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Olympic Barbell Review and Shopping Guide

Olympic Barbell Review

Welcome to the Olympic Barbell Review. If you’re in the market for a quality barbell, or you’re looking to learn the basics of barbell construction, you’ve come to the right place. Whether you’re a man, woman, or youngster; or whether you’re looking for an Olympic bar, power bar, or a bar for Crossfit, you will find information on a large selection of the bars on the market. With any luck, this article will help you find the perfect bar for you and your home or garage gym.

In an effort to stay current with new equipment and to keep up with changing prices, this page is updated regularly. Last update: July 2014 (Added: Bomba 2, The Rogue Bar 2.0 & Bella 2.0, Vulcan Oly Training Bar, and The Vaughn Bar – Removed: original Bomba, all Pendlay bars.)

Jump To: Understanding Barbell Specs | The Barbells | Top Picks

Before we look at individual bars, first let’s discuss the specifications that make barbells different from one another.

Barbell Differences for Men and Women

Barbell’s are not the same for men, women, and junior lifters. They vary in weight, shaft diameter, and in some cases overall length. Most major manufacturers offer both men’s and women’s versions of certain bars, and less frequently they offer a youth version. Below are the typical specs for each:

  • Men’s Barbell: weighs 20kg (~44 pounds), has bar shaft of 28-29mm, and length of 2.2 meters (7.2 feet).
  • Women’s Barbell: weighs 15kg (~33 pounds), has bar shaft of 25mm, and length of 2.2 meters (7.2 feet).
  • Youth Barbell: weighs 10kg (~22 pound) , has bar shaft of 25mm, and length of 60-67 inches. The reduction in overall length comes off the sleeves on a youth barbell.

Understanding Barbell Specifications

Disassembled needle-bearing bar sleeve

Disassembled needle-bearing bar sleeve

Type of Bar (Olympic vs Power)

Bars are either marked (with knurling) for Olympic lifting or Powerlifting, and in some case they are marked for both. While you may not care about the marks themself, keep in mind that Olympic bars have more whip and flex than powerlifting bars. Power bars are meant to bend less under huge loads so they are much more rigid and stiff. For Crossfit, many companies offers dual marked bars that are a nice compromise between the two.

Center Knurling

Even though center knurling is part of IWF standards, it’s not really used for anything outside of powerlifting. Many barbell manufacturers are starting to leave the center knurling off of their Olympic bars despite the IWF standard. Women’s Olympic bars will never have it (they shouldn’t have it anyway). So if you want center knurling for any reason, pay attention to product descriptions to make sure it’s there.

Sleeve Assembly: Bushing vs Bearing

This describes what components are used to allow the sleeves the spin on the shaft. Bushings are a low friction material (usually bronze) placed between two moving parts, while needle bearings spin more smoothly but typically increase the cost of the bar. Both mechanisms allow the sleeves to spin, but bearings allow for a smoother, quieter spin. Most mid-range Olympic barbells and almost all powerlifting barbells are bushing bars. Check out this discussion if you’re curious about these two mechanisms.

example of bushings for an olympic barbell

Bushings

Example of needle bearings

Needle Bearings

Tensile Strength

Eleiko PSI bar test

Bend test for Eleiko Olympic Bars

Measured in PSI, this is the breaking point of the barbell. Avoid barbells with no tensile strength offered in the specifications. 150k is a good minimum, 180k is a number you’ll never need to worry about. Ivanko Barbell suggests you never buy under 190k (which covers all of their bars and eliminates a large portion of their competition, so take that with a grain of salt). While higher usually means more expensive, that is not always the case. The York B&R Barbell, for example, is 205k PSI at only $295, and lately even many bars in the $200-$300 range are hitting 190k+ PSI.

Shaft and Sleeve Finish

Barbell Finishes

Barbell Finishes (from left) Black Zinc, Bare Steel, Black Oxide, and Satin Chrome

This is the protective coating on (or not on) the bar. Bare steel requires the most maintenance but has a natural feel. Black oxide offers more oxidation protection than bare steel, but still requires some maintenance. Both bright and black zinc offer even more oxidation protection, while satin chrome offer almost full protection from oxidation. Read reviews on bars with finishes you’re interested in to see what people think of the feel.

Sleeve Design (Snap Ring vs Pin and End Cap)

This is the method by which the sleeve is secured to the bar. Both of these methods work well and I wouldn’t worry too much about which your preferred bar has. If however you do want to learn more about how these both work, try this article. I do suggest that you run away from any bar with a bolt sticking out of the sleeve. You shouldn’t come across that if you’re shopping for a reputable brand; you’re likely only to see this on barbells offered in box stores and a good number of the inexpensive bars on Amazon, for example.

Snap ring method for securing sleeve to barbell

Snap Ring

Pin and End Cap method for securing sleeve to barbell

End Cap

The Barbells

All the bars listed here met a couple minimum requirements. First, they all have a stated PSI tensile strength, not just a max static weight. This eliminates pretty much every cheap box-store barbell. I strongly believe that buying a $100 bar is an absolute waste of money, and I refuse to pretend otherwise by recommending anyone even consider buying one. If you’re lucky, you’ll just outgrow a cheap bar in a few months and just be out the $100. If you’re unlucky, you’ll break the bar during a lift and hurt yourself.

Examples of broken Olympic barbells and why quality steel is important

A couple examples of how well cheap bars hold up over time. Two box store brands: CAP (left) and Marcy (right). These types of breaks don’t happen often, but the cheaper the bar, the more likely it is. When it does happen it’ll be during a lift.

Second, all these bars are manufactured by well established, reputable companies that stand behind their products. York, Rogue, Eleiko, Ivanko, and Vulcan are all established players in the industry and they all offer warranties.

Jump to: Olympic Bars | Powerlifting Bars | Training & Technique Bars | Youth Bars | Top

Olympic Bars

Olympic Weightlifting Barbells are designed for the two explosive lifts: the snatch and the clean and jerk. They are also what most Crossfitters will be using. For the sake of this article, anything marked (knurled) as an Olympic bar will be included in this section; even those bars that are dual marked. Only true Powerlifting bars will be listed in the powerlifting bar category further down the page.

The Bomba Bar V2 (New)

The new Bomba V2 Barbell from Fringesport

The black zinc Bomba Bar V2 – Made in USA – $239

Updating bars seems to be a theme this summer, as is the case with the Bomba Bar. The original Bomba has been a fairly popular bar with CrossFit fans the last couple years. It’s success is due largely to the fact that it’s simply a good barbell for a fair price. The reviews are great, the shipping is free, and the bar is more than capable of handling both heavy lifts and intense WODs. At only $10 more than the original Bomba, the V2 looks like it’ll be a hit as well.

The Bomba V2 is the same 20 kg, 28.5 mm barbell with a PSI rating of 165,000. It still has oil-lite bushings and snap ring sleeve design. The new changes that were made to this bar include dual IWF/IPF knurling that now go all the way to the sleeve, and the width of the sleeve shoulders were cut down by about half; giving you more loadable area on the bar. Nothing too drastic, but they are all improvements nonetheless. I like this bar for those on a tight budget.

The Rogue Bar 2.0 (New)

The new Rogue Bar 2.0 by Rogue Fitness

The Rogue Bar – Used in the last four Crossfit Games – $274 $255

As of July 2014, The Rogue Bar is now The Rogue Bar 2.0. This bar has been drastically improved over the original, and the price has been lowered. Considering that both the price and the craftsmanship of the original Rogue Bar was already nothing to complain about, this is fantastic news.

So what’s the same? The Rogue Bar 2.0 is still a 20 kg, 28.5 mm bar with dual Olympic/Power markings (with no center knurl); the coating is still black zinc for the shaft, and bright zinc for the sleeves; and the bar is still guaranteed for life not to bend or break.

What’s new with the 2.0? The steel is of a much higher quality. The PSI tensile strength of this bar has been improved to 190k from the previous 155k. The bronze bushings have been replaced with composite, self-lubricating bushings that should extend the life of the bar and keep those sleeves spinning. Machined grooves have been added to the sleeves so the bar can be customized with colored bands. Finally, the price has been lowered from $274 down to $255.

The Rogue Bar 2.0 should be on most people’s short list when shopping for a barbell. If your budget is in the under $300 range, this is an outstanding bar for the price. Additionally, the original bar had an unbelievable 65, 5-star review on Rogue’s site, and I see no reason that these updates wouldn’t keep that perfect rating alive and well. Only complaint I’ve heard so far is that this is a loud bar when dropped.

The Bella 2.0 (The Women’s Rogue Bar)

The Rogue Bella Bar 2.0. The Woman's Rogue Bar

This is the women’s 15kg version of The Rogue Bar. The Bella 2.0 has similar construction to the Rogue Bar (bushings, snap rings, zinc coating and 190,000 PSI steel). However, the shaft is smaller at 25 mm, the Bella still uses bronze bushings, and this bar is slightly shorter at 79 3/8″. The difference in length comes off the sleeves, not the shaft. This is a great women’s barbell, and a steal at $215.

Vulcan 28mm Elite Olympic Training Bar

Vulcan true 28 mm Elite Olympic Training Bar

Another absolutely fantastic barbell for the price is the Vulcan Elite Olympic Training Bar. This is a true 28 mm, 20 kg Olympic barbell with an unbelievable (and lab confirmed) PSI tensile strength of 221,000 PSI. This is a chrome moly bar which means it has a nice whip, high tensile strength, and great protection against oxidation.

The Vulcan Olympic Training Bar, 28 mm, 20 kg

This bar is marked for Olympic lifts and does have the IWF standard center knurling. The bar has moderately aggressive knurling, except for the center knurl which is of a lower depth in order to be more accommodating to high rep clean sets. This is a bushing bar, and the sleeves are micro-grooved to keep plates on the bar when collars are not used. This bar comes with a lifetime guarantee against bending, breaking, and sleeve separation; not that you’ll even need it. This bar is a steal at $369. It’s even more of deal right now as it’s on sale for $289! Sales on high-quality equipment are rare, so now might be your chance to save a ton of cash.

Stay tuned for an actual review of this bad boy.

Vulcan 15 kg Women’s Bearing Olympic Barbell

The Vulcan Women's 15 kg Olympic Training Bearing Bar

Vulcan Women’s 15 kg Olympic Bearing Bar – $309

So hello to the only women’s Olympic barbell I know of to have bearings and be priced around $300. The Vulcan 15 kg Women’s Olympic Barbell is an impressive 191,000 PSI, 25 mm bearing Olympic bar with a completely blacked out oxide coating. This bar has a nice amount of whip, has four needle bearings in each sleeve which give it a very smooth spin, and couldn’t be any more affordable than it is.

If you’re wondering how a bearing bar costs only $300, Vulcan explains that they were able to keep costs on production down by using a black oxide coating versus black zinc; and by lowering the PSI rating of the steel used for the bar to 191,000. I must say, lowering to 191,000 is nothing! You will not find another women’s barbell with both 190k+ PSI rating AND needle bearings for less than $500. This beast is a steal.

The Vulcan 15 kg Women’s bar has a lifetime guarantee, has medium knurling depth (no center knurl), and is dual marked for Olympic/Power lifting. FYI: Black oxide offers better protection against oxidation than bare steel, but does require an occasional oiling with 2-in-1 to help keep the bar looking new.

The Rogue Ohio Bar (Men’s)

Olympic Barbell Reviews - The Rogue Ohio Bar

The Ohio Bar – Available in four different finishes. $282+

The men’s Ohio Bar is a 20kg, dual marked Olympic bar with a 28.5 mm shaft. It is available in four different finishes including satin hard chrome, black zinc, bright zinc, and black oxide. This is a bushing bar with snap rings and a tensile strength that varies by coating (150k – 165k). This bar has no center knurling and ranges in price from $282 to $365.

The Ohio Bar is a relatively new addition to the Rogue line up, but already has a flawless 40+, 5-star reviews. This is a very popular barbell, and one that you can find tons of positive feedback on by reading CrossFit and Olympic lifting forums and subreddits. It is known for being smooth, solid, and not overly loud when dropped. All but the chrome version are under $300; what a deal!

Burgener and Rippetoe Men’s Bar by York

Burgener & Rippetoe Men's Bar from Rogue

Burgener & Rippetoe Men’s Bar by York – $295

If you’ve seen any other posts from me about Olympic Barbells, you’ll already know I love this bar. This bar is a beast for the price. The B&R Bar is 20kg, has a 29 mm shaft, is marked for both Olympic and Power lifts and DOES have a center knurl. This is a sintered bushing bar with an end cap and it has an amazing 205,000 PSI tensile strength. This is a bare steel bar and does require maintenance. This bar is a steal at $295.

I consider the B&R to be the best priced bar on the market. This bar is stronger than any bar in it’s price range, but again, it requires maintenance. Read my review on this bar here.

Burgener and Rippetoe Women’s Bar by York

The Women’s B&R Bar is a little different than the men’s. While still a bare steel bar with bushings and end cap sleeve design, the weight is 15kg, the shaft is 25mm. It is still dual marked, but there is no center knurling. The tensile strength is 195k and it’s a few bucks less at $285.

The Vaughn Olympic Training Bar (New)

The Vaughn True Olympic Barbell

Vaughn Olympic Barbell – $399 shipped

The Vaughn Bar was developed by two-time Olympian, Chad Vaughn in an effort to show that a high-quality true 28 mm Olympic bar can be manufactured and sold at a reasonable price. At only $399, this bar is an amazing deal for any aspiring Olympic lifter or avid CrossFitter.

For starters, this bar has an intense 216,000 PSI tensile strength. This is impressive because again, it’s a true 28 mm barbell. Normally you’d see a bar that tough either have a larger diameter shaft, or a much high price tag. This bar is marked for Olympic lifts only and has no center knurling. The shaft and collars are coated in black manganese, and the sleeves are chrome. While this bar is not a bearing bar, it has proprietary bushings that deliver a very smooth and reliable spin.

I’m still trying to get my hands on this beast of a bar; it’s still in pre-order only. I want very much to try this bar. It looks just amazing on paper and I’d like to do an actual review of it, so keep an eye out for that. I have a strong suspicion that this bar will disrupt some of the middle to upper class bar sales, especially considering it has a lifetime guarantee and ships for free.

Rogue Olympic WL Bar (New)

New Rogue Olympic Weightlifting Barbells

American-made Rogue Olympic WL Bar – $525-$635

Rogue recently designed their own line of Olympic weightlifting bars to compete with the high dollar imports. The Rogue Olympic WL Bar is an American-made bar that definitely appears to be comparable in quality to many of those imports but at a fraction of the price.

The Rogue WL bar is your standard 20 kg, 28 mm bearing bar and it is available in three different finishes; bright zinc, satin chrome, and polished chrome. This bar is made with the highest quality American steel available and it has a minimum tensile strength rating of 190,000 PSI. Like the Eleiko and Ivanko bars, all of these bars are straightness tested before they leave Rogue.

York Elite Needle Bearing Bar (Men’s)

The York Elite Bar is a calibrated 20 kg, needle bearing bar with a high tensile strength of 195k. This bar is marked for Olympic lifts only and is finished in a satin chrome. This bar has no center knurling and uses end caps for the sleeves. This bar runs about $590 and is available at Rogue.

Burgener Bearing Bar from Rogue (Men’s)

burgener bearing bar

Burgener Bearing Bar from Rogue – $559

The Burgener Bearing Bar is a great barbell for Crossfit. This 20 kg Olympic bar has a 28 mm shaft, no center knurling, and has a bright zinc finish on both the shaft and the sleeves. This is a bearing bar (as the name implies) with 5 top of the line German needle bearings in each sleeve. This bar has snap rings and a PSI tensile strength of 185k. This bar is guaranteed for life and costs $559 from Rogue. One reviewer swears he gets an extra 10 pounds on his clean just from using this bar. Who knows!

Eleiko Training / Competition Olympic Bar (Men’s)

Eleiko Training and Competition Olympic Barbells

Eleiko Training Bar and Competition Olympic Weightlifting Bar – $854-$1044

The Eleiko Olympic Barbell is the Olympic Barbell. All Eleiko Competition and Training bars are individually tested in accordance with the Eleiko quality policy and provided with a serial number. These two bars are both 20 kg with 28 mm shafts. The Competition Bar is calibrated while the Training Bar is not. Eleiko bars use bearings rather than bushings, and they have a huge 215k PSI tensile strength. The training bar sells for $854 and the competition bar sells for $1044.

Eleiko Training / Competition Olympic Bar (Women’s)

Built to the same standard as the men’s bars, the Eleiko Women’s Olympic Barbells are the same except for the shaft thickness (25 mm) and the weight (15 kg). Pricing is also the same as the men’s bars.

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Powerlifting Bars

Power Bars are designed for the big three powerlifting lifts: the bench press, deadlift, and the squat. Power bars are knurled and marked a little differently than Olympic bars (the marks are closer to center). A power bar should always have the center knurling.

Power bars are also more stiff and rigid than an Olympic bar due to the large amount of weights that get put on the bar. Additionally, powerlifting bars don’t need the sleeves to spin as smoothly and are almost always bushing bars.

Buddy Capps Texas Power Bar

Original Texas Power Bar by Buddy Capps

Original Texas Power Bar by Buddy Capps – $260

The most talked about Power Bar around. The TPB is the standard 86″ long with 15″ sleeves, 4″ center knurling, and it has a 28.5 mm shaft. It’s 20 kg and has a 1500 lb test capacity. Don’t assume that because find a bar called Texas Power Bar that it is the real TPB. Look for the state of Texas decal at the end of each authentic TPB. Order this from LB Baker for the real deal.

Rogue Power Bar

Rogue Power Bar

Rogue Power Bar – $275

The Rogue Power Bar is double coated with zinc; the final coat being black zinc. This power bar is 20 kg with a shaft 28.5 mm thick. Since it’s a powerlifting bar, it does have the center knurling. This is a bushing bar with snap rings. The PSI tensile strength of this bar is 155k. $275

Westside Power Bar

The Westside Power Bar

Westside Power Bar – $375

The Westside Power Bar is a 29 mm powerlifting bar designed to the specs of Louie Simmons, the founder of Westside Barbell. This bar features an aggressive deep knurl and does have center knurling. The shaft is 29 mm thick and the bar weighs 20 kg. The shaft is black zinc and the sleeves are bright zinc. This is a bushing bar with snap rings and it has a strong 205k PSI tensile strength. This is a sweet powerlifting bar for $375.

York Power Bar

The York Elite Power Bar is a 7′ barbell that has a 29 mm shaft and weighs 20 kg. This is a bushing bar with a satin chrome finish that has a 165k PSI tensile strength. The York Power Bar does have the standard center knurling and costs $320.

Eleiko Powerlifting Bars

Eleiko offers two powerlifting barbells; the competition and training PL bars. They are both steel, 45-pound bars with a 29 mm shaft and they have bronze bushings specifically designed for powerlifting. The training bar is $999 and the competition bar is $1099. I challenge you to tell me the difference. Both come with a nice 10 year warranty.

Ivanko OBX-20KG Powerlifting Bar

Ivanko OBX-20KG Powerlifting Barbell

Ivanko OBX-20KG Powerlifting Barbell – $667 – $1259

The Ivanko Power Bar is 20 kg and has a 28 mm thick shaft. This bar is PSI rated at over 200k. Each Ivanko Barbell is mag tested, ultra sonic tested, and x-ray tested against defects in the steel. These guys are serious about putting out quality bars. This bar has a black oxide coating and the center knurling is 4.75″ rather than 4″. This bar is sweet, and expensive. $667

This bar is also available in stainless steel which gives it a PSI rating of 218,000. That model is $1259.

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Training and Technique Bars

Technique Bars are for training and practicing form. Some are steel, some are aluminum. Most have limitations of some kind. Read carefully any product description to make sure that the bar can handle what you intend to put it through. Never leave weights on a technique bar when not in use.

Eleiko 10kg Olympic Technique Bar

Eleiko technique bar 10 kg

Eleiko Olympic WL Technique Bar – ~$474

The Eleiko Technique Bar is 10 kg with a 25 mm shaft. The shaft is chrome and the sleeves are aluminum. This bar is great for practicing Olympic lifts form. It has a maximum load of 40 kg. Remember to never leave weights on technique bars when not in use. Approx $474

Rogue C-70 Technique Bar

Olympic Barbell Review - C-70 Technique Bar

Rogue C-70 Technique Barbell – $265

The Rogue C-70 is a unique technique bar. It is a 35 lb, shorter version of the Ohio Bar. It was designed for use in the Crossfit Games where people are in close quarters. This bar is 70″ vs the standard 86″ and the space between collars is 43″ vs the standard 52″.

While shorter and lighter, this is still a real barbell. It has a 28.5 mm shaft, is marked for both Olympic and power lifting, and has a PSI tensile strength of 150k. This is a bushing bar with snap rings and no center knurling. $265

Note that this bar cannot be racked in a power cage or squat stand.

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Youth Barbells

I am blown away by the limited number of youth barbells (quality youth barbells) available. If you know of any that you’d like to recommend for this review, let me know in the comments.

Rogue Junior 10kg Bar

Rogue Junior Barbell - $174.99

Rogue Junior Bar – $174.99

The Rogue Junior Bar is a 10 kg bar with a 25 mm shaft. This bar is shorter with an overall length of 66.75″, but the distance between collars is the same as a competition bar; only the sleeves are shorter at 7.5″ each. This bar is a bushing bar with snap rings and has an impressive 155k PSI tensile strength (impressive for the size). It is dual knurled for Olympic and Power lifting but has no center knurling. $174.99

York 25 LB Black Oxide Junior Bar

The York Junior Bar is a 25 lb bar with a 30 mm shaft. The shaft is black oxide coated and the sleeves are split chrome. The bar is only 5 ft long so it cannot be racked. I can find no PSI rating for this bar, but due to the lack of Youth bars on the market I decided to include it anyway. $136

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Olympic Barbell Review Summary

So the take away is this: Rogue has a huge selection of bars and the overall best prices. Eleiko and Ivanko make the strongest Olympic bars, but they are not cheap. York makes the most hassle free bars since they use satin chrome for so many models, and Rogue offers the largest variety of finishes. If your budget allows it, buy a neeedle bearing bar (except for powerlifting). Here are my favorite picks below.

My Pick for a Competitive Crossfit Bar

Taking money out of the equation, I would go with the Burgener Bearing Bar for a Crossfit bar. I really like the Rogue bars for the money. $525 for the zinc Burgener is a fantastic price for a true 28 mm needle bearing bar. The steel is strong, there is no center knurling, it has a lifetime warranty, and it’s a Burgener. Plus, if you’re serious about competing in CrossFit, it’s probably in your best interest to train on the same bar brand that you’ll compete with. Certainly couldn’t hurt.

My Pick for a Crossfit Bar on a Budget

This one is easy, especially now that the price came down and the steel got upgraded. The new Rogue Bar 2.0 is the obvious CrossFit bar on a budget. At only $255, you get to train on the same bar that’s actually used in the Games. It’s tough to compete with that.

My Pick for Olympic Weightlifting

With so many new Olympic bars on the market, and the price getting so competitive, I am re-evaluating my preference and will update soon!

My Pick for Powerlifting

I want to say the Ivanko would be my pick, but it’s probably a bit too expensive for a garage gym. If I owned a box I’d buy the Ivanko bars, but for home use I’d go with the Westside Power Bar or the Texas Power Bar.

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{ 20 comments… add one }

  • Drew March 5, 2014, 10:12 am

    Dude you TOTALLY forgot to mention the ELEIKO POWERLIFTING BARS!!

  • jburgeson March 5, 2014, 11:42 am

    Ya Eleiko makes a ton of bars that I didn’t include. They’re not really known for the their powerlifting bars and they’re soooo expensive that I decided to leave them out. Also, Eleiko doesn’t offer too much information on the construction and testing for the PL bars. However, I went ahead and added them with the limited info they do make available.

  • George May 27, 2014, 12:18 pm

    There is also a 10 KG bar by GP Industries and a 10 KG bar by Werk San, both bushing bars for about $350.

    • jburgeson May 27, 2014, 3:36 pm

      You’re referring to their Training bars? Ya if I remember correctly Werksan didn’t have a whole lot of technical data on most of their training equipment. I might have to try and dig that up though. While an expensive 10 kg bar at $350, it’s still cheaper than the Eleiko.

  • George May 27, 2014, 12:46 pm

    actually sorry for the confusion – i just spoke to Werk San and they said their “Silver” series 10 KG bar is actually made by GP Industries …

  • Max July 26, 2014, 10:52 pm

    So what’s your opinion on the new Eleiko XF bars! I have even wanting to step up my Olympic lifts but I am completely training for Crossfit. I am all over the new Rogue bar 2.0 but at the same time if I’m going to buy a bar I might as well get a bearing bar for my Olympic lifting. Thoughts?? Please help!

    • George July 27, 2014, 12:56 am

      The only bars i would consider are training or competition bars from Eleiko, Werk San or Uesaka. I would not even consider the Eleiko Sport Training ( which is what i actually have ) as the knurl is lacking and warranty is short. Don’t even think about Eleiko XF bar – it’s probably just going to lock up like my 10 KG Eleiko bars which arrived already stuck – two in a row. Eleiko is lately trying to expand into every market and created a lot of low quality products that are not worth the money. I would not get anything from Eleiko that isn’t part of their core product range. Be prepared to spend $800 on a bar because that’s how much a good bar costs. Between $800 Eleiko, $800 Werk San and $800 Uesaka it is a matter of personal preference – but anything cheaper is low quality, including the cheaper Eleiko bars.

      • jburgeson July 27, 2014, 2:37 am

        I don’t even know where to begin with this…

        First off, I don’t think comparing the XF to a 10 kg aluminum-sleeved technique bar is even remotely reasonable.

        Secondly, spending $800+ on one barbell for a garage gym is unnecessary and just out of the question for 99% of people. Sure, Uesaka and Werksan may be very high quality bars, but that doesn’t make anything that costs less low-quality by default. They’re not all winners, sure, but there are some very fine bars out there within the $300-$600 range; bars that will outlive all of us.

      • Christopher July 30, 2014, 4:54 pm

        After having a 6-week back order on a WerkSan bar, I was going to consider getting a Eleiko Sport Training, because it would come quicker.

        You would definitely say Eleiko Sport Training is noticeably inferior to Eleiko Training, or WerkSan training?

        • jburgeson July 30, 2014, 5:28 pm

          Maybe George will chime in on this one for you since he owns that bar. I agree that having a 10-year warranty versus lifetime on an $800 bar is pretty weak, and there are bars that cost a third of that price that are guaranteed for life, so maybe that says all that needs to be said about it. If you’re willing to spend so close to a grand on a bar, any particular reason you don’t want the true training bar?

          • George July 31, 2014, 3:22 am

            The Sport Training warranty is only 5 years, versus 10 years for Training and Lifetime for Competition as well as Werk San or Uesaka. Also the Werk San warranty is Unconditional but Eleiko warranty is not. I have not used the Eleiko Training but i spoke to somebody named Joseph Hamblen ( he has a YouTube Channel ) who owns both, and he said Training vs Sport Training are very similar but Sport Training has a slightly less pronounced Knurl. I have ordered Eleiko both from Eleikoshop and Bumperplates dot com and shipping time was resonable in both cases – on the order of 10 days or so to get delivered from Chicago to NY. Replacement speed for my defective 10 KG bar was lightning fast – i had the replacement 3 days after notifying Eleiko – unfortunately it was also defective … got the refund on that particular bar. The Sport Training vs Training are probably more similar than different. I doubt that Sport Training is only half as reliable because of half the warranty – more likely explanation is the shorter warranty is simply a way for Eleiko to be able to offer that bar at a lower cost. That said, i probably would not get it again.

    • jburgeson July 27, 2014, 1:43 am

      I think the XF is a great bar. It’s a true 28 mm Olympic bearing bar with toned down knurling and the center knurl removed. It’s basically the Eleiko answer to CrossFit. Whether or not you should pick up an XF over the 2.0 Rogue Bar is kind of tough because it’s apples and oranges. I think it comes down to how serious you are, how experienced you are, and what your goals are. If you are serious, committed, and you can afford that Eleiko price tag, go for it. If you’re not sure, it’s not like buying a Rogue Bar is a bad thing. That help any?

  • Max July 27, 2014, 10:37 am

    That was awesome feedback. I really didn’t think i’d hear anything back for a week so that is great. As for price, I’m not limiting myself. If I’m going to buy a good barbell that isn’t from my gym I’m going to get what’s going to help me improve the most. At this point I’ve been Crossfiting for about a year and a half. I am dead set on getting a heck of a lot better at my Olympic lifts. I have been working with our specialty coaches at our gym a lot and reading some literature on the subject and so OLY lifting is a massive goal of mine. I’m only 17 so I’m at the prime age to train for the games. With that said, my goal is ultimately crossfit so between the Burgener Bearing Bar, the Eleiko XF Bar, the Rogue Froning Series Bearing Bar, or the Rogue OLY Lifitng Bar what do you think I should go for. I am completely grateful for any feedback. Thanks!

    • jburgeson July 27, 2014, 4:10 pm

      If your goal is the Games, may as well start getting used to feel of the Rogue bars. To be honest, all three of the bars that you mentioned from Rogue are very similar, if not practically the same. All are 28 mm bearing bars with the same 190k PSI steel shaft. I personally go to customer feedback in a situation like that, and the Rogue Olympic bar is the only one with a substantial amount of feedback; all positive too. Grab the zinc version and you’ll not only save $100 over the chrome version, but you’ll have a bar that will feel more like the Rogue Bar, which as you probably know is the Games bar.

      While I don’t think there is any reason not to lift with an XF, I think your Games goal is just enough reason to stick with Rogue. Technically the Rogue warranty is better as well, but I doubt you’d have a warranty issue with any of the bars you mentioned.

  • Max July 27, 2014, 4:10 pm

    That’s actually really helpful! Thanks a lot. As for your questions; I have been crossfiting for about a year and a half now and in the past few months I decided that I want to step up my game. Being only 16 years old it is the perfect time to start really training to be a games level athlete. That’s said, I really need to improve my olympic lifting. I have been working with the strength coaches at our gym a lot and I have also been doing some reading on the subject. So, my ultimate goal is to be focusing on my olympic lifting. I haven’t made up my mind yet but I probably won’t do much strict powerlifting with the bar I get. That said I like the dual markings on the bar. I will also use this bar for a crossfit WOD as well. So, with that in mind, between the Burgener Bearing Bar, the Eleiko XF Bar, the Rogue OLY Bar, and Rogue Froning Series Bar, what do you think would be best suited. I am greatful for any and all feedback! Thanks!

    • jburgeson July 27, 2014, 5:06 pm

      As a follow up, none of those Rogue bearing bars you mentioned are dual marked. If you have no intention of competing in powerlifting, who cares if it’s marked. That power mark is for the bench press and serves zero purpose in CrossFit or Olympic lifting… unless I missed a memo.

    • George July 27, 2014, 5:14 pm

      Soon the games will be over and Rogue will sell off the equipment used at the games at discount prices. Buy the bar from that sale. It won’t be as nice as Eleiko but you will be training with the actual bar used at the games. And it will save you a ton of money as a bonus.

  • Anne August 1, 2014, 1:59 pm

    I’m finally taking the plunge and setting up my own garage gym. I’ve been a recreational lifter for years, but never before realized there were women-specific bars. All of the bars at my gym are identical, and I have to assume that they’re all mens’ bars. Having never lifted with a womens’ bar, I’m having a hard time deciding if it matters? Also, I will be sharing the garage gym with my husband (and as I have 3 sons, as they get older I imagine they may have an interest as well). So, when I invest in a barbell, do I get a men’s bar, even though I (a woman) will definitely be the primary user? I am quite petite, so the smaller diameter of a women’s bar sounds appealing to me. Is it just to accommodate a woman’s smaller hands? If it matters, my husband is also on the small side.

    • jburgeson August 1, 2014, 4:31 pm

      Hey Anne, grats on going with a gym at home. So women’s bars are like you said, a little thinner at 25 mm, but they are also 15 kg instead of 20 kg. They can also be a tad shorter, but not by much.

      If you’re used to lifting with a men’s bar already, and you plan to share a bar with your husband, you might just stick with a men’s bar. There’s no rule that says you have to lift with a women’s bar, especially since you’re lifting for what I assume are your own fitness purposes, not to compete.

      Having said that, you could also just have both a women’s and a men’s bar if you find the idea of a narrower bar appealing. Most folks end up with multiple bars anyway just for the convenience of it; like doing supersets and so forth. As for your sons, if we’re talking small children who aren’t lifting yet, their first exposure will probably be a youth bar (10 kg), and then straight on to men’s bars.

  • Joe S. August 20, 2014, 5:52 pm

    I have Eleiko, York, and Ivanko barbells; all are excellent.
    However, i also have and prefer Schnell & Ironwolfe barbells, especially since they are stainless steel. Check them out!

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