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Women’s Olympic Barbell Review & Shopping Guide

Women's Olympic Barbell Review and Shopping Guide

Welcome to the Women’s Olympic Barbell Guide. This article is more or less an extension of my original Barbell Guide, only the focus here is on women’s 15 kg barbells instead of what is mostly 20 kg bars in the original.

The original guide has a very thorough opening section that explains the basics of barbell construction including explanations of rotation mechanisms, finishes, tensile strength ratings, and so on. If you’re looking for your first barbell or you just want a refresher, I strongly suggest taking a look at that section so you know what the various bar specifications mean when you see them below.

The first section will be women’s Olympic weightlifting bars, followed by multi-purpose/CrossFit bars. Women don’t get their own power bars (power bars are considered to be unisex), so I have none to show you. Either use your Olympic/CrossFit bar for your static lifts, or buy a power bar. If you do aspire to be a powerlifter, you’ll need to get used to using those 28-29 mm barbells because those are the rules (IPF.)

Women’s Olympic Weightlifting Bars

Equipment Specification - IWF Women's WL Bar

The following 15 kg bars are designed exclusively for the snatch and the clean & jerk. These bars will all strictly follow the specifications set forth by the IWF; the knurl will have only Olympic hash marks, shaft diameter will always be 25 mm, sleeve diameter will be 50 mm, the length will be 1310 mm between collars, and there will be no center knurl.

Most of these Olympic bars will be needle bearing bars, but a small handful of them will be bushing-based training bars. The few manufacturers that offer these bushing versions simply do so as a way to make it possible for folks with smaller budgets to still get their hands on a true Olympic bar. I’ll list these bushing Olympic bars first rather than mix them in with the bearing bars. Other than that, the bars in no particular order. 

Rogue 25 mm Olympic Training Bar (bushing)

Rogue Women's 25 mm Olympic Training Bar

This is Rogue’s version of the bushing-based Olympic training bar for women. This bar has the same 190,000 PSI, US-steel shaft as the Rogue 15 kg Women’s Olympic WL Bearing Bar (included below), but it has a pair of bronze bushings in each sleeve rather than needle bearings.

The Rogue 15 kg Trainer is IWF-standard; it has a 25 mm shaft with 50 mm sleeves, no center knurl, and a lifetime warranty. The finish on the shaft is black zinc, the sleeves are bright zinc, and the knurl is moderate (slightly milder than the bearing version.) Made in the USA, $305 before shipping.

American Barbell 15 kg Precision Training Bar (bushing)

American Barbell Performance Training Bar (bushings)

The last of the bushing-based Olympic bars that I’ll talk about is this American Barbell Precision Training Bar. The sleeves of this very pretty bar are hard chrome, but the shaft of this bar is stainless steel, a rarity (and gem) in the market right now. Stainless steel feels absolutely amazing in the hands; very much like bare steel, only without the maintenance requirements of bare steel. Unfortunately, it’s the stainless steel shaft that puts the price of this bar near $500!

The specifications are good; about the same as the above Rogue Trainer. 190,000 PSI, bushing system, no center knurl, and it too is made in the USA. It’s a great bar, but the question is whether or not you’re willing to drop $500 on a bushing bar just because it’s stainless steel when that kind of money puts you within range of a true Olympic bearing bar. Probably not; it defeats the purpose of buying a bushing bar in the first place. Beautiful bar though. $495.

Rogue Women’s Olympic WL Bar

Rogue 15 kg Women's Olympic Weightlifting Bar

Both the men’s and women’s version of the Rogue Olympic WL Bar were the official bars of the 2014 CrossFit Games, and they may very well be used again this year.

The Olympic WL Bars are Rogue’s first truly premium weightlifting bars, and so far they have been highly praised in both the CrossFit and weightlifting communities. They have specifications that rival some of the IWF-certified training bars, yet they do so at a much lower cost (zinc version is $525.) Not only does this bar make a great, reasonably priced Olympic trainer, it’s a huge upgrade for advanced CrossFitters that still train with multi-purpose bushing bars.

The Women’s Oly WL Bar has the usual 25 mm shaft, weighs 15 kg, and has a tensile strength rating of 190,000 PSI. This is a true Olympic bearing bar. Each sleeve has five high-quality needle bearings that deliver a very smooth, consistent spin. The knurling on the Rogue Oly is moderately aggressive. It’s no cheese grater, but it’ll have a tad more bite than Rogue’s dual-marked, multi-purpose bars like the Bella and Ohio. There is no center knurl.

One of the advantages of going with Rogue for your Olympic training bar is that there are currently three finishes for you to choose from; zinc, satin chrome, and polished chrome (priced $525, $585, and $635 respectively.) This range of options allows a larger variety of budgets to pick up this bar.

Rogue Women's Olympic WL Bar at the 2014 CrossFit Games

To really save money on this bar, watch for it in the Closeouts section of the Rogue website after the CrossFit Games. Last year they were selling the Games’ bars for the low $400s. That’s a pretty big discount for a bar that’s only been used for a week.

Eleiko Sport Training Women’s Olympic Bar

Eleiko Sport Training Bar - Women's Olympic 15 kg Bar

Here’s a bar you can’t go wrong with, assuming you can afford it. The Eleiko Sport is Eleiko’s most inexpensive professional Olympic bar at about $729. It’s not certified by the IWF, but unless you’re the person that chooses equipment for Nationals or the Olympic Games, I don’t think it’ll ever be an issue.

The Sport sports (fun) the same 215,000 PSI, famously whippy Swedish steel shaft as all Eleiko weightlifting bars, including the certified Competition Bar. Matter of fact, other than a ever-so-slightly reduced aggressiveness in the knurl, the only real difference between the Sport and the Eleiko IWF bars is one less bearing per sleeve; eight total bearings instead of ten. Not a big deal at all, especially for over $300 in savings from the Competition bar.

This bar costs $729, so obviously it’s not for everyone. If you take your weightlifting seriously and you can afford this bar, I’d almost suggest you hit up American Barbell for their stainless steel Olympic bar (below), or at least put it on your short list along with this bar. In any case, the Women’s Sport is 15 kg, 25 mm, finished entirely in Eleiko’s special chrome; no center knurling.

WerkSan Women’s Training Olympic Bar

WerkSan IWF Womens Olympic Training Bar

This is the training version of the WerkSan IWF-certified Olympic Comp Bar. The WerkSan Training Bar has 5 needle bearings per sleeve, is completely finished in chrome, has no center knurl, and is guaranteed to be within .2 kilograms of the stated 15 kg weight. The 25 mm shaft is rated at 205,000 PSI, which is more than adequate for an Olympic training bar.

WerkSan makes a pretty solid bar, and they are certified to supply gear for IWF-sanctioned events, but I’d probably go with an Eleiko over a WerkSan if I was willing to spend this kind of money on an Olympic bar. $880.

American Barbell Women’s SS Bearing Bar

American Barbell Women's SS Olympic Pro Bar

Another stainless steel option from AB, the Women’s SS Bearing Bar is a beautiful, high-performance Olympic bar clearly designed with the experienced weightlifter in mind. The stainless steel shaft not only completely prevents the bar from oxidation, but it offers what can only be called the perfect grip. No bar finish feels like stainless steel; only bare steel is comparable in feel, but bare steel easily rusts. Stainless really is the ultimate shaft material, but you’ll pay dearly for the privilege of owning it… you’ll pay $800 actually.

Thankfully you get more than a stainless steel shaft for that money. You also get high-load bearing cartridges that are unlike any other needle bearing. These proprietary bearings can handle any load you could possibly put on this bar. The sleeves will spin smoothly and reliably no matter what. There is also a chalk/dust guard that protects the bearings. This is a beautiful, functional, high-performance bar. Many comparably priced bars out there are just as good, but none are as unique. $799

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Dual-Marked / Multi-purpose / CrossFit Barbells

The B&R Bar - Dual-Marked, Multi-Purpose Bar

Dual-marked barbells are multi-purpose barbells; they are marked for both Olympic weightlifting (IWF) and powerlifting (IPF.) These are great garage and home gym bars, and they are what you’ll typically find being used for CrossFit; although the more advanced CrossFit athletes tend to prefer true Olympic bearing bars for their WODs because of the better turnover at higher weights.

The advantages of a multi-purpose bar for women is really more about the reduced cost than anything else. Other than the fact that multi-purpose bars usually have bushings rather than bearings, almost everything else is the same as it is with Olympic bars. Shaft diameter is the same, still no center knurl, etc. Women’s bars don’t tend to vary in shaft diameter like men’s bars do.

If your budget doesn’t afford you a bearing bar, or if your skill level simply doesn’t necessitate it, know that there is nothing wrong with dual-marked bushing bars. They will take you pretty far with your training, and they’ll do it for a lot less money.

The Rogue Bella 2.0

The Bella 2.0 Barbell Guide

I’m going to go ahead and label the Bella the queen of women’s CrossFit bars. I’d wager that there exists no other women’s bar out there that fills as many garage gyms and CrossFit boxes as the Rogue Bella. Yup, this bar is popular, and why shouldn’t it be? The Bella is more or less the 15 kg version of the economical Rogue Bar 2.0 ($255), and it’s even more affordable than it’s 20 kg counterpart at only $215.

The Rogue Bella 2.0 Women's CrossFit Bar

The Bella is a solid multi-purpose bar. It’s a 25 mm, dual-marked, bronze bushing bar that has reliable spin, decent whip, and a high-rep friendly knurl. The price would be reasonable even if it were a single-application bar, but the fact is that it makes a great bar for both CrossFit and general strength training.

The Bella has 190,000 PSI black zinc shaft and bright zinc sleeves. The bar is warranted against defects for life, and like all Rogue bars, it’s made in the USA. This bar has a flawless 5-star review rating. $215 before shipping.

Burgener & Rippetoe Women’s Bar by York

Burgener & Rippetoe Women's Bar by York barbell

The B&R Bar is one of the better multi-purpose bars on the market in my opinion. Developed by coaches Mark Rippetoe and Mike Burgener, and manufactured by York Barbell, this bar separates itself from the rest of the dual-marked bars by being one of the only bare steel options. Bare steel has that natural, raw feel to it that you wont get from a finished barbell (chrome, zinc, oxide, etc.) It requires some maintenance, but plenty of folks will tell you that it’s completely worth it.

The bar itself boasts very respectable specifications for being under $300. The PSI rating of the shaft is about average at 190,000 PSI, and the sintered bushing system is smooth and reliable. Matter of fact, I can personally attest to the fact that this bar does not lose spin over time. My B&R is going on four years old and still spins flawlessly today, and I’ve only oiled the sleeves once in that time.

Again, bare steel is great, but you do need to be willing to clean the bar in order to prevent rust. It’ll become a chore if you avoid this responsibility for too long, but it’s easy to stay on top of it. Don’t want to clean bars? Well the only way you’ll get a feeling like bare steel without the maintenance is to buy a stainless steel bar, but that’ll set you back at close to twice as much cash for an otherwise comparable bar.

The B&R Women’s Bar is 15 kg, has a dual-marked 25 mm shaft, and has moderate knurling. Oddly enough, the women’s B&R has no reviews, but you’ll find a perfect 5-star rating (20 reviews) on the men’s 20 kg version, and you can read those to get a feel for the 15 kg bar. $285

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My Bar Suggestions

Full disclosure, I am not a woman, and I don’t lift with 15 kg bars very often. Usually only for warm-ups, snatch balances, stuff like that. However, I like to think I know enough about bars to pick out the right bar for a given job. Feel free to comment and leave your own personal feedback on any of the bars on this page, or even bars not on this page.

Women’s Economy CrossFit Bar Recommendation

Definitely the Bella. It’s a solid piece of equipment, and the $215 price tag just makes it a no-brainer – it performs well and it’ll last for years and years. Be cheaper than this at your own risk.

Women’s Multi-purpose Bar Recommendation

The B&R is a nicely-balanced bar for various lifting modes. The steel is strong enough to handle heavy deadlifts and squats without an excessive amount of bounce, but the bar still has enough elasticity to snatch and clean. There is ample spin for a smooth turnover, but it doesn’t over-spin, or overreact when performing slow lifts. The knurling is quite possibly perfect; a good depth combined with the bare steel makes for a very, very secure grip.

Women’s Professional Olympic Bar Recommendation

Easily the American Barbell Pro SS Bar. The SS Pro has a flawless bearing system, a great non-aggressive knurl, and the stickiness that you can only get from raw bars. This is my favorite men’s bar Olympic bar, and this preference easily carries over to the 15 kg version. Beautiful, functional, and expensive – but the last bar you’ll buy for a very, very long time.

I doubt that anyone would have a reason to dislike the AB SS Pro, but I certainly don’t suggest buying an $800 bar for your first Olympic bar. This bar is for experienced Olympic weightlifters.

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{ 45 comments… add one }
  • Shane July 12, 2015, 8:35 pm

    Ok based on reading this I bought a Vulcan women’s bearing bar. I have a couple good girls 160+ kg totals, and want a good bar for them to train on. I’ve never owned a Vulcan before, but you seem to really like most there stuff. $319 delivered for a 190k needle bearing bar seems to cheap to be true. I’ll let you know what my girls think.

    • jburgeson July 12, 2015, 8:57 pm

      Awesome, yeah keep me posted.

      • shane July 20, 2015, 10:49 am

        Bar came, and so far I am not super excited. I really don’t like the sleeve construction. The bar spun loud and a little catchy. So I pulled the sleeves offs figure the bearings could be a little dry, no big deal I kinda like maintaining bars. when I pulled the rings I was shocked to find 2 seperate spacer bushings in addition to the 2 piece collar lock. I lubed everything with a Teflon oil and it improved it a bit, but it’s a poor sleeve design in my opinion. Performance wise the girls do like it though. I would say that I was hoping for a $500 bar at a $319 Price point, and it’s not that.

        • jburgeson July 20, 2015, 1:50 pm

          You didn’t happen to snap a picture of the assembly did you? I’m curious to see exactly what you’re referring to with the spacer bushings.

          • shane July 20, 2015, 2:34 pm

            I didn’t but it’s identical to your picture under the headline “Understanding Barbell Specifications” in your Olympic Barbell Guide. so if you are going outside in, it goes-
            Snap ring-endcap-large spacer-snapring-smaller spacer-bearings.

            I am calling them spacers as they appear to only be there to take slop out of the sleeve.

            • jburgeson July 20, 2015, 3:19 pm

              Yeah that’s weird. I’ve taken apart a number of bars, and I’ve seen multiple snap rings used to accomplish that, but never a spacer as well. It was like that on both sides?

              • shane July 20, 2015, 3:35 pm

                ya both sides are the same. I know these bars aren’t machined to really tight tolerances. It really isn’t much of a performance issue. it will turn a half rotation as effortlessly other bars. I’m probably just picky and spoiled. Although I have to say I am really impressed with how Rogue is putting together their bars. That new Chan bar seems as tightly machined as high end bars.

  • Annia Velazquez July 13, 2015, 11:56 am

    Hello, even though the article it is super clear, I am very undecided. I will like to buy a nice training bar that would give me the feeling of competition. of course affordable, I get into this article comparing the klokov and the Bella 2.0 but then I got more info and now I am thinking between the American Barbell Training or the Vulcan. PLEASE help me to make the best choice. I do my training at home or at an specific place

    • jburgeson July 13, 2015, 12:07 pm

      Annia, what are you using it for? CrossFit? Oly? Strength training?

  • shane July 27, 2015, 11:51 am

    Vulcan Women Bearing Training bar. Reviews are in. I have 3 female lifter friends that are all B-session US Nationals level lifters. So pretty darn good in my opinion. They actually fought over the bar. They really liked the bar. They loved the Feel/Whip of the bar, but really liked the knurling. Felt like they could train all day and not tear up hands. The lifters have spoken, two thumbs up, and one more for only being $319

    • jburgeson July 27, 2015, 12:07 pm

      I knew it would be okay in the end… and glad that I wasn’t wrong! =p

    • Mark February 28, 2016, 11:06 am

      Hi Shane,

      I’m just checking in to see if your box members (and yourself) still like the Vulcan products. Do you have a longer term update that you can share?


      • Shane February 28, 2016, 2:28 pm

        Girls love it. Black finish is pretty worn off, but bar is great.

  • shane August 19, 2015, 12:35 pm

    Just ordered another women’s as I keep getting more women that want to come train in the garage. I spent a long time chatting on the phone with the Rogue folks (man I love talking with people that know what they are talking about) and the Value of the Bella 2.0 bar is even better than I realized. They confirmed the new Bella 2.0 bar is the same shaft/bushing/sleeve and the Oly trainer 25mm bar. Only difference in the 2 bars is the dual markings and the knurl is slightly milder. They also have a bunch of the 2.0’s on the clearance page so for $199 delivered to Oregon i picked one up.

  • yigalev94 September 8, 2015, 3:34 pm

    I m a super heavy lifter (power/weight lifting) and use woman bar in my training program. In my personal homegym i own several competition bars. ..vintage and my favorite is a new all last Eleiko certified 28mm … but my 25mm woman bar french bar is a Pallini (value 850$ with collar)…. and i love it because 2 reasons… in first for rowing..facility of grip …and no tension in forearms… and in second for increases whippy..for jerk on rack ..!!!i have learn to use bounce of steel with my “female”bar .but i limit load to 400 lbs… lol its level of W.R for women. And bounce is very nice .coordination in stand up with endbof bounce..ist a true climax..with 25mm..lool…ps sorry for my bad english

    • jburgeson September 8, 2015, 4:32 pm

      What motivated you to buy a Pallini? Were you used to using it before you bought your own?

      • yigalev94 September 8, 2015, 6:06 pm

        Im a french…and now in france..in all new item.(?not occasion) i have choice between two brand..Eleiko by Lepape store (paris) or Pallini by…Pallini lol(direct purchase in factory …ex owner and father of this brand is a friend mr Pallagrosi. A very smart and kindness man)… i have buy all my bumper and powerlifting discs and ipf 29mm ipf bar(for me its superior to eleiko power bar ) in Pallini factory (one ton !!!!!)… for a female bar just for a little parts of my training i had naturely buy in pallini favlctory….!!!! Only my oly lift 28mm bar is an eleiko certified..because its the best of world and i use it enormous time… like my pallini power bar ..this 2 bars are FOR ME the besr of world in her speciality… a 25mm is just a confort luxus purchase…not a true necessity.lol. but im sad because its not an hard chrome..just a paint chromed on copper plated..just sleeves are in hard chromed..(its not my favourite finish )… Eleiko chrome is wonderfull…and. pallini black zinc bichromate is perfect after 7 years and lot of big lifts but all my racks(squat ..bench ) are coated with leather for preserve knurling and finish

  • yigalev94 September 8, 2015, 5:19 pm

    In this post you must additioned an advisory..dont forget ..under 190 000psi a bar cannot everlast…its easy to bend it if drop regulary like on oly lift…and this data is true for 28mm men bars…in25 its more important.!!!! A 160 000psi bar must never to be mentionned .or just for ovoid this purchase…190 000is the minimum!!!! 20 years ago When i was a 20 years young powerlifter (5’11” 165 kilogram bodyweight).. i had not technics knowledge.and i have destroyed several bars ny bending in gym…and a broken in home with an oly jerk… marcy or weider bar dislike deadlift over 300kg and oly jerk and dropped with 180kg..like all cheaps bar..its dangerous and a silly purchase… buy a good bars for a life its smart..this brend have never cause me problem or deception. Eleiko….uesaka…..pallini ivanko ..leoko(all shnell hantel is very good..i own a 1972 oly shnell.. its on of my best bar. But its just a collection item.i preserve it and keep on ornement of my home gym…with my two “big greens”..the 50 kg plates ..)

    • jburgeson September 8, 2015, 5:46 pm

      You never hear Leoko talked about in the states. I often wonder if they’re still around!

      I am always happy to hear that people find bars that they’re happy with. So much garbage out there, and I don’t think that low performance/unsafe bars belong in any serious lifters gym. Even moderately serious lifters.

      • yigalev94 September 8, 2015, 10:02 pm

        Sorry english is not easy for me(but its good training for learn it).. im serrous for under 190 000..bars…its awful shit..but its no Truely unsafe…..150/160 000 psi is level of single industry XC38 steel(0,38% carbon..and no alloy with rare metals) a steel very few treated. Or single Iron with 0,25 or less carbon (130 000psi).and never i have see snaped these cheap bars(marcy..weider..) the lonely risk is a bending lol…a bad treatment in chroming in alloyed steel can cause an hydrogen embrittelment…and bar can break !

        • jburgeson September 10, 2015, 4:27 pm

          Yeah I’ve heard that many times. I don’t worry so much about newbies and recreational lifters breaking bars, but when strong, experienced trainers are just cheap and train with $100 bars, I do worry about them. Then again, you have to wonder how serious they are though to not invest in a decent bar, but whatever lol

          • yigalev94 September 10, 2015, 4:38 pm

            See on youtube ” how to bend a barbell”…(garagelron)

            • jburgeson September 10, 2015, 5:38 pm

              I love that video. I need to be sharing this more.

  • yigalev94 September 8, 2015, 6:18 pm

    Im in france . Several gymd own leoko(finland)…i have use it..but isnt my favourite bar. In my home gym my first true oly bar was DHS of shangai… very whipy bar rolling spin good ..but finish was awful…a copper plated ..and a screw sleeve helicoiidal cause noise in chargement of fisks..(neighbour dont like me ..since…) ..lol i sell it after 5 years to a good friend…lol eleiko is very superior to dhs… and distribution.of dhs are stopped in france .

  • yigalev94 September 10, 2015, 4:52 pm

    All barbells need have a minimal resistance….its an evidence for serious lifter .for a little level midfleweight lifter… i hope he squat same load than his bodyweight …and if he have a xtra cheap bar..his bar will be destined to bending in a drop with 175 lbs…. its a silly purchase….a minimum is important (no hexa screw for sleeve..its the first rule..)..

  • yigalev94 September 10, 2015, 4:56 pm

    After seing first video see “uesaka durability test” (benn’s weightlifting video)…
    .and compare!!!!!!..

    • jburgeson September 10, 2015, 5:34 pm

      Ya thats insane. had that been even a couple hundred dollar bar, it would have been out in the dumpster. Impressive that any bar could handle that though. Theres a video of an Eleiko being dropped on a pulling block in a similar manner and it didn’t make it lol

  • yigalev94 September 10, 2015, 7:22 pm

    A bar is the first equipement in our sport !!!!! If you must spend a mot of money for an equipement..its the whippy bar !!! Im for option of (mini) two bars…for power and body building a very stiff and durable bar( brand or finition is a personal choice…Pendlay make very good bar for few budget)…but for WL bar..its nessecafy to spend more money.. 500/600$ is strict minimum… for a midde level. ..if you can clean and jerk near of 450lbs its an obligation to use a great brand (Eleiko Uesaka werksan zhankong..pallini…but my personal choice is one of two first…..). Dropping with over 400lbs gor many years. Is the worst dangerous threat…an think to video..loool..do.t forget (since 1972 game im sure) never a bar snap in an olympic match..or european or world champonship…for that uesaka and Eleiko are best choice…several thousand of dropping with big load…. its best warranty for us !!! In crossfit loading are never very hight level..and under 400lbs its not same deal !!! 400lbss (180kg) is the red zone for a bar falliing of 7 ft height a lot of time… my eleiko endure that 2 times for weeks..a dozen of droping over 400lbs…in a years its 1000 severe dropping..my bar is in home since 13 years…AND SPIN/BEARING IS PERFECT…. i have forget money when i see this perf !

  • yigalev94 October 3, 2015, 7:36 pm

    I have posted video on my youtube chain alan levy with my barbells.. lol i had posted my eleiko when i have buy it in packaging… ressarch with words ALAN LEVY BARBELL SPIN

  • Alex October 29, 2015, 4:04 pm

    Hey there, a woman at our gym loves my wife’s Eleiko Sport Trainer. Admittedly that bar is probably overkill since her focus isn’t on Oly lifting. It’s general strength/Crossfit. Since I like the AB SS WOD bar so much, it looks like this is the closest thing to it in 15kg:


    What do you think of that recommendation? $360 is a lot, but it’s on sale.

    • jburgeson October 29, 2015, 8:35 pm

      It’s practically the same bar as the WOD save for the shaft diameter. The non-sale retail price is also pretty close to what the SS WOD would cost normally. AB has muddied the waters of stainless steel pricing lately, that’s for sure, but $360 is still a good price for stainless Oly bar. It’s not as if a CrossFitter needs bearings, and I’ve noticed lately with the Super Power Bar that AB composite bushings can handle quite a load and still spin… much more than the non-sintered bronze bushings on some very popular bars out there.

      Still, $360 is a lot. Like $150 more than something like the Bella. It’s apples to oranges, but not if this is a novice. It’s apples to apples then, if you know what I mean.

      • Alex October 30, 2015, 11:33 am

        Yeah, that makes sense. I just think it’s crazy to get another Eleiko, especially for basic Crossfit strength and WODs. I’m sure the Bella would be fine, but the AB bar would probably be the last bar she’d ever buy. The extra money would be worth it in my opinion to get away from that terrible black zinc.

  • Miki November 24, 2015, 11:24 pm

    Hi! Been stalking your site for awhile trying to decide which bar to buy. The Vulcan Women’s Pro bar is on sale right now. I am also waiting to see what the Eleiko sale will be this weekend. And waiting to see if bumperplates.com has a sale. I am an older female, so I don’t lift really heavy, but I do compete. Do you feel that the Vulcan Pro bar is more than adequate? I am torn between the Vulcan and the Eleiko Sport Training bar. I am also thinking of resale value if I ever decide to sell my bar. I currently train on a DHS bar (not mine). Thanks for any insight. Your website has been very helpful!

    • jburgeson November 24, 2015, 11:34 pm

      Hi Miki. The Pro is a very nice bar, and it’s a lot of bar for the money. Even more so on sale. It’ll feel more like the DHS you’re using than the Eleiko Sport will. Having said that, the Sport is a great bar as well, and if you can get it for the same money as the V Pro (on sale) then that’s probably the way to go. I don’t think there is a lot of performance difference at the end of the day at moderate weight, but if you are concerned with resale value; nothing holds its value like an Eleiko.

      Btw, eleikoshop already has the pound Sports on sale, but who is to say what they do for Friday. Bumperplates may match Eleiko direct prices, but I’d be surprised if they could go lower since Eleiko has more margin to work with; being the actual manufacturer and direct supplier to bumperplates and all. Vulcan may pull even existing sale prices down as well. All you can do is wait and see.

      • Miki November 24, 2015, 11:48 pm

        I do like the feel of the DHS I currently train with, so maybe I will go with the V Pro. I guess I will be patient and wait 3 more days to see what happens with the Eleiko sales. Thanks again!

      • Miki November 27, 2015, 10:31 am

        Happy Black Friday! Just thought I’d update and let you know I went with the Eleiko Grid. I was a bit hesitant about the bar being in lbs., but I know that really doesn’t matter too much. Just some different math. LOL! Thanks!

        • jburgeson November 27, 2015, 11:46 am

          Yeah I have a couple pound bars myself. The difference is unnoticeable. Putting another kilo on each sleeve is still a 2kg jump from last session, right? Same difference =p

  • Christine April 28, 2016, 8:57 am

    Came across your site while trying to weed through and understand which barbell to purchase.
    Your article is great, but I’m still confused, go figure :).

    Trying to slowly get a home gym together.
    Newb to barbell training, only been using dumbbells.
    Using for general/strength training
    May not even need plates for upper body while I work up strength

    Suggestions for a starter barbell?

    • jburgeson April 28, 2016, 10:10 am

      Hi Christine. I would say something like the bushing version of the Women’s Wonder, or just the Rogue Bella. Wonder is $170 on sale vs $215 for the Bella, but both are great starter bars, inexpensive, and functional. $170 is about as cheap as you can get without having to go over to the box-store quality stuff.

  • Elena August 24, 2016, 7:50 am

    Hey! Came across both of your Olympic barbell selection articles and I’m trying to make a decision on buying a bar. I’m a crossfitter and olympic lifter, and occasionally I compete casually in both. I’m leaning towards the Eleiko XF or Training bar. Both are on sale for similar prices and I’m really wanting a good bar that I can trust to spin well for a long time while still holding up well for crossfit workouts. I looked at the AB SS bar and it looked more suited to athletes that were mostly olympic lifting. It will be my first barbell but I plan on keeping it forever.

    Any advice would be appreciated! Even if it’s a different bar I haven’t considered.


    • jburgeson August 24, 2016, 9:22 am

      Elena, the XF is pretty much designed for what you’re looking for. Has the same whippy shaft as any other Eleiko bar, but a slightly less aggressive knurl than the Eleiko professional Oly bars. The knurl on the Trainer and Comp bar is a bit aggressive for CrossFit I’d say – the XF is a nice middle-of-the-road knurl for bouncing between high reps and high weight, while still being more substantial than the knurl of most CrossFit bars.

      Technically what you’re saying is true that the AB SS is designed for Olympic only, and not CrossFit, but the same could be said for just about any 28 mm bearing bar.. including the Eleiko Sport, Trainer, and Competition bars. Realistically though you are no more likely to destroy a bearing bar doing CrossFit with it than you are a bushing bar. The is especially true for these high-end bars that you are considering. Whether you buy an Eleiko or an American Barbell, you can be confident you won’t run into any issues, and you’ll never question performance. Also, depending on your knurl preference, the SS may actually be a good choice. It has the softest knurl of any of these bars, but it still sticks to the hands. Also the bearings in the SS are industrial high load bearings. You couldn’t break those if you tried.

      I could recommend more bars just for the sake of doing it, but you’re already looking at the right bars. About the only thing I could even think of throwing in the mix is the Vulcan Professional, but it doesn’t really change anything – it’s just another Trainer in the mix.

  • Tristan August 26, 2016, 12:02 pm

    Hey J, I’d like to preface that your website is one of the best things that has every happened to my training and home gym, I consult your site before any major purchase. I have been doing research as my GF is now lifting with me and i’ve spent a fair amount of time researching entry level 15kg bars. As far as price for performance I keep coming up with the Fringe sport one fit wonder, Get RX’d wod bar 5.0, and Wright barbell 15kg econ bar. I have called wright as there is not much information on this bar, they are supposed to be emailing me their internal spec sheet. I was wondering if you have any comments or opinions about the above bars or the companies that manufacture them. I saw your previous review on the fringe bar, but youve never mentioned get rxd or wright equiptment from what i’ve read.

    Thanks for your time

    • jburgeson August 26, 2016, 12:37 pm

      Thanks Tristan, I’m very glad that it’s been helpful.

      Wright’s isn’t a company I’ve reviewed anything for yet. They don’t come up often, but I have recently started to consider picking up a few things to test their quality and performance. I’ve heard overall decent things; nothing mind-blowing, but also nothing awful. They do produce many products domestically which is a plus for a lot of people, but it certainly doesn’t imply anything positive in this market. For instance, Fringesport has the Bomba made here in the USA and it’s an awful bar.

      GetRx’d does nothing for me. I’ve never recommended one of their bars and likely never will. Prices just don’t match the specifications, and when that happens the quality is awful: bearings are dollar a dozen bearings, steel is low-grade, and tolerances are poop. It’s like Again Faster stuff – very well marketed and hyped, but total garbage… borderline dangerous if you’re strong.

      The Wright’s bar just might be your best option of the three. It’s not a very high tensile strength bar, but that’s not really a big issue unless your girl is jacked. The Black and Chrome from AB is $249 I think, has composite bushings and chrome sleeves (actual chrome btw, not decorative chrome) with a 190k shaft. It’s a little more than these three but it’s just such a nicer bar by comparison. Even the Bella is worth considering.

      • Tristan August 28, 2016, 2:17 pm

        Thanks for the input, I sincerely appreciate it. I have learned my lesson with the AF team bar, I was lucky enough to be one of the few who’s warranty was honored, I’m sure that had to do with them being bought by X training. I went with the Wright 15kg economy bar, my girl is all if 50kg so I don’t think the tensile strength will be an issue. I will let you know how it performs.

        • jburgeson August 28, 2016, 5:41 pm

          Yeah please do. The name is coming up more frequently and I’d love to know if they’re worth checking out.

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