Before I start this review for the Matt Chan Bar let me start off by saying that I am extremely excited about this particular bar review. I am excited because it looks like this will be one of those rare articles in which I do not need to have a section for listing the negatives; or cons. I think this one will be entirely positive.
What do I mean by that? It seems that no matter how much I may like any given product, it usually has at least one drawback that I have to bring up. It could be a design oversight, a poor warranty, inflated pricing, or any number of things. In the case of this Matt Chan Bar, I can tell you right from the start that I have no significant complaints whatsoever… and that makes this much more and enjoyable fun for me.
That being said you should still read this entire review if you are interested in this bar. While I think that there is a really good chance that this bar is right up your alley no matter kind of lifting you do, the Chan Bar is a unique bar of sorts, and one that might not appeal to you or meet your specific training needs. I mean I doubt it, but you never know!
Why I wanted the Chan Bar
There are so many barbells on the market to choose from these days; probably more than ever before. Rogue Fitness alone manufacturers dozens of different bars, not to mention all the other manufacturers trying to get their share of the booming barbell market (both the old school and the new players). So why did I choose to purchase the Matt Chan Bar over all the others? I’ll tell you the three main reasons the Chan Bar appealed to me personally, and why I felt it was worth nearly $400* for yet another dual-marked, multi-purpose barbell.
* editor’s note: remember this bar used to be offered in satin chrome for $375.
Reason #1: Bite – a Multi-Purpose Bar with real knurl
My primary interest in the Chan Bar was the advertised aggressiveness of the knurl. Both Rogue’s description of the Chan Bar and the many user-reviews claimed that the Chan Bar had a more substantial knurl and offered a more secure grip than your average bar at the time, but without the sharpness or discomfort typically associated with aggressively knurled power bars or competition-style weightlifting bars.
This claim was especially appealing to me because I felt that too many of the multi-purpose bars on the market have a knurling that is too soft and insignificant; knurling that requires a ridiculous and excessive amount of chalk for high-rep work and heavy pulls. I wanted to find a bar that has a perfect compromise between not enough and too much, and all the hype I was reading and hearing indicated that the Chan Bar was that bar.
Reason #2 – Chan’s unique knurl spacing
The second feature of the Chan Bar that I found appealing was the customized spacing of the knurl. The Chan has a much larger gap between the outer knurling and center knurling to accommodate the shins during cleans and deadlifts. I’ll go into this feature in more detail below, but let me just say that I think this modification is innovative and brilliant, and exactly the kind of improvement you get on a barbell when you let an experienced athlete help with the development.
Reason #3 – Chrome instead of black zinc
The final major reason I opted to go with the Chan may be a lot less compelling for many of you, but it is what it is. I wanted a chrome bar, and the Chan was offered in a Satin chrome finish.
All the price wars on barbells the last few years have led to an overabundance of black zinc and black oxide bars simply because it’s less costly to produce and can be offered at more competitive prices. I think chrome is superior to all other finishes in that it requires very little maintenance, looks the nicest for the longest, and has the best feel and grip aside from raw steel bars (which of course require maintenance in exchange for that superior grip).
Chrome costs a bit more but I believe it’s worth the extra expense; especially if you already have other bars that require a lot of your attention. The last thing you need is another bar to oil and brush. However, the Chan is also available in black zinc if you need to save money for other equipment purchases.
So couple the ease of care with an aggressive, innovative knurl pattern and you have one hell of a barbell. Everything else is just icing on the cake in my opinion.
The Chan Bar; along with almost every other bar in the Rogue line-up; got an upgrade in 2014. Rogue increased the tensile strength rating of their bar shafts to 190,000 PSI pretty much across the board, and they did this without a pricing increase of any kind. While the Chan Bar was already on my short list of bars to own prior to this change, the upgrade did seal the deal for me.
The Chan also has a passive center knurl – a feature that most other multi-purpose or dual-marked bars don’t have. Now don’t run off just yet, CrossFitters. It’s actually so passive it’s almost not there. It offers just enough grip to hold onto a t-shirt during a back squat, but you would have to rub your knuckles on this center knurl for a while before it started taking skin off. So go ahead and rejoice, CrossFitters. You’ll be okay with this center knurl.
Personally, I’ve always liked having the center knurl. I feel like it should pretty much always be there, so I’m happy it’s present on this bar.
Matt Chan Bar Review – Specifications
Here’s a summary of the Rogue Matt Chan Bar specs for quick reference, or for comparing to other bars that you’re interested in. You can find all these specifications on the Matt Chan product page as well.
- Weight: IWF standard 20 kg (44 pounds)
- Length: IWF standard 2.2 m (7.2 ft)
- Shaft Diameter: 28.5 mm
- Loadable Sleeve Length: 16.5 inches
- Knurling: Dual-marked, custom pattern, aggressive
- Center Knurling: Passive, 4 inches
- Shaft Finish: Satin chrome or black zinc
- Sleeve Finish: Satin chrome or black zinc
- Tensile Strength: 190,000 PSI
- Sleeve Assembly: snap ring
- Rotation Mechanism: bronze bushings
- Warranty: lifetime warranty against bending/breaking
- Price: $295 (zinc) or $375 (satin chrome)
- Assembled: Columbus, OH USA
So not much to comment on in terms of the specifications. Specs are all respectable and normal. The Tensile strength rating is great, the sleeve assembly is typical of a Rogue bar and weightlifting bars in general, and so on. The unique aspects of this bar like the knurl pattern will be addressed more below.
Matt Chan Bar Full Review
Unique Chan Knurling Pattern
As I mentioned above, the knurl spacing on the Chan Bar is different than it is on any other barbell out there. The bar’s dual Olympic & powerlifting hash marks are where they should be, but the space between that outer knurling is further apart. As you can see in the picture below, the space is 21″ apart versus the 17″ or so that is typical.
I have personally yet to run into a situation where I wished that knurling was closer together like it would be on any other bar. Now to be fair I am a tall guy, so I am less likely to run into that situation due to my naturally wider stance and grip. That being said my workout partner is 5’5″ and he will not use any other bar in the arsenal since the Chan Bar made its way into the gym. The bar just feels so right.
What I’m about to say may not seem like much of a selling point to you, but I dig this about the bar so I’ll share it with you. The shorter inside knurling (the knurl outside the 21″ center, but inside the powerlifting mark (where you would take position for the majority of your lifts) is the perfect width for just grabbing and going. It seems trivial to say that I’ve shaved a few seconds of positioning my hands off each set, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t appreciate it.
Knurling – Sharpness
As I previously mentioned, the sharpness of the knurling on the Chan Bar was the biggest selling point for me. I was very excited bout the idea of owning a bar that didn’t have sissy knurling – but before you run away from this bar because you think it will feel like a cheese grater and tear up your hands, let me elaborate.
Yes, the Chan sticks in your hands better than say the Ohio Bar, or run-of-the-mill CrossFit bars. It’s not intense though. It doesn’t hurt, cut, or rip off callouses (well any more than any other bar), but it holds, and it does it without the use of a pound of chalk each workout. The Chan is grippy, but it’s not like lifting on a hardcore power bar or single-rep competition bar. The grip is nice for one-rep maxes, but not uncomfortable for high-rep sets. On the contrary actually, it’s better for high-rep sets than other bars because it doesn’t slip.
In all seriousness I give this bar a 10 out of 10 for knurl. I could not be any happier with the bar in terms of holding power and feel. If I dropped my loaded Chan onto a safety and bent it this afternoon, I’d order a new one by this evening. The Matt Chan is not a bar that spends a lot of time in the gun rack, and I’d want it back ASAP.
Sleeve Spin / Rotation
The Chan Bar is a bronze bushing bar, and there is nothing remarkable about or wrong with the sleeve rotation. The spin is on par with just about any and every other bronze bushing bar I’ve come in contact with, and it’s certainly consistent with the other Rogue bushing bars. The assembly feels tight, there is no lateral play in the sleeve on the shaft, there is no excessive noise (well for a Rogue bar), and I don’t foresee any issues in this department. In this situation, boring is a good thing.
If you’ve ever lifted on The Rogue Bar, the Ohio Bar, or just about any 28.5 mm Rogue bar, you’ll know what to expect in terms of whip with the Chan Bar. Matter of fact, being that this is a multi-purpose bar, it should come as no surprise to you that the whip is just “average”.
I have no complaints regarding the flex of the bar. It’s suitable for heavy, static lifts like the deadlift and bench, and just as suitable for WOD-style cleans and snatches. If you Olympic lift on a competitive level, well then maybe you need a 28 mm Olympic bar. For everyone else, I am confident that you’ll be completely happy with this bar both for CrossFit and for general strength training.
Satin Chrome Finish
As you know I purchased the satin chrome version of the Matt Chan Bar rather than a less expensive black zinc version, and I explained my reasoning for that at the beginning of the article. In case you’re wondering what satin means, it simply means that the chrome hasn’t been polished out to give it that reflective shine. In other words it’s still the same coating, it’s just not shiny like the bumper of classic Cadillac.
I personally have no preference in terms of satin or polished. Chrome is chrome is chrome as far as I’m concerned, although some believe Satin makes for a better grip than polished. It’s a great looking bar and it’s easy to keep looking new. At only $75 more than the black zinc Chan, it would be a bargain at twice that price difference. Sure, zinc will outlast oxide, but it will not look new for as long as chrome.
Chan Bar Review Summary
The Chan Bar has become an instant favorite in my garage gym. I have enough gun rack space for all my bars but one, and it’s the Chan that stays off the rack for easy access. It is used every workout for at least part of my workout, and often times all of it. I’ve had it for a couple months now and it has not chipped, scratched or lost any spin. I have no complaints at this time and I do not expect to have any later. However, if a problem arises, I will edit my review – but I really don’t see it happening. 5-star bar, easy.
editor’s note, December 2017. Still no problems. Hurray!
I also wanted to mention that Rogue does a fantastic job of shipping barbells. The shipping tube is thick, solid, and heavy-duty. The barbell is wrapped in plastic, tagged and signed by the Rogue tech who assembled the bar, and each end of the tube has padding and a lock-on metal cap to prevent the package from opening during transit. Rogue has eliminated any chance of damage during transit, and that is an achievement worth mentioning.
Videos of Matt talking about the Chan Bar
Pretty cool bar! Check out the Matt Chan Bar.
First off, great site, thank you for all the info! Based on your reviews, I am on the fence as to what bar to get: Rogue Matt Chan Bar (in Chrome) or Vaughn Olympic Bar. What do you recommend? I cross fit at home and big gym. Once I get weights, bar and rack, I can kiss the big gym goodbye and my garage gym will be complete.
Thank you, I appreciate that.
These types of questions are pretty tough to answer because I don’t know exactly what you intend to do with the bar. Both of these bars are great CrossFit bars, but I would tell you to go with the Vaughn if your routine puts a lot of emphasis on heavy, single-rep Olympic lifts.
If you’re only snatching and cleaning in a CrossFit setting, then you will be doing more high-rep work. If that’s the case, AND you still perform basic barbell movements like the bench, deadlift, squat, and so forth, I’d probably say get the Chan. While the Vaughn turned out to be much more versatile than I thought it would be for a 28 mm Olympic bar, the Chan is still probably a better choice for non-Olympic lifting, which is really what most people do when it comes down to it.
I hope that helps a little.
Thanks, you summary and assumptions were right on.
I will primarily perform Olympic lifts in a Cross Fit workout. I am focusing on technique and mobility to perform Oly lifts correctly and I spend a lot of time breaking down the Olympic lifts into segments. As I learn more, I am fascinated by Olympic lifting, but heavy, single-rep lifting is not in my near future. The reason I looked into Oly bars in the first place is because I want to experience the whip :) The price of the Vaughn bar would make that experience affordable.
I am focused on Olympic lifting technique and strength now and will be doing a lot of the other basic barbell movements you listed above so the Rogue Chan bar will be my first bar. Thanks again!
If over time you find that you are gifted in the snatch and the clean and want to take Olympic lifting to the next level, you’ll probably be able to move right to a 28 mm bearing bar. If you own the Chan already, you’ll end up with two different but still useful bars rather than two similar bars. Keep in mind too that Rogue builds bars around CrossFit, so they will whip; certainly much more than the rigid, economy bars used in commercial gyms. I think you’ll be happy with the Chan for a long time.
I have a Chan as well, and while I like it just fine, I wish that the center knurling were a little more aggressive. I know that they intentionally softened it up from the outer knurl, but it’s so soft as to practically not be there at all.
Ya Mark, it’s pretty soft. I still am glad it’s there though, I prefer passive center knurl to no center knurl at all.
great review, did the original chan bar have less tensile strength?
Thank you. Yeah, it did. Most Rogue bars got overhauled when Rogue switched to a new US steel. It wasn’t low before, but it wasn’t the 190k it is now.
So I plan on doing my usual squatting, benching, presses, curls, rows, etc; that I usually do at the gym. I want to set up the same kind of deal at home in my garage and add in crossfit type lifts where I’d be dropping the bar. Is the Chan bar good for all of that? Even on cold days out there? I’m just looking to save money and hopefully buy just one bar for now. I’ll prob be getting the plates you recommend as well (ofw black bumper), and based on reviews prob the PPR200x rack (for it’s stability, smooth cable setup, and price). What do you think? Thanks so much
Brian, the Chan is one of the best multi-purpose bars I’ve ever had. It will do exactly what you are looking for, and it does it all very well. From benching and deadlifting to snatching and cleaning, it feels good. Yes, if you’re going to own only one bar, this is the one.
I’m not a huge fan of that rack, but if you really want the cable attachment and price is a big concern, it will work. It’s better to have a rack that may not last forever than no rack at all! Plus, the most important piece of equipment is really your barbell, and it sounds like you’ll end up with a great bar.
Where do you think I’d prefer you to go next from this and the Vaughan bar? As you may remember, we discussed my intent to buy an aluminum bar for getting past injuries. I’m still trying to work out what to do and trying to see if I can work through the shoulder rotation issues enough to consider going to a 20kg bar with technique plates without buying any aluminum. You may also remember that my other main bar interest is deadlift, i.e., also flexy if not flexier than Olympic. I want to overhead press but am leery of benching due to shoulder internal rotation problems already. If I manage to get a rack set up I’ll probably get another straight bar so as not to screw up the knurling on what I’m hoping might be a great Olympic/Deadlift combo bar, and the most critical use of that bar would probably be deadlift rack partials.
Also consider how nice stainless bars are from the standpoint of LIFELONG maintenance and feel vs. any coating.
With the subtext that I’m not likely to go heavy enough to really need bearings any time soon, I had a thought as to what might knock the Chan and Vaughn off their perches here, at least for the purposes I’ve stated above: OK, here it is…American Barbell 28mm Precision Training bar at $495: bushings, center ghost knurling, stainless, $120 more than the Chan, supposed to be the same bar as your American Barbell bearing bar but with bushings. Not as flexy as a long 27mm deadlift bar but seemingly to me at the moment the best length/diameter compromise for those two applications. I might save on the obviated aluminum bar and on using one bar for these two applications which for me are primary for straight bars.
What do you think, perhaps with and without some price adjustment for contemplated maintenance and rust neurosis reduction? I didn’t look over to Iron Wolfe for anything comparable yet but maybe they’d have something too.
I think the Stainless bushing is a more suitable bar for you.. and other than a soft brush (like a shower brush) to remove chalk… if you even use it, that’s about all the maintenance you’ll need to do to that bar. And if you’re using tech plates, you’re about 300 pounds shy of needing to worry about bearings, so I wouldn’t even consider it really. Not to mention that all you’d ever want bearings for anyway is cleans and snatches.
I can’t even truly express how much I enjoy my stainless bar. Having said that, I use two bars every day I work out… the SS, and the Chan. I train Olympic lifts for about 30-40 minutes when I’m completely fresh with the SS, then switch into strength training with the Chan. Both are fantastic bars. Not that the Vaughn isn’t a good bar, it’s just not the AB bar if you’re willing to spend the extra $100.
Thanks…it’s not just groupthink, I’m sure, that we think the bushing stainless American is a good fit for my needs, if I can get my shoulders to smooth out with other gear at 44lb and hopefully 66lb (which would be direct transition to 20kg bar and two 5kg technique plates). The Ivanko and IronWolfe alternatives seem to be much more expensive although I’m not sure how the list/street price issue works out here.
So I’ll try to keep working through the damage with present gear, consider something like a T-grip or Black Widow pressing bar to help it through, and try to figure out who if anyone has better-than-direct pricing on a shipped-to-California American Barbell stainless bushing bar. And try to identify a rack at some point, make space for that, etc.
Thanks again! Felt like I’ve made a lot of progress in a practical direction with a lot of help from your experience.
American Barbell is in California btw. I want to say they are both in LA and San Diego.. San something anyway (we have too much of that San this, San that in Texas too.)
I just wanted to drop a comment and let you know that the satin chrome Chan bar has been discontinued! After reading your review I had decided to purchase this bar for my birthday next month after saving up the past months. I am kind of stuck on either buying the black zinc and expect collar fading or buy another bar? Any advice? Thanks.
Hector I saw this last week, and it makes me very sad! I asked Rogue about it, and it is in fact completely discontinued and probably not coming back. They also discontinued the chrome Ohio Bar. All Rogue was say is that it was a production issue, which makes some sense considering the damn thing was never in stock anyway. Still, really sucks. It was the best “Ohio” variation by far!
I very much dislike black zinc, but this might be the only bar in 100% black zinc that I would still buy if something happened to my own chrome Chan. I just really like the Chan. Whether you buy the zinc Chan or another bar definitely depends on what it is you like about the Chan. If it’s the sharper knurl and the knurl pattern, well you won’t find that anywhere else. If it wasn’t about that, it shouldn’t be too hard to find a different bar.
Thanks Jburg, I appreciate the reply. I love all the specs on this bar and I’ve been hitting it hard with a rogue beater bar for the past 5 years in my garage gym so I felt I deserved an upgrade. The knurl sounds amazing and the room to not rip up your shins was an added bonus. I definitely think I would prefer this over a rogue bar 2.0. Thanks.
Satin chrome is back on the Rogue website as an option for $375.
That’s awesome, thanks for the update. So glad they did that.
Great review. Wish I came upon your site a long time ago. Our barbell purchase from Dicks already had the collar separating from the bar after 5 months. So we decided to check on getting something better and this bar looks fantastic. Just read up on your Power Rack review and we definitely want to upgrade to the R4 down the road (bought a cheap half rack from Dicks, but now wish we waited)
Great site and information.
Thanks Jesse. Yeah I wish I could reach everyone before they walk into a Dick’s or Sports Authority so they at least know what they’re about to buy before they do, and also know that there are alternatives. I’m tryin’! =p
At my age, you figure I would know better and get my research done first. Just got super excited when the wife decided we needed to get some weights for the gym. The new bar arrived and its very nice. Just need to move to our last duty station so we can put down roots and get us a R4.
I am trying to put together a garage gym and was wondering which bar you think would be better suited. I am doing the Stronglifts 5×5 workout (Squat, Bench, Rows, OH Press, Deadlifts; 5 sets of 5). So it is all power lifting, which is why I was looking at getting an Ohio Power Bar. But, that Chan knurl pattern has me intrigued. I have already scraped my shin doing deadlifts on the bar at my local gym and have been wearing pants ever since. I live in Florida and would love to wear shorts instead of pants in the summer. I was going to get the black zinc version of the Ohio Power Bar as opposed to the bare steel as it should hold up better in the humid air of a Florida home gym. I only see the black zinc Chan bar available now, no chrome. Which do you think would be better for me, Chan or Ohio Power? Thanks!
Love the site! I’ve learned a lot trying to get ready to put my home gym together.
Dustin the Chan sounds like a good match for you. The knurling is amazing; both the pattern and the feel. The OPB is pretty aggressive, and you’ll have the same issues with your deadlifts. The OPB is stiffer though too, but unless you’re deadlifting 500+ pounds already I wouldn’t worry about whether you have an official power bar or not. Lot’s of strong guys at the gym just use what’s at the gym, and they aren’t official power bars.
It sucks the chrome is gone. I’m very upset about that; I was thinking of buying a second one just because I like that bar so much, so that’s a bummer. Still, if something happened to mine, I’d buy the black zinc over anything else despite my not being much of a fan of black bars (just a personal preference; there isn’t anything wrong with them.)
First off amazing site and reviews. I’m in between the Chan bar and kolkov bar. Both seem great. I’m 5″4 male and pack a good punch but not sure if the knurls will not be close enough. Since I can’t just go to the store and feel it out it’s hard to tell.
Thanks Sammy. Yeah so they’re two completely different bars. What are you doing with it? Regular strength training? Olympic lifting?
You can look at the Chan product page and I believe there is a photo of the Ohio and the Chan side-by-side with the difference in knurl width. You can go grab whatever bar you have and see where you place your hands for stuff and then measure where it would be on the Chan; make sure there is enough knurl. I’m a tall guy, so I can’t relate, but, I have a 5’4″ friend who uses my garage gym and he will only use the Chan (completely serious about that), and I have a lot of bars, including a Klokov. He’d put use the Klokov as a landmine bar if I’d let him (landmines destroy bar finishes.)
Thx for the quick reply.i will be doing more high rep cross fit stuff then doing single 1 rep max stuff. I will try and do the measurements like you stated. If it works I will order it .
Thanks again and keep up the great reviews
This is just very sad :/ …. I spoke with them yesterday before reading this thread, and it’s true; no chrome finish. I was very excited about getting this bar, but I’m just not willing to go zinc finish at all.. What do you think would be a bar of comparable quality for my static lifts to live on my rack? Would the Vulcan One come anywhere close to living up to the quality of the Chan?
Thanks again for all the information, I greatly appreciate it!
I too am not a zinc fan. I can live with bright zinc, but black is silly to me.
So, the Vulcan One is a quality bar; I wouldn’t worry about it not being built well, but I don’t think it’ll be a suitable substitute for the Chan when it comes to your static lifts. Grip is way different. Honestly, and you’ll probably not be happy about what I’m going to say, but if my Chan broke halfway through my bench or deadlift set, I’d probably grab and dust off the ol’ B&R. I’d still order a black Chan to replace mine because I hate cleaning the B&R, but I’d be pretty broken up about having to switch to black zinc.
I can’t think of anything else in that price range that I’d want instead of the Chan for what I use it for. If I couldn’t have a Chan at all, I’d definitely replace it with a chrome power bar of some sort though, but if you also planned to Oly that Chan, that’s not going to work for you. Technically, the Ohio is the same shaft, but it has softer knurl (not soft, just softer) and no center.. and of course, it won’t have that cool knurl pattern.
If this was any other bar we were talking about, it would be easy to say buy this or buy that, but the Chan is just so unique. It sucks a lot that it’s gone.
Oh no! You were right about me being happy with that response.. hahaha. Do you have any pointers as to where would be a good place to begin looking for a chrome power bar in lieu of the Chan? I know you said that you can’t think of anything in the price range of the Chan that you’d want instead, but can you think of anything in a slightly higher to higher price range? I wouldn’t be using this bar for Oly lifts at all.
York makes chrome power bars, with the Elite 29 mm Power Bar probably being the best of the York options. American Barbell makes a stainless steel power bar with chrome sleeves for $485, but I don’t know anything about it. I’ve never seen it and they don’t even have a picture.
Chrome power bars are tough to find for some reason; they all seem to be anything but chrome. Ohio Power, Westside, TPB, Eleiko, Ivanko, Iron Wolfe… all raw, zinc, or black oxide. Some of those cheapo power bars on Amazon are chrome, but it’s not really chrome; it’s just decorative. I’ll see if I can come up with anything else. I’m falling asleep lol
Haha, I love your dedication to this site! Yeah, the AB SS certainly interests me. I guess I meant more so that I wouldn’t want raw or zinc, but not that it had to necessarily be chrome; I would certainly prefer stainless steel (the AB SS power bar is a lot cheaper than I would have expected!).
yeah it’s not nearly as expensive as Iron Wolfe or Ivanko stainless. Those two are beautiful bars, but they are overpriced in my opinion. Even the oxide Ivanko is more cash than the AB. Still though, most of the price is in the shaft since power bars are just basic bushing bars. No bearings, thicker shafts, no whip.
This bar is currently available on the Rogue Closeout page in 3 versions. One of them is satin chrome shaft with raw steel sleeves. Would you have any maintenance concerns with this combination? Especially the sleeves? Thanks!
I wonder why they even have that; that’s interesting.
The sleeves will require cleanings and oilings, and since they are grooved sleeves, it’ll be a bit more challenging to keep rust out of the grooves. It will also probably discolor differently over time. Functionally it won’t be any different though.
Great site, I’ve learned a lot here that’s helped me with my garage gym. I’m looking to get a new bar, and I’ve narrowed it down to the Chan and the B&R bar. I’m a powerlifter, but I’m wanting to add more olympic lifting to my training. Both bars look like they would fit my needs, so It comes down to knurling and sleeve spin. How would you compare the two?
You couldn’t go wrong with either really, but I prefer the knurl on the Chan. It has more substance; more bite. Still though, I used the B&R exclusively for a couple years and never had a single problem with it, nor did I ever find myself thinking things like “I wish this bar…” The difference in spin is negligible. The only thing maybe worth considering is the shaft diameter of the B&R at 29 mm vs 28.5 mm. Most Olympic lifters would probably agree that 29 mm is a bit thick, but then again as a powerlifter you are probably completely comfortable with 29 mm bars. Of course, you’ll also have to brush and oil the B&R whereas you can avoid all that with the chrome Chan.
Thanks for the input. I think I’ll go with the Chan then, I do like an aggressive knurling.
Chan bar arrived today. It was one of their demo bars so it has a little wear. Still a 9.8/10 new but a couple sleeve marks. Interesting part though is the sleeves spin insanely well!! Like needle bearing well? Just doing the hand spin in a rack without a plate it spins 15-16 times? Almost as much as my Eleiko. Even though I love chrome, it kinda cool to see a chrome comp bar, a Stainless bar, and an all black workhorse bar.
Thats nice. Demo from what? Their store?
Ya, it was a tester bar from when they put the Ohio shaft in it. I think they wore in the bushings
I really appreciate the review! While on a budget, I bought a Chan from Rogues miscellaneous section. It came with bright zinc sleeves and a few blemishes on the finish but it performs beautifully! My unfortunately it didn’t come Chan end caps and Rogue said that they don’t sell them separately.
Ya oddly enough, it’s the lack of end caps that stop me from buying bars from that section for review purposes. Still though, if not for that I’d be okay with it. There are lots of deals on that page, and in the Closeouts section in general. I’m glad you like the bar. Of all the bars lying around, the Chan is still the bar that stays in the power rack for static lifts; still one of my favorites. The knurl is the best.
Is there any maintenance required for the Chrome Chan other than brushing the chalk off. Mine is arriving today and I wasn’t sure. Your site is amazing!
Thanks Jason! Yeah not really. Chrome is pretty much maintenance free. I’d say maybe one day you’ll drop a drop or two of oil down into the bushings, but I still haven’t had to do that and the Chan is my daily bar. Such a nice bar for the money. Enjoy it! =)
A friend is looking at getting a good, all-purpose bar and I remember this review. I chatted with Rogue and they said they were only selling the Oly bars in chrome now. Bummer!
They do have a raw steel shaft/zinc version for $250 in the closeout section, but they might have imperfections. I’m not sure that I’d recommend a bar for someone that might have imperfections as this would be a gift. I wipe my bars down, but they stay in a non-temp controlled Crossfit box so it would probably rust?
Yeah it’ll rust if allowed to. You can keep it at bay fairly easily, but it requires constant wiping after use, and oiling every week or two depending on exactly how much moisture is in the air. It’s a nice feel that bare steel, much like stainless, but it’s too much work for most people outside of powerlifters who love that raw feel and actually like a bar with a patina on it. As far as the closeout bars, I personally avoid them as I don’t think enough info is given about what you’re buying.
That’s good feedback. The only thing that sucks about the black finish on the Rogue bars is they turn green.
Yuppers, you’ll never see me choose black zinc over bright zinc.. or chrome. They look neat new, but not later. And that’s not exclusive to Rogue bars of course.
First, thanks for the great site. I’ve spent a lot of time reading your reviews, and it’s been really helpful as I start outfitting my basement gym. I have some Vulcan bumpers on the way based on your bumper guide.
I’m getting into weightlifting a little later in life, and was going to buy the Chan bar based on your reviews but don’t love the black zinc. Any thoughts on a good stainless or chrome alternative for under $500 or $600? I’m planning on using the barbell mostly on deadlifts (primarily sumo), squats, and hip thrusters for now, and using kettlebells for presses and cleans. I’d like to buy something that I can grow into as my training progresses. I may explore Oly lifts down the road, but I’m okay with getting another bar for that when the time comes. Thanks for your thoughts.
Thanks Ben. Yes, super easy question right now. Did you see the review for the AB Super Power Bar? It’s normally $599, and it’s on sale for $360ish. It’s 210k PSI stainless steel with chrome sleeves; composite bushings. Amazing bar. It’s on back order because of the sale, but it can still be ordered for delivery in early December. Sale will probably go on for a while from what I hear, but there is no official end date so its a mystery. It’s a steal, and it can more than handle everything on your list. Hell you could technically still learn the snatch and c&j with it, but you’d have to make a lateral move over the an Oly bar if you wanted to specialize in the Oly lifts. That’s later though.
I did (great review, by the way), but the AB site said they were out of stock earlier this week. I just checked, and you’re right: now they’re accepting back-orders. That’s great news, I’m going to grab one while I can. Thanks again, and looking forward to the upcoming reviews.
Just read this and your new Vulcan Absolute SS bar review and curious about your thoughts comparing the Vulcan Absolute SS to the new Cerakote Chan bar? Thanks in advance!
Anything in particular? The Absolute is definitely a nicer bar; stronger, more aggressive, better looking… can actually feel the stainless steel because it’s not covered in Cerakote. Of course the price is different by what? $150?