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A First Look at the Dmitry Klokov Olympic Bar

New Dmitry Klokov Barbell

I was fortunate enough to be offered the opportunity to test the new Klokov Olympic Barbell before it launches. The last four weeks, I’ve made it a point to use the Klokov any chance I could to get a really good feel for the bar, and a good feel for it I believe I have!

In case you are not familiar, the Klokov Bar is an Again Faster barbell developed in collaboration with Russian Olympian, Dmitry Klokov. It’s a true 28 mm, dual-marked, Olympic barbell, and, although this is a multi-purpose bar, it was clearly designed with heavy Olympic lifts in mind. The reason I say that is because where this bar really shines is the sleeve rotation; which I’ll talk about in more detail below.

Let me just say, I am a huge fan of barbell manufacturers getting design ideas and feedback from professional athletes. I believe this interaction leads to higher performance bars with more refined features. This has been shown to be true with many other bars in the past (Chan, B&R), and I certainly believe this to be the case with the Klokov Bar as well.

Klokov Barbell Review

Klokov Bar Teaser

This is all that I knew about the Klokov Bar prior to receiving it – simply that there was a Klokov Bar and that it would be coming soon. Not much!

Normally I choose to review bars that I am already interested in owning, but this review was a little different in that I didn’t know much of anything about the bar prior to receiving it. I couldn’t have told you two unique things about this bar other than the name, and that has made for an interesting and fun review for me. It could have ended up being an amazing bar or a horrible bar, but either way it was going to be a surprise.

After having lifted with this bar for a month, I’ve been mostly impressed with this bar. Matter of fact, I think it’s a lot of bar for the price. Let me list off the bar’s specifications so that you know what I’m talking about, then I will elaborate.

Dmitry Klokov Olympic Barbell Specifications

The Again Faster Klokov Premium Olympic Barbell

  • IWF standard 2.2 m length, 20 kg weight (IWF standard, not certified)
  • true 28 mm shaft diameter (verified), dual IWF/IPF hash marks
  • Hard chrome finish (shaft and sleeves)
  • Proprietary combination steel bushing and needle bearing sleeves for spin with stability
  • Unnecessarily high 260k+ PSI tensile strength shaft
  • Weight Tolerance of +0.1% / -0.05%
  • Color coded end caps and collar bands
  • Lifetime Use Warranty

So the bar has very respectable specifications, especially at the asking price of $320. Matter of fact, I had the bar before I knew the asking price, and I assumed it was going to be a bit more than $320!

Why? Well first, and I’ll cover this in more detail in a second, the Klokov has an insanely high PSI rating. Higher than any other bar that I know of. Second, bearings always raise the price of a bar significantly, and this bar has both bearings and bushings (although they are steel rather than bronze.) Finally, the Klokov is a chrome-plated bar. Chrome is the best and most expensive barbell finish aside from stainless steel. This is why an asking price of only $320 is so shocking.

One thing about the bar that is a total mystery to me is that extremely high PSI rating. Generally with barbells, the highest PSI-rated, true 28 mm Olympic bars tend to be the most expensive. Bars from Eleiko, Ivanko, and the others that achieve ratings in the 200-220k PSI range demand much more than $300 for their bars. Yet here, the Klokov has a ridiculously high PSI rating while still having decent whip, but at this very low price. I’m not sure how it’s possible to offer a bar with such a high tensile strength for so little money, but that is what’s happening here.

In any case, on paper all the specs are solid, so let’s now talk about how it performs in the gym.

Klokov Bar Knurling

Close up of Klokov knurl

I found the knurling on this bar to be better than average. When I first picked it up, it felt only slightly more aggressive than the typical CrossFit or multi-purpose bar. However, when I actually started to lift with it, the bar performed better than I expected. Even though it doesn’t feel very refined, it still gets the job done.

The bottom line is that the Klokov is easy to hold on to, especially with chalk, and it does so without being sharp or painful. It even has a passive center knurl (I am a fan of center knurling.)

One downside is that the knurl stops about ½”-¾” shy of the sleeve rather than going all the way the the shoulder. As a tall person who takes a very, very wide hand position for the snatch, I like to see knurl that runs the entire length of the bar, not stop short. Manufacturer’s really need to stop taking this short cut and just knurl up to about 1/8″ away from where the collar starts. You can’t promote your bar as a precision piece of equipment and then not be able to knurl further down the bar.

Finally, since a lot of folks tend to think this is an indicator of a good or bad bar (it’s actually not), I’ll let you know that the start and stop points for the hash marks (fade in) are clean.

Sleeve Rotation

I put the Klokov through the standard sleeve spin test to both listen to the sleeves and see how well the sleeves rotate. They aren’t the quietest sleeves in the world when spinning with no weight, but once weight is added, the sleeves spin effortlessly and endlessly without any noise. I was able to get very good sleeve rotation with any amount of weight loaded on the bar, and that’s good.

So ok, spinning the sleeves while the bar sits in the power rack is fine and dandy, but that’s not what’s ultimately important. What’s important is how the bar performs during the snatch and the cleans. It wouldn’t be much of an Olympic bar if it couldn’t handle the Olympic lifts, right?

The Klokov performs extremely well in this department. While racking the bar during power cleans and getting under the bar during snatches, the shaft spins freely and easily without transferring inertia to the plates. The plates remain stationary as the shaft spins, and there is zero drag. I have absolutely no complaints in terms of sleeve rotation. This is probably the most well done aspect of this bar.

Whip

While the Klokov whips at heavy weights just as claimed, there is very little elasticity in the bar at low to medium weights. This bar feels quite rigid until about 225 pounds (100+ kg), whereas many other bars in this price range start to display good whip at lighter weights (175-185 pounds, or 80 kg); even some 28.5 mm bars. I am sure the rigidity has a lot to do with that high PSI rating.

Generally speaking, expecting any noticeable or useful whip at anything under 2 wheels is kind of… wishful thinking anyway, but it’s not an impossible thing to accomplish. This just isn’t the bar for that.

In a way, I think AF got carried away with the tensile strength. There isn’t a single IWF-certified bar with tensile strength anywhere near the 264k that this bar is, and those are some of the best bars in the world (Eleiko, ZKC, Werksan). You have to ask yourself why that is. Is having the highest PSI a good thing if it makes a bar rigid? I mean, we’re not at risk at bending or breaking bars at 220k, or even 190k for that matter. Is PSI rating just a marketing game at this point?

Chrome Finish

As I’ve mentioned, the Klokov is a chrome-plated bar. I personally prefer a chrome finish over zinc or oxide as I think it just feels much better in the hands. Chrome also has the benefit of being really simple to maintain and keep clean, which means that it’s going to look new for much longer. Of course, the biggest advantage of chrome vs any other finish is the level of protection from oxidation. Very rarely will you have rust issues with a chrome bar.

My only complaint with the finish is a minor cosmetic issue. The hash marks look a little scratchy and dull, like they weren’t polished out as well as the rest of the bar. Either that, or the knurler was dragging over the hash marks when it shouldn’t have been. It’s trivial, but my OCD catches stuff like this. Does it affect the bar’s performance? No.

Color-Coded Bands in Shoulder

Close up of Klokov collar and colored band

Again Faster decided to go with the groove and colored bands in the sleeve shoulder. I’m assuming that the reasoning behind this is to make bars more easily identifiable in a gym or box setting. While I’m not the biggest fan of the rubber band trend (honestly I think it’s a waste of time to cut this channel into a bar), it doesn’t have any impact on performance so it doesn’t really matter one way or the other. At least it adds some color to the bar.

Klokov Bar Summary

If you’re a CrossFitter, aspiring Olympic lifter, or just looking for a reliable multi-purpose bar for your garage gym, I think that the Klokov Bar is definitely worth checking out. The reliable rotation of the sleeves make the Klokov very compatible with the Olympic lifts, and the $320 price tag makes it extremely budget friendly. Additionally, because the Klokov a dual-marked bar, this bar easily goes from the snatch to the bench. You can use this bar all over your gym.

Updates

I am hearing a lot of complaints about how this bar is packaged for shipment. I’m told the tube used is super thin and easily damaged during transit, leading to bars with all kinds of scratches, dings, and end caps that look like the bar is a few years old already. Also I guess they aren’t stapling or screwing in their package ends like Rogue, Eleiko, American Barbell, and all those other guys do, so they arrive re-taped by FedEx/UPS/whatever.

My personal Klokov arrived packaged very nicely and looking brand new, but perhaps that is because I review bars. In any case, as many bars as I hear they’ve had to replace, I’m hoping this issue has been rectified. It might be worth asking AF if you intend to purchase this bar though. Sure, bars will get scratches and dings, but if you’re like me, you’d like to be the one who puts them there, not FedEx.

{ 138 comments… add one }
  • Andrew November 29, 2014, 5:41 am

    Could you let me know how this bar compared to a few others?

    Specifically, how does the knurling on the klokov bar compare to the knurl on the Ohio bar, and also the chan bar?

    Also, how does the spin compare to the rogue oly bar or eleiko or any of the other main bearing bars?

    How is the whip compared to the above mentioned bars?

    And finally, how does the chrome finish compare to some of the other chrome bars on the market like the satin chan bar or some of the other polished ones.

    Thanks for the great review

    • jburgeson November 29, 2014, 10:56 am

      Hey Andrew, that’s a tall order, but I think I can answer all of that… although I doubt briefly

      The Klokov has that bushing/bearing combination. Functionally, the spin is right where it needs to be. When getting under that bar, it performs as well as any Olympic bearing bar. The only real difference between it and bearing bars (that doesn’t also have bushings, that is) like the Rogue Oly is that it doesn’t spin very well without weight loaded, but that doesn’t really matter at all.

      The Klokov is not as whippy as other 28 mm bars under what I would consider to be a normal working load for most people. AF says this bar has great whip for heavy Olympic lifts, and it seems like they mean that literally. I found the bar to be somewhat rigid until at least the 185-225 pounds range. It starts to catch up to everything else beyond that. The PSI rating is insane, and I’m sure has a lot to do with the lack of flex at lower weights. I don’t actually think this matters much, what kind of whip do ppl expect at 135?

      As far as the chrome finishes, the Chan is satin. Satin just means unpolished. Now, hard chrome is supposedly different still, and from what I understand may even impact tensile strength, but I can’t speak to that without making crap up so I won’t. I think Vulcan goes into the details of hard chrome somewhere on the site though if you’re interested.

      And knurl… the knurl is one of the best things about the Klokov. Super grippy, no discomfort, no sharpness. I’ve had no issues with holding on to this bar, don’t need a bunch of chalk, and I don’t have to squeeze the life out of it in order to feel that grippiness. How else to say it… it’s the confidence of a an Eleiko or a power bar, but it sticks because it’s done well, not because I have 5000 little metal points penetrating my skin. Having said that, and since you asked, I like the Chan knurl more. I think the knurl on the Chan is magic. Both are great though, and both feel more secure than almost any other bar you can ask about in their price ranges.

      That help at all?

      • Andrew November 29, 2014, 4:42 pm

        Thanks, that was very thorough and answered all my questions. I ordered one on black Friday so I was just trying to get as good idea as I could about the type of things to expect.

        The whip sounds great if you can start to feel it at those weights, and the knurl sounds amazing.

        Thanks again

      • Steven Thunander April 28, 2015, 9:43 pm

        The Klokov bar I got to use at my affiliate had an extremely aggressive center knurl. Otherwise, the review above is spot on. I suspect that the bars I am reviewing may be defects because of the aggressive center knurling.

        • jburgeson April 28, 2015, 9:54 pm

          Hey Steven, it’s not a defect, it’s a pretty common complaint about the bar lately. The center, the clean area, and the snatch area are all different knurls, and the center is far too aggressive for most people’s taste. I actually use mine as a deadlift bar because the aggro knurl and shaft stiffness seem to work well for that lol

  • Sandarpan November 29, 2014, 9:54 am

    Wow! I would love to know what steel they use. All alloys I know of become brittle at 260000 psi TS.

    • jburgeson November 29, 2014, 10:59 am

      Yeah you and me both… I’ve asked, but I didn’t really get an answer =p

  • Joseph November 30, 2014, 12:34 pm

    Right now the Black Friday price for the RogueFitness Olympic WL Bar is $450! Aside from price, could you give a quick comparison of that bar versus the KLOKOV Bar? Thanks! Happy Holidays!

    • jburgeson November 30, 2014, 4:50 pm

      Hey Joseph, ya I saw that! The bars come and go faster than I can report it. I almost bought one of those! I prefer chrome over zinc, so I passed. Amazing price though, 100 people got very lucky.

      The comparison…well they are very similar bars. Both the Rogue WL and the Klokov are supposed to be a more affordable alternative to the high-end Euro bars. The Rogue has center knurl optional, different finishes, and is made in the states. The Klokov is always chrome, always center knurl, and made overseas. Both are bearing bars, and both have more aggressive knurl than CrossFit bars (28.5 mm dual marked bars). One of the huge differences is that the Rogue is warranted for life, but the Klokov makes no mention of any warranty of any kind. I’m assuming that’s an oversight though (hoping at least). Oh also, the Klokov is dual marked like a CrossFit/multi-purpose bar, other WL bars like the Rogue are not.

      The Rogue Oly seems to have taken first place as an alternative to Euro bars since its release… easily knocking the Pendlay bearing bar aside and stomping it a few times as well. Time will tell where the Klokov fits into all this.

      *Edit: The Klokov IS warranted for life. The lack of reference to it in the product description was simply an oversight.

  • Charlie November 30, 2014, 7:55 pm

    This may be a stupid question but I wanted to get an answer from someone who has used the bar.

    As far as sound goes, is this bar fairly quite when dropped from over head? I know the bushing bars have that loud clang when dropped and most bearing bars when dropped the noise isn’t quit as sharp of a clang.

    Just to give myself an idea, is the Klokov bar much quieter then say the Rouge Ohio bar?

    I am debating between this bar or an Ohio Bar for my basement gym. My focus is Olympic lifting with a bit of Crossfit.

    Do you by chance have a video clip or sound clip of the klokov bar being dropped from over head?

    • jburgeson November 30, 2014, 10:34 pm

      Hi Charlie. I hadn’t remembered it being overly loud, but I went out to the garage to drop it a few times to double check for you. It’s not offensively loud, and the sleeve assembly isn’t a loose fit so it doesn’t rattle like cheaper <$200 bars. As I write this I just noticed you said you had a basement gym rather than garage. Let me go toss a Rogue bar too, see if one is actually quieter than the other. I'll update shortly *edit* alright I tested it alongside the Chan since I don't currently have an Ohio out there. They have the same sleeve assembly. They're both pretty close in terms of noise, although if I had to pick one to be quieter, it would actually be the Klokov... but I mean barely. I wouldn't let that be your deciding factor. Dropped bars are loud, but neither of the have that loose assembly rattle or anything.

  • Andrew December 2, 2014, 1:54 pm

    Great review as always. How do you think this stacks up against the Vaughn bar?

    • jburgeson December 2, 2014, 3:00 pm

      Yeah that’s tough… the Vaughn has a pretty good spin to it, especially for running on bushings only. The Vaughn will whip sooner… or rather, at lighter weights. Both bars have good knurl in their own way. Neither of them feel as though they’d be very sticky, but they are. I attributed the good feel of the Vaughn to the manganese finish, and the Klokov is just got a good knurl to it. Of course, the Klokov is cheaper, so that’s something that will make a difference to a lot of people.

      So another thing to think about is that the Vaughn is marked like an Olympic bar. Only Oly marks, but it has no center knurl. The Klokov is dual marked like a general purpose bar and does have a center knurl. I’m kind of indifferent to the dual marking thing being that I use both marks, but for some reason the hardcore Oly lifters are pretty pissed off that the Klokov is dual marked. /shrug

      If I had to have just one of them as my only bar, I’d probably take the Klokov because it makes a better multi-purpose bar. If my routine was centered around Olympic lifts, I’d take the Vaughn.

      • andrew December 2, 2014, 3:26 pm

        Ha! I have always got a kick out of that, why would it matter to the strictly oly guys if there were extra marks. I already have an ohio bar so Im covered multipurpose. Your response reaffirmed what I had already suspected. I think I will go with the vaughn.

      • Charlie December 3, 2014, 8:46 pm

        So, what you are saying is that this is one of the best multi purpose bars for the money?

        I meant to ask earlier…between this and the Chan bar does the Klokov bar have better spin?

        Also would you rather have/use daily the Klokov bar or the Rogue oly bar?

        • jburgeson December 3, 2014, 10:06 pm

          Well here’s the deal… the price on the Klokov is just stupid low. It has smooth spin, no excessive noise, and grippy knurl. On top of that, it’s chrome rather than something cheaper like oxide. Assuming there are no long-term issues with the Klokov (as time will tell), it’s a steal at $320. The best multi-purpose for the price? It’s certainly up there.

          If I had to choose the Rogue Oly or the Klokov as my daily bar, I’d go with the Klokov mostly because of my current training. If I had to choose one to be the last bar I could own, I’d take the Rogue Oly. Rogue has fine tuned the shit out of their bars, and their warranty is both for life and completely transparent.

          In answer to your other question, the Klokov spins more than the Chan, but that’s to be expected (bearing vs bushing.)

  • Charlie December 4, 2014, 5:33 am

    Thank you for all of your help!

  • Devin December 7, 2014, 8:51 pm

    I saw someone mentioned the Vaughn bar… I was wondering that comparison as well. How would you compare the DHS bar to the Klokov and Vaughn bars? Also, have you taken apart the sleeves on the Klokov? I’m wondering how this bearing/bushing setup is.

    Thanks for the great review.

    • jburgeson December 7, 2014, 10:41 pm

      Hey Devin, I don’t have a DHS around to compare it to. The DHS training bar is actually on my list of bars to get into the mix, but since I have to buy these bars myself 9 times out of 10, I tend to go with bars more likely to have a larger audience. I have tried to contact Dynamic a couple times, but I have never been blessed with a response.

      Having said that, the DHS is one of the more highly praised Olympic bars on the market, and even though it’s rather inexpensive when compared to Eleiko or Werksan, it’s still a very expensive barbell. In other words, comparing those two bars to the DHS would be much like comparing those two bars to the Eleiko… if you know what I mean.

      In answer to your other question, no I generally don’t disassemble the bars. There usually isn’t any reason to. Now if these manufacturers keep upping the ante with these odd assemblies, I’m going to have to start. I’m going to see what I can learn without having to take it apart. Btw, those bushings are steel, not bronze.

  • George December 21, 2014, 12:20 am

    From your review sounds like $400 worth of bar for $300. It doesn’t sound from your review like the bar is in the same league as DHS or Sport Training, but those are $500 and $700 respectively. I think the whip is what separates a good bar from a great one. Good whip is the only parameter that can actually lift the weight for you – knurl and spin can’t do that.

    • jburgeson December 21, 2014, 12:31 am

      I think that the bar offers exceptional features for the price, yes. But no, I don’t think it offers $700 worth of bar for that $300, or even $500 worth of bar in the case of the DHS trainer. Although, the DHS is just as unfair of a comparison as the Sport since that’s probably one of the best training bars for the price.

      I think that the rigidity is the biggest issue with the Klokov. It very well could be valued at much more than its price if they didn’t get so carried away with the marketing aspect of the bar (you know, having the highest PSI in the Universe). I’m very curious what the yield is, they wouldn’t tell me. I’d love to get that bar analyzed by a lab, but who can afford it!

  • Thomas johnston February 5, 2015, 12:25 pm

    Any chance you are going to review the AFF Team Barbell 2.0?

    • jburgeson February 5, 2015, 12:36 pm

      I’ve thought about it, I don’t know though. I’ve done a lot of bar reviews back to back and I feel like I should mix it up some, and I still have another Vulcan Bar to do, then the Rogue Oly. The Team Bar is not very compelling, especially with the Klokov priced how it is. Plus, 2 bronze bushings, 2 steel bushings, 4 ball bearings, and 6 needle bearings? Where are they putting all these things? And why? lol maybe I should review it, just to pull those sleeves off and see what’s up in there.

  • shane March 3, 2015, 2:34 pm

    Follow up-I own a DHS and have taken a klokov for a spin. I am personally not a fan of either bar. The Klovok already has a little kink to it in the shaft. That a bend, but if you spin the shaft while it’s loaded the collars have a little wobble. The overall fit/finish quality is on par with the price. I would agree with the comment, “This is not $700 worth of features”

    • jburgeson March 3, 2015, 4:09 pm

      I noticed if I just put a plate on and rotate the sleeves on the Klokov, when they come to a stop, they try to kinda … find center? It’s hard to explain; they’ll roll past a point, then come back to it as if there was a bend, but there isn’t. It’s weird. I told AF about it, and they pretty much disregarded it as a “must just be your bar” sort of thing.

      I don’t normally hear bad things about the DHS… what is it that you don’t like about it?

      • Devin March 3, 2015, 4:20 pm

        So I ended up getting a DHS bar for Xmas… yes my parents are that cool. I’ve been really disappointed with the quality. The grip is nice, overall I guess I don’t dislike it, but I’m a details person, and they missed the mark. I got it with a big cut in one of the sleeves, a flat spot on the shaft, knurling that isn’t completely even, and a bearing that sounds like something is inside of it. I contacted dynamic-eleiko and the customer service is terrible. Sounded like they didn’t really care. He LITERALLY said “if it is not broke, don’t fix it.” Sent him a video of excessive wobble (in my opinion since i’ve only had it for a couple months), and the noise of the bearing and he completely dismissed it. I’ll probably take it apart here soon to see if something is caught in the bearing. But over all very very disappointed with the company, and not super happy with the bar. Wishing I went with the Vaughn bar.

        • jburgeson March 3, 2015, 5:38 pm

          I’ve actually reached out to them myself on multiple occasions and have had the same experience with customer service, sadly. It’s certainly too bad that kind of thing happens; they are the only authorized seller of DHS in the USA, and I doubt that anyone else would have let you keep that bar in that condition. It would have been replaced instantly.

          • Devin March 17, 2015, 10:10 pm

            So after taking the bar apart, found a chunk of metal in the bearing and a bunch of rust UNDER the grease on the bearing surface of the bar. They seemed rather begrudging about it, but have offered a refund. That was a little over a week ago, and coordinating shipping back to them is a slow process. Granted, my schedule is busy so getting together shipping materials took me a bit, but their end is taking a while as well (bar is still at my house).

            Just ordered an American Barbell stainless steel bar… hopefully more consistent than the Klokov bar and better customer service than DHS. Have hear great things about the bar, especially the bare steel feeling. How would you compare that to the above bars?

            • jburgeson March 17, 2015, 10:24 pm

              The American Barbell and Klokov aren’t even in the same ballpark. The DHS is supposed to be much nicer than you’ve experienced, but it sounds like you got a dud… and it doesn’t help that they didn’t take very good care of you like pretty much anyone else would have. That bar is too expensive to have to chase people down for assistance and support.

              In any case, I think you’ll like the SS. I keep hearing of people buying them and loving them, and it’s certainly my favorite bar. You’ll immediately see why it costs what it does.

          • Devin April 2, 2015, 9:31 pm

            So I FINALLY got the refund back for the DHS bar…. it was like pulling teeth dealing with them. Seemed like they didn’t want to help me at all. I got the impression I was just a big burden on them. After at least a week of them saying they’d get me a return shipping label and it not happening, I paid the $100 to ship the bar and collars to them. A few days after they received them, had to email what was going on and they said they’d send the refund. So over a month of dealing with this. Has to be the worst customer service I’ve had to deal with. Our Oly coach was about to get a DHS bar too, but not after my experience with them. So they lost out on at least two customers b/c of this. I really feel they treated me like crap.
            On the plus side, based on your review, I bought the American Stainless barbell and LOVE it! As do others at the gym. Anyone who has touched it has said it’s one of the best feeling bars.
            Just wanted to give you an update and say thanks for doing these reviews!

            • jburgeson April 2, 2015, 9:42 pm

              That really sucks about the DHS, and Dynamic. I think I mentioned before that it took like four emails over the course of six months to get a response from them, and that was still the last time I heard anything. You’d think they’d want me to have nice things to say about them, but nah not really lol. At least in the end you got a bar you love. Definitely doesn’t sound like a fun quest to get there, but you got there (dealing with bad customer service pisses me off to no end, believe me.)

  • Peter March 17, 2015, 9:30 pm

    I just received the Klokov barbell and noticed inconsistencies in the knurling. Specifically, the center knurl is pretty aggressive, but the area where I grip for a deadlift or clean up to the first marking is very smooth & passive. After the first marking until the sleeve, the knurling gets aggressive again similar to the center knurl. I wasn’t sure if this is intentional, but it surely doesn’t sound like what Klokov was mentioning in his video about the center knurl being more passive. Have you noticed this too?

    • jburgeson March 17, 2015, 9:51 pm

      Mine isn’t like that, and that’s not how it’s supposed to be. I’ve been hearing more and more complaints lately about the knurl, as if each batch has it’s own set of new issues. I just two days ago noticed that mine is absolutely covered in rust, and it’s not been exposed to any harsh elements or anything like that. I’m sure they will replace it for you if you wanted, or if you just want something else I can’t imagine them not taking it back entirely. It’s starting to sound like they have no Quality Control where ever they are making these things.

      • Peter March 21, 2015, 8:50 pm

        That’s interesting…I was told by Again Faster that it was supposed to be designed this way…I will contact them again. Do you mind describing how your bar’s knurling is?

        My question to them via email:
        “Hello Denis,

        Thank you for that explanation. Just to verify, is there supposed to be a difference in the aggressiveness in the knurling between the first marking up to the sleeve (snatch grip area) and the outside knurling (clean grip area)? What you said makes sense about having a less aggressive knurl for not tearing up your hands for the clean grip, but it doesn’t apply to the snatch grip area. On the other hand, I could also see why the snatch grip area has a more aggressive knurl – to make sure you have a good grip since it is harder to achieve that relative to the clean grip.

        All in all, I wanted to make sure I got the bar the way it was supposed to be designed. If it was supposed to have the different knurling on the outside knurling, I’ll be fine with holding onto it. All other aspects of the bar are great.

        Thank you,
        Peter”

        Their response:
        “Peter, thank you for responding by so quickly. You will like the bar, I promise you. I didn’t like it at first, since I’m so used to doing oly lifts at CF gyms. The knurling the center (soft or rough) is never comfortable at first specially since we lift some big weight haha! but over time just like our hands getting more rough, our collar bones will adjust and our skin as well. The snatch grip knurling is design that way. I hope you enjoy the bar and please let us know down the road how it turned out working for you.

        Best,”

        • jburgeson March 21, 2015, 9:30 pm

          Alright I took a closer look at the bar just to make sure I wasn’t giving you bad information. I also read the original question twice to make sure I wasn’t reading it backwards, because after looking at it again more closely I did notice some minor inconsistencies, but they are the opposite as you describe.

          The inner knurl (the clean area) is more aggressive on mine, and the outer knurl (snatch area) is softer and more consistent with the center knurl. The differences are extremely subtle though, and I probably would not have every noticed had you not asked this question. Actually considering I don’t ever use this bar, I definitely would not have ever noticed.

          If they say this is deliberate, I’m wondering why they don’t mention it somewhere. And if it is deliberate, why is it the opposite on our bars? It’s weird either way though; I don’t have any other bars that have alternating knurl patterns (aside from passive centers). Also, I suppose it doesn’t matter if it’s intentional or not, because that’s how it is. If you are okay with it, keep it. If you hate the different knurls, I’d send it back. It’s certainly an odd “feature”.

          Maybe someone else with this bar will chime in and see if there is any kind of norm… I have heard that AF has made changes to pretty much every batch, and mine happens to be from the original batch so who knows what has changed. Turns out the original couple batches also rust like crazy, so hopefully that’s been addressed too. Mine is looking pretty shitty this last month or so; definitely not hard chrome on it.

          • Peter March 21, 2015, 10:30 pm

            Thanks for the response. I’ve been trying to find owners of the bar to get their feedback because I don’t want to cause commotion for no reason, but I can’t seem to find anybody else. I contacted Again Faster again with pictures, so we’ll see how they respond.

            The rusting of the bar is worrisome too. I definitely chose this bar due to its chrome finish, which is supposed to require the least maintenance, but if you’re seeing rusting already, then I’d absolutely not want to keep the bar.

            Your website is excellent and I browsed a ton through your reviews. Thanks again for all your help!!

            • jburgeson March 21, 2015, 11:57 pm

              Well I know that they’ve been notified of the rust issue. I didn’t report it myself because at the time, mine hadn’t rusted yet. I just noticed it recently, but it was already out of control by the time I noticed.

              Joel at AMRAP has reviewed the Klokov as well, and I know it’s gone through a few revisions just as my review has. Have you seen that one? He paints things in a pretty positive light even when things aren’t great, but it’s not too hard to read between the lines. He also had rust issues, but I’m not sure if he addressed it in the review.

              Anyway, I hope you get it all settled to your liking, and I appreciate the kind words. Let me know if they say anything interesting about it =p

              • Alex August 19, 2015, 2:49 pm

                I realize this is an old post, but I figured I’d chime in. My wife bought me a Klokov for my birthday about 6 months ago. Back then the weather was mild, the box wasn’t very hot, and the grip felt ok. Fast forward to summer heat, a non air-conditioned box, a good bit of sweating, and the grip is a real problem.

                I truly feel that my knurling is not correct. The center knurling is quite aggressive. If you catch yourself in the throat with a clean, you can feel it. The clean knurling is a little less aggressive to the point that once my hands start sweating I have difficulty holding the bar.

                The snatch knurling is not good at all. Often when I catch a snatch, my hands will slip and slide out to the sleeves. I don’t have particularly long arms either, so my hands sliding is not good. Bottom-line, I have zero confidence snatching with this bar!!!

                I contacted AF and they considered this a “willful return” as well. I paid $70(!!!!) to return the bar and the rep Denis has agreed to refund the purchase price. I guess I got to use the bar for 5 months, but losing out on $70 sucks.

                Long-story short, I’m going to use that refund money and buy a better bar. At this point is sounds like the Rogue WL bar or Eleiko XF bar might fit my needs. I mostly do Oly-type lifting/strength-training with WODs afterwards 3-4 days a week. I’m fine with using a basic bar for WODs if necessary to keep from messing up a nicer bar. I’m honestly leaning Eleiko because of the name, but would appreciate some feedback. I’m looking to purchase ASAP!

                • Andrew August 19, 2015, 3:31 pm

                  I would strongly consider American Barbell as well. Check out their stainless steel Wod Bar if you want bushing, or one of their bearing bars for more oly lifting. Rogue or Eleiko are pretty awesome too and can’t go wrong. But I figured one more option wouldn’t hurt to check out

                  • Alex August 19, 2015, 3:48 pm

                    Thanks for the extra suggestion. I tend to over-analyze everything so this decision is driving me a little crazy. I want a nice bar, but I also don’t want to worry about babying one. I would hope that the Eleiko XF bar would be ok to place in a rack for squats, deadlift with, etc. as it’s a hybrid. A true Olympic bar like the Rogue Oly bar might not stand up to that as well? I’d only have to pay about $200 more to get the Eleiko XF once I get the refund from the Klokov. The XF bar seems to have a 20 kg bar that is black lacquered vs. a 45# bar that is chrome. I’d probably lean towards the chrome for the same money.

                • jburgeson August 19, 2015, 3:40 pm

                  The more time that goes by, the more negative feedback I get on the K. The knurl and finish are the two big ones. Inconsistent knurling all over the bar, and rust. I’m glad you got at least a partial refund; it’s better than being stuck with a bar you don’t like. I guess you can consider it a lease or something lol.

                  The XF was basically designed for what you describe as your workout, and would be perfect if you’re willing to spend that much. You’re not going to ruin it either. The Rogue Oly bars are good too, but they wouldn’t be my favorite for non-Oly lifting. But if you have a beater for that, then yeah it would be a good choice.

                  As I’m writing this, Andrew just suggested American Barbell. They’re a good option, but the SS WOD is a 28.5 mm bar, and the spin is mediocre for a bushing bar; wouldn’t be my first choice for serious Olympic training. Fantastic bar for the WODS, but not a serious Oly bar. Having said that, ABs Pro bearing bars are solid; very reliable spin at any weight. All the SS bars do have amazing grips though; can’t argue with that.

                  • Alex August 19, 2015, 3:58 pm

                    Thanks, this response was posted as I was responding to Andrew. I was also offered a 20% refund on the bar for keeping it, but declined. In retrospect I’m sure I could have sold it locally for $200 or so and came out the same. The spin on the bar was great for what I’m used to (AF Team Barbells were our newest all-around bars) and I never had rust issues. Granted, I wiped the thing off daily. What I found somewhat ridiculous was the AF rep had me spray the bar with windex to remove the “coating” it had in the warehouse before shipment. As I had used the bar for many days and wiped the bar countless times, I thought this was dumb, but I obliged. Of course, this changed nothing.

                    It truly sounds like the Eleiko XF might be a great all-around bar that I’m willing to pay $200 extra for if it’s “worth it”. I keep my bar to the side so I’m the only one who uses it at our box. Sadly, there are few reviews of this bar, so it’s somewhat of a leap of faith. Since I mailed the Klokov in I had to use one of our team barbells for high-hang cleans today, and now my freaking wrist hurts. At least the Klokov had spin…

                    Bumperplates.com seems to have the best price on the Eleikos. Are they a reputable company? Their site looks a little fly-by-night, but I really only see them for sale from them and Eleiko Sport, with ES costing $70 more or so. I need to save that $70 for mailing in the dang Klokov lol.

                    • jburgeson August 19, 2015, 4:12 pm

                      The XF is the same bar as the other Eleikos, only they went with the bushing/bearing combo instead of strictly bearings. Still the same 215k PSI shaft, same whip, same finish (the chrome), etc. Knurl is semi-aggressive (for Eleiko, which means it’s still sharper than Rogue/AB/etc) but it’s definitely toned down for the reps. It’s going to feel like daggers compared to that Team though.. that bar is almost not even knurled IMO. Also, it’s their newest bar, and it’s a bit expensive for most CrossFitters (its target audience) so you don’t see many of them, at least stateside. Now that I’ve finished the Euro review, I’ll be starting the XF so they’ll be at least one more review out there.

                      I’ve never dealt with bumperplates, but I’ve never heard anything bad. The only thing I might ask them before I pulled the trigger is how they handle warranty claims. Do they just push you over the Eleiko, or do they handle replacements themselves. It’s a bar that’s warranted for life, so warranty questions are extremely valid. Yes, their site looks very 1999 haha.

                    • jburgeson August 19, 2015, 4:20 pm

                      As far as the black shafts, either they’re just blowing through inventory, or they changed their mind. I was told that they hated the black and didn’t want to offer it anymore, but that was US Eleiko, and it’s Eleiko HQ over in Sweden that gets to ultimately decide I’d imagine. Personally I’d never buy a zinc or powder coat over chrome so it’s like a non-issue to me whether they ditch it or not =p

                  • Alex August 19, 2015, 4:05 pm

                    Did you ever get around to a review on the Eleiko XF bar? I was reading your Olympic bar review, which originally led me over here. On that page, you said you had ordered one and a review would be forthcoming. If you don’t have a review, what are your impressions?

                    You also mentioned that Eleiko had ditched the black shaft. Maybe it’s just old stock, but the black-shaft XFs are still listed on their site. The only chrome XF bar is 45#, not 20 kg that I can find.

                    • Alex August 19, 2015, 5:04 pm

                      Ok, I’d be really interested in your review of the bar. I’m pretty sure the XF bar only has a 3-year warranty. I’d sure hope it lasts longer than that, but that’s all I can find on bumperplates.com. I can’t find the warranty length on the Eleiko Sport site.

                      It’s funny that you say the Team Barbell has no knurling. Today when I did my hang cleans, I used the Team Barbell. I basically had to use no chalk, while my hands would have been slipping on the Klokov. In my case, the Team Barbell is more aggressive than the Klokov. My only real concern would be getting into the same situation with the XF since they describe the knurling as “soft”. I suppose that is a relative term lol. I think the Klokov knurling is just so inconsistent it’s hard to make a blanket statement about it.

                      Another knock on the Klokov was one of my end caps would start to back out and rattle. I was instructed to use LocTite on it, which I did. This was still an unacceptable answer to me. Why in the heck would the end cap back out?

                      If you have any other reviews of the XF bar handy that you could link, I’d appreciate it. I’m leery of reading any reviews on sites that sell products. All the Klokov reviews are great on the AF website. My guess is the negative ones never passed moderation.

                    • jburgeson August 19, 2015, 5:25 pm

                      Goodness you’re right. Eleiko has the limited warranties. That’s odd too; they’re the only company you hear people saying “I have a 20-year old Eleiko that still spins and is straight as an arrow.” Yet the companies that have bent bars all over town have lifetime warranties. I don’t know what to say about that Team. Mine is awful. I’ve heard good things from some people, but I’ve also heard similar complaints as I have. I’ve also heard that bar bends (bends, not whip) as easy as a clothes hanger. AF has yet to impress me in any way, and you’re not the first person whose mentioned the silly things AF suggests to customers in order to “fix” their busted bars. Glue this, oil that. You can probably find some of that in these comments.

                      Eleiko knurl is not soft. So yes, very relative. Soft compared to the comp bar, sure, but that’s a damn cheese grater. I like aggressive knurl myself, and it doesn’t bother me in the least, but I can still identify what’s sharp and what’s soft.

                      I really don’t have any suggested reading for the XF. I’ve had a few people in Europe (Germany, Sweden and the UK I believe) email me after I did the XF bumper review and tell me that they had the full set and loved both the bar and the bumpers. I’m the only person I know IRL that owns the XF, and I think it’s a poor seller here in the states because like I said, it’s not competitively priced with your normal CrossFit gear. There’s probably 100 Rogue Bar 2.0s for every one Eleiko out there in the CrossFit world, and I’m probably being optimistic about the one. Most weightlifters go straight for the Sport Trainer or regular Trainer if they go with Eleiko. If you have any specific questions about the bar I’d be happy to answer them.

                    • Alex August 19, 2015, 5:56 pm

                      I’m not too hung-up on warranties honestly. AF offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee with a lifetime warranty but makes you pay for shipping on something that is most likely defective, so warranties are usually just feel-good stuff that never gets used. A 3-year warranty that is never needed is just as good as a lifetime warranty. To your point many probably buy the cheaper bars because with the warranty, how could you lose, right? Wrong.

                      I’m not sure what type of training you do, but I’d suspect it’s similar to mine with a good bit of strength training and Oly lifting with WODs several days a week. As there is limited info out there I’m just interested if this thing is truly a cut above. This will by no means be a beater bar, but as I mentioned earlier I’d like to be able to put it in a rack for squats, use it for deadlifts (nothing crazy, 500# max) and not feel like I’m doing something awful to a nice bar. If we’re doing something that is just abusive, I’ll break out one of the team barbells, but I’d like to use it as my everything bar ideally.

                      I know a review is forthcoming, but I’m really interested in how much you’ve used it, impressions vs. your standard Crossfit bar, how well it has held up (spin, etc.), is it “worth it”, and would another bar maybe be better for my purpose? I’m a little confused why it’s not bigger in the Crossfit world as the chrome Rogue Oly bar is actually more than the XF bar. I guess the purposes are slightly different, but I’m sure anyone who buys a Rogue Oly bar is also going to be using it for WODs. Thanks for all the responses!

                    • jburgeson August 19, 2015, 7:10 pm

                      I’m gonna fiddle with the XF tonight and pay attention to a lot of what we’re talking about so I can give you fresh answers rather than basing things off memory. I switch through bars a lot, as you can imagine, and I just spent over 30 days messing with that Euro exclusively.

                      Also, Rogue absolutely dominates US CrossFit related sales. There’s just no two ways about that. Even if Eleiko squeezes into the CF market in a bigger way, their sales will still be nothing by comparison. Look at pictures of CrossFit in Europe and you’ll see a lot more Eleiko bars and plates. The chrome Rogue Oly is a nice bar too, and has better knurling than most of the other Rogue bars (to me, that is.) Probably not a bar I’d want to deadlift 500 pounds with though; not that you couldn’t.

                    • jburgeson August 19, 2015, 7:11 pm

                      Oh and it didn’t help that Eleiko got distracted by GRID, and then rather than using the XF for that, opted to go with the Sport Trainer. Well they call it a GRID Trainer, but it’s just a Sport Trainer by a different name. That was their chance to push the XF but they passed on it it seems.

                    • Alex August 19, 2015, 7:30 pm

                      Yeah, it’s probably hard to remember exactly what every bar feels like by memory. That is weird that Eleiko wouldn’t use the XF for the grid. That is somewhat concerning to me, but maybe it means nothing? From what I’ve gathered, needle bearings just aren’t meant for the repeated drops. As an example, today I did a 5×5 of high-hang cleans from low blocks, 5×5 jerks from high blocks, and 5×5 front squats from the rack. I also did a WOD, but it didn’t require a barbell. The high-hangs were dropping on Pendlay metal blocks (thin rubber coating and loud!), and the jerks were dropping on traditional wood jerk blocks. That’s kind of a typical day, but normally the bar would be used in a WOD also. That’s the kind of abuse I want a bar to take, while still maintaining great spin, with decent enough knurling to withstand sweat.

                      I’ll be interested to hear your thoughts after you tinker with the bar some more.

                    • Alex August 20, 2015, 1:19 pm

                      I think I might be down to the XF vs. the Sport Training at this point. The Sport Training has a 10-year warranty and it only about $100 more than the XF. Hmm… I’ll be interested in your thoughts if you tinkered with the XF any more. This is a frustrating process as the reviews are lacking and you can’t really try before you buy.

                    • jburgeson August 20, 2015, 1:38 pm

                      I did some, yes. I was also planning on using it today. Do you care one way or the other about the bushings in the XF vs having strictly a bearing bar? I know there is the “durability” argument about bushings for WODs, and there is the rare nuisance of bearing bars randomly spinning when being used for traditional static lifts, but do either of these matter to you?

                      The XF spins well, but more like a high-end bushing bar than a standard Eleiko bearing bar, and that’s to be expected. Also there is the dual marks on the XF, but I can’t imagine anyone would base a purchase on the presence of power marks being on a bar, even if they do bench with it. If the Sport has a 10-year warranty vs the XF 3-year, in the extremely unlikely case that a bearing breaks because of WOD abuse, there are 10 years for that to happen and still get it fixed. With the Sport, you have the ideal bar for your Olympic lifts (and WODs), and a completely acceptable bar for everything else. Keep in mind, the more you try to favor your strength training with your bar, the less you’ll like the bar for Olympic lifts I think.

                      The other side of this is that most people don’t want to use Olympic 28 mm bars for deadlifts and presses, but if you’re going to anyway, who makes an Olympic bar any stronger than Eleiko? Probably no one. So if you’re gonna do it, do it with an Eleiko. Or, get a beater for your static lifts; at least your Oly bar is as good as they get.

                      Oddly enough, you had what could have been the ideal multi-purpose bar with that Klokov. Unfortunately, it’s riddled with issues so in reality its useless, but I say it could have been ideal because the Klokov actually carried over into strength training pretty well. It whipped at high weights like it should, but stayed pretty damn rigid when not being used explosively. Most 28 mm bars tend to bounce around a bit when loaded up and used for static lifts. The Klokov was better about that. But yeah, I mean that isn’t enough reason to own one sadly.

                    • Alex August 20, 2015, 2:06 pm

                      The only real reason I thought the XF might be better was because of the bushings and I had in my mind that doing a Grace type-workout (30 C&J @ 135#) where I’m dropping the weight from overhead might be too much abuse for a bearing bar, even though the weight is light.

                      I couldn’t care one way or another about the dual markings. I honestly don’t know what they are for. I use them as a reference point, but that is it. My arms aren’t all that long, so my snatch grip is not wide and my clean grip is about a thumb-length from where the inner knurling starts.

                      I most likely would not bench press with the bar, but would use it for back/front squats, deadlifts, high and low block work, C&J, snatches, push press, etc. I don’t want to be afraid to put it in the rack (of course I wouldn’t leave it there).

                      Why do people not like to use Oly bars for deadlifts? Granted, I DL less than 500# so I don’t know if that affects things.

                      My biggest concern now is the knurling. I’ve read that Eleiko’s are wildly inconsistent. I hated the Klokov because it had very little knurling, but many complain that the Eleiko’s (even non-comp) eat up their hands.

                      You make a great point about the Klokov. It appeared to be the “perfect” bar for me with cheap cost and great overall utility. Unfortunately, it’s just not there yet. I’m to the point where I’d rather pony up the money for something I’ll never have to buy again. I spend 10 hours a week in the gym, so in the scheme of things the cost is cheap.

                      If it means anything to this discussion, my PRs are 237# snatch, 260# (c&j), 460# dl, 455# back squat, 330# front squat, 302# clean, 320# bench. We also just have normal rubber bumper plates (10-55#) with metal change plates from 1/4#-5#. I certainly won’t be using high-end Eleiko bumpers on the thing, so I don’t know that using cheap 2.5# metal plates is taboo on such a nice bar.

                    • jburgeson August 20, 2015, 4:28 pm

                      I forgot until I went out there today and actually lifted that the XF has no center knurl. Not sure if that changes your opinion on the XF vs the Sport.

                      It sounds like you should definitely own a nice Olympic bar. Your clean and snatch numbers warrant something better than a beater, especially since those number should only go up. You can deadlift and squat with an Olympic bar for sure, I just mentioned that some people prefer not to because of the bounce you get in the bar at high weights. That bar doesn’t turn off its whip just because you want to deadlift.

                      A lot of people I talk to will have something specialized for Olympic lifting like an Eleiko, Rogue Oly, etc… and something like an Ohio Power Bar, Chan, or even an Amazon beater for benching and squatting. It’s just preference. You can rack any bar you want so long as you do like I mentioned earlier; use plastic lined J-cups to protect your knurl, and unrack the plates when you’re done.

                      As far as the bearing vs bushing thing for WODs, I’m really not worried about bearings breaking; especially in an Eleiko. I’d argue that dropping a 140-kg bar 50 times in a day per athlete during WL training is a hell of a lot worse for a bar than you dropping 135 during your Grace. I blame AF for the notion that a bearing bar is fragile and needs bushings to protect the bearings. If you think about it, that doesn’t even make sense. If the bearing contributes at all to the sleeves rotation, that means it’s in full contact with both the sleeve and the shaft. So if compression from a load is going to pop a bearing, how is the bushing going to stop that? Yeah, maybe with AF’s budget bearings it’s a concern, but the radial loads that a half-decent roller/needle bearing can handle is pretty intense. Eleiko bearings are better than half decent too; watch that video of the Barbell Shrugged guys visiting the Eleiko facility. At one point the CEO shares the load capacity of their bearings, and I don’t remember what it was but I remember being impressed.

                      Oh, and IPF power marks do nothing more than indicate legal bench press position. Really, like you said, they’re just a reference point when put on Oly/CF bars. I personally won’t use metal plates, but if you have been and you haven’t noticed your bar getting torn up, then by all means continue. You’ll probably buy something nice, get your first scratch, then replace them lol.

                    • Alex August 20, 2015, 5:27 pm

                      That’s really good info. All of my lifting is done at a Crossfit box, and our plates aren’t that great. The bumpers I prefer are the Pendlay HD ones because they have much less bounce than our others, which are VTX. We have Rogue fractional plates in 0.25#, 0.5#, 0.75#, and 1# and no-name 2.5# and 5# metal plates you could pick up at an sporting goods store. The Rogue fractional plates are metal. I did notice some discoloration of the collar on the Klokov from sliding plates on and off, but I assume this is normal wear. Do you have any suggestions on what would be better than the Rogue fractional and no-name 2.5# and 5# that aren’t metal? Most everywhere I look those smaller weights are metal. I was pretty much set on getting one of the nicer bars, and now I’m concerned about the metal plates!

                      Point well taken on these sport training bars being used by people much stronger than I that will take much more abuse than I could ever dish out. I never noticed any flex in the bar with the Klokov when doing back squats or deadlifts. If the Eleiko happened to do it, I don’t think I’d really notice, or care if it did.

                      Center knurling doesn’t really matter one way or the other honestly. All the bars in our box are AF team barbells, which honestly were an upgrade over the no-name bars we had before. I never had center knurling until the Klokov. I’ve never noticed it helping much on back squats, but I have noticed abrasions if I happened to pull a clean into my throat! As you can see, I’m a paralysis by analysis kind of guy. For only about $100 more it seems the Sport Trainer would be the way to go to get a true bearing bar. The chrome is the same on the XF or Sport Trainer so my concerns about metal plates would be the same on either, as it would be on a chromed Chan, Rogue Oly, etc.

                      Before we get finished with this conversation I’ll probably talk myself into the Eleiko competition bar, lol as it’s “only” $300 more than Sport Trainer.

                    • jburgeson August 20, 2015, 5:56 pm

                      I’ve got a post on change plate variety with stuff like features, accuracy, pricing, and so forth. Should be under “Recent Guides” in the right column of every page. Vulcan is the most affordable for rubber change plates, Rogue’s are un-certified versions of Eleiko change plates; both are rubber coated. You probably won’t find any non-metal plates in stores, would have to be online. American Barbell has some too, but I didn’t have any so I didn’t include them in that post. I’m sure they’re just as good as any of them, though they’re not the cheapest.

                      The center knurl on the Eleiko is more passive than that cheese grater on the Klokov; that was probably the worst bar to have in terms of getting a center knurl for the first time.

                      I’ll save you some money… you will not want to WOD with an Eleiko Comp bar. Knurl gets progressively more aggressive as you move up through their Olympic bars XF > Sport > Trainer > Comp. The comp is meant for one pull at a time, not 15. That’d be some hardcore WOD’ing.

                    • Alex August 20, 2015, 6:52 pm

                      Yeah, I was really joking about getting an Eleiko competition bar. I was just thinking how I’ve pretty much talked myself into going from a $320 Klokov to an Eleiko Sport Trainer that is well over double the price, so the competition isn’t really much of a stretch.

                      Great article on the change plates! The Vulcans for $50 look like the way to go to have at least one set guaranteed to not jack up the bar. I see that you generally don’t recommend the fractionals, but 5# can be a big jump. Would you have concern about the Rogue fractionals causing damage to the bar? Worse case I just don’t use them. We’re often doing lifts at a certain %, so we’ll use the fractionals instead of rounding to the nearest 5#.

                      Also, should Pendlay, VTX, and Again Faster bumpers be fine to use without damage? They’re basic bumpers, but shouldn’t cause damage I wouldn’t think. I’ve got some OSO collars, so I should be good there as well.

                      I did watch some of the Barbell Shrugged episode with the Eleiko factory visit. Wow, their CEO is young! They appear to be a great company. One thing that really impressed me is they don’t recommend any maintenance to the sleeves! AF put out a video the other day showing a care guide that included spraying lubricant up the sleeves periodically. I liked it when the CEO said, they should “just work”. I can’t thank you enough for all the info by the way!!!

                    • jburgeson August 20, 2015, 7:23 pm

                      Fractionals don’t weight anything significant, they won’t hurt the bar so long as you don’t drag them on and off the bar. So what ruins the bar is the sharp edges on the crappy steel plates. Bumpers have that rounded, stainless insert which is why they aren’t a concern. It’s not the metal so much as the shape and freedom to move around that junky change plates have.

                      I emailed that dude once, and he replied having read and responded to the whole mail. Wasn’t passed on to anybody, wasn’t just like a one sentence reply or anything. Really nice guy. His brother runs Eleiko US, and he’s supposed to be just as nice of a guy. Pretty solid group of people. lol AF.

                • Devin August 20, 2015, 11:46 pm

                  Alex… sounds like you’re pretty set on the Eleiko (And I don’t blame you), but I wanted to let you know my 2 cents… maybe 1.5 cents. Thanks to the reviews here, after my debacle with DHS, I bought the AB SS bearing bar. Yes, it’s pricey… around 800 I think, but so very much worth it. It’s not only a gorgeous bar, but man is the grip incredible. I have a more secure grip on that, with no chalk or hook grip, than I do on an Eleiko comp bar with chalk and hook grip. Something about the feeling of bare steel. Anyone I’ve let use my bar (it’s a short list) has absolutely loved the feel in their hands. The knurling is pretty mellow compared to Eleiko, but so much more secure. I tend to lift marathon sessions… I’m lifting 4-7 days a week 1.5-4 hours a day, more with 2-a-days. I’ve never had a time when my bar felt uncomfortable, or my hands felt too destroyed to continue. Yet, never felt like the bar was going to slip. I tend to not use hook grip (I’ve broken both my hands and it seems to aggravate it) and, not once has this bar even pretended to slip out of my hands. Basically the only reason I would ever buy a different bar would be if I wanted to get a certified bar. I don’t foresee that happening, and plan to lift on this one (as Squints from Sandlot would say) for….e…ver…..

                  • jburgeson August 21, 2015, 12:07 am

                    You know I still remember your DHS experience every time the name comes up here or in a conversation. How embarrassing for them lol.

                    I don’t know why I haven’t brought up the SS with Alex here. Good catch. Hell I shoulda thought of it; I have the thing out all the time, and even in the last couple days I’ve been doing side-by-side stuff with their little SS WOD bar, making sure they’re the same and all that. I’m asleep at the wheel.

                  • Alex August 21, 2015, 5:39 am

                    Thanks for the extra suggestion. As I mentioned before, what stinks about this entire experience is not having the ability to try any of these before I buy. I haven’t really checked into AB, but it appears their $800 SS bar is certified?

                    http://americanbarbell.com/products/american-barbell-competition-bearing-bar

                    I certainly want something with a great grip. I have mostly talked myself into making the jump from $320 to $630-ish (bumperplates.com), but I don’t know that I could make the jump to $800 for the AB model. I’ll also need to buy some rubber change plates, which adds to the overall cost of this thing.

                    • Devin August 21, 2015, 9:18 am

                      It is not certified… It’s built to IWF specifications, though doesn’t have the fancy sticker that bumps up the price.

                    • jburgeson August 21, 2015, 10:28 am

                      Poor Klokov Bar. All these comments, and they are about other bars.

                    • Alex August 21, 2015, 10:47 am

                      Perhaps the least important factor to me is how exact a barbell or plate is to the weight it should be. If it’s close to the specified weight, I’m good. Since I haven’t been talking about the Klokov, interestingly enough the FedEx guy put the barbell on his scale for shipping and measured it at 46#. I didn’t feel like arguing with him, but a 20kg bar should be 44#. 2# is a pretty big margin of error if the Klokov indeed weighed that. I’ve heard that my bar might be in “QC hold” before I get my refund. Blah…

                      After doing some DLs today I might actually start looking into a power bar. This site is going to cost me some money lol.

                    • jburgeson August 21, 2015, 10:58 am

                      haha nope, that’s on you. I present the information so informed decisions can be made. I’ve got posts that show off the affordable stuff too. It’s not my fault no one cares about that stuff lol.

                    • Alex August 21, 2015, 11:10 am

                      It looks like the Ohio Power Bar with the Eleiko Sport Training bar might be a sweet combo? I was trying to do some research on the Capps TPB, but the Amazon link in the power-bar section no longer works.

                    • Alex August 21, 2015, 3:52 pm

                      Good grief, now maybe I think I should just save a bunch of money and buy a Chan as an all-around?

                    • jburgeson August 21, 2015, 4:36 pm

                      lol yeah, pretty popular bar.

                    • Alex August 22, 2015, 10:52 am

                      After much back and forth, I placed my order for the Eleiko Sport Trainer today and I also ordered some of the Vulcan 2.5 and 5 pounders. Looking forward to it!

                    • jburgeson August 22, 2015, 11:08 am

                      Yeah that certainly sounds like an order I’d be excited about receiving!

                    • Alex August 22, 2015, 11:40 am

                      I went real crazy actually and placed an order for the women’s XF bar for my wife as well. She’s been wanting her own bar. Surprise!

                    • jburgeson August 22, 2015, 3:27 pm

                      lol that’s solid. Was this from bp.com? If so, let me know how that experience goes if you remember.

                    • Alex August 22, 2015, 3:57 pm

                      Hey there, yes it was from bp.com. I’ll let you know how it goes. In my typical wishy-washy thinking, I’m considering changing the XF to the Sport Trainer for my wife as well.

                      I was reading your review on the AB SS WOD bar, and I actually bought that as well. Therefore, I’ll have the Sport Trainer for more of the Olympic movements and the AB SS WOD bar for WODs and as a “beater” bar. I’m officially tapped out now! :)

                    • jburgeson August 22, 2015, 5:08 pm

                      I think you’re officially set. So do you leave these at your gym or are they mostly for home? I get confused after so long cause of all the different comments and emails. I lose track! I was gonna say I hope you have a truck if you take them to and fro.

                    • Alex August 22, 2015, 5:29 pm

                      I leave them at our Crossfit box. We don’t have a ton of members and we keep “special” bars on top of the jerk blocks so people know they’re not community. That AB SS sounds like it will be sweet and something I won’t have to worry as much about beating up.

                      I normally do a separate strength routine with the owner (female) of our box. It’s oly focused. Part of the reason for me considering the sport trainer over the xf for my wife is so the owner and my wife can share the bar. The owner normally uses a guy bar but a smaller diameter bar might help her lifts potentially.

                    • Alex August 24, 2015, 5:07 pm

                      I was contacted by bumperplates.com today and was told they are basically a middle-man for Eleiko and have orders drop shipped from them. I’m hoping for quick delivery, but they’ve been responsive so far.

                    • jburgeson August 24, 2015, 5:25 pm

                      I hope someone is around at Eleiko this week lol. They all went to Sweden I heard. I guess the wouldn’t take the warehouse guy though, right? haha

                    • Alex August 24, 2015, 5:52 pm

                      I hope not! :) The American Barbell Stainless WOD bar would appease me for now. Though I haven’t heard anything from them yet.

                    • Alex August 26, 2015, 3:53 pm

                      As an update, AF checked out my bar and according to them my bar had “knurling that was almost non-existent”. They’re giving me a refund for the bar, and gave me credit for the shipping I paid. I asked for the shipping credit, and they obliged. Ideally they would have given me a shipping label to begin with and taken my word for it that the bar was not right, but whatever. I now know for sure that I’m not crazy and the knurling was never right to begin with. When you’re not used to what a high dollar bar is supposed to feel like, you eventually just think it’s you.

                      Generally speaking I’ve had good luck with AF products, but I’d rather they raise the price of the Klokov to $400, or even $450 and make it what it’s really supposed to be. People will pay good money for a solid product that lasts. Maybe they’ll get this bar sorted out eventually, but for anyone looking, I’d pass for now.

  • Peter March 23, 2015, 4:36 pm

    Looks like they are standing behind the claim that the bar I received is the way it is truly designed. I asked for a refund, and they said now that I’ve used it once and it is considered a “willful” return, the team will have to consider whether a full refund can be issued. I also have to pay for return shipping, which is ridiculous considering this has manufacturing issues written all over it. I’m done with Again Faster period. I’m not sure if I’m going to return the bar anymore since shipping costs are high. I should have gone with the Vaughn bar…

    • jburgeson March 23, 2015, 5:18 pm

      That’s a pretty lame position for them to have taken. I’m surprised, but also not at the same time. Even if they decide to give the refund, you still pay for shipping back?

      As another option, you could probably get 90% of the cost of that bar if you sold it to someone else since it’s brand new. Wouldn’t be a total loss that way, especially if you got free shipping to you. I’ve had a couple people offer to buy mine.

      • Peter April 5, 2015, 11:38 pm

        Well, I spoke with them again and they said they’d give me a full refund and gave me a shipping label. I think after reading Joel’s review as you suggested earlier, this is what got me to realize this was a manufacturing issue: “While the center knurl is not as pronounced as the outside knurl, it’s still enough to provide a bit more grip while in your rack position, but also irritate your neck after repeated cleans.” I had the exact opposite problem, so I hope they can resolve it for future customers. I’ll let you know how the process goes!

        • jburgeson April 6, 2015, 12:32 am

          I’m glad theyre giving you your money back.

          I’ve been working on a review for the Team, and I think this is something they just do with every bar they make because the Team also has two different knurl patters. Probably would have three if it had a center knurl. I really don’t get it. If they’re gonna do it, they should probably disclose it and justify the reasoning so that people can decide if they’re okay with that. It’s not like it’s something people should expect or even suspect.

          Do you know what you’ll get instead?

          • Peter April 9, 2015, 9:43 pm

            I’ve been eyeing the Rogue Olympic WL bar or the 28mm Training Bar. The Rogue Olympic WL bar is a huge jump in price, but it just seems like such a nice bar. I also know that I definitely want a more aggressive knurl than the Klokov bar, which was basically non-existent…and the Rogue bar seems to have that!

            Have you dealt with their 28mm training bar? I’m really interested in that too since the price point is similar to the Klokov and the shaft is the same as the Olympic WL bar. I’m just concerned about the spin and I’ve actually never touched a Rogue bar ever. Actually, now that I think about it, I’ve never got my hands on a decent bar at all…my experience has been mainly with shitty bars with very aggressive knurling at LA Fitness or 24 hour fitness…

            • jburgeson April 9, 2015, 11:12 pm

              Peter I’ve never actually touched the training bar. I do know that what you say about the shaft being that of the Oly is correct, and I’ve also heard that the sleeves are just Ohio sleeves. The whole Ohio/Chan line spins very well; you’ll be able to get pretty far with the trainer, and it’ll definitely feel amazing if you’re used to junky bars. Having said that, there is a chance that you’ll still spring for a bearing bar some day (maybe soon, maybe later), whereas if you had the bearing Oly, it may be the last bar you buy for a very, very long time. If you’re fine with a trainer for now and a bearing bar later, then there is nothing wrong with that. If you technically could afford the Oly now, it might be worth it to get a bar that wouldn’t need replacing.

              • Peter April 26, 2015, 12:01 pm

                Got my full refund back! As nice as the bar sounded, I don’t regret returning the bar at all. I may wait for the Crossfit Games to finish to buy a used Rogue Oly bar, but I have no clue how much they discount the stuff…Anyways, thanks for your review and all your advice. I’ll let you know what bar I end up getting.

                • jburgeson April 26, 2015, 12:11 pm

                  It’s somewhere between 10-20% I believe. I can’t recall which finish they used though, zinc or chrome. Lot’s of goodies available after the games, that’s for sure. I got the Abrams 2.0 last year.

  • Rico March 28, 2015, 12:55 am

    Hey jburgeson, I’m having a dilemma here. I’m thinking of opening my own gym and I wanted to have seperate bars for oly lifts and for powerlifts. But my question is how good is multi purpose bar like the Klokov or Ohio bar for benching? I know they work fine for oly lifts and squats/deads. I asked because I was benching one time at my gym and the bar spins too much or rather too easily (I don’t know what bar it is or if it’s broken) making my wrist fold and ended up having the bar on my chest (lucky it was my warmup weight). Is it better to have say like 4 Eleiko WL training bar (I reckon there’s not much difference between the training and competition) for oly and 4 Ohio power bar for squat, bench, deads, and military? Or just 8-10 of the multipurpose bar like the Klokov or regular Ohio/Rogue 2.0 bar?

    • jburgeson March 28, 2015, 1:44 am

      In a gym setting, you could have multi-purpose bars like the Ohio for everything. However, going with dedicated Olympic bars and then multi-purpose bars for everything else is a nice feature. You could literally get power bars for the static lifts if you wanted; it would be cheaper that way, which would be nice considering the Olympic bars are considerably more expensive. You could use Ohio bars/Rogue bars as well, at least they could carry over to other lifts. I probably should edit this article because I’m becoming less and less impressed with the Klokov. I’d probably steer clear of that one.

      There is a slight difference between the Eleiko comp and training bars other than the IWF sticker, and that’s the knurl. The training bar is toned down to be a little easier on the hands since the comp is really intended for one lift at a time… one heavy lift. There is also (I’m 99% sure anyway) one less bearing per sleeve on the trainer. Other than that, same bar. Both are amazing.

      Look at the Vulcan Standard for a multi-purpose bar too. Very affordable, very reliable. It’s actually intended to be used in a gym setting, very tight manufacturing tolerances to withstand constant abuse. It’s a no frills bar, but it’ll last. Cant’ go wrong with your idea of the Ohio or Rogue Bar either though. Just something to consider.

      Oh and there might have been a problem with that bar you were benching on. It’s not ideal to bench with bearings, but no bushing bar should spin uncontrollably in a static lift like that. Even a clean or snatch won’t send a bushing bar into a frenzied spin, so a press definitely shouldn’t.

      • Rico March 28, 2015, 1:04 pm

        Thanks for the quick answer. Yeah, I figured it might be too confusing for people to differentiate what bars are for what. Eleiko + multipurpose might be the way to go (maybe Rogue 2.0 or Froning bushing, which as you said is the same as the Ohio right?). I’m considering the Chan bar as well but since I’m a shorter person, my deadlift grip will end up on the smooth portion of the bar. The only thing I don’t like with the rogue multi-purpose bar is that they have no center knurl, which I found really helps on heavier squat.

        I’ll take a look at the Vulcan standard bar. Ah ok, I figured there must be something wrong with the bar. That was the first time ever that I actually dropped a weight on my chest (with a full grip too, none of this false grip).

        • jburgeson March 28, 2015, 6:42 pm

          Almost all of the Rogue bushing bars are Ohio Bar variations. The Chan is the most unique of the bunch. Chan also has center knurl. Very popular bar, but they discontinued chrome; zinc only now. Pretty lame.

  • Michael April 23, 2015, 8:59 pm

    What barbell would you purchase for olympic lifts and squatting with 350 budget?

    • jburgeson April 23, 2015, 11:31 pm

      Can you do $369? Because I’d probably say the Vulcan Elite. If you’re looking for a bearing bar for $350, the Klokov is really the only one. Since you asked what I’d purchase, I’ll tell you that it wouldn’t be the Klokov. I’d take the bushings in the Elite, the Vaughn, or the Rogue Olympic Trainer over the bearings in the Klokov. You putting over 100 kilos on the bar for your clean and jerk?

      • Michael April 24, 2015, 7:56 am

        Your site brought me to Vulcan and I noticed the elite, but didn’t see a review here. I’m not at 100 kilos yet, but I am approaching (84). With that said, is the Vulcan elite the way to go?

        • jburgeson April 24, 2015, 9:19 am

          I’ve actually been lifting on the Elite for about a month now, so I should have a review up soon’ish. I like it, it has some unique features to it. The shaft is chromoly finished in an unpolished zinc, and the sleeves are a super bright chrome. The zinc looks like it’s galvanized, and something about that finish makes the knurl very easy to hold on to. Vulcan calls the knurl aggressive, but I think that’s the wrong word for it because it’s not uncomfortable in the least, just very secure. The Elite also has very impressive tensile/yield rating at 220k/206k thanks to that chromoly shaft (the website has a typo, shows them both at 220k.)

          I was asking about the weight just to see if you should save up for a bearing bar, but it would require a larger budget and I don’t think that it matters yet. I like the Elite more than the Vaughn, but mostly because of the price difference ($50 over your budget instead of $20.) I like the price on the Rogue Oly Training Bar, but the Elite is not all that much more money but it has much better specs.

          The Klokov here is tempting, I know that. You’d like it for squats, it has aggressive center knurling and is rigid like a power bar, but I don’t think you’d like it for Olympic lifting despite those bearings. It’s so stiff, has three different knurl patters from center to clean grip to snatch grip, and the bar rusts like a mofo. You’ll also get no whip out of it at 84 kg. It’s not a $1000 bar for $330 as it’s made out to be, it’s a $200 bar with bearings.

  • Corey Southers May 17, 2015, 6:28 pm

    If you were to choose between this and the Vaughn bar for a garage gym – which would you go with?

    Thanks!

    • jburgeson May 17, 2015, 6:48 pm

      I like the Vaughn way more than the Klokov. Are you down to these two only in the decision making process? Do you intend to use them for Olympic lifting/strength training/CrossFit/all?

  • Andrew August 29, 2015, 10:51 am

    I have 2 klokov bars. One of my klokov bars is absolutely perfect, the center knurl is more passive, the outer knurl is consistent and aggressive, fit and finish is great and the spin is also excellent.

    The other klokov bar, which was the one i was originally shipped, has a bit of inconsistencies in the knurling and the center knurl is the same depth as the rest of the bar. The chrome doesnt look quite as shiny and seems to be wearing in a couple places on the knruling. That, combined with some minor damage to the ends of the bar from shipping, was enough for me to want to return it, even though it is perfectly functional, because I expected a lot more.

    AgainFaster ended up sending me the second one completely free and let me keep the other one too. The second one came with minor damage from shipping on the ends too, but not as bad and like i mentioned before, the rest of the bar was perfect.

    I’ve used both bars every day since December of last year, the first for anything out of the rack, and the second for anything from the floor, and they have been outstanding, and have held up great, though there is a tiny bit of rust forming in small spots on the original bar that I put some 3 in 1 oil on and it takes care of it.

    All that said, I am very tempted by the AB SS Wod bar.

  • sean November 20, 2015, 6:07 pm

    AF seems shady. I was going to give the Klokov a chance when they are back in stock in January. I was skeptical of buying bar this past year because of the issues with some of the bars, but I really like the specs and thought that they would huddle up and science the issues out. Now however, I noticed on their site that the listed finish on the bar is zinc, but on the spec link it says hard chrome. So I emailed them and asked what’s the deal and they said zinc. No wonder they had a rusting issue. Advertising it as a chrome bar was one of the “wow” features in addition to the bearings thinking that the bar was such a great deal for the price. I wish that someone would make a high quality 28mm,dual marked bar with a center knurl.

    • jburgeson November 20, 2015, 6:46 pm

      I hear ya. The only way you can be even optimistic that this bar has been “fixed” is if the price goes up. Also I actually think that they did change it to zinc. Not from hard chrome, but from a very thin layer of nickel chrome, and that’s why it rusted. That’s just a hunch though; it very well could have been a bad zinc job from the start.

      Yeah most of the dual bars are 28.5, and the few that are 28 don’t have center knurls. I can’t think of any off the top of my head other than the Klokov.. if something comes to mind I’ll let you know

  • Mario January 8, 2016, 10:10 pm

    I’ve been keeping an eye on this bar because I had a warranty issue with my current one. On here, you have the specs listed as a bushing/bearing combo (I know these specs were just ripped off the site whenever your did your review, so not giving you a hard time about this, but I’m just interested if this is true) Now on the site, they have it listed as a 10 needle bearing bar. If so, that’s pretty insane for a bearing bar, is it not?

    • jburgeson January 9, 2016, 3:30 am

      The bar has been modified it seems. It was indeed a bushing/bearing combo up until rather recently as it’s not been all that long since I revisited the product page. I’ve ripped AF bars apart and seen their bar assemblies first hand so I know I’m not crazy in that regard.

      I don’t think this bar is at all appealing anymore. Once the initial buzz wore off and all the problems surfaced (rust issues, uneven knurl, rigidity) this bar died. Without a total overhaul I don’t think it can be revived; tossing in more bearings isn’t nearly enough. It will continue to sell to people who don’t see through the marketing, but I don’t recommend it. I just don’t like their bars.

      • Mario January 23, 2016, 10:37 pm

        The more I read about the issues, the more I can see where people are coming from. My problem is that I don’t have enough experience on enough different bars. Dealing with AF can be a pain in the you know what, and I’m not sure this bar is worth it. At first, they offered me a full refund, an even exchange (I’d have to wait until late February), or to swap it out with a Team barbell and refund me the difference. After I sent them the video, they took the full refund option off the table and I had either the option to wait, or to swap for a Team. So, I decided to wait, but now I’m thinking that I need to push for the refund.

        My biggest issue with this bar is that it’s just soooooooo rigid. I can’t get it to do anything. So, while I was waiting for my resolution, I went ahead and got the Vaughn, which… I’m not entirely sure about that one either (mostly because of the finish). It causes a lot of friction and I’m still waiting for it to break in to get that “vaughn-ted” spin. So, I’m debating on whether or not to look for another bar. I just don’t know which to go with. I would like to stay in the $400 range.

        • jburgeson January 23, 2016, 11:38 pm

          What don’t you like about the Vaughn’s finish?

          The break in time for the rotation is a little annoying, I get that. The Vaughn is probably the nicest product Fringesport sells though. Well, they make the best bumpers right now, but I mean, they’re bumpers.

          Oh and yeah, I’d push for that refund. Absolutely do not take a Team Bar. You think the Klokov is bad?!

          • Mario January 24, 2016, 12:54 am

            The reason I’m not a fan of the finish on the Vaughn is that it’s super “sticky” and causes friction on the way up. I know that’s a minor complaint, but I’m not the best lifter in the world, and I need all the help I can get. Also, I like the way a Chrome bar slips into the rack position. With the Vaughn, I feel like it’s a fight to get it in the rack because it wants to hold on to my hands.

            If there’s one thing I can say about the Klokov is that I love the way it spins. It’s just so damn stiff that I can’t get any action out of it as far as whip. Granted, I have never lifting on any other bearing bar, so i wouldn’t know how that compares. The best bar I lifted on before that was a Pendlay bushing bar.

            Now, after going back and forth with Denis at AF, he said there is going to be a new shipment coming in February, and that almost has me holding out hope that they have somehow addressed the concerns of the bar, and might be turning out a better product this time around. I won’t hold my breath on that, but who knows. For that reason, I sort of want to wait on the Klokov and see if they fixed it. But, I also don’t want to wind up getting stuck with another bar that I can’t do much with because I can’t get it to whip.

            I think I’ve read every review on this site when it comes to bars, and if there’s one that really sticks out for me due to price, it’s the Vulcan Elite Bearing bar. For me, this is a huge decision because I just don’t have enough money to buy a bar all willy-nilly, so I need to make sure what I’m getting is going to be right for me.

            • Devin January 24, 2016, 8:24 am

              The Vaughn has too much grip? Isn’t that like saying the food was too delicious? I ABSOLUTELY love my American barbell stainless bearing bar. While, I know this is out of your price range, their non-stainless is much more affordable. You might enjoy that. Just keep in mind that the sleeves spin slow. They have a dust pushing in them to keep out chalk, etc., which causes the rotation to be slower, but it’s very very smooth rotation.

              • Mario January 24, 2016, 8:44 am

                It’s not the grip. I love that… It’s hard to explain. It’s kind of a double edged sword. I love it every other time except when it causes friction on the way up (catches my socks or shorts).

                • Mario February 17, 2016, 2:26 pm

                  So, I decided to have AF refund me for the Klokov bar. This is turning into a shit show. I informed Denis on January 24th that I wanted the refund, and I still haven’t gotten it. He ignored two of my emails inquiring about the refund last week, and today he sent me this email after I sent him one last night telling him essentially that I didn’t appreciate being ignored:

                  “I apologize about the delay. I spoke with the accountant to get an update and the the CEO had put a hold on refunds until next week. This wasnt my call or my fault. I was told that they would get this processed and filed. I literally pulled my hair out when they informed me on this info.

                  I sincerely apologize and I am going to speak with the CEO today. I feel super bad and this was not the news I wanted to get because I know its been some time that you and i have been working on this.

                  I am going to do what I can today to see if I can get further info. You will get your refund I promise you that. I just am not sure on when exactly that check will be created from our bank.”

                  I tell you what… I’m am so done with working with AF. Their customer service is horrendous in comparison to some other companies I’ve done business with. This isn’t the first issue I’ve had with them, either. I also decided to return the Vaughn bar. I just couldn’t do it. That finish was killing me. So, not I have about $700 coming back to me and I’m debating about which bar to get. I’m 99% sure I want a bearing bar, and am looking at either the Rogue WL, Euro, or the Vulcan Bearing bar. I’m not competitive, but I just want something that I’m going to love. And, so far, that really hasn’t happened.

                  • jburgeson February 17, 2016, 4:14 pm

                    Yeah it’s unfortunate, and it’s not the first time I’m hearing this either. That bar wrecked them I think. It was the only bar that I’ve reviewed that needed a massive review edit within months of publishing. Rust, inside info on the steel specifications, and I even overlooked two different knurl patterns somehow. Very disappointing, and I got no joy out of that either.

                    I’m far more surprised that you don’t like the Vaughn than the Klokov, but you know it is what it is. Not every bar is for everyone. Sounds like you might want to lean on something more standard in design; something exactly like the Rogue WL Bar. It’s very middle of the road in that it has no exotic coating, no excessive or weird knurling, and no “world class” tensile strength rating (which is all bullshit anyway). Just a straight, whippy, 190k PSI bar with moderately aggressive knurl and a zinc or chrome finish. Super reliable, average cost, best customer service. The American Barbell Olympic bars are right there with Rogue as well; same basic, reliable design, and backed by a company with money in the bank; not in debt and unable to pay out returns.

                  • Alex February 17, 2016, 5:11 pm

                    I went thru similar issues with the Klokov, and ended up with an Eleiko Sport. It’s a great bar. I also have an AB Stainless Steel WOD bar. I think you’d be very happy with the Eleiko Sport.

                    • Mario February 17, 2016, 6:02 pm

                      I was thinking about checking out the lower end Eleikos, but I don’t know… I think I’ve settled on the Rogue WL. I would love to give one of the Americans a go. They look outstanding. I’m thinking maybe about grabbing a California bar when I can just to give me an idea of how they do things.

                      So, is that what’s going on with AF? Are they broke??

                    • jburgeson February 17, 2016, 6:40 pm

                      I mean, I don’t know. Wouldn’t they have to be to put funds on hold like that. Honestly if you think about it, that’s a weird thing for the customer service rep to have repeated to you. Sounds like he might have overstepped a bit. It sounds private lol.

                    • Mario February 17, 2016, 7:32 pm

                      That does seem a bit private… What a shit show. I hope I don’t have to be rude with them. They did upgrade me to the Klokov plates when they messed up my training plates order. Got those bad boys for $500 shipped!

                    • jburgeson February 17, 2016, 9:46 pm

                      lol indeed. Ya maybe that’s why they wanted you to keep the bar. They’re losing with you. Hey, could be worse. You could be having this problem with the ‘Driver, and you wouldn’t be nearly as optimistic.

                    • Mario February 18, 2016, 8:39 am

                      What’s the “Driver”?

                    • jburgeson February 18, 2016, 10:57 am

                      MDUSA

                    • Mario February 18, 2016, 12:04 pm

                      I knew I was missing something. Are MDUSA notorious for bad service? I have noticed a lack of Pendlay reviews here.

                      @Alex. I will take a look at them. I’m open to anything right about now so long as it’s worth the investment. Like I said, I’m not competitive, so I don’t know if I should go too high end, but at the same time, I want this to be the last bar I get as a main bar. I really do want to look at some lower end bars just to have for my kid.

                    • Alex February 18, 2016, 9:03 am

                      @Mario, the Sport Trainer really isn’t much of a “low-end” Eleiko. Sure, it has one less bearing per sleeve and a less aggressive knurl, but that’s it. To get the European steel and the same bar from Rogue you’d spend more. I’m sure the Rogue WL bar is great, but if you want it in chrome it’s going to run the same as the Eleiko. When it came down to it, for a similar price, I had to go Eleiko for brand-name alone.

  • Mario February 18, 2016, 12:30 pm

    @Alex, I’m looking at it now. Are you talking about getting it through bumperplates.com, or the Eleiko website? It’s more expensive than the Rogue Euro on the Eleiko site, but less than it on Bumperplates.com. I was thinking about going with the Zinc version of the Rogue WL, but… Zinc. Yuck.

    • Alex February 18, 2016, 12:52 pm

      I got mine from bumperplates.com. They order directly from Eleiko, and have them drop-shipped I believe. I had no problems with bumperplates and would recommend them. At the time they only had the 45# bar and not the 20kg. I didn’t want to wait so I went with the 45# bar.

      • Mario February 18, 2016, 1:17 pm

        So, forgive me because I’m really not all that experienced when it comes to bars. I’ve lifted on a Pendlay, Klokov, and the Vaughn bar, and of course your standard box beaters. I have no experience lifting on any even remotely approaching and Eleiko or high end Rogue, so I guess I’m just not wanting to go overboard here, but at the same time, trying those other bars (Klokov and Vaughn), I’ve kind of gotten an idea of what I do and don’t want. I like the bearings in the Klokov. For me, they spun much more freely than the Vaughn bar. With the Vaughn bar, I didn’t like much. And, I hate to say that because I love Fringe, and what they stand for, but that bar just didn’t do it for me. The knurling seemed overly aggressive for that finish. I have a feeling if that bar were chrome (or a variation thereof) I would have been a lot happier with it. So, that being said, I’ve come to the conclusion that I want a Chrome (or similar) needle bearing bar with semi-aggresive knurling, and most likely a center knurl.

        • jburgeson February 18, 2016, 1:38 pm

          You know those Eleiko bars have a hell of a knurl. Even taking into account the sticky finish of the Vaughn, the Eleiko will make the Vaughn feel unknurled. Eleiko is nice, but the Rogue Oly is safe… just my .02

          • Mario February 18, 2016, 1:51 pm

            I appreciate that input. Your .02 is worth more than my $20! lol Now I’m over here looking at these American Barbells. I’m so TORN! I’ll come up with something, for sure. I think I’ll be going with the Rogue. 99% sure on that, but always willing to listen to input.

            • jburgeson February 18, 2016, 2:10 pm

              Actually, if you got any of those three brands’ Olympic bars and were unhappy, I’d be pretty surprised. You may have to adapt to knurl, but none of them will do what you were experiencing with the Vaughn. If you get a Rogue Oly and hate it, I’ll probably suggest that you find a gym or box with a good bar selection and actually go handle them before picking something else. Or maybe visit Rogue’s or AB’s shop (Southern California/Columbus) I don’t see it happening though.

              • Mario February 22, 2016, 10:49 pm

                So, I’m going back and forth between the Rogue EU, and the AB SS Comp. I figure the hell with it, I’m going to eliminate all doubt and get a hell of a bar on way or another. Vulcan is out for me, and so is Eleiko. I think I’d just feel pretentious with an Eleiko (call me crazy)… lol.

                So, here’s my NEW dilemma. The Rouge EU is Currently in stock and $125 (after shipping) cheaper than the AB SS, which also happens to be out of stock (but they said they should be their bearing bars in stock this week).

                My question is this for you, JB; Is the AA SS worth the wait and extra $125? If you had to pick only one of these, which would it be? From everything I’ve read about it, your review included, this thing seems to be something transcendent.

                • Alex February 23, 2016, 5:59 am

                  Hey, are you calling me pretentious? lol. I know you were asking jb, but I’d pay the extra for the stainless. As nice as the chrome on an Eleiko is (and I’m guessing similarly on the Rogue EU), you get a more secure grip from stainless even with less knurl. I really like the grip on the stainless steel WOD bar I have.

                  • Mario February 23, 2016, 6:28 am

                    @alex… No way! I just know how I’d feel. Like I’m not worthy of an Eleiko. I’m just some guy messing around at home who isn’t pulling huge weight. I almost feel like the AB SS and EU aren’t overkill, but I’m done trying to outsmart the system. I feel like bearings are a must, so that eliminates a lot of good bushing bars, I’m afraid. The Vaughn just put me off of them. I’m old and slow and need all the help I can get. Haha… And for all intents and purposes I was happy with my Klokov, it was just too rigid, and after seeing what some people said about it it made me realize that I would probably be happier with something better.

                    • Alex February 23, 2016, 9:27 am

                      @Mario, I would have been happy also with the Klokov if it had a knurl. You’re also “worthy” of an Eleiko. As much as I put the Eleiko on a pedestal in my mind, it’s just a bar and you’ll feel the same after a while regardless of what you get. If money were no option, I’d probably go with the AB SS Bearing bar for the stainless alone. Even though the Sport Trainer has a pretty good knurl to it, I’m still not as secure with it as I am with the SS WOD bar. The spin between the two is no comparison of course. Psychologically, since I paid $300 for the SS WOD bar, I would have a difficult time justifying $500 more for the AB Bearing bar however. Sure, it has bearings and it’s competition spec, but is that worth $500 more? Probably not, but again I’m anchored at $300 for the SS WOD bar.

                • jburgeson February 23, 2016, 4:04 pm

                  I’ll put it to you this way.. I have the Euro, Eleiko, and SS. I use the SS, the other two look very pretty on the wall.

                  • Mario February 23, 2016, 5:05 pm

                    That pretty much says it all. Like I said, it seems like everyone who talks about this bar seems to recognize it as something truly special. My mind is made up, and they’re back in stock today. Hopefully they’ll hold out for a week or so.

                    By the way, I want your job, JB. Or at least your hobby! All those beautiful bars.

                    @Alex, I can understand your perspective and reasons for not being able to justify the cost. That’s why I was entertaining the idea of the SS Bushing bar, but… ehhhhhhh. I’m going all out.

                    • jburgeson February 23, 2016, 8:53 pm

                      Hey I’m definitely not complaining, but when it comes down to actual training, I still reach for the same two bars and ignore the rest.

        • Alex February 18, 2016, 1:45 pm

          For what it’s worth, all I had used prior to my Klokov were AF Team Barbells. I liked the Klokov, except mine had essentially zero knurl. The Eleiko Sport is definitely a more aggressive knurl than your typical gym bar. Your hands get used to it though. I’ve never lifted with a Rogue WL bar, so I can’t really compare it. The spin on an Eleiko is unlike any other bar. It won’t spin for days, but it has a very precise feel that is hard to describe. It spins exactly as much as you need it to if that makes sense. After all, the Sport is just a slight downgrade from what they use in the Olympics. That doesn’t necessarily make it the “best”, but it’s certainly good enough for me. The only downside is it’s so nice I don’t rack it, so I use my SS WOD bar for squats and WODs with tons of drops. It’s not that that Eleiko couldn’t take repetitive drops, I just don’t want to abuse it unnecessarily. Unfortunately there’s no “bar store” where you can try them all. I took a leap of faith with the Eleiko, and I’m glad I did. There’s also something that is just cool about having a serialized bar, and the fit/finish is excellent on the Eleiko, as it should be. Most will tell you it’s a toss up and you can’t go wrong between the Eleiko and Rogue bars. However, chrome is the way to go, and if you’re considering the European steel, the Eleiko is the better value. @jburgeson has way more experience with a variety of bars, so I’ll defer to him.

        • Devin February 18, 2016, 2:31 pm

          Just to throw in my input… I used to have a DHS bar.. While I think I just got a bad bar, as a gym mate has one and loves it, they have HORRID customer service, so I just want to make sure you don’t get lured in by their prices. From a recomendation on this site, I bought the American Barbell SS bar (their oly bar, not the WOD bar) and I ABSOLUTELY love it! Most amazing feeling bar. I’ve also lifted on Eleiko, Rogue, Werksan, and Uesaka. Eleiko has a very fine but aggressive knurl, it will chew your shit up. Werksan has a very course and aggressive knurl, and I believe the Uesaka was between them. Even with how aggressive they are, with the chrome coating, my grip feels much much more secure on my American bar. As far as the Rogue goes, when I was taking a course at the Olympic training center, the resident athletes there said that rogue bars are the favorites among most of the lifters there. They feel fantastic, have a reasonable knurling, and good whip to them. I encouraged my girlfriend to get one and she loves it (she has since apologized for yelling at me for convincing her to spend that much money on a bar instead of a basic WOD bar).
          I think you will be very very happy with the rogue, the zinc coating feels suprisingly nice. Though, my preference is still the stainless American bar, by a good margin, I wouldn’t be sad if I had to lift on a rogue bar long term. I’m sure I’d enjoy it much more than the Eleiko. Part of that is the chrome, part is the knurling.

          • Mario February 18, 2016, 5:35 pm

            Thanks guys. Your input is really appreciated. JB, I would be surprised if I didn’t like any of those, too. I’m pretty sure that my issue is that I have champagne taste on a kool aid budget. You’ve all given me more than enough input to make an informed decision. I believe I’ll have a max budget of $700 if AF ever gets their shit together.

            The biggest problem I’m seeing is that the AB, Rogue Euro, and even Chrome Rogue WL are all on backorder, and that just leaves the Eleiko. I’ll get it figured out. You guys are all awesome to help me out.

    • Alex February 18, 2016, 1:02 pm

      It sounds like you’re going through what I went through. After getting a bad bar I was happy to spend the extra money for something that would last me forever. I’m sure the Rogue WL bar would be more than sufficient. However, why not get the European steel and Eleiko name/history for a little more than a zinc Rogue WL if you can afford it? That was my thought at least.

      All that said, it did take around a month to get the Eleiko from bumperplates. While I was waiting on the Eleiko, I ordered the AB SS WOD bar since it was such a deal. Truth be told, the AB SS WOD bar would have been more than enough for me. I use the SS WOD bar as more of a beater and use the Eleiko for Olympic lifts. I’m not sure I’m helping lol.

  • clay April 15, 2016, 7:00 pm

    I am so glad that I never dealt with AF .I was close to buying the Klokov. It is a “cluster’ over there and I think people are getting screwed big time.To believe that Gilson actually gives seminars on how to run a successful business would be funny if people were not hoping and praying to get the gear that they ordered over a month ago. Those PEOple cannot even return an email or phone call. I hope the new owners don’t screw the customers over if indeed the company is sold. I wouldnt be surprised if AF Canada happens here.

    • jburgeson April 15, 2016, 7:03 pm

      If it went on past this by the same name I’d be surprised. Plus, that dude is just a figurehead now; hasn’t actually run the show for some time I hear.

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