Are you in need of some new bumper plates for your garage gym, CrossFit gym, or Olympic training center but you don’t know which brand or even which type of bumpers to buy? Well you have come to the right place!
Whether you are just getting started and buying your very first bumper plate set, looking for an upgrade to your existing bumpers, or you just need access to more weights in light of all your new gains, I can help. I have scoured the net for the best brands & set prices for basic black bumper plates, training bumpers, and competition WL discs. I’ve considered bumpers from all the major manufacturers and found what I believe to be the best prices on the most durable bumpers on the market. Let’s get started!
For a primer on bumper plates, including the difference in the types of bumpers, the advantages of bumpers vs steel plates, and average prices per pound by brand, see my original bumper plate guide.
Best Bumper Plate Sets – Table of Contents
- Basic Black Bumper Plate Sets
- Basic Kilo Bumper Plates
- Colored Bumper Plate Sets
- Training Bumper Plate Sets
- Competition Bumper Plate Sets
- Looking for steel or rubber-coated plates?
Basic Black Bumper Plate Sets
The contenders: HI-Temp, Rogue HG 2.0, Vulcan, American Barbell Sport, Rogue Echo, Rep Fitness, FringeSport, and XF bumper plates.
Brands left out – but not forgotten: There is no shortage of other basic bumper brands – Kraiburg, Again Faster, Ader, York, Pendlay, and all the small CrossFit shops that get their names stamped on versions of these very same bumpers.
In an effort to keep this basic bumper plate section even remotely easy to read, brands not offered in sets, redundant brands with higher prices, brands with inferior/no warranties, and brands known to be of poor quality (box-store brands like VTX, RAGE, CAP, etc) have been left out or even omitted from this post.
Weight sets: I’ve priced out the following sets – 160-lbs (pairs of 10’s, 25’s, and 45’s), 260-lbs (pairs of 10’s, 15’s, 25’s, 35’s, and 45’s), and the 340-370-lb range (included plates vary slightly in this range). There are many other sets of varying weights and plate combinations available but these three are the most common and therefore the easiest to compare. This should be more than enough to give you a solid idea of how each brand is priced.
Specifications: When it comes to basic black bumpers, these brands are all very similar; some are even made in the same factory. With the exception of HI-Temps, all these plates are the IWF standard, 450 mm in diameter plates with 50 mm steel inserts (HI-Temps are 17.5″, or 444 mm.) When shopping other brands avoid plates with brass or bronze inserts; buy plates with steel or stainless steel inserts only.
The width of each size can vary slightly by brand. Most are generally in the same ballpark, but the crumb rubber brands (XF and HI-Temps) are super thick. Avoid these if you need to stack some decent weight on the bar. Below I’ll summarize each brand and discuss what (if anything) makes them unique.
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The HI-Temps are significantly thicker and more resilient than the virgin rubber brands, but they produce more bounce. They’re also one of the few bumper options suitable for outdoor use (the other being the colored Vulcan Alphas). They’re also one of the only brands made in the US of A. Drawbacks include a higher cost and a slightly smaller overall diameter than pretty much every other single plate on the market (17.5″ vs IWF 450 mm). Hi-Temp plates are also more susceptible to insert separation than virgin rubber plates.
Vulcan Strength bumper plates are currently my favorite plate available. Not only are they priced competitively (especially in large sets), but the plates themselves have a number of design innovations that improve their durability so that you never have to replace them.
While there are many, the most important improvement is the inclusion of steel rebar to the insert (image below). So now not only is the plate molded around the insert, but the rubber also gets molded around this rebar as well. This update pretty much eliminates any chance of insert separation. In the image below, you can see a cross-section of a Vulcan 10-pound plate. Even with half the plate cut away, the insert still won’t come out of the plate.
The combination of this improved durability, competitive set pricing, long warranty, and low bounce make the Vulcan plates about the best choice for CrossFit and Olympic training; in both garage gyms and busy CrossFit affiliates.
Update: Vulcan’s black bumpers now have white lettering. The plate is the same though.
Rep Fitness Bumpers sport Vulcan’s hooked insert and thin profile disc design, and prices look surprisingly low on the surface, but Rep Fitness doesn’t include shipping rates into the cost like most other vendors. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing to do site-wide, but if there is one product that this backfires on it is bumper plates, as most companies sell these at near break-even prices or even a loss just to get your business. Rep does not. So get a shipping quote for your area and maybe the Reps are good deal.
Note: if you’re ordering more than just plates, the overall cost to ship your order will be very low relative to other vendors. Don’t rule out Rep because they don’t do embedded shipping.
FringeSport Bumper Plates are Vulcan and Rep’s biggest bumper competitor. They offer the same innovative bumper plate, a large set variety, and free (embedded) shipping. They also offer their basic bumpers in black, black contrast, and IWF colors – lots of variety!
FringeSport also matches everyone else’s warranty on heavy plates but gives a full year on their 10’s and 15’s. They even pay for return shipping if you ever actually have an issue. It’s also worth mentioning, for the sake of comparison shopping, that Fringe Sport plays pricing games in the sense that their bumpers are always on sale, so the “regular price” is going to be higher than the actual price you pay. The issue I take with this is that there is no reliable price to give you guys, so in my list(s) below I have just used their regular price. Be sure to click over to Fringe to see what the real price is, it may be less (it’s ridiculous, I know.)
The American Barbell Sport Bumpers are AB’s version of the black bumper plate. These have a competitive starting price, and like most dealers the cost does include shipping on sets. Unfortunately, these plates don’t feature the design enhancements of the Vulcans and they actually cost slightly more. They’re nice-looking plates and they will last, but ever since the prices were raised 5-10% they aren’t nearly as competitive. [review]
The Rogue HG 2.0 is the standard basic black bumper model. This is the plate design that most of us are familiar with, and the ones you see in most CrossFit boxes (the previous HG plates had the grenades on them). The HGs were recently improved and are now similar in appearance to the Vulcan version, but unfortunately the Rogue plates do lack the anchored insert. I have no problem with these plates, but they are best for lifters looking to add some big plates to an existing collection, as the 10’s and 15’s are not the most durable around.
The Eleiko XF’s are by far the thickest bumpers available, and also the most expensive.
Set variety is non-existent, as XF plates are only offered in a 370-pound set or 100 kilogram set. You’ll have to buy pairs if you want less weight, but I don’t recommend building a set of any brand of bumpers in pairs. An unfortunate drawback to these (aside from pricing) is the fact that the steel inserts are not seamless like other plates, and the seam will do a number to the finish of your barbell. That said, these are some the quietest plates on the market, so if that noise dampening is important to you, these may be the plates for you.
Alternatively, the Vulcan Alphas are just as quiet as the XFs, but they are colored so they aren’t in this list. That said, Alphas are less expensive, thinner, and the inserts don’t have a damaging seam. If noise is an issue in your home/garage gym or affiliate I strongly suggest looking into the Alphas if the XF’s are out of your pricing comfort zone. You can also read a review of the Alphas here.
160 lb Bumper Plate Sets
The 160-pound set is the smallest available set and it contains a pair of 10’s, 25’s, and 45’s. This set is small, and I’d suggest at least the 260-pound set if you are starting from nothing. Having said that, this is the one set that just about every merchant offers so I have included it here for comparison purposes. Just remember – the larger the set is, the less you pay per pound, and the more time you have before you need to add more weight to that set.
- Vulcan Strength Premium Bumpers – $278
- American Barbell Sport Bumpers – $276
- Rogue HG 2.0 Bumpers – $295 *
- FringeSport Contrast Bumpers – $360
- HI-TEMP Bumper Plates – $340
- FringeSport Black Bumpers – $346
- Rep Fitness Bumper Plates – $200 + LTL
* requires the purchase of two other ‘3-ships-free’ items to receive free shipping.
260 lb Bumper Plates Sets
The 260-pound set is a well rounded intro set that includes pairs of every plate from 10-lbs to 45-lbs (10’s, 15’s, 25’s, 35’s, and 45’s). The Vulcan’s currently have the best pricing, and they are also the more innovate and durable model. If you plan to toss around your 10’s or 15’s around alone on the bar I would definitely go with this design. If not, then the durability of the smaller plates matters not (though Vulcan does still have the best price).
- Vulcan Strength Premium Basic Bumpers – $419
- FringeSport Black Bumpers – $439
- American Barbell Sport Bumpers – $462
- Rogue HG 2.0 Bumpers – $475 *
- HI-TEMP Bumper Plates – $525
- FringeSport Contrast Bumpers – $595
- FringeSport USA-Made Crumb Rubber – $627
- Rep Fitness Bumper Plates – $309 +LTL
* requires the purchase of two other ‘3-ships-free’ items to receive free shipping.
350(ish) lb Bumper Plates Sets
These bigger sets are not as easy to side-by-side compare as the previous two – due to the difference in total weight and difference in plates offered in the packages. They range from 340-lbs to 370-lbs depending on the vendor, but in all cases these are the most economical (cost per pound) sets offered. Free shipping is available to various parts of the country from all of the listed vendors below except for the XFs and Reps.
- Vulcan 340-lb set (10’s,25’s,35’s,45’s,55’s) – $525
- Vulcan 370-lb set (10’s,15’s,25’s,35’s,45’s,55’s) – $551
- Rogue HG 2.0 350-lb (10’s,15’s,25’s 35’s,45’s,45’s) – $605 *
- Alpha 340-lb set (10’s,25’s,35’s,45’s,55’s) – $604
- American Barbell Sport (10’s,15’s,25’s,35’s,45’s,45’s) – $606
- FringeSport Bumpers 370-lb (10’s,15’s,25’s 45’s 45’s,45’s) – $629
- FringeSport Contrast 370-lb (10’s,15’s,25’s,45’s,45’s,45’s) – $649
- HI-TEMP 350-lb (10’s,15’s,25’s 35’s,45’s,45’s) – $700
- Rep Fitness 370-lb (10’s, 15’s, 25’s 45’s, 45’s, 45’s) – $455 + LTL
- XF 370 lb (10’s,15’s,25’s,35’s,45’s,55’s) – $764 +LTL
Basic Bumpers in Kilograms (KG)
Finding basic bumper plates in kilograms is not as simple in the United States as it is in the rest of the world, but selection has gotten better. Rogue offers black HG plates in kilograms, Vulcan offers colored basic bumpers in kilograms, and American Barbell offers both.
- Vulcan KG Training Bumpers (they are basic, but they are colored)
- Rogue KG HG 2.0 Bumpers (regional free shipping on sets only)
- American Barbell KG Sport Bumpers (also available in IWF colors)
Basic Color Bumper PlatesColored basic bumpers are a compromise between basic black plates and Olympic training and competition discs. Getting IWF colors on your basic plates raises prices somewhat, of course, but no where near what professional, large-hub discs cost.
The Alphas are the real leaders of this group – although the colors are speckled rather than solid. Alphas are quieter than basic bumpers, can be used indoors or out, have all the same durability features of Vulcan’s black plates, and they blow other basic colored bumper plate prices out of the water. Read my review on Alphas here if they are on your radar.
Fringe Sports Savage Bumper Plates are a uniquely-colored alternative to Alphas if you do not care about the indoor/outdoor advantage. Rather than being speckled, they have a sort of tiger-stripe color effect. They are built just as well as Fringe’s other basic bumper styles. I have a review of the Savage Bumper Plates that you can read here.
The Rogue Echos are regularly out of stock because they are a good plate for private, non-commercial use, but it’s not as durable a plate as the Rep, FringeSport, and Vulcan options. FringeSport and Vulcan both offer their solid-colored plates in bulk, which is the way to go if you’re looking for a lot of colored plates for a gym or box. American Barbell Shields are very unique, but also a bit on the expensive side.
- Vulcan Alpha Bumpers 250 lb set (10’s, 25’s, 45’s, 45’s) – $455
- Vulcan Colored Basic Bumpers 260 lb set (10’s, 15’s, 25’s, 35’s, 45’s) – $466
- FringeSport Color Bumpers 250-lbs set (10’s, 25’s, 45’s, 45’s) – $499
- Rogue Echo Colored 260 lb set (10’s, 15’s, 25’s, 35’s, 45’s) – $499
- Rep Fitness Colored 260 lb set (10’s, 15’s, 25’s, 35’s, 45’s) – $379 + LTL
- AB Colored 260 lb set (10’s, 15’s, 25’s, 35’s, 45’s) – $495
- American Barbell Shields 300 lb set (25’s, 35’s, 45’s, 55’s) – $609
- Fringe Sport Savage Bumper Plates 260-lb set – $621
- Troy VTX Economy Colored Bumper Plates – $no
Olympic Training “Competition” Bumper Plate Sets
Olympic Training bumper plates are the non-certified version of Competition bumper plates. They have a much larger steel hub than basic bumpers have, they’re color-coded, and they offer a dead bounce when dropped. Weight tolerances are much stricter than they are with basic bumpers. In the USA, training bumpers are easily found in both kilos and pounds with Rogue, American Barbell, and Rep Fitness all catering to the Imperial market.
The term competition plate is kind of a catch-all for large hub bumper plates despite the fact that almost none of them are actually certified for competition. Typically speaking only those manufacturers with certified equipment have legitimate training plates, as they are their un-certified, un-calibrated version of their certified competition plates. In other words, calling a plate a comp plate while not paying for certification basically makes it a training plate. So if and when you see “competition plates” in this training section, you know why.
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Training Discs – 140 kg / 320-lb Sets
The 140 kg set includes a pair of 10’s, 15’s, 20’s and 25’s. The 320-lb set includes a pair of 25’s, 35’s, 45’s, and 55’s.
You’ll see that Rogue and FringeSport has the best pricing on large hub discs, but as a rule you should always double-check Vulcan for a sale, and get a quote from Rep too. American Barbell also frequently runs a sale so always check them out as well. If you like the smaller hubs, you’ll want to look at the American Barbell Trainers for kilos, and any of the Urethane plates.
- FringeSport Training Bumper Plates – $799 (lbs) / $799 (kg)
- Rogue Training Bumper Plates 2.0 – $960 (kg) / $960 (lbs)
- FringeSport Competition Bumper Plates – $869 (lbs)
- Rep Fitness Competition Bumper Plates – $750 (kg) / $750 (lbs)
- Rogue Competition Bumper Plates – $1035 (kg)
- Vulcan Competition Bumper Plates – $1148 (kg) *
- American Barbell Training Bumper Plates – $863 (kg) / $883 (lbs) *
- WerkSan Olympic WL Training Discs – $1485 (kg)
- Ivanko OCB Olympic Bumper Plates – $1815 (kg)
- Eleiko Training Discs – $1987 (kgs)
- Vulcan Prime Urethane Bumper Plates – $998 (lbs)
- Rogue Urethane Bumper Plates –$1100 (lbs)
- American Barbell Urethane Bumper Plates – $1580 (kg)
* frequently on sale so check for lower price.
Rogue almost always has a multitude of basic, training, and competition bumper plates in the Closeouts section of their website, including used plates from the 2017-2018 CrossFit Games.
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Competition Bumper Plates Sets
While I initially did price out all of the major brands and multiple weight sets, I have decided not go into too much detail with the competition bumpers since so few people want or need them. However, in order to give a general idea of prices for some major brands I will list the current prices for a handful of 140 kilo sets and then provide links for each so that you may research them further if you would like.
If you are in need of equipment for an event, research very thoroughly which styles/brands are approved for your event. If you are not an event organizer, do NOT pay the premium for certified discs. You aren’t getting a better disc you are merely paying for that manufacturer’s annual IWF dues.
140-kg Competition Bumper Plate Sets
The 140 kilo sets include a pair of 10’s, 15’s, 20’s, and 25’s. Standard Olympic plate colors are green (10’s), yellow (15’s), blue (20’s), and red (25’s).
- Rogue Competition Bumper Plates (CrossFit) – $1125 (lbs)
- Rogue Competition Bumper Plates (USAW) – $1035
- Eleiko IWF Olympic WL Competition Discs – $2291 †
- Uesaka IWF Olympic WL Competition Discs – $2070 †
- WerkSan IWF Olympic WL Competition Discs – $2270 †
† certified by the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) ‡
‡ again, non-event organizers need not pay the premium for IWF-certified discs – ever!
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If you have any feedback about any of these bumper plates, please leave a comment. If you feel I neglected a particular brand that should have made this list, I welcome comments on that as well. Tell me which brand, and why it should be here. Please share me!
Any opinion of StrengthshopUSA.com bumpers?
They lack any manufacturing specifics in the product description, but the shape alone tells me that they are the older version of the standard black bumper. Plus retailers who offer the newer versions make it a point to tell you that they do. Those are just like the current Troy VTX.
Thanks for the feedback. The strengthshopUSA bumpers are significantly less expensive then others, so it makes sense they are older.
Thanks for the reviews. Excited to get my garage gym started. Your pricing homework and comparisons are very helpful.
Keep in mind that all the others include shipping in the cost already where as those bumpers did not.
I appreciate the kind words, and have fun getting set up. You recoup the money for a garage gym in saved gym dues a lot faster than you think (unless you’re at planet fitness =p)
Great site I am trying to piece together my home gym and found lots of great info here.
I was wondering if I could get your opinion on the quality of the york bumpers vs the rogue HG? The reason I ask is that I can get the york plates a decent amount cheaper locally but I am a bit worried about the quality and can’t find much info.
I am just about to pull the trigger on a rogue set but if I can get a bit more weight for my $$ I may consider the york.
Hey Robbie, thanks. The odds are that the York’s are identical to the HG, as the York’s I’ve seen myself were. If you look at them and compare them visually, the only real difference in shape should be the lettering/logos. The plate should look the same. So yea, If you can get them for less than the HG’s or OFW’s, grab ’em. I don’t list York here because they are redundant and harder to find in sets online for comparable prices. If it’s local and a deal, go for it.
Glad I found your site, it’s nice to get a non-biased objective opinion. Just wondering any concern regarding products from China? Is there any advantages or benefits from getting the US manufactured bumper plates? Thanks
Hey Bill, sorry for the delay I didn’t get the email on this one…
With bumper plates, other than the HI-Temps, they’re pretty much all from China. I can probably say the HI-Temps will last longer by a little, but they bounce like no other and cost a bit more. HI-temps are also thicker so you’ll get less maximum weight on the bar. I guess what I’m getting at is there is no reason to avoid the Chinese bumpers really, especially being that it’s not like there are a lot US options.
Any input on the Rogue Echo bumper plates? http://www.roguefitness.com/rogue-echo-bumper-plates
Echo plates are fine plates. They aren’t offered in big set sizes though, and they didn’t implement any durability options like the rebar insert. Good prices though if you need a small set.
have you compared the Eleiko Sport bumper and the American Barbell bumper? they look very similar and difference than other plates….no skrew/bolt patern>
I have not. Both of those are very uncommon plates, especially for a garage. I’ve seen the Eleiko Sports come up a few times on the CrossFit and WL boards, and the American Barbell comp plates maybe once or twice, but that’s about it. There just hasn’t been enough interest in comp plates to warrant trying to get my hands on various brands to compare. They look like the same plate to me though. Not everything Eleiko makes is made in Sweden btw.
Any reviews on Rep Fitness Competition colored bumper plates. Seems like come from the same factory as Fringe Sports Vaughn Weightlifting bumpers and Again Faster Klokov plates. Thanks
It is extremely likely that they do come from the same place. Of those three brands of comp bumpers, it just comes down to price and/or which brand you prefer to work with. Vaughn’s seem cheaper by a decent amount though.
Excellent study! Thanks!
Hi! Thanks for all the reviews you do. I find them really helpful. I believe I’ve settled on getting the full vaughn setup, as my focus has shifted to olympic lifting over the past 6 months. I currently have a fringe bomba bar and black lbs bumpers, and while they are perfectly fine for most things, they leave a bit to be desired when it comes to the snatch and C&J, and I’d simply rather work in kilos at this point. But I’m stuck on something. I am trying to figure out what kind of change plates to get. It seems like Werksan USA is almost the only one even offering anything in this department, so I’ll probably order form them, but I can’t figure out whether to get regular metal change plates or “rubber friction plates”. The rubberized ones sound cool, but I have no experience with them and I don’t want to pay extra money for something that ends up being more of a pain to work with. Do you have a recommendation you could offer? Thanks again for all you do!
Well as you know, kilo change plates are not cheap. I would personally just go with whatever you got the best deal on, whether that was metal or friction. Friction holds onto the bar better, but it really doesn’t matter that much when training Olympic lifts unless it’s long CrossFit sets. Also, in addition to WerkSan, check out DHS, Eleiko, and Vulcan as well. Avoid Pendlay’s like the plague; I’ve heard time and time again that the weights are off by a lot, and that they fall apart. Oh, American Barbell has urethane kilo fractional plates, but I’ve not actually ever seen them so I can’t really say anything.
I train the O lifts at two gyms: one uses the Vulcan training kg bumpers, the other has an assortment of Rogue, Pendlays and a set of the American Barbell Urethane (competition) plates. Both gyms have multiple lifters 4 times/week. After 2 years, the Vulcans have proved to be outstanding bumpers. The white lettering wears off easy but otherwise, no chips, splits or loose bolts or centerpieces. By contrast, at the other gym, after just over one year, the Rogues and Pendlays require routine tightening on the bolts and some of the centerpieces have come so loose that attempting to tighten a bolt will just result in the entire centerpiece spinning around. Most of the Rogues and Pendlays also have chips missing from the circumference of the plate. By comparison, the American Barbell plates have held up quite well. No chips or scratches and no bolts to tighten or loose centerpieces. Of course, at the significantly higher price, not shocking that the ABs look better and last longer than the Rogues or Pendlays.
Not too long ago, Rogue sourced their bumpers through Pendlay, and Pendlay is just bad. Rogue doesn’t source a single thing that I know of from them anymore, so I’m hoping that the new discs are a little better… especially since I own a set! Do you like the urethane plates at all? Notice any difference in bounce, feel?
I have a set of Eleiko’s Urethane. I believe they are made in the same factory as AB’s. My experience is they definitely bounce a little more, but not tremendously. However, for a big gym setting I think they are a great choose because everything I’ve read and seen is that they are indestructible. I am also pretty sure the Gen1 rogue plates where just Pendlay with different lettering……and equally crap! My coaches barbell club uses the Rogue 2.0 plates 3 times a day and they are holding up great. I also have a set of Rogues new “comp” plates in my garage, and I actually like them even more that my werksan training plates. Not endorsing Rogue, but it seems they really have stepped up their gear in the last 2 years.
Yes, texture and appearance of the AB Urethane plates is more like a sponge, whereas the other brands/materials I”ve used have more of a smooth, plastic finish. In terms of bounce, the AB Urethane have little to no bounce whereas the Rogues and Pendlays I can usually “dribble” on the first hop (like a basketball) without bending over
The other notable thing about the AB Urethane plates is that they will not fit on all bars. The gym that uses them has assortment of AB, Pendlay and Yorks. The AB plates will not fit on the Yorks, which I suppose indicates that the ABs have a slightly smaller hole to produce less rattling around.
A couple points on customer service and warranties: These are AB’s top of the line plates. They SHOULD be more durable and less bouncy for the money. The gym originally purchased one of the “training” varieties, which began bulging on the sides after a few weeks of use. AB acknowledged the problem and sent the Urethane plates as loaners until they could get the problem fixed. That was more than a year ago and they have never called back. Don’t know what that means about the status of their “training” bumpers but I think it speaks well of them for customer service.
Similarly, I know you are not impressed with Pendlay products and I will say that I, too had a bar sleeve seize on me after 5 years but MDUSA replaced the bar at no cost to me after I sent a video demonstrating the problem. Nobody likes equipment failures and I also cannot recommend Pendlay’s bumpers based on what I have seen, but I will at least give MDUSA points for owning the problem and fixing it.
BTW, thanks for your research and recommendations. Extremely useful info and much appreciated.
I have a pair of the urethane and I like them a lot, but you don’t see them around often so I like to know what people think about them. Do you know which plates were the problem plates? The ones that were replaced with the urethane? I’ve not heard anything about any bad AB plates other than the old, basic plate bumpers.
I remember a while back people had to post their complaints about their Pendlay bars in public forums to get the problem solved. Like if MDUSA refused to fix their broken bar, they’d go tell the world on the CrossFit forums or something like that, and wouldn’t you know it that MDUSA would respond and fix it. That bothers me to no end that it takes something like that to get a warranty issue handled. I want to say you got lucky, but to be fair who knows how many they fix vs don’t fix that we never hear about… so maybe the others were unlucky. Shrug. I still don’t like them =p
Any insight on XTraining Equipment bumpers? They are local so I can get a heck of a deal, but can’t find any information on them at all… thanks!
Their bumpers are fine. It doesn’t look like they do anything special with the light plates to keep them flat longer, but if the price is right and you don’t use the 10’s and 15’s as technique plates and drop them alone on the bar, it’ll be fine. That is of course assuming you’re getting a much better deal than the website prices by walking in and picking them up. Not a fan of their bars though.
I have been searching for fractional plates. I would ideally like to just buy one .5kg pair (or 1.25lb) for taking to a commercial type gym where the smallest jump is 2.5lbs.
I have heard about getting washers
This is one of the better deals (on a set) I have seen so far
Interestingly enough, GP is American Barbell.
Sort of a specific question looking for some advice. I’m 55 years old, and been lifting 6 months. Revamping my basement gym and was looking to add just a pair of 25lb bumper plates to aid in doing warms up for deadlifts (I’ve been skipping warms ups for lack of plates). Someday down the road I’d like to learn how to Power Clean but, that could be another 6 months or more. After reading your article I feel foolish buying two bumpers and wonder if it makes sense to jump in and get the 160 lbs rouge set? I’m 5’6″ and not super strong and at my age, I’m not going to be out growing it anytime soon. Make sense or just carry on with the idea of picking up plates pairs…? I realize it my might not be a right answer, but looking for advice from someone that has more history/knowledge than I do… Thanks so much for the site and all your help!
Hey Paul. The biggest advantage to buying sets is the free shipping deals. It’s not really free; the cost is in the set, but it’s still usually cheaper that pairs unless you live within the same shipping zone as whoever you buy from. I don’t see anything wrong with buying pairs as you need them, you’re not really losing anything if you don’t need the other plates any time soon. If you said I need 25’s today and 45’s in a month, I’d say buying pairs is foolish. Still, you’d want to see what that shipping is on a 50 pound package.
Rogue will give you the absolute best shipping prices of probably any retailer. Bars ship for about $15. Not bad for nearly 50 pounds in a very long, oddly shaped shipping container. If you’re fortunate enough to live in the same city as one of these dealers, that’s the best deal usually. No shipping, and prices are usually even discounted for pick-ups.
Any thoughts on the crumb rubber ones from AF? Are they just like hi Temps?
Hey Matt, yeah I think they’re just imported versions of the HI-Temps. I haven’t come across them yet, so I don’t know how they compare. HI-Temps are pretty durable bumpers though, and they cost less after shipping, so those crumb rubbers would be a tough sell for me. The smallest 160 pound set was $197 shipping vs free shipping for HI-Temps elsewhere. Colors are kinda cool I guess =p
I am currently looking for a set of bumper plates strictly in kilograms which will be used in my new garage gym. I have been browsing Websites like rogue, fringe, pendlay, again faster and almost anything i can think of that would sell gym equipment. Right now my top pick are Pendlay HG 150kg bumper set due to the low price and free shipping compared to the Rogue HG 2.0. Any thoughts on the Pendlay weights in terms of durability, if the hole sits on the sleeve perfectly and bounce? I plan to match these weights to a Rogue OL bar where the bar and weights will only be used during the two Olympic lifts. Any advice will be nice, thank you very much!
Rogue and Pendlay plates used to be exactly the same. Rogue has updated theirs a couple times in the last two years with stronger rubber and slimmer plates, Pendlay has not. You should be able to get Rogue Echo KG plates for the same or less than Pendlay when they are in stock. Usually, from lowest to highest, the prices go Echo, Pendlay, HG, HI-Temp. Echo plates are a free-shipping item I thought.
I personally am not a Pendlay fan at all. I’ll always recommend Rogue over Pendlay. Rogue has warranties, allows customers to leave product reviews (even when they’re bad), and is not a total PITA to deal with. The 5% savings you can get on a few random items would never be worth it to me personally even if they were the same product. Fortunately, for me it never even comes up; I find Rogue products to be superior, and priced extremely well for the quality/innovations/features.
Thanks for replying with the knowledge!
I have another question. Would you recommend the competition/training plates over the standard bumpers? Like is it worth the $300 difference for a 140kg set.
If you can afford to and you’re serious about Olympic lifting, I think it’s worth the investment. Comp plates are so much more durable than basic plates, and that durability matters on the lighter ones. You don’t have to own a $2k set of Eleiko’s to own good comp plates either, which is nice. Brands like Rogue and Vaughn are very affordable. I have a combination of both (basic and comp, that is), but I’m heavy on the basic bumpers and I’m actually trying to decide which brand of comps to move into right now.
I have a question Is there a differents between color bumper and black bumper or is it more of a preference to have color bumpers cuz I’m deciding whether to get the vulcan 250lb set bumper but I don’t know if I should spend the extra $100 for the colors and can you use others bumpers with the valcan bumpers??
There is no difference, it’s just personal preference. Most people don’t care about colors until they are into competition-style bumpers. Even then, it doesn’t actually matter off of a stage. You can mix and match bumpers on the bar, assuming they are all standard 450 mm.
one thing I did notice is that OFW colored plates do not come in a 25kg / 55lb plate and the OFW 45s are red like the 55s of Rogues Econos and 35s are blue like 45s would norm. be! plus with only 15″ on my bar collars the Rogue Econos seams like a better deal for loading more weight on for my deadlifts unless I want to go with training / comp plates of which I will do a combination , Getting a set of 55lb training plates @ 2.5″ to add to my Econos but of course I could just add a pair of 45 lb steel plates and spend less but loose 20 lbs , I do not want all the noise of going with only steel. So with trying to find the best deal will prob. go with Rogue Econo colored plates. $350.00 set 625.00 free shipping Incl. 55 lb plates are part of set.
Yeah Eddie, I don’t know why Fringe did that color scheme. Technically it doesn’t matter since those plates will never be on a stage, but I still get wanting to stay within the normal theme. The Rogue Echo is the best deal right now; it was the OFW plates before the Echos were released. I still like OFW for blacks, and they have great pricing on the Vaughn comps, but Rogue is making it a point to undercut everyone else on these colored training plates. Plus, the Echo plates aren’t too wide, which is nice… at least as far as training plates can go.
My bad on the price it is – $625.00 for a 350 lb set, Free delivery. Thanks for the site.
I’m looking to purchase a set of color bumper plates with or without a bar. I would prefer training over echo style plates, definitely no money for comp. Have there been any updates? Ideally I’m looking for a 320+ set with change plates included.
You will probably have to buy change plates separate since most full sets out there are IWF brands, this is especially true if you’re interested in pounds vs kilos for colored plates. Rogue’s 2.0 training plates are quite nice, I actually picked a set up myself a couple weeks ago (in kilos though.) American Barbell also has a number of plate options in pounds. Let me ask you this, do you have a bar preference?
Any thoughts on Lynx Econ plates? They are close by and I can pickup and save a little.
They are the older models, but if you don’t treat the 10’s and 15’s like Olympic technique plates and toss them around, you’ll be fine.
I generally stick to my guns about Fringe and Vulcan and those guys because they do make better light plates that can be tossed around, and since shipped prices are all pretty close, may as well get the better plate. But, when you live close to a bumper dealer, it’s hard to beat pick-up pricing.
So down the road when I plan to get another bar for my home gym I want to get it in a complete set so I can add more bumpers to the gym as well. Right now I have my eyes set on the Vulcan 20kg Absolute SS or Eleiko 20kg olympic WL training bar. Current bumper sets in my collection are Eleiko cert comp set (about 20yrs old), ZK cert comp set from 2008 Beijing Olympics, 2pr Eleiko 10kg colored training bumpers, 1pr Werk San 5kg technique training bumpers and a very old school York colored training bumper set from my youthful heyday of competitive training for olympic weightlifting. Outside of the obvious price difference between the Vulcan and Eleiko bumper sets whats your impression of quality and functionality between them? Vulcan’s “competition” bumper set looks nice but I do not know anyone that has even seen them in person. Plus I’m open to hearing your opinion on other company’s comp/training bumper sets to match my bar collection. After doing some research on different websites to me it looks like the new Rogue training bumpers came from the exact mold as the current Eleiko comp/training bumpers. The only draw back to Rogue’s bumpers for me right now is I’ve read they bounce more than other top tier bumpers and I’ve read mixed reviews about their rubber change plates, any feedback about your experience with the Rogue bumpers and change plates? Thanks again, much appreciated
I have a full set of the new Rogue 2.0 Training plates, and I like them very much. I also have some Vulcan Comp plates as well. The Vulcan’s look a lot like the Pendlay’s in terms of design, but to me the Vulcans don’t bounce as much. The 2.0 Training plates have some bounce to them, it’s true, but I wouldn’t call it excessive. The new Rogue Comp are supposed to bounce even less than the trainers, but I can’t speak to that. That’s what I’ve been told and that’s what the Shore rating implies (I’m not sure if that’s on the site, I had a discussion with a Rogue rep about it.)
There isn’t a whole lot that can go wrong with comp/training plates really. I hear the most complaints about Pendlay because of bounce and bolts coming out (that place is a junk store IMO), and the only model that I hear about being excessively bouncy is the Eleiko Sports. The Sport is the same design as the AB Comps, but the AB Comps are urethane so they should bounce less (Eleiko comps are also urethane I believe.)
The change plates I’m unsure of. I have some, but I haven’t had them very long and I’m not sure how well they’ll hold up. I like them, but if they don’t last then it wasn’t a good investment. I have no reason to think they won’t last at this point, but I too have heard things, and this isn’t an industry where people tend to start rumors for no reason.
There was talk of letting me test the AB Comp bumpers, and I was pretty excited to see how they perform, but that has yet to materialize, and I’m not buying them after just buying that Rogue set. Just curious though, you seem set on plates, why more?
I would have considered getting the AB Comp bumpers but this time around only enough funds to get the AB SS bar, especially if I end up picking up that Vulcan 15kg Pro bar in the near future. Bumpers next time with potentially another bar to finish off the collection. Reason for adding more bumpers is to accommodate more than one person training in my home gym at a time. Space wise my gym can comfortably handle two to three people training together and I would like to have the kg’s available to not have to share plates and bars. Plus I would like to have up to three loaded bars at a time to move nonstop from bar to bar crossfit style for my variation of programming. This is a primary reason for wanting the AB SS. I have the ZK bar to start a set with say cleans, move directly to the AB SS for heavy pulls and then finish the set off with heavy dead’s with the Rogue Ohio Power bar for a compilation of reps within a set. I need a far amount of weight for a set utilizing three loaded bars LOL
Sounds like a nice setup. I’ve also had the Vaughn plates, and for the price there was nothing to complain about. Word is a lot of people pick those up just because of how affordable they are. Most of these things are made in the same place anyway.
The fact that you mention that the Vulcan’s are a lot like the Pendlay scares the sh** out of me. I have direct experience with Pendlay through a client and I wasn’t overly impressed but back in the mid to late 2000’s Pendlay was the brand to go to for a cheaper USA company that had a usable olympic bar and bumpers over the euro companies. Now it seems like Pendlay has just completely fallen apart when they could have become a leading company in the industry. That being said according to American’s webpage they are completely sold out of the COLOR KG URETHANE PRO SERIES BUMPER PLATES :-( Vulcan has their comp bumpers in stock but are out of stock on the change plates. I’m considering the Vulcan but if their bumpers are made in the same plant as Pendlay I’m feeling the need to steer clear.
I doubt they are the same plant, I just meant they have the same appearance. I mean, I don’t know that they aren’t, but I do know I haven’t had to tighten any bolts on my Vulcans. But yeah, Pendlay is the worst. Don’t get me started on them or I’ll get sued =p
So, I plan on picking up some of their friction plates. I’ve heard that they’re the last change plates you’ll ever buy (well, those of us that only need one full set ;)
Yes, the Vulcan V-Lock friction plates are of a big interest for me as well. Wish they were in stock. If Vulcan had their V-lock friction plates in stock it could be a no brainier. With the current sale prices Vulcan is offering I could get 180kg worth of Bumpers, change plates and bar for $1423.23, one hell of a deal.
15kg Women’s Pro bar – 492.99
140kg Comp bumpers- 720.25
25kg V-lock plates – 209.99
Maybe they’d honor the price and send off the plates when they are in stock. It’s a lot of stuff, I’d bet they’d be accommodating assuming the plates aren’t months out or something. /shrug
Gotcha, worth inquiring about, thanks for that suggestion :-)
Church, how long did it take AB to ship?
So I just checked out the Rogue KG Comp Bumper plates. Wow, they look really nice, just about identical to the Eleiko KG Comp Bumpers. They look so identical I wonder if they are made in the same facility/factory.
They say they make the Eleiko Comps in Sweden, but it could just be that they are assembled there. There is that video out there of those Barbell Shrugged guys touring the Eleiko factory, and they briefly showed some comp plate components unassembled, but who knows.
For the money Werksan Complete black training set is $1,399+Shipping
thats a $880 Werksan training bar 187kg set… insane deal!!!
They’re still doing that eh? I keep forgetting to look. That is insane. Goes to show you how much stuff is marked up though!
Well I will try to do my best to go easy here. With having direct experience with Werk San at this point I wouldn’t waste any money on it, I think it’s complete crap. I must say it’s been a few years now, back in the 2000’s is my last experience with their equipment so they may have improved the quality by now but back then it was junk and still may be junk (reason why so cheap, plus those disc in the pics on their site of the aforementioned set are their old school design anyways[the crap that falls apart]). At the OTC (olympic training center) they have a mix of bars and bumpers and just about all the Werk San bars and bumpers at the OTC have fallen apart and/or busted up. It’s been a couple of years now since I’ve paid a visit to the OTC but I wouldn’t doubt it if by now they have just chucked all that Werk San crap into the dumpster out back. There are only two people I know in the community that had anything good to say about Werk San and they had a personal investment in the company. That’s all I have to say about that.
They could be trying to offload those previous generation discs. I thought it was a mis-price when it was first pointed out.. they had just overhauled the site so it was completely possible. /shrug
I can only speak from personal and recent experience. I train on a WerkSan IWF bar and have a set of there IWF training plates and love them. I use the AB SS bar as a daily trainer, and switch to the WerkSan before comps. Greg Everett has a gym full of them at Catalyst and loves them. The OTC has them and Uesaka as their primary plates now from recent videos.
Well what I hope is that Werk San stepped it up and redesigned their bumpers and bars and hopefully are putting out a much better product for the $ being asked. Uesaka used to be the primary bars and bumpers at the OTC outside of a couple random Eleiko bars and the such. Back in the 2000’s politics put Werk San in the OTC and the person that did it had a lot of pull in the USAW to do it and had a personal investment in Werk San, pissed some people off. Uesaka is a great company and puts out a great product worthy of being at the OTC. I know there are people out there that like Werk San but for me if I’m going to spend that kind of money on bars and bumpers I’m going to go with something else for about the same in cost like Eleiko. I love my ZK cert comp bar (from 2008 Olympics) and have had two now but will be the first to admit the quality of craftsmanship doesn’t compare to Eleiko, Uesaka, or even Ivanko, but I love the way it whips so it was worth it to me to spend the same as I would have on an Eleiko. I know everyone has their personal preferences so I will just leave Werk San alone, sorry if I offended anyone.
I get it, when I competed most everyone wanted to train on the bars that would be used in the major competitions and they didn’t care about anything else. Now a days for me craftsmanship along with performance matters, I figure if I’m going to spend about a $1000.00 on a bar I want excellent craftsmanship along with the level of performance that everyone desires out of a bar.
I totally get that. I got rid a DHS and a Pendlay NB bar because I felt the quality was piss poor. I have an Eleiko, WerkSan and AB SS bar. The AB SS is off the charts higher quality craftsmanship in my opinion. I completely agree with your comments on Pendlay, should be the leader for American made gear, but I doubt they are in business in a couple years.
Yup it’s tick tock for them… they are doing nothing right anymore.
Thanks very much for the feedback on the AB SS bar, I’m stoked to be getting one. If I end up liking it as much as I’m hoping to, down the road I’ll look into Vulcan’s soon to be released SS Bearing Bar or even consider getting the Rolls Royce of SS bars, Ivanko’s SS Bearing Bar. Never ever considered owning an Ivanko until getting into the research of a well made bar. I’ve just always stuck to the name brands that are well known for national and international competition but now that I mainly lift for fun and joy of doing it’ I’m starting to get into the collector’s side of well crafted barbells. I could see myself picking up an Ivanko over an Eleiko for the sake of seeing what it’s like to train on an Ivanko. I’ve owned an Eleiko cert comp bar and it was one of the nicest bars I’ve ever lifted on but I’m very intrigued by the detailed craftsmanship that seems to go into an Ivanko. I completely understand why you got rid of the DHS, I’ve been around training facilities that had both DHS and ZK, even though I own a ZK for it’s whip, both DHS and ZK are made in China and it sorely shows, not well made bars by any means. Thanks to Crossfit there has been such an incredible serge of new American made barbells to hit the market that are meeting the high standards of quality at an affordable price and this is all thanks to market competition via the demand of x-fit boxes and the garage gym athlete.
If it weren’t for the market currently getting flooded with great quality at a great price I would most likely be jumping on the Rogue bandwagon. I think Rogue is doing a phenomenal job with putting out overall top quality bumpers and bars at a very competitive price. If other American companies like American, Vulcan, Ivanko, even Repfitness and a few other companies had not shown up on the bar market it would be all about Rogue. Rogue is right where Pendlay should have been had Pendlay (MDUSA) not dropped the ball in a very big way. At this moment with the little bit of research I’ve been doing my #1 pick for another set of bumpers is the Rogue KG Competition bumper plates. Whether or not their of equal quality those Rogue bumpers plates look nicer to me than Eleiko’s competition bumpers. It just sounds like Rogue may need to tweak their change plates a little and they will have an IWF cert worthy comp set.
Note: I want to give credit where credit is due. I know companies like Ivanko and American have been around for quite awhile but it’s only been recent because of the surge in fitness that their names have become more well known. I’ve known for quite awhile now that Ivanko has always put out a very high end expensive bar but back in the day nobody wanted to pay that much for a bar that wasn’t IWF certified. Now a days for me craftsmanship is more important than a sticker on the bar (that eventually wears off) indicating it’s certified.
Have you looked into IronWolfe? They are the mill shop that made Yorks IWF bar back when they where IWF. After company got sold to a Candian company they stun off. I hear their oly bar is even nicer than AB and even Ivanko but would have to wrap my hands on one before dropping $1k.
Yeah I have, they are super expensive, and nobody owns one. I’ve actually reached out to them a number of times in the last 18 months or so, but I’ve never heard anything back so I kinda just let the idea of getting to know them and their bars go. They have to be decent for what they ask for them, but it’s a little discouraging that I couldn’t get an email response from a company that’s trying to sell $1000+ bars. It feels like one of those situations where if you can’t reach a company pre-sale, how are you going to reach them if there is a problem after you’ve dropped the money. They are pretty though.
So I just checked out IronWolfe’s site. They seem like very nicely crafted bars but at this point I can’t see myself picking one up. I already have a Ohio Power bar for heavy static lifts and as far as their olympic bar goes it has bushings in the sleeves, not a fan of bushings for the explosive lifts.
IronWolfe really seems focused on Power lifting, my focus on power lifting ended a couple of decades ago and now my joints prefer the little lighter less abusive explosive technical lifts.
I’m truly looking forward to seeing what hits the market in barbells and bumpers in the next 5-10yrs.
As far as the obscure companies go I would really like to see Mavrik make a come back for sentimental reasons. Back in the late 80’s when I first started training for competitive olympic weightlifting Mavrik bars were some of the first bars I ever trained on. There is a whole history behind Mavrik in the old school oly community and I wish to see that revived. Mavrik has changed ownership but has always been owned and operated by true olympic weightlifting people. I just checked out there webpage and they are stating they offer a High performance stainless steel shaft with needle bearing sleeves olympic weightlifting bar but the bar is currently not available.
I wouldn’t hold your breath lol, that site looks 15 years old.
I hear ya, wishful thinking lol. I kind of know the situation and would be surprised if Mavrik ever comes back on the market.
I am so glad I ran into this website. I have learned a lot and have a few questions. Well I want to do crossfit to get in shape and conditioned. I bought a cast iron weight sets from academy and wanted to buy some rubber bumper plates. I want to do a lot of the workouts that crossfit gyms so I knew I would need some bumper plates. My question is what is the main the difference between cast iron and bumper plates? I know there is a price difference but what are the benefits of getting bumper plates vs cast iron. Can I use the bumper plates for bench press and squat? Or would I need cast iron for that? I can return and cast iron and buy a bumper set. I know it would be more but why would I need both? I am sorry I have a lot of questions but your website was so useful and helpful so I know you will answer my questions
Hey Ruben, check out this page https://www.garage-gyms.com/bumper-plates-review-selecting-bumpers/
I’ll still answer you here though. The only difference is the price and the ability to drop the bumpers. It really serves no purpose to have both steel and bumpers since you can do anything with bumpers that you can with steel, but you can’t use steel for everything. You shouldn’t mix steel and bumpers for lifts that end with the bar on the ground like the snatch, clean, deadlift, etc. You can mix them for benches, squats, and stuff like that so long as you don’t plan to ditch the bar (as in, you’re using safeties for your squat, not dropping the bar to the ground when you fail.) Other than to have the extra weight for your bench or something, no point in keeping the steel; I’d return them and go with bumpers.
Thank you so much. I will definitely return the other weights and buy some vulcan or rogue fitness. Thanks once again
Yeah you got it, congrats on getting your own gear.
Does it matter what bar you buy? I have an olympic bar already, can I use that one? please let me know
If you’ve got an Olympic bar with 2″ sleeves, that’s exactly what you want for bumpers.
Great site, very welcome for a novice.
Again Faster has a sale on bumper sets of ‘virgin rubber’. 90 day warranty. Very inexpensive. Any comments would be welcome.
This is a dated model that won’t survive a lot of drops of 10’s and 15’s, and that’s why it’s only 90-days. Free shipping is very nice though. If you just bench, squat, and deadlift, then weight is weight. Of course, when the sale ends, I’d look elsewhere.
I found that in OFW website the black bumper is 17.5″ diameter rather than 450mm. is that true? which means it’s same as Hi-Temp but different with other brand?
Yeah someone just pointed this out in a different post this morning. I went and checked in the garage and although it took a pretty close look to see the difference, the OFW plates are indeed a hair smaller than all the other brands. It’s definitely not a full 5-6 mm difference as the math suggests though.
I’ve used both HG and OFW on the same bar for over a year now and I have never noticed; the difference is that subtle. That’s so weird too because even though I only have one pair of OFW 45’s, I always use them first because of how narrow they are, then go to the Rogue’s when I need two wheels, or three, etc. Be that as it may, they are indeed different diameters. It won’t change how I use them though; the difference isn’t big enough to matter IMO.
I guess time will tell on durability, but everyone fights for the Pendlay plates at our box. They bounce so much less than the VTX (only real comparison for us) that it’s much better for WODs. The price was just over $1/pound during Christmas time when we picked up a 370# set. I’ve used Hi-Temps before, but they bounce insanely high. We do have one set of competition plates through Again Faster, and as far as I could tell when we bought them they were the same as Rogue for a cheaper price. The competition plates have a pretty good bounce to them as well. We generally don’t use comp plates for WODs, but how much more durable do you consider comp plates vs. standard bumpers? I know you’ve said they are much more durable.
***Edit to above. The competition plates we have are Pendlay. Again, as far as I could tell if you’re getting comp plates these are the same as Rogue. I might be completely wrong, however.
All I can say is that you couldn’t give me their products. I don’t even look at that site anymore; not even just to see what’s going on. Too much of a gamble. No reviews, no customer service, no warranties, and on and on I could go (literally, there’s more). I erased anything that even looked like an endorsement a long time ago. Interestingly enough though, VTX plates are horrible plates. It’s no surprise that even Pendlay is preferred over them.
Looking for some advice. Planning on buying a 320# set of comp/training plates. I already have a 230# set of Wright bumpers (they’re local and I get a good deal) that I’ve been using for Oly lifting and met cons for 2 years. I have been working on upgrading my bars and have decided to stop using metal plates. I am in the process of selling off 500 lbs of metal weight and have purchased a set of Vulcan V lock rubber change plates. Wanted to convert to kg but my wife refuses to make the change so pounds it is. Already had the 230# set anyway so saves me some trouble. I enjoy training the Olympic lifts, but I’ll never compete on stage.
My purpose for buying the comp plates is to have a set that will last for decades rather than years and I’d still like to be able to squat and deadlift heavy. I need to be able to fit 500+ lbs on the bar and the thinner comp plates would allow for that now that I’ve gotten rid of my steel.
I currently have three options in my price range. Again Faster has blank (no lettering), black training plates on sale for $629 shipped. I can get Wright black training plates (with colored lettering) for $653 shipped. Rogue also has their 1.0 Training plates on closeout for $740 shipped. Most of my gear is Rogue, but I’m not sure if just having the name is worth the extra expense.
Another option is to wait and see what kind of deals roll out on Black Friday. I guess that’s my question. Jump on one of these deals or hold out for now? Also, any opinion on whether it’s better to go with 55/45/35/25 or 45/45/35/25?
First off, I like 25 kg plates more than I like 55 lb plates. I can see sticking with multiple pairs of 45’s rather than 55’s if you’re going to stick with pounds, but in the end that’s up to you.
If you haven’t had any issues with Wright gear (I don’t have any experience so I can’t really comment), then I don’t see any reason not to go with them again if the close proximity saves you money. I have lost all hope in AF products so I’m not going to recommend that route, and you’re right that there is no reason to spend more to have a matching brand name on the plate.
Black Friday deals from Rogue will more than likely be what it has always been; free shipping on orders of 5 products or more, and maybe some random limited time price breaks. I don’t know about the other brands in question here… that is, what they do for the holidays. That’s still two months away so I don’t know how long you want to wait to see if you can get a deal or not.
I’ll give my 2 cents on this. Despite having issues with my Klokov bar from AF, I decided to get a set of 55s and 45s in the blank competition plates. I’m pleased with them so far, and they’re the best price per pound for competition/training plates out there. Note that these will fit much more snug on a bar that normal bumpers. This is a good thing, but they are kind of a pain to load. I personally don’t see much of a need for 35s or 25s in competition plates. Normal bumpers aren’t that much thicker at that size, and the larger plates are less expensive per pound. For your purpose (loading upwards of 500#), I’d probably get a set of 55s and maybe 2 sets of 45s. When you go heavier, you can put regular bumpers. As for durability, I’m not sure that a competition set will last that much longer than normal bumpers. If it’s just you and your wife using them I suspect any bumper will last a very long time. I will say that the AF plates definitely have a dead bounce, much more so that the Pendlay HDs.
Thanks for the input. I guess now I’m really second guessing getting comp plates at all. If I just stick with virgin rubber plates, I think I can get up to 550# on the bar using bands to hold the plates on. Probably makes more sense to save my cash and just get another set of regular bumpers especially given that I don’t pull that heavy that often. I was operating under the assumption that comp plates would be significantly more durable making them worth the extra expense.
The main purpose was just to protect my bars. Standard bumpers shouldn’t damage my bars and really meet my needs just fine. Hopefully I don’t offend anyone using an Eleiko or Rogue Euro with standard, pound bumper plates, haha.
I can’t speak to the durability difference, but jburgeson probably can. I bought 55s and 45s just because the price is good right now on the blank AF ones and they have more of a dead bounce. Depending on how strong you are, 245# including the bar gets you up to more than my max snatch and a pretty good portion of my c&j so adding normal bumpers after that is fine with me. Normal bumpers won’t harm the bar. I would look for virgin bumpers with a high durometer, just so they won’t bounce all over the place. I bought an Eleiko Sport Trainer and I use standard bumpers all the time, so you’re good lol!
Comp plates are a better design for durability since the issue of insert separation is removed, and comp plates should last for well over 10-years even in a multi-user, WL gym environment, but basic bumpers being used by only one or two ppl may last just as long. It’s not really about whether the comp plates are better (I think overall that they are), it’s about whether or not you need to spend the extra money for the durability (or other features like the thinness, coloring, etc) as a single user. In a garage gym, you probably don’t need to, though you may want to.
I will eventually get a set of comp plates. My gym’s not going anywhere. Pretty easy to sell off regular bumpers to recoup some of my expenses when that time comes. I take really good care of all my gear.
As always, I really appreciate all of the input from you guys. Helps to think out loud sometimes if you know what I mean. I will say the Wright bumpers are of very high quality and now come with free shipping. I would highly recommend them. I’ve used Rogue and OFW bumpers in the past. I prefer the Wright virgin rubber bumpers to Rogue’s. I would say their current design is comparable to the OFW plates except they have more of a dead bounce. Their Crumb bumpers are made in northern Alabama near the factory where Hi Temps are made. They don’t bounce quite as much and are of normal diameter unlike the slightly smaller Hi Temps. Their KBs and bars are also a really good value. Anything else, and I would probably go Rogue as I think their manufactured products are superior.
Great guide! Do you have any suggestions for collars/clips?
I talk about a lot of them here: https://www.garage-gyms.com/olympic-collars-guide-review/
I like the Lockjaws for most people. Easy to use, they stay on the bar, and not overly expensive.
The OSO collars are awesome
I agree, but they’re expensive.
That’s relative I guess. They actually have 3 different lines now and the regular ones (non-budget, non-Pro) are $50. Very rarely do I have to adjust them and they stand up well to hundreds of pounds. There’s nothing more annoying than collars that don’t work. $50 is a bargain.
Any thoughts on the new Vulcan Alpha bumpers? Although I’m not a fan of recycled rubber bumpers, they look pretty promising.
I have not seen them in person yet, nor have I heard any feedback yet. They’re basically HI-Temp clones, and I’m sure they’re just fine.
What do you think of the color of those things? You like it or hate it?
I’m torn. If all the things they claim about them are true, it looks like a pretty great option for a garage gymer like me. Quiet, durable, and thinner than Hi Temps with normal diameter would be great., but my previous experience with Crumb bumpers is that they’re soft, crumbly, and the 10s are kind of floppy. I’ve emailed them to get some more information. While simple in design, I was blown away by the quality of their V lock change plates and will probably purchase a set of bumpers from them soon – either virgin or these Alpha bumpers.
I’m a little thrown by the speckled look. Not sure if it’s love or hate yet. It’s not a deal breaker either way though and having the color coding without the price of the full-colored bumpers is nice from a functional standpoint. Would love to be able to see them in person.
Yeah I would like to see them too. I’m done buying bumpers in pounds though. Unless the neighbor buys them or Santa brings them, I’ll have to rely on feedback from customers.
You know I reviewed those XF plates which are also crumb rubber, and yeah the 10’s and 15’s are pretty flimsy. I mean, they shouldn’t even be 450 mm to begin with, but they are and so no doubt ppl will try and toss them. They’ll last a while, but that insert will pop eventually if they are abused.
I think people will like the color for the reason you said; cheap color identification. As far as whether it’s actually cool looking.. meh, I dunno haha
Since I last posted here, I purchased 500# of Crumb bumpers direct from the factory but ended up absolutely hating them in every way. I have been very happy with the quality of Vulcan’s products, and they claim these Alphas are superior to their virgin rubber bumpers which you have given very high praise in the past. Age old decision between tried and true and the next big thing.
One thing to note is that the 10# Alpha plate has a significantly smaller diameter when compared to the rest of the plates. Speaks to your point above.
Yeah they did that, HI-Temp and Eleiko did not bother. Their warranties are meh, but that’s why you see anywhere from 3 months to 6 months on most plates under 25#. OFW gives a year, and they will probably actually last that long.
So when you say factory, did you import the things?
Guess I should have said straight from the warehouse. I live in Atlanta, so I drove over to N. Alabama where most Crumb and Hi Temps are made.
I believe Vulcan is offering 36 month warranties on 55/45/35s, 18 months on 25s, and 12 months on 10s. Their customer service seems good so far.
After few months of use, did you like your alpha bumpers ? How do you compare them to the hi-temps?
I love the Alphas. Nothing bad to say. They’ve held up very well. Nice low, dead bounce. Very quiet. My wife used to complain if I dropped the bar during Oly lifts after 8 or 9pm when I typically work out. You can still hear it indoors now, but it’s not jarring and my daughters don’t wake up. Worth mentioning that I also upgraded to an Eleiko bar which is much quieter as well.
They’re in a completely different category than Hi Temps in my opinion. Thinner profile and normal diameter allows me to fit almost 500 lbs of bumper plates on the bar with no metal plates. The bounce is probably 25% what I observed with the Hi Temp plates that nearly bounced back up to my chest when dropped from overhead. In addition, the small diameter 10 lb plates are very solid. I have two pairs and they get used a ton. They look as good as new. They’re supposed to be able to handle being dropped, but there’s no way that would ever happen in my gym.
The only problem I’ve had is that my OSO barbell collars seemed to dig into the plates some so I stopped using them. Same problem with the V-lock change plates. Not sure if it has to do with the rubbers or the OSOs themselves.
Vulcan’s customer service has been great as well. One of my training partners ended up buying a set of Alphas for himself after using mine. I heard from a Vulcan rep that they may be coming out with some LB comp plates in the future. I’ll probably pick up a set of those when they’re released in a few months.
Thanks for feedback ! I think i will buy a set even if they are a little pricey in Canada, around 1185$ for 340 pounds with shipping !
Since you have the Rogue training 2.0 plates, I think that’s the free shipping one (45lb is 2″ width rather than 2.15″) right? Their competition plate have Raised Flanges to avoid prevent direct metal-on-metal contact between the center discs, do you see similar design in the training 2.0 plate? And for the Bolted structure, do you think it eventually will loose or break like the old training plate or it’s redesigned with some magic to make it never loose?
The 2.0 does have the rubber sitting out further than the hub, yes. I wasn’t aware of a problem with the old version. What was happening to them exactly?
I found some old thread discuss the bolt loose issue on Rogue training plate which most like the model come from Pendlay. There is even a newer youtube video about that issue if you search “competition plate loose” on google. Although I know Rogue new plates already redesigned and much better than before, I still concern if the bolted structure have risk to loose.
Yeah Pendlay was a the original supplier, and their plates are known for this.
So the bolt thing can be fixed with loctite. Those guys in that video don’t need to be doing that. Well, they didn’t need to; I’m sure they’ve trashed those by now lol.
I’ve seen many plates from many brands with that loosening thing going on. I’m not sure if it’s abuse, aging of the rubber, something else, or a combination of them all, but it’s not that uncommon as plates get older. They won’t come free of the hub though, and so long as that’s all that’s going on with the plates, they’ll function fine. Probably won’t happen any time soon in a garage gym. I say that because none of my plates have aged much with only 2 or 3 guys using them on a regular basis, even some that are many, many years old.
The 2.0s are nice. Great pricing. I have near 200 kg of them and I am happy with them.
I even don’t know it can be fixed. And your experience make me trust it more. Before I even prefer American barbell training plate for the boltless hub design, but after including shipping fee it’s much expensive than the 2.0 plate. And the 2.0 plate also thinner, which really make them best value plate if the bolt will not be a issue. I will choose the 2.0 plate as the upgrade for my metal plates. Your input very helpful, thanks again!
One of the reviews on the training plates 2.0 on the rogue website talks about the 25lb warping (though still being functional). Would the competition plates better resist the warping because of the harder rubber?
I seriously doubt it. Not by enough to matter.
25 lb / 10 kg comp-style plates are thin, but I have a feeling that the 25’s in that review got dropped at an angle at some point. They’re too new for that to have happened.
Does the higher shore durometer rating on the competition plates only imply a dead(er) bounce than the training plates? Does it imply a higher quality of rubber used?
Yes higher is firmer; less bounce.The rating is only about bounce, not any indication of quality of materials.
I was looking for a 260 lb color bumper set and the ones available now during Black Friday at Vulcan seem to be the best price $416.33
Bumper prices are already bottomed out for the most part. Retailers don’t have much more margin to work with so sales on them generally suck. Still though, Fringesport has 10% off which puts the total on 260 pounds at $386 shipped, and that’s a few bucks less. Both are good plates though so you can’t go wrong with either.
any opinions on the Rogue 2.0 training plates for WODs? Also considering set of high temps with OFW 10s vs. a set of OFWs. Would pay a little more if the durability of the Rogue’s were a lot better. Thanks for the feedback.
I’ve got nearly 200 kilos of the 2.0 Trainers. Very nice plates. Price on them is pretty good too since shipping is included in sets. Will they last longer than OFW or HI-Temp plates? Technically yeah, they should; especially longer than the HI-Temps, but I think even black OFW plates could be made to last just as long for half the money. It’s really just a preference and budget thing. If you can afford color plates and want them, sure go for it. If you can’t, that doesn’t have to mean you’re buying plates that won’t last to buy OFWs or something.
I’ve had a couple questions about HI-Temps lately, and I should clear up that if I sound like I like them a bit less than the other black plates, it’s only because the HI-Temp plates are the plates I most commonly see with insert separation problems; usually on the 10-25 pound plates. It takes a long time and takes a good amount of abuse, but because of the softer rubber used it is more likely than with the harder, virgin rubber plates, or of course the comp plates. The trade off is the slightly reduced noise and ability to use on any surface.
First off, excellent review. I am an old time weightlifter (66 years old to be exact) looking to replace my vintage iron York plates of old for a set of bumper plates, so this review is just what I needed in order to save some time in researching what’s available and reasonably well made regarding bumper plates. While I am leaning toward purchasing the Vulcan black bumper plates (the 260 lb set) to use with my vintage 1970’s York Olympic bar which is in excellent condition, my only reservation is that the plates are made in China. Since we as a country have become inundated with so much junk made in China (sorry if this offends anyone but the statement is based upon my experience as well as that of others in my age group over the years corporations in the USA have decided to produce their goods elsewhere), I am wondering if this has had any adverse effect upon the quality of the bumper plates manufactured there. While I am aware that this definitely depends upon quality control, the fact that Vulcan has only been in the business since 2009 and manufacturers their plates in China obviously gives rise to some skepticism. This noted, any comments from those who have purchased and used Vulcan bumper plates for any length of time are appreciated. Point is, I have very little faith in marketing whereby I am sure we can agree that it is the quality of the end product that counts. Thank you ahead of time.
Marty sorry, this ended up being caught by spam filter for some reason, so I apologize it took a while to display.
I’m half making this number up here, but I’d say that about 90% of the bumper market is imported from China. The very limited USA-made bumpers aren’t even the highest quality option. I get the association with China and garbage, as that is generally the case, but it is absolutely possible to have quality products produced overseas. China isn’t where you’d want your barbells from generally, but some of their bumpers are way better than what we make here; like the OFW and Vulcan; even Rogue and others. It’s the box-store/Amazon brands like VTX, CAP, etc that you want to avoid.
I’m looking into purchasing the Vulcan v3.0 bar and bumper set and will be building a gym outdoors. I noticed that hi temps are for outdoors use but what about the Vulcan bumper plates how will they hold up to the outdoors. The bumpers will be under roof and off the ground but will get Florida humid weather. Thanks
When you hear about plates like HI-Temps and Alphas being good for outside use, it’s really more about the outdoor surfaces and resilience of the plates on asphalt and dirt and such. If you’ll still be lifting on a flat, smooth surface just like any indoor garage and the plates aren’t sitting in direct sunlight, I think you can buy whatever plate you want.
Thanks! Great info here I’ve learned plenty!
Amazing website! And thank you for all the reviews and tips! Just a quick question can you use the Rogue Urethane Bumpers for Oly lifts? Cause in my mind having a little to no bounce would be bad if they are being dropped from over head.
Also currently I have the Diamond pro barbell and the sleeves tend to move back and forth a decent amount. Is there a way to reduce the movement?
You can. Urethane has a very similar dead blow to the better rubber comp plates. They aren’t big bouncers, but all bumpers still bounce some. Of course I’m going on the assumption they aren’t being dropped directly on concrete or asphalt; that some kind of platform or rubber mats are in place.
When the sleeves move laterally or even up and down on the shaft, it’s really just an indicator of a bar that was assembled with pretty loose manufacturing tolerances. Unfortunately, there is not a lot that you can do about that. If the movement is excessive, loud, and makes you uncomfortable to go heavy, then you might consider replacing the bar. If that movement is minimal and the excessive noise doesn’t bother you, then use it until you are ready to upgrade. When you do, move a step up from Diamond Pro.
Love the site – so many great tips! I’m trying to decide between the Vulcan Strength and Rogue Echo bumpers (230 lb sets). They seem pretty comparable but I’m wondering if there’s something I’m missing. Any advice/input would be much appreciated. Thank you!
Both will last, but 10’s & 15’s from Vulcan should hold up better to solo use on the bar. Not much different otherwise
@jburgeson, did you see that MDUSA is closing?
No! I was just on their site today actually wondering how they were still in business. Where did you see this?
My buddy received an email I believe that said they were liquidating their stock this week at their location at 50% off. A few people also posted on their Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/MuscleDriverUSA). I liked their Pendlay bumpers pretty well because of the dead bounce. Our box also has some of their metal pulling blocks that will last forever, but they are super loud. From reading your site it sounds like their bar selection just wasn’t competitive for the price and Rogue sells about everything now. They did sponsor a lifting team, so that kind of stinks that the company is no more.
MDUSA isn’t the only one, AF (and not just AF Canada) is liquidating as well. Creative destruction in action. Hopefully the industry will be better for it but it’s still a shame to see them crash.
AF has been walking a thin line for a while now, or so I have heard. Given slightly better circumstances they might have survived to fight on. MDUSA on the other hand has been doomed for some time. Other than funding a lifting team, they had very few redeeming qualities. MDUSA will make for an interesting story some day; I’ve heard some messed up stuff.
Any word on the interactions of the Vaughn 20kg barbell with the Vulcan Alpha Plates?
Looking to take my lifting outside for the summer.
P.S. Reviews have been amazing so far. Keep it up!
How do you mean? Like do they fit? Alphas are nice plates. I have some now; gonna review them. Haven’t had any issues with fit on them with any bars.
FYI, don’t store the stuff outside. Just use it outside.
Yes, that’s exactly what I meant. I’ve heard that some are a snug fit, especially when you go from company to company.
Yeah the problems with fitting plates and sleeves is only an issue with the cheap bars. All of the big players follow the same tolerance guidelines for insert opening, sleeve diameter, etc.
Thanks for putting together such a comprehensive and quality website! I’ve been reading your articles for a couple of weeks, getting ready to buy some equipment when I move back to Canada in a week.
Based on your Bumber Plates review I would have preferred buying the Fringe Sport OFW plates (370lb) but the shipping charge to Canada is about 400$ and I can’t afford this at the moment. I’ve contacted Vulcan because that would be my second choice, again based on your review, but I imagine their shipping costs will be about the same. I’m most concerned about the state of the 10-15lb bumpers over time, hence why I would have preferred the OFW or Vulcan.
Since I can’t manage those two options, I wanted to ask you for your opinion between the Rogue 350LB HG 2.0 Set ($888 CAD) or the 260lb Rogue Echo Bumper Set (CA$525) + 2x45lb (CA$157) – total CA$682. Shipping is included.
I plan on buying a Rogue squat rack and will be doing squats, deadlifts, snatches, clean & jerks, etc. Only my wife and I will be using the equipment and although we’ll be dropping bars on failed reps, we’ll generally try to take care of our equipment. But I’m worried about the 10-15lb getting destroyed as I do plan do use them to develop my lift techniques.
Thanks again for sharing your knowledge and look forward to reading more of your articles in the future!
Hey Eric, yeah so the OFW design for those 10’s is going to be better than Rogue 10’s, but aside from that you won’t see any difference really with the 25+ plates – they’ll all last forever.
Couple things you can do. You can buy Rogue HG or Echo (same plate really) and just see how those 10’s hold up for you, and if need be buy an actual pair of technique 10’s to go along with your set, or you can see how prices compare to Rogue over at Barbellbros – they are a Canadian re-seller for Vulcan. Prices don’t look amazing, but I’m sure that it’s cheaper than having them shipped from actual Vulcan. That sucks though about that $400 shipping from OFW… but I guess Central Texas as about as far from Canada as you can get in the US. You might ask Vulcan for a quote anyway – technically they aren’t as far from Canada as Fringe, but that depends on where you are too I suppose.
Thanks for getting back to me so quickly.
I’m kind of new at buying equipment so I have to ask you what is probably an obvious thing for everyone else. What do you mean exactly by technique plates? When I look at Rogue plates I see many training plates but there are no 10’s in there so I’m thinking you must mean something else. Or maybe Rogue doesn’t sell technique plates…
As a short follow-up questions what would you recommend for the small 2.5lb/5lb plates? Rogue has them at CA$43 and CA$57 a pair which would add 100$ for 15lb of weight. Are they all so expensive?
And thanks for the link to Barbellbros. Although the prices aren’t that great, as you mentioned, I’m sure it will come in handy in the future when I want to buy more equipment.
Oh sorry, Rogue has them listed by brand name. They are Hitechplates, though as I look at them I see they are out of stock. I want to say that American Barbell acquired HITECH, so maybe only American Barbell will sell that brand going forward, but there are generics as well. They are just very hard plastic, full size 450 mm plates that can be dropped alone on the bar. You get the low weight and full size plate for practicing technique, and they’ll last longer than 5 pairs of 10-pound bumpers. They are pricey though, so I wouldn’t necessarily run out and buy them unless you find that you’re destroying 10-pound bumpers.
Rubber change plates will cost about that much all the time, but you can buy steel plates for close to nothing from sporting good stores. They won’t be very accurate and they’ll be loud, and probably scratch your sleeves, but they are cheap. Oh, Vulcan has those V-lock rubber change plates. haha I actually have those too and they’re great, and cheaper than the rubber coated Rogue plates. Almost forgot about those.
@jburgeson, Thanks for mentioning us to your Canadian readers. I’ve been following your website for a few years now, you have some great unbiased product reviews!
A general note to Canadians interested in Vulcan products:
As the Canadian distributor for Vulcan Strength, our goal is to provide these great products at competitive prices. When comparing our prices to US sites, the current CAD to USD FX rate should be applied (1.33 today for example). As the Canadian dollar improves over time, we will be updating/adjusting our pricing. We also provide custom quotes for equipment packages, optimizing the shipping and passing any savings to our customers. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll do our best to help you out.
What is your opinion on Wright Equipment? Looks like they make a crumb rubber plate in Alabama so it may compare to Hi-Temp, and the price is good (with shipping), but I’m curious about durability, noise, bounce, etc.
I have yet to actually come across Wright equipment in person… I’ve spent some time on the site, but I’ve never been compelled to try anything as of yet.
You may want to ask Wrights about those plates because if they are made in Alabama, there is a good chance they are actually made by HI-Temp. I mean, 99% of bumpers come from China, so how many bumper plate plants could there possibly be in one state, ya know? If they actually aren’t made by them then I really don’t know how reliable they are.
Just out of curiosity, is there a particular reason you want crumb rubber plates? They bounce all over the place. Do you lift outside?
I have a ton of experience with Wright bumper plates. My CF gym of 3 years was fully outfitted with Wright Equipment as the owner was good friends with the owner. Wright also used to sponsor competitions at my sister’s CF gym.
I will tell you that Wright’s virgin bumpers are as good as just about anything else out there with a couple of exceptions. Very durable with a low bounce and generally pretty quiet. As much as I liked them, I wanted something a little quieter and more narrow (more room for plates on the bar) so I went with the Vulcan Alphas which are a significant upgrade. I’d probably buy Vulcan or OFW if I needed more training bumpers, but Wright would be 3rd. I’ve used Rogue, Again Faster, Pendlay, and others. Wright does offer free shipping, and I think they’ve got a Memorial Day sale going on now, so if you can save some money vs the other guys and you’re not using the outside or in a space where noise is a big deal, you won’t regret it.
The Crumb’s are another story. I think they’re made by Diamond Pro, not Hi Temp. I believe the two factories are one town over from each other. I’m not a big fan of Hi Temp but I prefer them to Crumb. The Crumbs are really bouncy. Drop 135# from overhead and it might return to overhead. I purchased 500# worth, used them for a couple of weeks, and quickly sold them for what I paid on CL. The insert also seemed to be of lower quality than what I was used to with Wright’s virgin rubber and certainly when compared to Vulcan’s offerings.
Oh snap I forgot about Diamond Pro… you’re probably right about the Wright’s being from them though. Yeah those are some bouncy plates. You get two chances per snatch to smash your chin ;)
Great comments guys, thanks!
I was hoping to stick with a “made in USA” plate if possible, but it’s not a requirement.
One thing that would be important to me is noise. From what I’ve read, the bouncy crumb rubber tends to be quieter than the stiffer imported virgin rubber.
I like your review of the OFW plates, but I’m just a bit concerned that they are pretty loud when dropped. Ditto for the Rogue Echo or HG.
The Vulcan Alphas look like a good compromise, but they are our of stock until the end of June, and they don’t offer a 15lb plate (my wife’s favorite).
The Eleiko XF looks great too, but might be out of my price range, especially since I would have to buy those in pairs.
I only need a small set too….I’m thinking 190lbs (2×10, 2×15, 2×25, 2×45) would be perfect.
Alphas are the bomb… I am reviewing them now. You’re right though, no 15’s.
OFWs are pretty dense, so yeah they aren’t quiet. They’re not excessively loud, but yeah.
XF prices are comical I’ve come to believe… Eleiko doesn’t even have good freight rates so a full set can run an extra $200 just to get it to you.
Right?? I tried to tell you guys right when they came out. Alphas were named appropriately. People need to take note of the innovation Vulcan’s bringing to the table.
The Diamond Pro crumb plates look attractive, especially the price, but yeah they seem even more bouncy than Hi-Temp.
Does anyone know where the Vulcan Alphas are manufactured?
I have the Diamond pro crumbs and yyou can’t even tell the bounce different. All around great bumper for the price.
Overseas. Very little in the bumper department is made stateside – it’s cost prohibitive for some reason. With bumpers you just kind of accept it, or you deal with crumb rubber.
First off, love the site! So much information on equipment for beginners to elite athletes.
My question stems around Urethane bumpers. I see that Rogue is selling a rebranded AB set, but am unsure of the durability. I can’t find anything on the web other than 2 reviews on Rogue and similar for AB. Any chance that you’ve used them or heard something positive?
I can afford competition plates, but am sick of the rubber smell from my virgin plates and stall mats. I thought these might be a good compromise, and the warranty is 5 yrs for AB urethanes! Any advice would be appreciated…
Brent I have some American Barbell Urethane Discs. It is my understanding that Rogue’s are literally the same plate, with the only difference being the Rogue branding and slightly different color dyes used. I love the discs – very dense, low bounce, and the little hub makes the plate rather attractive – for what that’s worth. Also, they definitely don’t smell like virgin rubber.
Yeah if the smell of rubber bothers you a lot (it does a great many people) urethane is a good alternative. Price on urethane is much cheaper than it was even a couple years ago which is nice. I hope you have an equally nice bar for these fancy plates!
Me too… I have a York elite competition bar (bearing) that’s brand new and dislike the knurling, which is to say that it doesn’t have one. When I spoke with the rep he stated it had a “medium” knurling, sounds great as I’ve used 20+ year old York bars that still felt great. Unfortunately he was mistaken and now I own a bar with the softest knurling that has no bite to it at all; I should have just bought a used piece of s**t off kijiji/craigslist. Next on my list is either the AB stainless steel bearing, Rogue WL/Euro, or possibly the Vulcan elite bearing…. Any suggestions from a seasoned pro?
Thanks again for the great info,
You couldn’t send that York back from where you got it?
I like all of those bars… Probably the SS the most, but it is definitely medium knurling rather than typical pro Oly aggressive. The stainless steel makes up for that, but no it’s not very sharp. Euro really isn’t either though. The Elites have a nice grip. I have the non-bearing Elite and it’s a tad sharper than the other two, and supposedly even more sharper with the very current version, though I cannot confirm that based on experience. Elite is obviously the best priced – that and the Vulcan Pro are both cheaper than the other two.
Luckily I sold the York bar to the Olympic weightlifting club I train at for a small loss. As for the bars, I was wondering which has the best packaging? I leaning towards Vulcan…
I’ve read things all over the web about bars getting shipped with damaged boxes, missing end caps and scratched up bars. Again any advise would be appreciated.
AB has the best packaging. Rogue and Vulcan package well, and both of them are about the same. It’s small shops like Again Faster and Fringesport that can’t ship a bar properly.
Still though, I don’t really hear about bars getting damaged anymore. Used to happen all the time but everyone cleaned up their act because of how much money was being lost on replacements and re-shipping. Also Vulcan at least uses FedEx who has a much better track record than UPS when it comes to bars.
I think I’ll try one of the Vulcan bars as they seem to have the best value.
I heard back from Rogue re: urethane plates and they come with a 1 year warranty. I suggested that they should match AB’s 5 year warranty for essentially the exact same plates, and they responded by stating it was the manufacturer who dictates the warranty…. I better hurry up and buy those AB urethanes toot sweet!
Thanks again for the great site.
Great article, I’m currently working on a garage gym, and looking into bumpers for it. What do you suggest for bumpers that allow me to load over 500lbs on the bar? I’ve considered buying iron plates, but I think I would rather just have bumpers, instead of trying to spend the money on both the iron plates and bumpers. Not to mention, I wouldn’t want to wake up the neighbors to me deadlifting at 6am.
You’ll probably have to lean towards to Olympic training/comp plates. 45-lb/20 kg plates are closer to 2″ wide rather than 3-4″ wide. You don’t need anything certified or anything like that – something like Rogue Training 2.0 or Vulcan Comps.
You could probably get 500-pounds on the bar with some of the newer, narrower basic bumpers that are closer to 3″ than 4″, but there wouldn’t be any room for growth.
I need the thinness of training/comp bumper plates but would also like them to be as quite as possible for oly lifting in my attached garage with the family in the house. I’ve been looking at the American Barbell/Rogue urethane plates as well as Eleiko (I can get some lightly used ones for the same price as Rogue) and Rogue training plates. Since you have both the Rogue training and urethane plates can you compare how loud they are? I’d also appreciate any other thoughts you have comparing them. I have 30 mm thick rubber flooring which should help.
You’ve got by far the best gym equipment review site out there which has been a huge help to me. Much appreciated!
Thanks Neal! Honestly there is not real discernible difference between the urethane and rubber – not to my ears anyway. Theoretically the urethane should be quieter while producing a little more bounce, but both plates have about the same width per size, so they have the same surface area. Given that the surface that they’ll be dropped on doesn’t change, I think I can safely say any difference between the two isn’t going to be the difference between waking someone or not, if you know what I mean. But I mean again, technically, urethane should be quieter just because it’s softer – at least according to the shore ratings.
I tested this today during my workout just to make sure, and I’ll concede that the urethane is a hint quieter. I still don’t think it’ll make the difference between being loud and quiet, but I suppose every bit helps. You also have to consider your bar – a bar that doesn’t have very tight tolerances in the sleeves will make a ton of noise upon being dropped as well. You’d probably already know if your bar was loud though, I’d imagine.
Thanks so much for testing that out! I’ll see how it goes an get some acoustic blankets if I get a lot of complaining.
I know what you mean about the bar factoring in. I’ve been to gyms that had bars I’d check for damage between reps based on the shattering sound the bars made when dropped while loaded. That experience has me looking forward to some nice equipment with the garage gym I’m putting together.
Based on your recommendation I’m planning on getting the AB SS Oly Bearing Bar so I’m leaning more towards the urethane bumpers which sound like a great fit on that bar and some have said are a bit more durable. I do a combination of traditional weightlifting and high rep Crossfit type training. Before finding your site I was actually planning on getting an Eleiko Training bar as well as some sort of softer knurled bar for higher reps. Sounds like the AB SS bar has the grip of an Eleiko without tearing up the hands so you’ve saved me some cash! That new Vulcan Absolute is interesting through. Based on the pictures I’ve seen it looks like the finishing is a little better on the AB bars through. Is this true in your experience?
The AB Oly is a very nice bar, and yeah it’s like the best of both worlds with the good grip but less aggressive knurl.
I’ve actually handled the Absolute SS bar – had it for about a week (owner wanted feedback – I didn’t buy it and return it or anything). The stainless is more polished on the Vulcan. It makes it prettier like chrome, but it loses some of that raw feel I think. Right now that Absolute is discounted because Vulcan believes the knurl needs refinement. There is nothing wrong with it really, but I think that since it’s such an expensive, elite Oly bar that they want the knurl to be Eleiko aggressive, and currently it’s only moderate-aggressive. That said, you’d be hard pressed to find anything to discuss about the AB SS Oly – negative that is. It’s a good set up, the urethane and SS bar. Last bar you’ll buy that’s for sure.
Thanks for the intel on the Absolute SS bar!
I just spoke with my brother who happened to visit Rogue HQ when they where getting ready to cary their urethane bumpers and got a look at some early examples. He said that they felt quite a bit different than a traditional bumper with the sides being a hard plastic and only the outer radial edge being a soft and spongy consistency. He didn’t know if the bumpers they are selling now are the same or not but wasn’t a fan of them because of the hard plastic on the sides of the bumpers.
Is this how your AB urethane bumpers are built? I was surprised by this description and a bit bummed. But perhaps the dual density urethane material is for the best. Definitely would be more of a departure from traditional rubber bumpers that I’m used to though. Rubber training plates are plenty durable for a garage gym so I wouldn’t be willing to sacrifice feel for a bit more durability. I’ve seen you mention the Eleiko Training discs are urethane and I know those will feel good. I can get them lightly used and with their warranty for the same price as the AB urethane plates; although still for more than the Rogue rubber or urethane bumpers. Perhaps those are the way to go.
My AB’s are not like that, they are 100% urethane. I have a feeling those Rogue’s your brother saw were prototypes that didn’t make it, because the image on Rogue’s site looks literally the same as the AB’s save for the dye change. but still I’m looking at the image, the Rogue’s are the ones I have not touched. AB’s or Eleiko’s are safest, and AB actually has both pounds and kilos.
Rogue reported that their urethane plates are a consistent firmness throughout the plate and that they are significantly firmer and louder than any other bumpers in their lineup. Since your AB urethane bumpers are softer and quieter than the Rogue training plates I’m guessing that they must be using the same molds and hubs as AB, but have a custom hard compound. My brother talking about how hard and plasticy the sides of rogue urethane plates where seem to confirm this. The durometer rating Rogue provides seems a bit misleading since they have the urethane bumpers between the training and comp plates; although I have no idea how that value is calculated.
This gives me a pretty solid feel for the continuum of bumper texture through the AB and Rogue lineup. Still not sure where Eleiko’s training plates fit in there though. Do you have any idea how the Swedes would compare?
Hrmm yeah, that’s interesting. I had actually heard there was some patent violations there, and since they look exactly the same my assumption was they were the same. I guess if Rogue said they are the loudest plates they have, then something must be different. I need to see about putting my hands on some of those, because I feel like I know less now lol.
I’ve used Eleiko’s plates, but I thought they felt more like rubber than urethane, at least the urethanes I have. I don’t feel good about trying to compare them to these other two urethane plates though based on recollection, I think it’ll be half made up, and that’s not helpful to you.
The Eleiko trainings plates do look more like rubber. The only reason I was thinking they might be urethane was a post somewhere that you heard they are now urethane. They had some at a gym I was at a few years ago and I liked them, but they where older and I’m guessing a different compound. Anyway, I’m sure we’re splitting hairs on these things. Like you’ve said all these comp/training style bumpers are pretty close to each other and will perform well.
Oh sorry I was kind of confusing. I mean they felt like rubber, but they are indeed still urethane. Well the comps are anyway.
Yeah, I’m with you on both the Rogue and AB’s looking identical. I’ll do some more digging with Rogue and try to report back what I find. Thanks again for all the help!
Have you heard anything about VTX bumper plates? A guy at work is looking to sell his bumper plates set which are VTX brand. He’s looking for $375 for 205 lbs. worth of bumpers. Seems a bit steep. I’d rather go Vulcan brand new for that price.
Just re-read the review. VTX are poor box brand quality. If I were to buy a pair of 45 at a decent price would it be okay to combine with a vulcan set or would it be bad for the bar or the vulcan bumpers?
You can mix them with Vulcans, but VTX is really bad – notoriously bad. As they age, they crumble. I’d use them if they were free, sure, but I wouldn’t pay anything for them. Or maybe even if they were like 1/3 the cost of new you’d probably get a few years out of them, but ultimately they’ll be replaced, and good bumpers likely never will.
If the VTX are poor quality, how does york bumper plates compare? I have an insider who can get them to me for $1 per lb…
Honestly I haven’t seen York bumpers in person for years – no one buys them. I haven’t a clue which design they are using, or who they use for manufacturing today. But, for $1 a pound, does it matter? That’s a solid price, so long as their is no shipping on top of that.
I’ll have to pay $60 shipping for a 150kg set…
Just as you’ve stated, $1/lb is the best price that I’ve been able to find and I’ve been looking for years. They look sturdy enough in person and have a relatively low-bounce from what I’ve been able to lift (50 kg snatch); mind you they’re nowhere near the dead bounce found on competition plates, but far better than high temps.
Unfortunately, the smell is awful! My buddy has been airing his out for 3 weeks, and they still stink. Any suggestions on getting rid of the smell?
3-weeks is a long time. Yeah you can take them outside and wipe them down with soap and maybe even some degreaser to speed that up. Bumpers ship with a coating on it that prevents blooming of the rubber. The cheaper the bumpers the more they seem to lather than crap on; at least that’s my experience. It could just be the way that’s worked out for me, who knows. Also it doesn’t hurt to store them outside for the first week or so, let the smell drift away in the wind rather than coat your garage or house.
The only way to avoid that smell altogether is go with crumb rubber or something like the Alphas. Comp plates never seem to smell as bad; probably because it’s a higher quality and denser rubber.
$60 shipping for 150 kilos is pretty solid considering also the $1 a pound. Honestly if you lost a plate or two to damage over the next few years you’d still be ahead by a long shot, so yeah, just scrub them hard when you get them and embrace the deal.
Thanks for the advice. I’ll be placing my order tomorrow…
I was over on craigslist and saw someone selling their Rogue HG bumpers 260lbs. + another 180lbs of york metal plates. It seems like a solid deal. Would it hurt bar ((or bumpers) (vulcan standard 28.5)) if I used the bumpers and metal at the same time? I’d probably be only using the metal plates for squats and deadlifts.
No you’d be fine. Steel plates are still very much a thing despite all the attention that bumpers get. I wouldn’t Olympic lift with that combination of course, but for the power lifts it doesn’t matter what you put on there.
The steel may scratch up the sleeves a little bit, but it’ll only be cosmetic. My only real concern would be that the 35 and under steel plates have a smaller diameter, so for deadlifts you want to be setting the bar down and not dropping it from the hips (which you shouldn’t be doing anyway, but I’ve seen it more than once.)
I’m talking to a guy about buying his set of Rogue Bumpers. 300lbs.? Never really used craigslist before and this will be my first potential purchase? I was wondering what you think is a fair price for use HG1? HG2s? Hi-Temp? (300 lbs. worth). Just don’t want to pay too much and try to gauge whats a decent price to pay. Any things that I should incept with the bumpers first before buying?
Any advice/tips would be greatly appreciated. Thanks ahead of time!!
Tom if the bumpers are in good shape, they are still probably worth 70-80% of original price I would think. The biggest thing to look for is a loose or separated insert in each plate. If there is play or gaps between the steel and rubber, they’re on their way out. It’s uncommon with HG’s, but slightly more common with HI-Temps. Also if they 10’s and 15’s are all warped, they’ve been mistreated. Most people never damage their bumpers, but this guy is either selling them cause he doesn’t use them, or because he’s thrashed them and is looking for buy-in money for next set.. make sure it’s because he didn’t use them before you throw money his way.
I myself am looking to purchase some Hi-Temp plates. I’m talking to a guy a on craigslist about buy his pair of 10s, 15s and 25s for $105 which seems to be a solid deal. I’ve talked to a few people who swear that the Hi-Temps last longer then the virgin rubber and vice versa. He only had the low weight plates because he lived in small downtown apartment where you could throw 45s-35s around in apartment building with out making a ton of noise. Does $105 seem like a solid price and do the 10s and 15s bust as easy as HG Rogue Virgin 10s and 15s because I’ve heard they break fairly quickly but I’ve heard the Hi-Temp 10s and 15s are a little more durable. Do you agree?
When used alone on the bar neither type of 10’s and 15’s will last forever. There are styles that will take abuse longer, but neither the Rogue’s or the HI-Temps are included in that list.
The $105 price for 100-pounds is good though so it really doesn’t matter – you’ll get good use out of them so long as they aren’t already overly abused.
Can you put both Hi-Temps and Virgin rubber bumpers on the bar for oly lifts? Or would that hurt the Bar and/or bumpers down the road? I have a pair of 55, 45 and 35 Pendlay virgin rubber bumpers and I have a pair 45 hi-temps. Would you advice against combining the hi-temps and virgin rubber because I know the hi-temp rubber has a much bigger bounce.
It’s not the bounce difference. They are actually different diameters. It’s not a huge difference, but the larger virgin plates to absorb most of the impact for the other smaller plates on the bar. Really though, it shouldn’t be an issue with only one pair of HI-Temps mixed in. I wouldn’t worry about it.
Thanks for the FANTASTIC website. So much beneficial, practical knowledge here.
I was wondering if Vulcan make the most affordable bumper plates that use rebar reinforcement. It seems like a huge to me, and several of the plates at my gym have inserts that have broken loose. Are Vulcan the only guys using rebar?
Thanks Jeff, I appreciate that.
So there are not many dealers that go with the rebar model, and of those that do and I think Vulcan and the OFWs are the only two that do so at this low of a price point. Rogue doesn’t bother with using rebar inserts, and neither does American Barbell or HI-Temp, and of course the box-store style plates absolutely do not either. Even the Eleiko XFs do not. I’m sure there are others out there – there has to be, right? If the product description says either anchored or rebar, those should be them. You can’t count on the pictures alone to tell anymore though unfortunately. It’ll have to be in the product description.
Great site! I’m torn between these: http://www.roguefitness.com/rogue-black-training-lb-color-stripe-plates and these: http://www.roguefitness.com/rogue-lb-training-2-0-plates. I see the numbers differences with the 1.0s (are these 1.0s? I’m not entirely sure) being thicker and a deader bounce, but see that the center is steel with chrome, vs the 2.0 being steel with zinc. I’ve read same durability, between the two.
Also, Is it just preference to get a full set with the 55s than to get two sets of 45s, with one set 35s, and one set 25s? Is there any other benefit to either choice? Thanks!
Don’t worry too much about the 90-94 Shore rating. Difference is minimal and you’d be hard pressed to notice much difference on stall mats or a platform. I have the 2.0 plates and have had them since they came out and I’ve had zero issues with them. Great plates. Truthfully you can get which ever you prefer for any reason whatsoever because both are going to work perfectly and last a long time.
As far as using all 45s or mixing in 55s, it really is preference. I could argue equally for both – just depends on what you’re used to and how much weight you’re loading. Technically you’d have 20 more pounds at your disposal if you have 55s instead of a second pair of 45s, but of course its not like you aren’t going to pay for that 20 pounds.
Great website. I am putting together a garage gym at the moment and discovered the ProLine Competition bumper plates. I have not heard anything about them before, which kind of makes me skeptical. Have you ever come across them or have any feedback for their product? I am not looking for top of the line, however, just came across them and they’re a little less the $3/lb on sale.
They’re just another generic comp bumper plate. I’m sure they’ll work fine, but I don’t have any real feedback on them.
I wish I found out about this a bit earlier. Anyways, would you know if this Hi temp plate https://www.xtrainingequipment.com/HiTemp-Bumper-Plate-25lb-pair_p_153.html is the same hi temp plate as fringe sports hi temp plate? https://www.fringesport.com/products/hi-temp-bumper-plate-sets?variant=32669000580
I’m also looking for some lock jaws for my new vulcan standard 28.5 mm barbell. Any recommendations on lock jaws?
Sorry for the delay. The links put this comment in spam. HI-Temp makes plates for many vendors. If they say HI-Temp and the site looks even remotely trustworthy, they are likely HI-Temps. Rogue has them too btw, probably a better price after shipping, but who knows with the sales right now.
Lock Jaws can be had for the best price on Amazon I’m pretty sure. Check for branding though, there will be knock-offs.
Do you know anything about…
ZEALOUSS BUMPER PLATES WEIGHTS??
260 lbs. $299 But I have to pick up not shipped. I usually go by “you get what you pay for” but I am sure these economy plates are coming from China anyway and might be the same quality.
That’s an older bumper model – very basic. That’s an average price for an older product I’d say, especially for being on Craigslist. They are cheaper than Rogue and Vulcan and the other high-quality brands, but no, definitely not the same quality plate. Doesn’t mean you can’t make them last, just means there is a higher chance that they won’t. You may be better off finding used Rogues or HI-Temps if you can, or going with Vulcan’s 260-pound set for $80 more. Or gamble with these, and if you hate them, re-sell them.
Very good blog here, you really went deep into the weeds with a lot of bumpers. I just started my store, I started it to give back to the military, as most of my discounts are for them. Eventually, I would like to give a percentage of my earnings back to them, but right now I’m just trying to keep a float. My weights are imported, the manufacturer told me they make weights are similar to the ones sold by Troy, VTX, Vulcan, and Hi-Temp. So far they have been right as I have done stuff to these weights I would not do others. But, brand recognition is a big hassle, as I have only sold a few sets. I have plenty of people interested but back out at the last minute and go with a more familiar brand. What sort of testing would you recommend me doing to prove these weights are just as good, if not better, and cost less. Thanks in advance, any input would be greatly appreciated.
There is a ton of missing information from your product listing. But for starters, you just compared your plates to three different brands that all offer an entirely different product. Troy VTX is a super cheap, low-end bumper plate, Vulcan bumpers are a high-end, highly innovative bumper with a number of design enhancements to improve durability, and the HI-Temps are a smaller diameter (Imperial 17.5″), high bounce plate made of crumb rubber; an entirely different material than most other bumpers. Your plates don’t resemble any of those models, so a customer can’t visually compare yours to anything else (mainstream, that is). It also probably doesn’t help that your set sizes don’t match up with the industry norm (160, 260, etc.)
You have no specs for the diameter of the plates, the width of each weight, and no images that give even an idea of what these specs could be. We don’t know what the hub is made out of, or if they are hooked; only that they are 2 inches rather than the industry standard of 50 mm (2″ sleeves and hubs are synonymous with cheap equipment). We don’t know what material the plates themselves are made out of either (recycled, vulcanized, crumb, etc). The warranty is 3 to 4 times shorter than competing brands, and unless you’re shipping them for free, they aren’t cheaper than Vulcan or Rogue.
Bumpers are a tough market. They are loss leaders for even big vendors. Prices have bottomed out, and companies like Rogue practically give them away because what they really want is for a customer to buy a barbell, a rack, accessories, or a t-shirt or three. The worst part for someone trying to break into the market is that Rogue offers not only a very low price and free shipping, but they actually manufacture a really nice product. They aren’t the best, but they are top tier for less money than 2nd tier.
Still though, you can improve the listing a ton by providing all that missing information and getting a larger variety of images that include multiple angles.
Great site and breakdown. Curious as to why no mfgr (at least none I could not find) offer a 15 LB bumper with the larger steel hub. Is there a reason other than demand. Thank you
Competition-style plates in pounds are just based on the original kilogram plates. 10 kg is the smallest 450 mm, large-hub plate, and that most closely corresponds with the 25 pound plate; the lightest comp plate in pounds. Anything lighter (like a 15-pound plate) would just be too thin and fragile I’m sure. Even if it existed, you wouldn’t want them.
Rogue sells 10lb urethane plates with larger centre hubs, not the size of competition hubs… Definitely larger the 2mm inserts found on all other “regular” bumper.
BullDog Sports Plates, from Colombia ( former Bulgarian 1998 Training Hall brand and Colombian National Team) does a 15LB Bumper with a larger steel hub!
Any experience with the American Barbell shield plates? I know you reference them in the review, just curious if you’ve ever lifted with them. Are they pretty much like Rogue HG 2.0’s as far as hardness and bounce?
No I have not lifted with them. Matter of fact I’ve never seen or heard of anyone buying them. I think the price point has just been unattractive compared to other models, though they are marked down at the moment.
They may have the same bounce and hardness rating as HG’s, but they are definitely a different product overall. AB doesn’t list the SHORE rating though.
Yeah, agreed, I can’t find any “real” info on them it seems. I’m in the market for some bumper plates and was checking out all the options. I can definitely understand the previous price point and the unattractiveness. I appreciate the reply! And like so many others have said, thank you for the website and all the information you make available!
Jeff, thanks. I did check out their site but could see where they offer only in kg.
Your reviews have been extremely helpful so far! Just wanted to say that lol I’ve been lifting for years now and realize now that I’m looking to start my own gym that I have never paid attention, in the least, to what kind of bars and plates I’ve been using and actually liked. So, question time. I’m bouncing back and forth between the Vulcan Alpha plates and their regular black plates. The price difference is only about $60 between the 2 sets I’m looking at, but my question is, is it worth spending the extra money? Your review of both seem really good, so I’m torn. Thanks in advance!
I’d say the $60 would only be worth it if noise is a concern. The Alphas will be a little softer on the ears when dropped. Vulcan’s basic black plates are great plates, among the best in terms of durability, so it’s not like you’d be making a quality compromise by going with them instead of Alphas. I’m going to also guess that if you never cared about bars and plates before, you could probably care less about having any color on your plates so even that wouldn’t be much of a selling point. So yeah, pretty much just the noise issue. A lot of people are concerned about that because of sleeping partners/kids, and close neighbors… others don’t care at all.
Hey JB, great site and info!
I have an odd situation/question.
I’d like to keep a barbell in my car with a few bumper plates. It may make more sense to keep a few bumper plates in the car and the barbell in my apt and just bring the barbell with me when I want to use it.
I belong to Retro Fitness and go with a friend to Blink – both of which have bumper plates – but on those days I don’t feel like going or getting a second workout in, I’d love to drive to a parking lot, school, etc. and do some olympic lifts, squats, presses, and cardio-crossfit type of workouts.
I was considering the following in order to do up to 225-295lb cleans:
1. 7ft Olympic Bar
2. 2 Pair of 45lb bumper plates
3. 1 pair each of 25lb and 10 lb plates
Some sort of rubber mats to drop the plates on (not sure how to find generic/cheap for car)
Any thoughts on:
a. Equipment (which plates to get? mats to get, etc?)
b. storing the equipment in a car (2009 Honda Accord 4 sedan)
Well you’re gonna kill your gas mileage, but I guess you’ve considered that. Also I assume you have one of those little passages from the trunk to the cabin? for the bar.
So you have two options – either go with the narrowest plates you can afford so they take up the least amount of space in the car.. maybe Vulcan Comps or Rogue 2.0 Trainers.. and then get a stall mat and cut out say 2’x3′ sections as a safe place to drop the bar (which will fit nicely in the trunk). OR get something like the Vulcan Alphas that you should be able to drop on concrete/asphalt for a long time before you see any real wear – but they are thicker and will take up nearly twice as much space. You can of course still do the mats under Alphas too.
The bar can be whatever you prefer, though since you’ll be exposing it to the elements more frequently you’d probably want chrome, stainless, or bright zinc – avoid black zinc, oxide, and bare steel. Don’t get into a wreck with all that floating around your car though man haha.
I own a small personal training gym with a powerlifting team on the side. I’m looking to buy either Vulcan or Rogue KG Comp plates. We have enough LB Hi-Temp plates for training deadlifts and steel branded Ivanko plates for squatting/benching in the power rack. Our use for the Comp plates will be limited to impromptu PL personal record breaking and occasional small town competitions between gyms. Another concern is the visual effect of them hanging on the wall as potential clients come through the front door. I have both Rogue and Vulcan equipment in the gym so it comes down to your valued recommendation. I am impressed with Vulcan’s web description of their plates (three piece center) but I also am influenced by the Rogue name as it would be more familiar to prospective clients. Considering urethane as well as rubber. Don’t get me wrong, we’re no joke, we’ve been training for 50 years starting with York equipment, we are now at a point were we train Firemen, LEO and folks who are physically challenged at no cost to them and we hold a few world and State records but we need paying clients to break even.
I personally like the 3rd hub piece (that insert) of the Vulcan plates. They seem to load easier for some reason. I have both Vulcan and Rogue discs and I keep the Vulcans on the outside of the storage pins so that I always use them first. It’s just a little thing really, but that’s just my opinion. Functionally the two brands are no different. Same bounce, same lifespan.. I’ve never had issues with either.
That said, if I was in your position and I believed that displaying Rogue discs would attract more new clients, well that would be worthy of consideration. I don’t know that it would ultimately, but sure it’s possible. Truthfully I think your gym sounds pretty well-equipped already, and it’s equipment variety and quality that probably attracts customers, not the brand on a set of discs. I don’t own a gym so I could definitely be wrong, but I can say that if I was going to join a gym I’d care a whole lot more about there being enough power racks and good barbells than I would about who made the plates.
I agree with JB for the most part. However, you could purchase Titan 3 piece competition plates, but that wouldn’t necessarily fit into what sounds like a quality gym. no offence to those of you who’ve purchased, but Titan isn’t known for quality. Having used Rogues Kg comp plates at a local weightlifting club I can say they’re top notch.
I’ve purchased an elite bar from Vulcan and thought they’re quality was also on par with rogues WL bar men’s bar which I also own. I don’t think you could go wrong with either, but for my money I’d go with Vulcan. They’re price is slightly cheaper for a better constructed comp bumper. Rogue is still using a 2 piece, and will likely change to the new standard 3 piece when the next version is released.
Titan… I think that may have the opposite effect.
Agreed! I was just stating that Titan sells a 3 piece, but why would he purchase them when his gym is full of quality equipment.
Vulcan >> Rogue… this gets even better since Vulcan routinely discounts their sets of bumpers.
Thanks JB for your timely response and for your opinion. You are correct in assessing the quality of the equipment in my gym, I always purchase equipment based upon what I would like to use. I too am impressed with Vulcan’s 3-piece hub and that may be the deal breaker. Much of my equipment was custom made by the late John Szimanski’s Piedmont Design Associates company, IronMind and other top-shelf companies. We choose equipment by doing our homework and recommendations from folks like you who put time into their research. We use USA made Ivanko PL Olympic stainless steel bars and I believe either the Vulcan’s or Rogues would work just fine with them but leaning towards the V’s. Thanks for your input.
Thank you for all the great information.
I’m a masters weightlifting competitor and use ZKC, and Rogue at my home facility. I like ZKC a lot .
If you had to pick KG comp plates (not necessarily IWF) for your garage gym; what is your choice?
I have Rogue pound bumpers and Ohio bar but am looking to change to KG plates.
Thank you, Anthony. I personally prefer the 3-piece hubs of the Vulcans because they catch less on grooved sleeves when loading/unloading. It’s a little thing, but when I’m tired and trying to pull a heavy plate off the bar when it’s on the ground, sometimes they catch on the grooves and just fight me. It can still happen with 3-piece hubs, but it happens less.
The reason it comes down to something like that for me is because so long as you’re dealing with a current plate model from a reputable brand, there are so few differences among them. It’s splitting hairs almost. I’ve got the Rogue 2.0s and I’m completely happy with those, and I’ve got some urethane American Barbell discs and I’m happy with those too. That said, I’ve got my plate storage arranged so Vulcans get grabbed first.
Price can drive your decision to a point. That is, Eleiko isn’t a good buy for a home gym when Rogue or Vulcan plates are literally the same thing for less. You can’t creep too much below those mid-range prices though or you find yourself with cheap plates that separate from the hubs earlier than they should, or bolts that loosen with use, etc.
Thanks for the review! I am going to get a Rogue bar and was set on going all rogue but you convinced me on Vulcan for the plates. turns out thanks to a sale I’m going to save about $100 in addition to getting what I now believe to be a superior product
Awesome Andrew. Which plates specifically? (I’m merely curious).
Just compared these 300lb Rogue Bumper sets –
– Rogue LB (color) Competition Plates $1020.00
– Rogue Color LB Training 2.0 Plates $855.00
Shipping is included for both sets.
Both sets have the same –
– Weight Tolerance: +/- 15 grams of claimed weight
– Collar opening: 50.4mm (+/- 0.1 for ‘competition’ set)
The only differences I could find were –
Very minute, negligible plate width differences
(i.e. 2.125 vs 2.15 / 1.75 vs 1.70 / 1.3 vs 1.25 )
Durometer (bounce) rating –
– 86 (training set)
– 94 (competition set)
Insert Type –
– Steel Disc, Zinc Plated (training)
– Steel Disc, Chrome Plated (competition)
So, for $165.00 more, the ‘competition’ bumper set gives you
barely thinner, slightly less bouncy, bumpers with chrome plated inserts,
that you cannot visually discern (on camera, anyway)
from the less expensive ‘Training 2.0’ set.
Yeah that Comp/Trainer thing makes more sense when IWF certification is involved. Otherwise it’s just a trick.
FWIW I’ve seen 2 sets of the 2.0 plates fall apart. Rubber cracking and breaking off around the hub. I’ve still yet to see the comp plates have any issues. The plates are still one of the products imported from China, and there are good vs bad factories and rubber compounds. The durameter difference tells you they aren’t the same rubber. I’d pay the extra for the better plates.
That’s interesting. I’ve not actually heard that about the Trainer 2.0. I even have a big set. Then again, no way am I putting them through the ringer alone here so it’s definitely within the realm of possibility. I still like Vulcan’s plate more because of the 3-piece hub, but I’m not ever gonna be able to do what a weightlifting center or box will be able to do to them in terms of long-term abuse.
Any thoughts on the Rep Fitness bumpers? Pretty decent price for the colored ones.
You talking about the basic bumpers? https://www.repfitness.com/bars-plates/olympic-plates/bumper-plates/rep-color-bumper-plates
Actually I guess it doesn’t matter – Rep bumpers are fine and priced well so long as you’re not on the East Coast where shipping will get ya. I assume you’ve already priced out a delivered price though. If it’s competitive, go for it. Rep is good.
Will this article be updated/revised (as needed) before this year’s Black Friday Sales?
Does the Rogue KG Competition Bumpers being the official plate of USAW not qualify them as competition?
My whole point was really just that “competition bumpers” used to mean they were IWF-certified – Olympic Games and [Global] qualifying Olympic event-certified.
Truthfully I should just remove all that verbiage and combine the training / comp plates into one category with an * for specifically IWF-certified plates. Trying to explain how it used to work seems far less important than when I originally published this like 4-5 years ago. /shrug
But to answer your questions, sure, I don’t see why not. If Games plates in pounds count then the USAW definitely counts too as well haha
I believe the Rogue comp plates are sanctioned for usaw events; however have not earned IWF certification as of yet. Rogue is the official sponsor of USAW.
Hi, JB! As always, great write-up and I appreciate the insight you provide. Quick question for you: Vulcan recently released V2 of the Alphas… To your knowledge, is there any difference between the V1s and V2s other than the white lettering? Thanks!
Thank you very much.
I am told they are functionally the same; only the aesthetics have changed. They also told me that V2 Alphas will not be part of Black Friday deals because the V1 is currently discounted in order to clear that inventory. Same with basic black bumpers (they too got white lettering)
Hi, I really appreciate all the work you do with these reviews. I’ve been trying to read as much as I can on your site before I pull the trigger on my home gym equipment. I am not sure if it matters or not, but my training will mostly be for bodybuilding (occasionally deadlifting or squatting) and not so much for CrossFit/Olympic style lifting. With that said, I wanted to get your recommendation for the type of plates I should focus on getting. Does it even make sense for me to get bumper plates? Should I stick with rubber coated steel plates? Greatly appreciate your input.
Well bumper aren’t really necessary for anything but Oly lifting, though there is some benefit to having them for deadlifts being that they’re quiet. That said, basic black bumpers are wide and aren’t really the way to go for that because you run out of sleeve space pretty quick. Even if your deadlift is relatively low now it’s not typically a lift that takes all that long to get up into the 400 range and beyond. Comp bumpers are good for about six wheels (20 kg/45 lb) per sleeve, and comp bumpers aren’t really all that pricey if you get them somewhere like FringeSport (or even Rep depending on your distance from them in CO).
All that said, if you already have rubber coated steel then I’d just stick with that. If you need more weight then you can either buy more of what you have or add bumpers. Nothing wrong with mixing them since they’re all 450 mm discs. I wouldn’t run out to replace what you have if you’re not snatching or jerking. Your plates obviously have no impact on the squat or bench or any other rack lift.
Hi, thanks for the quick response. This makes perfect sense and clarifies my question. You’re the best…Happy Holidays!
Rogue seems to have updated their Echo plates with a much thinner profile and white lettering.
Bro this break down of all the plates & your research on them was super helpful! Truthfully I was fairly clueless about quality & make up of plates until I found this review. Because of this I ordered a 500lb set of Vulcan Strength bumper plates for my garage gym! Thanks for the work you put into this & the unbiased real reviews.
You got it Josh. I’m glad it helped! and you made a good choice. Thanks for the feedback too!
whatever happened to the Klokov bumper plates?
As in like why are they still unavailable? I don’t know. I haven’t heard anything
Great blog! Are you familiar with ISF? They seem to be a no-frills brand. They offer a 3-year warranty, which suggests good quality. I’m asking only because they’re near me and I could save on shipping. Thanks.
Thanks! I have never heard of this company so I can’t really speak to their reputation. That said, their plates appear to be a very basic, classic design. No frills indeed.
Does anyone know what these Rogue barbell plates are made from please?
Rogue uses rubber unless Urethane is clearly stated in product name.
Need a 10lb bumper set that, by itself, can withstand being dropped from overhead. Does a set like this exist? Thanks.
The Fringe Sport or Vulcan 10’s. But no 10-lb bumper will handle that forever, those two will just handle it the longest.
How does the Elite & Mammoth knurling compare to an regular stainless Ohio bar (non-power)? I currently own an Ohio in SS and find the knurling to be a bit passive for pulls. Not sure if I’m sold on a deep knurl that an OPB boasts because I’d prefer to rep my deadlifts without tearing my hands. Also, at the moment American Barbell has both the Elite and Mammoth obsoletes up for $425 each, I’m guessing it’s a no brainer to go with the Mammoth?
The American Barbell bars are pretty passive compared to even the SS Ohio Bar, and even more so, of course, to the Ohio Power Bar. As moderate knurls go AB has the best in my opinion, but it’s still somewhat of a lateral move from the SS Ohio; at least in terms of the knurl.
At the same or nearly-same price, the Mammoth is the way to go. Probably is anyway even when both are normal price.
im wondering why the rogue plates tend to be more expensive buying them in sets rather than buying them each for example; a set consists of (2) 10-25-45’s and is say 270, however if I were to pick them out individually and get 1 pair of 45’s, 1 pair of 25’s and 1 pair of 10’s they would be approximately 30 bucks cheaper? I really don’t understand what they mean.
Shipping is generally included in sets, but not pairs. The shipping isn’t free, it’s just embedded.
It should still cost more to buy a pair of 10’s, 25’s and 45’s individually and pay shipping than to pay the slightly higher, shipping-included set price.
Anyone have experience with PRx’s crumb bumper plates?
I don’t know anything about these from experience, but for crumb rubber I’m surprised they don’t boast “made in USA”. One can normally green light any ‘Made in USA’ crumb plates because they’re either HI-Temp, Diamond Pro, or Fluorotek. Since they don’t say anything about that there’s a chance they’re Chinese, in which case who knows how well they’re made.
Interesting, they also carry the Diamond Pro crumb plates which do boast the “made in USA”, thanks.