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Barbell Review Table of Contents with Summaries

Barbell Review Table of Contents - Garage Gyms

It was recommended to me that I keep a running list of all my barbell reviews, and even go so far as to perhaps comment on which bars were kept in the gym and which weren’t. Well I thought that was a fantastic idea, so here is a list of all the barbell reviews found on Garage Gyms along with a brief summary, links to the full review, and links to the product itself.

A couple barbells are missing from this list but I’m looking to restore those reviews and get them added.


Barbell Review Table of Contents

Bars are sorted with the most recent reviews at the top.


How to Read These Summaries

Overall Value

This rating is how I perceive the bar’s quality, performance, features, and durability relative to the cost of the bar. It is basically how much bang for the buck you’re getting. Ratings can be low, average, or high. In rare cases the value may be very high or very low.

Again, this rating is relative to the bar’s cost; so an inexpensive bar can have a high level of value, and an expensive bar could have low value. Some $200 bars shine while some $600 bars don’t.

Gym Status

This simply let’s you know whether or not I kept the bar in question. I either kept the bar and it gets used by someone regularly, kept in anticipation of it being used, or got rid of it. If I got rid of a bar I will briefly explain why I decided to do that.

Noteworthy

This is a list of features that make the bar stand out from the other bars in its class; be them good, bad, or just interesting. You should read the full review for specific information on any of these highlights.

Star Rating

This is simply how I would choose to rate the bar if I were to leave a product review. Try not to look too far into this rating – read the review if you want to know exactly how I feel about the bar. Only when I leave 3-stars or lower should you be seriously apprehensive about that particular bar. Remember that knurl is subjective and we don’t all like the same finishes.


Iron Company 5150 Olympic Hybrid Bar

 Iron Company 5150 Olympic Hybrid Bar Review Review Date: 5/2018
Application:
Weightlifting/WOD
Price: $299 shipped
Overall value: High
Gym Status: Undecided
Noteworthy: 28 mm, 195k PSI hybrid (bushing/bearing) bar with hard chrome finish. Low price, quiet, solid construction. Minus ½-star for containing a ball bearing.
View: Full Review | Product Description


Vulcan Stainless Steel Absolute Power Bar​

 Vulcan Stainless Steel Absolute Power Bar Review Review Date: 4/2018
Application:
Powerlifting
Price: $550 shipped
Overall value: High
Gym Status: Will keep
Noteworthy: 100% stainless steel bar – shaft, sleeves, and even bushings. Indestructible, aggressive, and beautiful. Hash marks are incorrectly placed on current gen; costing the Absolute a star; but aside from that it truly is a 5-star bar.
View: Full Review | Product Description


Strength Shop Bastard Power Bar​

Strength Shop USA Bastard Power Bar Review Review Date: 3/2018
Application:
Powerlifting
Price: $275 + shipping
Overall value: Below average
Gym Status: Sold
Noteworthy: Fantastic knurling, extra wide center knurl, and nickel phosphorus finish. Stiff and grippy, but brass bushings offer no spin. Lower performance bar than Ohio Power Bar, yet more expensive. The lack of rotation kills the Bastard’s overall value.
View: Full Review | Product Description


Vulcan Absolute Power Bar V2.0 (Black Oxide)​

 Vulcan Absolute Power Bar V2.0 Review Review Date: 3/2018
Application:
Powerlifting
Price: $339 + shipping
Overall value: High
Gym Status: Still own
Noteworthy: Very high tensile strength; grippy black oxide shaft; perfectly knurled knurl with ideal center knurl depth; great, competitive price.
View: Full Review | Product Description


Rogue Stainless Steel Ohio Power Bar Review

Rogue SS Ohio Power Bar Comprehensive Review Review Date: 10/2017
Application:
Powerlifting
Price: $395 + shipping
Overall value: High
Gym Status: Still own
Noteworthy: High tensile strength, stainless steel shaft with highly aggressive knurl & center knurl; great price for stainless. Review is for the Imperial variant.
View: Full Review | Product Description


American Barbell Elite Power Bar Review

American Barbell Elite SS Power Bar Comprehensive Review Review Date: 10/2017
Application:
Powerlifting
Price: $450 + shipping
Overall value: Average
Gym Status: Still own; used regularly
Noteworthy: Stainless steel shaft and industrial chrome sleeves; impressive assembly tolerances. The only premium power bar with moderate knurling.
View: Full Review | Product Description


Eleiko NxG Performance Training Bar Review

Eleiko NxG Performance Training Weightlifting Bar Comprehensive Review Review Date: 9/2017
Application:
Weightlifting (professional)
Price: $729 + shipping
Overall value: Average
Gym Status: Still own
Noteworthy: Priced well for a professional-grade bar, but still out of most buyer’s comfort zone. NxG bars are feature-heavy when being compared to the previous gen Eleiko bars though.
View: Full Review | Product Description


Rogue Cerakote 15 kg Bella Bar Review

Rogue Cerakote Bella Bar Comprehensive Review Review Date: 9/2017
Application:
Multi-purpose / WOD
Price: $275 + shipping
Overall value: Average
Gym Status: Still own; will sell (knurl not to my liking).
Noteworthy: Cerakote finish is pretty and durable, and many colors are available; sleeve finish will not last long though. The Bella is also kind of loud. The Original Bella is still ‘Very high’ value at $215.
View: Full Review | Product Description


Vulcan EZ Curl Bar Review

Vulcan EZ Curl Bar Comprehensive Review Review Date: 8/2017
Application:
Curl bar
Price: $139 includes shipping
Overall value: Very High
Gym Status: Still own; used regularly
Noteworthy: Extremely comparable to other premium curl bars such as Rogue and American Barbell, but priced much lower. Great buy.
View: Full Review | Product Description


Vulcan Professional Olympic Weightlifting Bar Review

Vulcan Professional Olympic Weightlifting Bar Comprehensive Review Review Date: 7/2017
Application:
Weightlifting (professional)
Price: $599 includes shipping
Overall value: High
Gym Status: Still own
Noteworthy: Highly reflexive, high tensile/yield strength shaft that’s comparable to the IWF bars, but at a much lower price point.
View: Full Review | Product Description


Rogue EZ Curl Bar Review

Rogue EZ Curl Bar Comprehensive Review Review Date: 7/2017
Application:
Curl bar
Price: $195 + shipping
Overall value: High
Gym Status: Still own
Noteworthy: Rogue undercut American Barbell, Ivanko, and Eleiko with their curl bar. It’s a great product, although it is still not cheap.
View: Full Review | Product Description


American Barbell Cerakote California Bar Review

American Barbell Cerakote California Bar Comprehensive Review Review Date: 2/2017
Application:
 Multi-purpose / WOD
Price: $335 + shipping
Overall value: Average
Gym Status: Still own
Noteworthy: Available in a black or green Cerakote; it has very high assembly tolerances; very quiet. 28 mm shaft instead of normal 28.5 mm found on most dual-marked bars. Knurl is quite mild though.
View: Full Review | Product Description


Rogue Stainless Steel Ohio Bar Review

Rogue SS Ohio Bar Comprehensive Review Review Date: 2/2016
Application:
Multi-purpose / WOD
Price: $350 + shipping
Overall value: Very High
Gym Status: Still own; used regularly.
Noteworthy: Above average tensile strength, stainless steel shaft with impressive knurling; chrome sleeves; great price for stainless.
View: Full Review | Product Description


Vulcan Absolute Black Oxide Power Bar Review

Vulcan Absolute Power Bar Comprehensive Review Review Date: 10/2016
Application:
 Powerlifting
Price: $339 includes shipping
Overall value: High
Gym Status: Still own
Noteworthy: High tensile strength, black oxide shaft with aggressive knurling; bare steel sleeves. It’s a great value and a true power bar, but it does oxidize easily.
View: Full Review | Product Description


American Barbell Black Zinc California Bar Review

American Barbell Black Zinc California Bar Comprehensive Review Review Date: 5/2016
Application:
 Multi-purpose / WOD
Price: Was $275 + shipping
Overall value: High
Gym Status: Sold; replaced with new Cerakote California.
Noteworthy: This is the same bar as the current Cerakote California Bar, only with a black zinc shaft. This zinc version is discontinued. ½ star removed because zinc with mild knurl was nothing to write home about. Cerakote is much-improved.
View: Full Review | Product Description


Rogue Ohio Deadlift Bar Review

Rogue Ohio Deadlift Bar Comprehensive Review Review Date: 4/2016
Application:
Deadlifting
Price: $295-$355 + shipping
Overall value: Very high
Gym Status: Still own; used regularly.
Noteworthy: Aggressively knurled, 90.5″ long, 27 mm bar designed exclusively for deadlifts. Price on the ODB cannot be beat; especially in bare steel. This is a great bar for the money.
View: Full Review | Product Description


Eleiko Power Lock Olympic Training Bar Review

Eleiko Power Lock Weightlifting Bar Comprehensive Review Review Date: 3/2016
Application:
Weightlifting (professional)
Price: $989 + shipping
Overall value: Low
Gym Status: Did not keep
Noteworthy: The Power Lock is a very niche bar, and too pricey for a niche bar. It’s even a lower value today since it did not receive NxG upgrades. It is however an IWF Trainer at its core.
View: Full Review | Product Description


Rogue Ohio Power Bar Review

Rogue Ohio Power Bar Comprehensive Review Review Date: 2/2016
Application:
Powerlifting
Price: $250-$275 + shipping
Overall value: Very High
Gym Status: Still own
Noteworthy: High tensile strength shaft with highly aggressive knurl & center knurl. Unbelievable price for such a feature-rich powerlifting bar. Review is for the Imperial variant.
View: Full Review | Product Description


CAP Barbell OB-86B Bar Review

CAP OB-86B Power/Olympic Bar Comprehensive Review Review Date: 12/2015
Application:
Powerlifting
Price: $165 + shipping
Overall value: Low
Gym Status: Sold; inferior to all other bars in collection.
Noteworthy: Low tensile strength, poor sleeve rotation, improperly named as an Olympic bar, but decent knurling for powerlifting and a half-decent “I’m so broke” option.
View: Full Review | Product Description


American Barbell Stainless Steel Super Power Bar Review

American Barbell SS Super Power Bar Comprehensive Review Review Date: 11/2015
Application:
Powerlifting
Price: Was $550
Overall value: Average
Gym Status: Still own; used very regularly
Noteworthy: Discontinued
View: Full Review | Product Description (N/A)


Rogue Euro Olympic Weightlifting Bar Review

Rogue Euro Weightlifting Bar Comprehensive Review Review Date: 8/2015
Application:
Weightlifting (professional)
Price: $695 including shipping
Overall value: High
Gym Status: Still own
Noteworthy: Priced well for a professional-grade Oly bar, and even competitive with Eleiko in terms of both pricing and specs, though it is still a very pricey bar for not being IWF certified. Knurling is more moderate than the Swedes.
View: Full Review | Product Description


American Barbell SS WOD Bar Review

American Barbell SS WOD Bar Comprehensive Review Review Date: 7/2015
Application:
Multi-purpose / WOD
Price: Was $299
Overall value: Very high
Gym Status: Sold. Honestly just one too many SS bars in the gym.
Noteworthy: Discontinued
View: Full Review | Product Description


Vulcan Elite 3.0/4.0 Olympic Training Bar Review

Vulcan Elite Olympic Training Bar Comprehensive Review Review Date: 4/2015
Application:
Weightlifting (professional)
Price: $369 including shipping
Overall value: Very high
Gym Status: Still own; used regularly.
Noteworthy: Highest elasticity and most reasonably priced bushing-based Olympic training bar on the market. The Elite is unrivaled in its class. Tensile and yield are insane.
View: Full Review | Product Description


Again Faster Team Bar 2.0 Review

Again Faster Team Bar Comprehensive Review Review Date: 4/2015
Application:
Multi-purpose / WOD
Price: $229 + shipping
Overall value: Very low
Gym Status: Sold; garbage bar.
Noteworthy: History of seized sleeves, bent shafts, knurling issues, and problems with returns. Again Faster even removed all traces of negative reviews. Unethical and unforgivable.
View: Full Review | Product Description


Vulcan Standard 28.5 mm Olympic Bar Review

Vulcan Standard 28.5 mm Olympic Bar Comprehensive Review Review Date: 4/2015
Application:
Multi-purpose / WOD
Price: $286 includes shipping
Overall value: High
Gym Status: Still own
Noteworthy: Low cost, high performance, very high durability bar designed to withstand high-traffic use. Bright zinc finish is resilient. Great alternative to the Ohio-line.
View: Full Review | Product Description


Vulcan Training Bearing Bar Review

Vulcan Bearing Training Bar Comprehensive Review Review Date: 3/2015
Application:
Multi-purpose / WOD
Price: $319 includes shipping
Overall value: Average
Gym Status: Sold it; simply had access to premium bearing bars.
Noteworthy: A decent entry-level bearing bar for those who feel like that’s necessary. Replacing the black zinc with chrome was a nice touch by Vulcan. Solid specs, low price.
View: Full Review | Product Description


American Barbell SS Olympic Bearing Bar Review

American Barbell Competition SS Bar Comprehensive Review Review Date: 12/2014
Application:
Weightlifting (professional)
Price: $675 + shipping
Overall value: Very high
Gym Status: Still own and use regularly.
Noteworthy: Best built bearing bar I’ve handled. Quiet, smooth, and features industrial bearings that won’t slow under any load. New, low price makes it an even better value (was $799).
View: Full Review | Product Description


Dmitry Klokov Olympic Bearing Bar Review (Again Faster)

Again Faster Klokov Bar Comprehensive Review Review Date: 11/2014
Application:
 Weightlifting
Price: Was $319
Overall value: Very low
Gym Status: Donated
Noteworthy: The Klokov was marketed as a much nicer bar than it turned out to be. Even fooled people for a little while. You can buy the new, much-improved, non-AF Klokov Bar here.
View: Full Review | Product Description (N/A)


Vulcan One Basic Bar Review

Vulcan One Basic Bar Comprehensive Review Review Date: 6/2014
Application:
 Multi-purpose / WOD
Price: $249 includes shipping
Overall value: High
Gym Status: No longer own (mine was the previous gen black zinc.)
Noteworthy: While designed to be an economical bar, the included shipping and full-chromed finish makes this a very good value when compared to the Rogue Bar 2.0 and California Bar.
View: Full Review | Product Description


Rogue Matt Chan Bar Review

Rogue Matt Chan Bar Comprehensive Review Review Date: 10/2014
Application:
Multi-purpose
Price: $295 + shipping
Overall value: High
Gym Status: Still own; used regularly.
Noteworthy: Unique knurling pattern favors pulls; especially for taller athletes. Chrome was discontinued, but Cerakote is available off and on (in the Boneyard).
View: Full Review | Product Description


OFW Wonder Bar 2 Review

OFW Wonder Bar 2 Comprehensive Review Review Date: 3/2014
Application:
Multi-purpose / WOD
Price: $219 + shipping
Overall value: Low
Gym Status: Sold; black zinc + loud bar + own better.
Noteworthy: Entry-level bar, no whip, loud end caps. Fringe leaves their own reviews which has always bothered me, but their bars are technically better than a CAP or other box-store bars though.
View: Full Review | Product Description


York Burgener & Rippetoe Bar Review

Burgener & Rippetoe Bar Comprehensive Review Review Date: 1/2014
Application:
Multi-purpose, but predominantly powerlifting.
Price: $295 + shipping
Overall value: High
Gym Status: Still own; will keep forever.
Noteworthy: Bare steel featuring sintered bronze bushings. It was discontinued as a York bar but is now produced [slightly differently] by Rogue Fitness.
View: Full Review | Product Description


 

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{ 11 comments… add one }
  • Alex February 15, 2018, 10:55 am

    Great idea. I like it!

  • Joey February 15, 2018, 11:27 am

    Wow, awesome collection you have there! I’m impressed you still own so many bars, especially considering many are overlapping. I’ve also owned a Lot of bars (many of the same you have), but I usually sell to “upgrade” or try something new. I Definitely regret selling a few of mine over the years..

    • jburgeson February 15, 2018, 11:38 am

      Honestly I keep many of the better ones for future reviews so I don’t have to go off memory for comparisons and such. The cheap bars like CAP, AF, FS are the ones that get sold immediately, and those funds applied to something else. I’m sure I could stand to dump some of these but I think I’m just a bar hoarder haha.

  • Tony February 15, 2018, 8:31 pm

    Nice! I knew you handled a lot of bars but it’s still quite impressive to see these all in one place.

    • jburgeson February 15, 2018, 8:49 pm

      I didn’t know it was that long either. It doesn’t feel like I’ve had that many – yet some are still missing from that list and some bars never even got reviewed. I have a problem lol

  • Dunkman February 20, 2018, 11:27 am

    I feel like there may be a cable series in this for you…. Bar Hoarders. My MIL is a hoarder, but nothing cool like WL bars. Life isn’t fair.

    Excellent guide. Thanks!

    • jburgeson February 20, 2018, 11:30 am

      lol thanks. You know only like 12 people would watch that, unless bar hoarding could somehow be made to be super dramatic or hostile.

  • Isaac February 24, 2018, 2:18 pm

    I’m looking at buying a barbell from rogue the B n R, but was wondering throughout the years I there are any deals like black Friday for pricing or does it stay the same typically?

    • jburgeson February 24, 2018, 2:20 pm

      Black Friday/Cyber Monday has typically been your only chance at a deal, and frankly when it comes to bars they aren’t huge deals anyway – even if the bar you want is part of the sale. Other than that finding bars in the Boneyard is the only way to avoid full price – at least with Rogue.

  • Isaac Carrillo April 17, 2018, 7:05 pm

    Out of curiosity I just bought the B n R barbell and love it but weighed it and it weighs 46lbs, is that normal? or is it my scale?

    • jburgeson April 17, 2018, 8:04 pm

      It’s not the kind of bar that would have been calibrated, but a pound is a bit so it could be a combination of your scale and the bar being slightly heavy. It’s not unusual though – wouldn’t worry about it.

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