Bumper Sets
140 kg sets include a pairs of 10’s, 15’s, 20’s, and 25’s. Standard Olympic plate colors are green (10’s), yellow (15’s), blue (20’s), and red (25’s). Sets are in no particular order. The Vaughn’s are a steal, and they’re great plates.
- Eleiko Olympic WL Competition † * – $2612 @Eleiko
- Uesaka Full Competition † * – $2564 @Rogue Fitness
- Uesaka Atlanta Competition * – $2294 @Rogue Fitness
- Rogue Competition – $1035 @Rogue Fitness
- Vaughn Weightlifting Competition * – $829 @Fringesport
- Vulcan Competition * – $1075 @Vulcan
- Ivanko OCB Olympic Plates – $1815 @Ivanko
† – IWF-certified
* – Warranted
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If you have any feedback about any of these bumper plates, please leave a comment. If you feel I neglected a particular brand that should have made this list, I welcome your comment on that as well. Tell me which brand, and why it should be here.