First off, let me apologize to those of you who been patiently waiting to read this Rogue Euro review. I feel pretty bad about having announced the Euro and XF review a couple months ago only to not get them completed in a timely manner. I won’t get too into it, but suffice it to say that I had an injury that prohibited me from thoroughly testing bars, and since I don’t write fiction there was simply nothing that I could do about it other than let things heal. So again, sorry for the delay, and thanks for your patience.
Rogue Euro Review: Intro
I’m going to summarize the review here in the beginning rather than at the end so that you can get an idea of what I have to say without having to read all 2000+ words. If you’re seriously considering this bar and you want more detailed info, then read on. Here we go.
- The Rogue Euro has just about the smoothest spin of any bearing bar on the market. You can spend more cash and probably still not get rotation like this.
- The Euro performs much like the Eleikos, and it has many of the same attributes (high tensile strength, great whip and spin, and flawless finish), but the difference in knurling is night and day.
- This is Rogue’s best bar to date, and it’s without a doubt an upgrade to the Rogue Olympic WL Bar; though I don’t know if it has anything to do with being “European.”
- While expensive, the Euro will make the ideal training bar for many lifters. There aren’t many bars that I’d consider shelling out more cash for unless I had to have a certified stage bar, wanted a harsher knurl, or preferred a different finish.
- This bar meets all IWF-standards, and if Rogue is going to seek certification on any bar, it’ll be this one. If the Euro actually does get a sticker, expect the price to head north.
- For training, the Euro could conceivably replace the Eleiko Sport Trainer and Eleiko Training Bar, the WerkSan training bar, and both of the Chinese IWF training bars, but the lack of aggressive knurling (not to mention the lack of sticker) make it a weak replacement to the competition versions of these bars.
- The Euro is gorgeous. The finish is flawless, the knurl is consistent, and even the end caps look flashy. It looks exactly like what a bar in this price range should look like.
Rogue Euro Specifications
These specifications are direct from Rogue’s website. They do not offer me any data beyond what they already publish online, so unfortunately I cannot offer you the yield strength or other bits and pieces that I can sometimes get from the other vendors/manufacturers.
- Fully IWF-spec’d bar. 28 mm shaft, 20 kg men’s Olympic barbell.
- Needle bearings (5 per sleeve.)
- Friction welded sleeves.
- Polished chrome finish (sleeves and shaft.)
- Moderate knurl with passive center.
- Standard Olympic hash marks.
- Tensile Strength rating of 215,000.
- European steel shaft (Rogue’s version of the 215k Eleiko shaft.)
- Above average elasticity.
- 16¼” loadable sleeve length (~413 mm).
- Made in Ohio, USA.
- Lifetime warranty.
- $695 including domestic shipping.
European Steel Shaft
I’ve actually got very little to say on the subject of the “European steel.” Despite my efforts, I was unable to dig up anything factual regarding the superiority of EU steel over US steel for barbell manufacturing. Other than the anecdotal statement in the Euro product description regarding EU bars and whip (an obvious reference to Eleiko), there was nothing explaining how or why EU steel is superior for this application. It may very well be the best steel in the history of everything, but I just don’t know, so I can’t really say anything else about it.
Having said that, the shaft is 215,000 PSI; exactly the same as Eleiko. It’s a massive upgrade to the 190,000 PSI shaft used for the Euro’s predecessor. No matter where the steel comes from or where it also could have come from, it’s a damn nice shaft, and that’s all that really matters.
Rogue Euro – Spin!
The Euro has incredibly smooth spin; it’s both consistent and surprisingly quiet. In addition to paying close attention to turnover, I rack tested both the rotation of the sleeves around the shaft (loaded and unloaded) and the shafts ability to rotate freely within the sleeves. In all cases, rotation was nothing short of impressive.
Even though the Euro has a very free spin, it’s not erratic. It doesn’t over-spin, nor does it have the even more bothersome problem of briefly reversing direction after coming to a stop. Truthfully, you should never experience that pendulum effect with a new bar. Sleeves should only want to settle or “correct” in this fashion if there is a bend in the shaft, a busted bearing, or perhaps a very imbalanced bumper loaded. Still, I check for that stuff since I’ll inevitably be asked about it.
If you use the Euro for non-Olympic lifts, I can see how you might notice some unwanted rotation. Though I could say the same about any high-speed bearing bar.
You may be tempted to tell me that having a bar set to spin while sitting in a rack says absolutely nothing about how a bar performs during a lift, and I’d be inclined to agree with you. However, spin tests can actually make spotting problems with a bar much easier.
In the case of the Euro video above, there were no problems to be found, and that of course makes the video rather boring. The bar goes from a full spin to a complete stop without any abrupt changes in speed, or any hanging or catching. It spins well for not being loaded, but it doesn’t spin all afternoon. The shaft is straight and it’s obvious that the bearings are all seated correctly and working perfectly. Yeah, pretty boring. For $700 it better be boring.
The only real unknown in terms of the Euro’s rotation is how well the bearings will hold up over time. I don’t mean will it still spin a year from now, I mean will it still spin 10 or 20 years from now. Unfortunately I cannot test for that, I just have to put my faith in the R.
Rogue Euro – Knurl
While there are clearly many similarities between the Rogue Euro and the classic IWF training bars, I can safely say that knurling is not one of them. Rather than going with the standard semi- to super-aggressive knurl pattern typical of most elite training bars (Eleiko, WerkSan, ZKC), Rogue opted to tone their knurl down a little and go with something a tad milder and more refined.
You can see that these two knurl patterns (above) are like night and day. Both offer secure grips, but they feel completely different in the hands. While technically the Euro is more comfortable to hold on to for longer, I wouldn’t suggest that this comfort alone makes the Euro superior to the Eleiko. Then again, I’m also not going to tell you that the Eleiko knurl is better than the Euro’s. Arguments can be made for either of these knurling patterns/depths, and only you can decide which one would better suit you.
I look at it like this. The classic, aggressive knurl on training bars is not only very secure at high weights, but it has the added benefit of preparing you and your hands for the competition bars. Milder knurls like what’s on the Euro still offer a firm grip, but make for much more comfortable long training sessions – though they may require more chalk over the length of your session. If you don’t train to compete, then there isn’t any reason to be uncomfortable during your workouts. Also, who doesn’t use chalk anyway?
If you’ve already adapted completely to bars like the Eleikos or WerkSans, you might find bars like the Euro to feel insubstantial despite their adequate holding power. That is to say, it just won’t feel the same to you. If that’s the case, why change anything? Go with what you know.
Oh and not that it matters, but if it were my decision to make, I’d have slapped the same exact knurl that’s on the Rogue Chan Bar onto the Rogue Euro (just the knurl itself, not the custom placement.) I think that would have been perfect for this bar; a nice compromise between the current medium knurl and the typical uber-aggressive knurls. Not that anyone asked me. =P
Rogue Euro – Whip
The Rogue Euro is a whippy bar; definitely above average in terms of elasticity. There is an obvious springiness to it that makes it feel like a premium piece of equipment, and considering that you pay a premium price for it, this is good news.
Since Eleiko is the most commonly-used benchmark for determining how well a bar performs, I compared the two. Interestingly enough, I found them to be remarkably similar to one another; though not exactly the same. At heavy weights, the difference in whip between Eleiko and the Euro is negligible. It’s at the lower, moderate weights, that Eleiko still feels a bit more springy. Still, flex can be felt in the Euro at weights that many bars would remain stiff and rigid at, and I still feel that the Euro easily classifies as a high whip bar.
Needless to say, the Euro is whippier than any other Rogue bar, and this includes the original (190k) Rogue Olympic WL bar.
Rogue Euro – Finish
The Euro is completely finished in a polished chrome, and in my opinion this bar is simply beautiful. It may even be more attractive than my previous favorite, the American Barbell Pro SS… maybe. Tough call.
There’s not much that I can say about the finish from a technical standpoint. It’s basically a flawless finish. I can find no imperfections on my personal Euro, and the few reviews that have been left all seem to indicate that the reviewer is more than impressed with the bar’s aesthetics.
Above I included one of Rogue’s pictures of the Euro rather than a picture of my own Euro simply because my camera doesn’t do this bar justice, and even though this picture is probably touched up to some degree, it still very accurately portrays how beautiful the Euro is in person. Its practically art.
Rogue Euro – Pros, Cons, and Summary
I really have no problems with the Rogue Euro. Construction is extremely well done, and the bar exhibits none of the symptoms that would generally hint at shotty manufacturing or weak tolerances. There is no excessive lateral play in the sleeves, no alarming noises when the bar is dropped, and no undesired friction (grinding or catching) in the sleeves. There are no red flags at all.
Matter of fact, the Euro has pretty much everything that I would expect from a nearly $700 premium Olympic barbell. The spin is flawless, the whip is great, the polished chrome finish is consistent and beautiful, and it’s warranted for life. Additionally, this bar has some of the less important but still nice-to-have features like micro-grooved sleeves for change and friction plates, knurl that extends to the collars, and even the presence of the passive center knurl. Oh, and shipping is free, so the price is the price.
The only thing that might bother some of you is the medium knurl. Again, I think the knurl on the Euro is adequate, but that doesn’t change the fact that this bar is milder than the majority of the other Olympic training bearing bars. Those of you who have already adapted to and come to terms with cheese grater knurling may not even want anything softer. I still think that bars with moderate knurl like the Euro can make a great training bar for those long sessions, but I’m certainly not going to suggest that you go against your gut. $700 is an expensive experiment.
All-in-all, I think Rogue did an amazing job with this bar. As someone who has always thought of Rogue as the leading CrossFit equipment supplier and a mere dabbler in the actual sport of Olympic weightlifting, I am happy to see them produce a bar that indicates that they can do way, way more than dabble. If your only exposure to Rogue is their basic bushing bars and some bumpers, then you’re in for quite the surprise with the Euro.
Rogue Euro 28mm Olympic Bar – Check it out!
As always, if you own the Euro and want to contribute some of your own feedback or thoughts, feel completely free to do so in the comments. Also, social shares are appreciated greatly.