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Bumper Plates Sets For Crossfit & Weightlifting – Pricing Guide

Bumper plates sets comparison and shopping guide

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 Plates Sets

Rogue's updated HI-Temp bumper plates

The redesigned crumb rubber Rogue HI-Temp bumper plates.

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.

Bumper Plate Sets 160, 260, and 350 pounds

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.

HI-Temp bumper plate sets made for Rogue

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 super quiet, super thick Eleiko XF Bumper Plate

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

OFW Bumper Plate Sets from Fringesport - Not HI-Temp, just high tech

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.

  1. OFW Bumper Plates – $274 @Fringesport
  2. Vulcan Strength Bumper Plates – $269 @Vulcan
  3. Rogue HG 2.0 Bumpers – $275 @Rogue Fitness
  4. HI-TEMP Bumper Plates (USA) – $323 @Rogue Fitness
  5. 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.

  1. Rogue Echo Economy Bumpers – $385 @Rogue Fitness
  2. Vulcan Strength Bumper Plates – $379 @Vulcan
  3. American Barbell Sport Bumpers * – $414 @American Barbell
  4. Rogue HG 2.0 Bumpers – $425 @Rogue Fitness
  5. OFW Bumper Plates – $424 @Fringesport
  6. 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

Rogue HG 2.0 Kilogram Black Bumper Plates

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.

American Barbell Colored KG Sport Bumpers

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Black Bumper Plates in Bulk (500 lb+)

Buying bumper plates in bulk for less

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

FringeSport OFW Colored Bumper plates

FringeSport OFW Colored Bumper Plate Sets

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!
American Barbell new Shield Bumper Plates

These are the American Barbell Shield Bumper Plates – kind of a cross between training bumpers and basic bumpers. Pretty bad ass looking plates if you ask me. There are no 10’s or 15’s, just 25’s and up.

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Olympic Training Bumper Plate Sets

Training Bumper Plates

WerkSan Training Bumper Plates

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.

Rogue's New Urethane Bumper Plates

The new Rogue Urethane Bumpers feature a sharp looking compact hub much like Eleiko Sports. Urethane plates have a high Shore Durometer rating which means a dead blow when dropped. The Rogue’s are only in pounds, but American Barbell offers the exact same plate in kilograms.

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.

  1. American Barbell Pro KG Urethane Bumpers – $1240 @American Barbell
  2. Rogue KG Training 2.0 Bumpers – $915 @Rogue Fitness
  3. Rogue KG Black Training Bumpers – $940 @Rogue Fitness
  4. Vaughn Weightlifting Training * – $829 @Fringesport
  5. WerkSan KG Colored Training – $1485 @Rogue Fitness
  6. American Barbell Color KG Trainers – $980 @American Barbell
  7. Uesaka KG Varsity Training Plates – $1406 @Rogue Fitness
  8. Rogue Training Bumpers (pounds) – $950 @Rogue Fitness
  9. 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

Competition Bumper Plates Pricing Guide

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

Vaughn Competition Bumper Plates - Pretty good price on these

Vaughn Competition Bumpers are the best deal comp (training) bumpers on the market. They are priced extremely competitively, and ship free. I think they’ve recently added white lettering though; in case you care.

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.

{ 115 comments… add one }

  • Walter April 28, 2014, 9:36 am

    Any opinion of StrengthshopUSA.com bumpers?

    • jburgeson April 28, 2014, 11:30 am

      They lack any manufacturing specifics in the product description, but the shape alone tells me that they are the older version of the standard black bumper. Plus retailers who offer the newer versions make it a point to tell you that they do. Those are just like the current Troy VTX.

      • Walter April 28, 2014, 3:57 pm

        Thanks for the feedback. The strengthshopUSA bumpers are significantly less expensive then others, so it makes sense they are older.

        Thanks for the reviews. Excited to get my garage gym started. Your pricing homework and comparisons are very helpful.

        • jburgeson April 28, 2014, 11:11 pm

          Keep in mind that all the others include shipping in the cost already where as those bumpers did not.

          I appreciate the kind words, and have fun getting set up. You recoup the money for a garage gym in saved gym dues a lot faster than you think (unless you’re at planet fitness =p)

  • Robbie August 13, 2014, 8:30 pm


    Great site I am trying to piece together my home gym and found lots of great info here.

    I was wondering if I could get your opinion on the quality of the york bumpers vs the rogue HG? The reason I ask is that I can get the york plates a decent amount cheaper locally but I am a bit worried about the quality and can’t find much info.

    I am just about to pull the trigger on a rogue set but if I can get a bit more weight for my $$ I may consider the york.

    • jburgeson August 13, 2014, 8:41 pm

      Hey Robbie, thanks. The odds are that the York’s are identical to the HG, as the York’s I’ve seen myself were. If you look at them and compare them visually, the only real difference in shape should be the lettering/logos. The plate should look the same. So yea, If you can get them for less than the HG’s or OFW’s, grab ’em. I don’t list York here because they are redundant and harder to find in sets online for comparable prices. If it’s local and a deal, go for it.

  • Bill August 30, 2014, 9:57 am

    Glad I found your site, it’s nice to get a non-biased objective opinion. Just wondering any concern regarding products from China? Is there any advantages or benefits from getting the US manufactured bumper plates? Thanks

    • jburgeson August 30, 2014, 8:53 pm

      Hey Bill, sorry for the delay I didn’t get the email on this one…

      With bumper plates, other than the HI-Temps, they’re pretty much all from China. I can probably say the HI-Temps will last longer by a little, but they bounce like no other and cost a bit more. HI-temps are also thicker so you’ll get less maximum weight on the bar. I guess what I’m getting at is there is no reason to avoid the Chinese bumpers really, especially being that it’s not like there are a lot US options.

  • Brian September 30, 2014, 7:12 pm

    Any input on the Rogue Echo bumper plates? http://www.roguefitness.com/rogue-echo-bumper-plates

    • jburgeson September 30, 2014, 10:22 pm

      Echo plates are fine plates. They aren’t offered in big set sizes though, and they didn’t implement any durability options like the rebar insert. Good prices though if you need a small set.

  • shane sevcik December 17, 2014, 2:40 pm

    have you compared the Eleiko Sport bumper and the American Barbell bumper? they look very similar and difference than other plates….no skrew/bolt patern>

    • jburgeson December 17, 2014, 3:36 pm

      I have not. Both of those are very uncommon plates, especially for a garage. I’ve seen the Eleiko Sports come up a few times on the CrossFit and WL boards, and the American Barbell comp plates maybe once or twice, but that’s about it. There just hasn’t been enough interest in comp plates to warrant trying to get my hands on various brands to compare. They look like the same plate to me though. Not everything Eleiko makes is made in Sweden btw.

  • Robert December 21, 2014, 2:20 am

    Any reviews on Rep Fitness Competition colored bumper plates. Seems like come from the same factory as Fringe Sports Vaughn Weightlifting bumpers and Again Faster Klokov plates. Thanks

    • jburgeson December 21, 2014, 10:36 am

      It is extremely likely that they do come from the same place. Of those three brands of comp bumpers, it just comes down to price and/or which brand you prefer to work with. Vaughn’s seem cheaper by a decent amount though.

  • Peter January 10, 2015, 9:05 am

    Excellent study! Thanks!

  • Jeremy January 27, 2015, 8:45 am

    Hi! Thanks for all the reviews you do. I find them really helpful. I believe I’ve settled on getting the full vaughn setup, as my focus has shifted to olympic lifting over the past 6 months. I currently have a fringe bomba bar and black lbs bumpers, and while they are perfectly fine for most things, they leave a bit to be desired when it comes to the snatch and C&J, and I’d simply rather work in kilos at this point. But I’m stuck on something. I am trying to figure out what kind of change plates to get. It seems like Werksan USA is almost the only one even offering anything in this department, so I’ll probably order form them, but I can’t figure out whether to get regular metal change plates or “rubber friction plates”. The rubberized ones sound cool, but I have no experience with them and I don’t want to pay extra money for something that ends up being more of a pain to work with. Do you have a recommendation you could offer? Thanks again for all you do!

    • jburgeson January 27, 2015, 9:11 am

      Well as you know, kilo change plates are not cheap. I would personally just go with whatever you got the best deal on, whether that was metal or friction. Friction holds onto the bar better, but it really doesn’t matter that much when training Olympic lifts unless it’s long CrossFit sets. Also, in addition to WerkSan, check out DHS, Eleiko, and Vulcan as well. Avoid Pendlay’s like the plague; I’ve heard time and time again that the weights are off by a lot, and that they fall apart. Oh, American Barbell has urethane kilo fractional plates, but I’ve not actually ever seen them so I can’t really say anything.

      • Scott September 8, 2015, 12:26 am

        I train the O lifts at two gyms: one uses the Vulcan training kg bumpers, the other has an assortment of Rogue, Pendlays and a set of the American Barbell Urethane (competition) plates. Both gyms have multiple lifters 4 times/week. After 2 years, the Vulcans have proved to be outstanding bumpers. The white lettering wears off easy but otherwise, no chips, splits or loose bolts or centerpieces. By contrast, at the other gym, after just over one year, the Rogues and Pendlays require routine tightening on the bolts and some of the centerpieces have come so loose that attempting to tighten a bolt will just result in the entire centerpiece spinning around. Most of the Rogues and Pendlays also have chips missing from the circumference of the plate. By comparison, the American Barbell plates have held up quite well. No chips or scratches and no bolts to tighten or loose centerpieces. Of course, at the significantly higher price, not shocking that the ABs look better and last longer than the Rogues or Pendlays.

        • jburgeson September 8, 2015, 10:11 am

          Not too long ago, Rogue sourced their bumpers through Pendlay, and Pendlay is just bad. Rogue doesn’t source a single thing that I know of from them anymore, so I’m hoping that the new discs are a little better… especially since I own a set! Do you like the urethane plates at all? Notice any difference in bounce, feel?

          • shane September 8, 2015, 10:35 am

            I have a set of Eleiko’s Urethane. I believe they are made in the same factory as AB’s. My experience is they definitely bounce a little more, but not tremendously. However, for a big gym setting I think they are a great choose because everything I’ve read and seen is that they are indestructible. I am also pretty sure the Gen1 rogue plates where just Pendlay with different lettering……and equally crap! My coaches barbell club uses the Rogue 2.0 plates 3 times a day and they are holding up great. I also have a set of Rogues new “comp” plates in my garage, and I actually like them even more that my werksan training plates. Not endorsing Rogue, but it seems they really have stepped up their gear in the last 2 years.

          • Scott September 8, 2015, 11:00 am

            Yes, texture and appearance of the AB Urethane plates is more like a sponge, whereas the other brands/materials I”ve used have more of a smooth, plastic finish. In terms of bounce, the AB Urethane have little to no bounce whereas the Rogues and Pendlays I can usually “dribble” on the first hop (like a basketball) without bending over

            The other notable thing about the AB Urethane plates is that they will not fit on all bars. The gym that uses them has assortment of AB, Pendlay and Yorks. The AB plates will not fit on the Yorks, which I suppose indicates that the ABs have a slightly smaller hole to produce less rattling around.

            A couple points on customer service and warranties: These are AB’s top of the line plates. They SHOULD be more durable and less bouncy for the money. The gym originally purchased one of the “training” varieties, which began bulging on the sides after a few weeks of use. AB acknowledged the problem and sent the Urethane plates as loaners until they could get the problem fixed. That was more than a year ago and they have never called back. Don’t know what that means about the status of their “training” bumpers but I think it speaks well of them for customer service.

            Similarly, I know you are not impressed with Pendlay products and I will say that I, too had a bar sleeve seize on me after 5 years but MDUSA replaced the bar at no cost to me after I sent a video demonstrating the problem. Nobody likes equipment failures and I also cannot recommend Pendlay’s bumpers based on what I have seen, but I will at least give MDUSA points for owning the problem and fixing it.

            BTW, thanks for your research and recommendations. Extremely useful info and much appreciated.

            • jburgeson September 8, 2015, 11:25 am

              I have a pair of the urethane and I like them a lot, but you don’t see them around often so I like to know what people think about them. Do you know which plates were the problem plates? The ones that were replaced with the urethane? I’ve not heard anything about any bad AB plates other than the old, basic plate bumpers.

              I remember a while back people had to post their complaints about their Pendlay bars in public forums to get the problem solved. Like if MDUSA refused to fix their broken bar, they’d go tell the world on the CrossFit forums or something like that, and wouldn’t you know it that MDUSA would respond and fix it. That bothers me to no end that it takes something like that to get a warranty issue handled. I want to say you got lucky, but to be fair who knows how many they fix vs don’t fix that we never hear about… so maybe the others were unlucky. Shrug. I still don’t like them =p

  • Robert February 11, 2015, 2:48 pm

    Any insight on XTraining Equipment bumpers? They are local so I can get a heck of a deal, but can’t find any information on them at all… thanks!

    • jburgeson February 11, 2015, 3:45 pm

      Their bumpers are fine. It doesn’t look like they do anything special with the light plates to keep them flat longer, but if the price is right and you don’t use the 10’s and 15’s as technique plates and drop them alone on the bar, it’ll be fine. That is of course assuming you’re getting a much better deal than the website prices by walking in and picking them up. Not a fan of their bars though.

  • kba February 14, 2015, 6:24 pm

    I have been searching for fractional plates. I would ideally like to just buy one .5kg pair (or 1.25lb) for taking to a commercial type gym where the smallest jump is 2.5lbs.
    I have heard about getting washers

    This is one of the better deals (on a set) I have seen so far

    • jburgeson February 14, 2015, 9:21 pm

      Interestingly enough, GP is American Barbell.

  • Paul February 17, 2015, 8:02 pm

    Sort of a specific question looking for some advice. I’m 55 years old, and been lifting 6 months. Revamping my basement gym and was looking to add just a pair of 25lb bumper plates to aid in doing warms up for deadlifts (I’ve been skipping warms ups for lack of plates). Someday down the road I’d like to learn how to Power Clean but, that could be another 6 months or more. After reading your article I feel foolish buying two bumpers and wonder if it makes sense to jump in and get the 160 lbs rouge set? I’m 5’6″ and not super strong and at my age, I’m not going to be out growing it anytime soon. Make sense or just carry on with the idea of picking up plates pairs…? I realize it my might not be a right answer, but looking for advice from someone that has more history/knowledge than I do… Thanks so much for the site and all your help!

    • jburgeson February 17, 2015, 8:46 pm

      Hey Paul. The biggest advantage to buying sets is the free shipping deals. It’s not really free; the cost is in the set, but it’s still usually cheaper that pairs unless you live within the same shipping zone as whoever you buy from. I don’t see anything wrong with buying pairs as you need them, you’re not really losing anything if you don’t need the other plates any time soon. If you said I need 25’s today and 45’s in a month, I’d say buying pairs is foolish. Still, you’d want to see what that shipping is on a 50 pound package.

      Rogue will give you the absolute best shipping prices of probably any retailer. Bars ship for about $15. Not bad for nearly 50 pounds in a very long, oddly shaped shipping container. If you’re fortunate enough to live in the same city as one of these dealers, that’s the best deal usually. No shipping, and prices are usually even discounted for pick-ups.

  • Matt February 24, 2015, 9:59 am

    Any thoughts on the crumb rubber ones from AF? Are they just like hi Temps?

    • jburgeson February 24, 2015, 10:51 am

      Hey Matt, yeah I think they’re just imported versions of the HI-Temps. I haven’t come across them yet, so I don’t know how they compare. HI-Temps are pretty durable bumpers though, and they cost less after shipping, so those crumb rubbers would be a tough sell for me. The smallest 160 pound set was $197 shipping vs free shipping for HI-Temps elsewhere. Colors are kinda cool I guess =p

  • Jonah March 2, 2015, 6:03 pm

    Great review!
    I am currently looking for a set of bumper plates strictly in kilograms which will be used in my new garage gym. I have been browsing Websites like rogue, fringe, pendlay, again faster and almost anything i can think of that would sell gym equipment. Right now my top pick are Pendlay HG 150kg bumper set due to the low price and free shipping compared to the Rogue HG 2.0. Any thoughts on the Pendlay weights in terms of durability, if the hole sits on the sleeve perfectly and bounce? I plan to match these weights to a Rogue OL bar where the bar and weights will only be used during the two Olympic lifts. Any advice will be nice, thank you very much!

    • jburgeson March 2, 2015, 7:26 pm

      Rogue and Pendlay plates used to be exactly the same. Rogue has updated theirs a couple times in the last two years with stronger rubber and slimmer plates, Pendlay has not. You should be able to get Rogue Echo KG plates for the same or less than Pendlay when they are in stock. Usually, from lowest to highest, the prices go Echo, Pendlay, HG, HI-Temp. Echo plates are a free-shipping item I thought.

      I personally am not a Pendlay fan at all. I’ll always recommend Rogue over Pendlay. Rogue has warranties, allows customers to leave product reviews (even when they’re bad), and is not a total PITA to deal with. The 5% savings you can get on a few random items would never be worth it to me personally even if they were the same product. Fortunately, for me it never even comes up; I find Rogue products to be superior, and priced extremely well for the quality/innovations/features.

      • jonah March 2, 2015, 7:38 pm

        Thanks for replying with the knowledge!

        I have another question. Would you recommend the competition/training plates over the standard bumpers? Like is it worth the $300 difference for a 140kg set.

        • jburgeson March 2, 2015, 8:45 pm

          If you can afford to and you’re serious about Olympic lifting, I think it’s worth the investment. Comp plates are so much more durable than basic plates, and that durability matters on the lighter ones. You don’t have to own a $2k set of Eleiko’s to own good comp plates either, which is nice. Brands like Rogue and Vaughn are very affordable. I have a combination of both (basic and comp, that is), but I’m heavy on the basic bumpers and I’m actually trying to decide which brand of comps to move into right now.

  • mike March 5, 2015, 10:03 am

    I have a question Is there a differents between color bumper and black bumper or is it more of a preference to have color bumpers cuz I’m deciding whether to get the vulcan 250lb set bumper but I don’t know if I should spend the extra $100 for the colors and can you use others bumpers with the valcan bumpers??

    • jburgeson March 5, 2015, 10:49 am

      There is no difference, it’s just personal preference. Most people don’t care about colors until they are into competition-style bumpers. Even then, it doesn’t actually matter off of a stage. You can mix and match bumpers on the bar, assuming they are all standard 450 mm.

  • Eddie March 16, 2015, 1:00 pm

    one thing I did notice is that OFW colored plates do not come in a 25kg / 55lb plate and the OFW 45s are red like the 55s of Rogues Econos and 35s are blue like 45s would norm. be! plus with only 15″ on my bar collars the Rogue Econos seams like a better deal for loading more weight on for my deadlifts unless I want to go with training / comp plates of which I will do a combination , Getting a set of 55lb training plates @ 2.5″ to add to my Econos but of course I could just add a pair of 45 lb steel plates and spend less but loose 20 lbs , I do not want all the noise of going with only steel. So with trying to find the best deal will prob. go with Rogue Econo colored plates. $350.00 set 625.00 free shipping Incl. 55 lb plates are part of set.

    • jburgeson March 16, 2015, 2:17 pm

      Yeah Eddie, I don’t know why Fringe did that color scheme. Technically it doesn’t matter since those plates will never be on a stage, but I still get wanting to stay within the normal theme. The Rogue Echo is the best deal right now; it was the OFW plates before the Echos were released. I still like OFW for blacks, and they have great pricing on the Vaughn comps, but Rogue is making it a point to undercut everyone else on these colored training plates. Plus, the Echo plates aren’t too wide, which is nice… at least as far as training plates can go.

  • Eddie March 17, 2015, 6:05 am

    My bad on the price it is – $625.00 for a 350 lb set, Free delivery. Thanks for the site.

  • CJ March 24, 2015, 8:44 am

    I’m looking to purchase a set of color bumper plates with or without a bar. I would prefer training over echo style plates, definitely no money for comp. Have there been any updates? Ideally I’m looking for a 320+ set with change plates included.

    • jburgeson March 24, 2015, 9:24 am

      You will probably have to buy change plates separate since most full sets out there are IWF brands, this is especially true if you’re interested in pounds vs kilos for colored plates. Rogue’s 2.0 training plates are quite nice, I actually picked a set up myself a couple weeks ago (in kilos though.) American Barbell also has a number of plate options in pounds. Let me ask you this, do you have a bar preference?

  • dabucksb March 31, 2015, 9:56 pm

    Any thoughts on Lynx Econ plates? They are close by and I can pickup and save a little.

    • jburgeson March 31, 2015, 10:17 pm

      They are the older models, but if you don’t treat the 10’s and 15’s like Olympic technique plates and toss them around, you’ll be fine.

      I generally stick to my guns about Fringe and Vulcan and those guys because they do make better light plates that can be tossed around, and since shipped prices are all pretty close, may as well get the better plate. But, when you live close to a bumper dealer, it’s hard to beat pick-up pricing.

  • Church April 22, 2015, 10:27 am

    So down the road when I plan to get another bar for my home gym I want to get it in a complete set so I can add more bumpers to the gym as well. Right now I have my eyes set on the Vulcan 20kg Absolute SS or Eleiko 20kg olympic WL training bar. Current bumper sets in my collection are Eleiko cert comp set (about 20yrs old), ZK cert comp set from 2008 Beijing Olympics, 2pr Eleiko 10kg colored training bumpers, 1pr Werk San 5kg technique training bumpers and a very old school York colored training bumper set from my youthful heyday of competitive training for olympic weightlifting. Outside of the obvious price difference between the Vulcan and Eleiko bumper sets whats your impression of quality and functionality between them? Vulcan’s “competition” bumper set looks nice but I do not know anyone that has even seen them in person. Plus I’m open to hearing your opinion on other company’s comp/training bumper sets to match my bar collection. After doing some research on different websites to me it looks like the new Rogue training bumpers came from the exact mold as the current Eleiko comp/training bumpers. The only draw back to Rogue’s bumpers for me right now is I’ve read they bounce more than other top tier bumpers and I’ve read mixed reviews about their rubber change plates, any feedback about your experience with the Rogue bumpers and change plates? Thanks again, much appreciated

    • jburgeson April 22, 2015, 10:46 am

      I have a full set of the new Rogue 2.0 Training plates, and I like them very much. I also have some Vulcan Comp plates as well. The Vulcan’s look a lot like the Pendlay’s in terms of design, but to me the Vulcans don’t bounce as much. The 2.0 Training plates have some bounce to them, it’s true, but I wouldn’t call it excessive. The new Rogue Comp are supposed to bounce even less than the trainers, but I can’t speak to that. That’s what I’ve been told and that’s what the Shore rating implies (I’m not sure if that’s on the site, I had a discussion with a Rogue rep about it.)

      There isn’t a whole lot that can go wrong with comp/training plates really. I hear the most complaints about Pendlay because of bounce and bolts coming out (that place is a junk store IMO), and the only model that I hear about being excessively bouncy is the Eleiko Sports. The Sport is the same design as the AB Comps, but the AB Comps are urethane so they should bounce less (Eleiko comps are also urethane I believe.)

      The change plates I’m unsure of. I have some, but I haven’t had them very long and I’m not sure how well they’ll hold up. I like them, but if they don’t last then it wasn’t a good investment. I have no reason to think they won’t last at this point, but I too have heard things, and this isn’t an industry where people tend to start rumors for no reason.

      There was talk of letting me test the AB Comp bumpers, and I was pretty excited to see how they perform, but that has yet to materialize, and I’m not buying them after just buying that Rogue set. Just curious though, you seem set on plates, why more?

  • Church April 22, 2015, 11:20 am

    I would have considered getting the AB Comp bumpers but this time around only enough funds to get the AB SS bar, especially if I end up picking up that Vulcan 15kg Pro bar in the near future. Bumpers next time with potentially another bar to finish off the collection. Reason for adding more bumpers is to accommodate more than one person training in my home gym at a time. Space wise my gym can comfortably handle two to three people training together and I would like to have the kg’s available to not have to share plates and bars. Plus I would like to have up to three loaded bars at a time to move nonstop from bar to bar crossfit style for my variation of programming. This is a primary reason for wanting the AB SS. I have the ZK bar to start a set with say cleans, move directly to the AB SS for heavy pulls and then finish the set off with heavy dead’s with the Rogue Ohio Power bar for a compilation of reps within a set. I need a far amount of weight for a set utilizing three loaded bars LOL

    • jburgeson April 22, 2015, 12:27 pm

      Sounds like a nice setup. I’ve also had the Vaughn plates, and for the price there was nothing to complain about. Word is a lot of people pick those up just because of how affordable they are. Most of these things are made in the same place anyway.

  • Church April 23, 2015, 10:01 am

    The fact that you mention that the Vulcan’s are a lot like the Pendlay scares the sh** out of me. I have direct experience with Pendlay through a client and I wasn’t overly impressed but back in the mid to late 2000’s Pendlay was the brand to go to for a cheaper USA company that had a usable olympic bar and bumpers over the euro companies. Now it seems like Pendlay has just completely fallen apart when they could have become a leading company in the industry. That being said according to American’s webpage they are completely sold out of the COLOR KG URETHANE PRO SERIES BUMPER PLATES :-( Vulcan has their comp bumpers in stock but are out of stock on the change plates. I’m considering the Vulcan but if their bumpers are made in the same plant as Pendlay I’m feeling the need to steer clear.

    • jburgeson April 23, 2015, 10:50 am

      I doubt they are the same plant, I just meant they have the same appearance. I mean, I don’t know that they aren’t, but I do know I haven’t had to tighten any bolts on my Vulcans. But yeah, Pendlay is the worst. Don’t get me started on them or I’ll get sued =p

      So, I plan on picking up some of their friction plates. I’ve heard that they’re the last change plates you’ll ever buy (well, those of us that only need one full set 😉

      • Church April 23, 2015, 11:26 am

        Yes, the Vulcan V-Lock friction plates are of a big interest for me as well. Wish they were in stock. If Vulcan had their V-lock friction plates in stock it could be a no brainier. With the current sale prices Vulcan is offering I could get 180kg worth of Bumpers, change plates and bar for $1423.23, one hell of a deal.

        15kg Women’s Pro bar – 492.99
        140kg Comp bumpers- 720.25
        25kg V-lock plates – 209.99

        • jburgeson April 23, 2015, 11:41 am

          Maybe they’d honor the price and send off the plates when they are in stock. It’s a lot of stuff, I’d bet they’d be accommodating assuming the plates aren’t months out or something. /shrug

          • Church April 23, 2015, 12:05 pm

            Gotcha, worth inquiring about, thanks for that suggestion :-)

            • jburgeson April 23, 2015, 2:49 pm

              Church, how long did it take AB to ship?

  • Church April 23, 2015, 10:33 am

    So I just checked out the Rogue KG Comp Bumper plates. Wow, they look really nice, just about identical to the Eleiko KG Comp Bumpers. They look so identical I wonder if they are made in the same facility/factory.

    • jburgeson April 23, 2015, 11:04 am

      They say they make the Eleiko Comps in Sweden, but it could just be that they are assembled there. There is that video out there of those Barbell Shrugged guys touring the Eleiko factory, and they briefly showed some comp plate components unassembled, but who knows.

  • Shane April 23, 2015, 1:10 pm

    For the money Werksan Complete black training set is $1,399+Shipping
    thats a $880 Werksan training bar 187kg set… insane deal!!!

    • jburgeson April 23, 2015, 2:37 pm

      They’re still doing that eh? I keep forgetting to look. That is insane. Goes to show you how much stuff is marked up though!

  • Church April 23, 2015, 4:08 pm

    Well I will try to do my best to go easy here. With having direct experience with Werk San at this point I wouldn’t waste any money on it, I think it’s complete crap. I must say it’s been a few years now, back in the 2000’s is my last experience with their equipment so they may have improved the quality by now but back then it was junk and still may be junk (reason why so cheap, plus those disc in the pics on their site of the aforementioned set are their old school design anyways[the crap that falls apart]). At the OTC (olympic training center) they have a mix of bars and bumpers and just about all the Werk San bars and bumpers at the OTC have fallen apart and/or busted up. It’s been a couple of years now since I’ve paid a visit to the OTC but I wouldn’t doubt it if by now they have just chucked all that Werk San crap into the dumpster out back. There are only two people I know in the community that had anything good to say about Werk San and they had a personal investment in the company. That’s all I have to say about that.

    • jburgeson April 23, 2015, 4:17 pm

      They could be trying to offload those previous generation discs. I thought it was a mis-price when it was first pointed out.. they had just overhauled the site so it was completely possible. /shrug

      • Shane April 23, 2015, 4:50 pm

        I can only speak from personal and recent experience. I train on a WerkSan IWF bar and have a set of there IWF training plates and love them. I use the AB SS bar as a daily trainer, and switch to the WerkSan before comps. Greg Everett has a gym full of them at Catalyst and loves them. The OTC has them and Uesaka as their primary plates now from recent videos.

        • Church April 23, 2015, 7:04 pm

          Well what I hope is that Werk San stepped it up and redesigned their bumpers and bars and hopefully are putting out a much better product for the $ being asked. Uesaka used to be the primary bars and bumpers at the OTC outside of a couple random Eleiko bars and the such. Back in the 2000’s politics put Werk San in the OTC and the person that did it had a lot of pull in the USAW to do it and had a personal investment in Werk San, pissed some people off. Uesaka is a great company and puts out a great product worthy of being at the OTC. I know there are people out there that like Werk San but for me if I’m going to spend that kind of money on bars and bumpers I’m going to go with something else for about the same in cost like Eleiko. I love my ZK cert comp bar (from 2008 Olympics) and have had two now but will be the first to admit the quality of craftsmanship doesn’t compare to Eleiko, Uesaka, or even Ivanko, but I love the way it whips so it was worth it to me to spend the same as I would have on an Eleiko. I know everyone has their personal preferences so I will just leave Werk San alone, sorry if I offended anyone.

        • Church April 23, 2015, 7:16 pm

          I get it, when I competed most everyone wanted to train on the bars that would be used in the major competitions and they didn’t care about anything else. Now a days for me craftsmanship along with performance matters, I figure if I’m going to spend about a $1000.00 on a bar I want excellent craftsmanship along with the level of performance that everyone desires out of a bar.

          • Shane April 23, 2015, 8:26 pm

            I totally get that. I got rid a DHS and a Pendlay NB bar because I felt the quality was piss poor. I have an Eleiko, WerkSan and AB SS bar. The AB SS is off the charts higher quality craftsmanship in my opinion. I completely agree with your comments on Pendlay, should be the leader for American made gear, but I doubt they are in business in a couple years.

            • jburgeson April 23, 2015, 11:22 pm

              Yup it’s tick tock for them… they are doing nothing right anymore.

            • Church April 23, 2015, 11:28 pm

              Thanks very much for the feedback on the AB SS bar, I’m stoked to be getting one. If I end up liking it as much as I’m hoping to, down the road I’ll look into Vulcan’s soon to be released SS Bearing Bar or even consider getting the Rolls Royce of SS bars, Ivanko’s SS Bearing Bar. Never ever considered owning an Ivanko until getting into the research of a well made bar. I’ve just always stuck to the name brands that are well known for national and international competition but now that I mainly lift for fun and joy of doing it’ I’m starting to get into the collector’s side of well crafted barbells. I could see myself picking up an Ivanko over an Eleiko for the sake of seeing what it’s like to train on an Ivanko. I’ve owned an Eleiko cert comp bar and it was one of the nicest bars I’ve ever lifted on but I’m very intrigued by the detailed craftsmanship that seems to go into an Ivanko. I completely understand why you got rid of the DHS, I’ve been around training facilities that had both DHS and ZK, even though I own a ZK for it’s whip, both DHS and ZK are made in China and it sorely shows, not well made bars by any means. Thanks to Crossfit there has been such an incredible serge of new American made barbells to hit the market that are meeting the high standards of quality at an affordable price and this is all thanks to market competition via the demand of x-fit boxes and the garage gym athlete.

            • Church April 24, 2015, 5:55 am

              If it weren’t for the market currently getting flooded with great quality at a great price I would most likely be jumping on the Rogue bandwagon. I think Rogue is doing a phenomenal job with putting out overall top quality bumpers and bars at a very competitive price. If other American companies like American, Vulcan, Ivanko, even Repfitness and a few other companies had not shown up on the bar market it would be all about Rogue. Rogue is right where Pendlay should have been had Pendlay (MDUSA) not dropped the ball in a very big way. At this moment with the little bit of research I’ve been doing my #1 pick for another set of bumpers is the Rogue KG Competition bumper plates. Whether or not their of equal quality those Rogue bumpers plates look nicer to me than Eleiko’s competition bumpers. It just sounds like Rogue may need to tweak their change plates a little and they will have an IWF cert worthy comp set.

              Note: I want to give credit where credit is due. I know companies like Ivanko and American have been around for quite awhile but it’s only been recent because of the surge in fitness that their names have become more well known. I’ve known for quite awhile now that Ivanko has always put out a very high end expensive bar but back in the day nobody wanted to pay that much for a bar that wasn’t IWF certified. Now a days for me craftsmanship is more important than a sticker on the bar (that eventually wears off) indicating it’s certified.

              • Shane April 24, 2015, 8:46 am

                Have you looked into IronWolfe? They are the mill shop that made Yorks IWF bar back when they where IWF. After company got sold to a Candian company they stun off. I hear their oly bar is even nicer than AB and even Ivanko but would have to wrap my hands on one before dropping $1k.

                • jburgeson April 24, 2015, 9:27 am

                  Yeah I have, they are super expensive, and nobody owns one. I’ve actually reached out to them a number of times in the last 18 months or so, but I’ve never heard anything back so I kinda just let the idea of getting to know them and their bars go. They have to be decent for what they ask for them, but it’s a little discouraging that I couldn’t get an email response from a company that’s trying to sell $1000+ bars. It feels like one of those situations where if you can’t reach a company pre-sale, how are you going to reach them if there is a problem after you’ve dropped the money. They are pretty though.

                • Church April 25, 2015, 6:48 am

                  So I just checked out IronWolfe’s site. They seem like very nicely crafted bars but at this point I can’t see myself picking one up. I already have a Ohio Power bar for heavy static lifts and as far as their olympic bar goes it has bushings in the sleeves, not a fan of bushings for the explosive lifts.

                • Church April 25, 2015, 6:53 am

                  IronWolfe really seems focused on Power lifting, my focus on power lifting ended a couple of decades ago and now my joints prefer the little lighter less abusive explosive technical lifts.

  • Church April 23, 2015, 11:32 pm

    I’m truly looking forward to seeing what hits the market in barbells and bumpers in the next 5-10yrs.

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