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Women’s Olympic Barbell Review & Shopping Guide

Women's Olympic Barbell Review and Shopping Guide

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

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

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

Last updated January 2018 – spelling/grammar edits, pricing and link checking.

Women’s Olympic Weightlifting Bars

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

Equipment Specification - IWF Women's WL Bar

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

Vulcan Elite 3.0+ 15 kg Olympic Training Bar (bushing)

The Vulcan Elite 15 kg Training Bar is an amazing product, and an unbelievable bar for the price. The women’s Elite is a 25 mm, 15 kg, self-lubricating bushing bar with an incredible 221k PSI tensile strength and 206k yield rating. The Elite is a chrome moly bar with a matte chrome finish on the shaft (has a sticky grip like raw steel) and engineered chrome sleeves. In other words this bar has phenomenal whip, high-quality steel, a fantastic grip, and great protection against oxidation.

Vulcan Elite 15 kg Olympic Training Bar

The Elite adheres to all IWF specifications, including not having the center knurl. The outer knurl is moderate; typical of this kind of training bar. The sleeves of the Elite are grooved to keep rubber change plates on the bar when used outside of the collars. You will not find a nicer Olympic training bar for the money. Matter of fact, the only way to improve upon this bar is to upgrade to a bearing bar. $359 with free shipping.

I have reviewed the men’s version of the Elite 3.0 and aside from the diameter and weight differences, that review would apply to this bar. Feel free to check that out here.

Rogue 25 mm Olympic Training Bar (bushing)

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

Rogue Women's 25 mm Olympic Training Bar

The Rogue 15 kg Trainer is IWF-standard; it has a 25 mm shaft with 50 mm sleeves, zero center knurl, and a lifetime warranty. The shaft finish is black zinc and the sleeves are bright zinc. The knurl is Rogue’s standard knurl, and is the same knurl that’s found on the bearing version of this bar. It’s made in the USA and retails for $305 before shipping.

The Rogue Olympic Training Bar is solid, and priced reasonably well. Higher performance is definitely possible for a little more cash, but not for less.

American Barbell 15 kg Precision Training Bar (bushing)

American Barbell Performance Training Bar (bushings)

The last of the bushing-based Olympic bars that I’ll talk about here is this American Barbell Precision Training Bar. The sleeves of this very pretty bar are hard chrome, but the shaft of this bar is stainless steel, a rarity and gem in the marketplace. Stainless feels absolutely amazing in the hands; just like bare alloy steel, only without the maintenance requirements of bare alloy steel. Unfortunately, it’s that stainless steel shaft that puts the price of this bar at $450.

The specifications are good; pretty much the same as the above Rogue 25mm Trainer. The Precision Bar has a 190k PSI shaft, a composite bushing system, no center knurl, and it too is made in the USA. It’s a great bar, but the question is whether or not you’re willing to drop $450 on an Olympic bushing bar just because it’s stainless steel when that amount of cash puts you within range of a true Olympic bearing bar. Probably not; it defeats the purpose of buying a bushing bar in the first place. Extremely beautiful bar though.

the all-chrome American Barbell Performance Olympic Training Bar

For the record, American Barbell’s SS bearing bars are totally worth the cash, but the point of a training bar is to save cash. Otherwise I’d be all about this bar (and you’re certainly free to be if you want though, obviously.) That having been said, the Precision Bar is available in all chrome for much less money ($295) in the form of the Performance Training Bar. All the same specs and perks of owning an American Barbell Oly bar, just no stainless steel shaft.

Rogue Women’s Olympic WL Bar (bearings)

The Olympic WL Bar was Rogue’s first premium weightlifting bar for women and it has been highly praised in both the CrossFit and weightlifting community. It has specs that rival some of the imported IWF-certified training bars, and does so at a much lower cost (the 215k zinc shaft version is only $525.) Not only does this bar make a great, reasonably priced Olympic training bar, it is a huge upgrade for advanced CrossFitters that still train with multi-purpose bushing bars.

Rogue 15 kg Women's Olympic Weightlifting Bar

The Women’s Olympic Bar has the usual 25 mm shaft, weighs 15 kg, and has an incredible tensile strength rating of 215k (it was recently upgrade to EU steel.) This is a true Olympic bearing bar – each sleeve has five high-quality needle bearings that deliver a very smooth, consistent spin. The knurling on the Rogue Oly is moderately aggressive; or rather Rogue’s standard knurl. There is no center knurl.

One advantage of going with Rogue for your Olympic bearing bar is that there are currently two finishes for you to choose from; zinc or polished chrome ($525 and $635 respectively.) Having two very differently priced options allows for both large & small budgets to consider this bar.

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

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

WerkSan Women’s Training Olympic Bar (bearing)

This is the training version of the WerkSan IWF-certified Olympic Comp Bar. The WerkSan Training Bar has 5 needle bearings per sleeve, is finished completely in chrome and has no center knurl. It is guaranteed to be within 0.2 kilograms of the stated 15 kg weight, and the 25 mm shaft is rated at 205,000 PSI, which is more than adequate for a training bar.

WerkSan IWF Womens Olympic Training Bar

WerkSan makes a pretty solid bar, and they are certified to supply gear for IWF-sanctioned events, but I’d probably go with anything else (Vulcan, American Barbell, Rogue, etc) over a WerkSan if I was willing to spend this kind of money on an Olympic bar. $880 is simply way too much in today’s market.

American Barbell 15 kg Stainless Steel Olympic Bar (bearing)

The Stainless Steel Bearing Bar from American Barbell is the competition, needle bearing version of the Precision Training Bar discussed at the top of this page.

The SS Bearing Bar is a beautiful, high-performance Olympic bar clearly designed with the experienced weightlifter in mind. The stainless steel shaft offers the perfect grip without the use of excessively sharp knurling; making it just as viable for a single, max-effort pull as it is for higher-rep sets. No bar finish feels like stainless steel; only bare steel is comparable in terms of grip feel, but bare steel easily rusts whereas stainless steel doesn’t.

American Barbell Women's SS Olympic Pro Bar

Thankfully you get more than a stainless steel shaft for this bar’s $675 price tag (which was previously $799 btw). This bar has high-load, track-style bearing cartridges that outperform all other needle bearings. AB’s proprietary bearings can handle any load you could possibly put on this bar, and the sleeves will spin smoothly and reliably no matter what. There is also a chalk/dust guard that protects the bearings.

This is a beautiful, functional, high-performance bar. It is superior to Olympic bar that costs less money, and far too many of them that cost even more money. The new $675 price tag makes it even harder to ignore. I highly recommend it (see my review of the men’s SS Bar.)

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Dual-Marked / Multi-purpose / CrossFit Barbells

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

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

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

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

The Rogue Bella 2.0

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

The Bella 2.0 Barbell Guide

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

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

The Rogue Bella Bar 2.0 in Cerakote

The Bella Bar 2.0 is also now available in a Cerakote finish for a small premium of $60 (or $275). Currently there exists upwards of twelve different color combinations allowing you to sort of personalize your bar. Aside from the Cerakote finish, the bar remains the same as the original. [see my review]

Burgener & Rippetoe Women’s Bar

The Burgener & Rippetoe Bar is one of the better multi-purpose bars out there. Developed by Mark Rippetoe and Mike Burgener, and originally manufactured by York Barbell (Rogue has taken over production), this bar separates itself from the rest of the dual-marked bars by being one of the only raw steel options. Raw steel has the huge advantage of offering a natural, grippy feel that can’t be achieved with any applied finish (chrome, zinc, oxide, etc.) Sure steel requires maintenance, but plenty of folks will tell you that it’s worth the trade off.

Burgener & Rippetoe Women's Bar by York/Rogue

The original York Barbell B&R Bar – distinguishable by the York-style end caps.

The bar itself boasts very respectable specifications for being just $205; the PSI rating of the shaft is average at 190k PSI, and the bronze bushing system is reliable. Shaft whip is typical of a 25 mm bar and the knurl is, of course, Rogue’s standard knurl pattern. There is no center knurl.

Rogue's version of the B&R Bar

The Rogue version of the Burgener & Rippetoe Women’s Bar

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

Vulcan One Basic 15 kg Barbell

The Vulcan One Basic is 15 kg multi-purpose bar on par with the Rogue Bella both in terms of specifications, and price ($219 versus $215; but shipped for free.) Like the Rogue, it has a 25 mm, 190k tensile strength shaft, dual-markings, and no center knurl. Unlike the Bella, the One Basic has no zinc; it’s 100% finished in chrome. I think this alone makes it a better buy than the Bella.

the Vulcan One Basic 15 kg women's Olympic Bushing Bar

The One Basic is an excellent beginner to intermediate bar for CrossFit & general strength training. The warranty of 3-years leaves a little to be desired, but if an issue hasn’t shown itself in 3-years I think you’ll be alright. It’s not an amazing warranty but it beats the hell out of 1-year or less like many lesser economy bars. Truth be told, these ~$200 WOD bars tend to be outgrown by anyone training consistently anyway.

I am a big fan of Vulcan bars and I can see myself buying the One Basic over the Bella 2.0. I can absolutely see myself buying it over the lesser, off-the-shelf imports like the Wonder, the Get bars, and other similar overpriced, box-store quality bars.

Rep Women’s Sabre Bar

The Rep Fitness Sabre Bar is kind of your last ditch “I have no money!” option for a barbell. Sort of the ‘something is better than nothing’ approach – but without being CAP Barbell or Again Faster bad.

Rep Sabre 15 kg Women's Olympic Bushing Bar for beginning CrossFit or Olympic weightlifting

The 15 kg Sabre is a 25 mm, dual-marked, bushing bar with a lower than average 150,000 PSI, bright zinc-plated shaft. This import would be appropriate for a beginner and perhaps even take you a short distance into intermediate Olympic weightlifting, but it’s by no means an end-game bar. Like I said if cash-flow is seriously tight and you can either drop $179 on something basic or not lift at all, then by all means go this route. If you have a hot minute to save up a few more bucks for something like the Vulcan One. then do that.

Don’t get me wrong; Rep is a solid company. The market is just super competitive right now with equally affordable and higher performance American-made bars.

American Barbell Women’s California Bar

While certainly not as inexpensive as the Bella or the Vulcan One Basic, the California Bar is definitely a higher-end bar than either. The California has all the same specifications as any other dual-marked women’s bar, but it’s built so well and to such strict tolerances that if I had to bet on which bar would survive for 100-years, it would be this one.

Cerakote California Bar Full Review

The California isn’t just built well for the $335 price tag, it’s also a Cerakote-finished bar; the first Cerakote bar to exist actually (well it was either the California or the Mammoth Bar, but either way it was an AB bar.) So between the Cerakote shaft and the industrial hard chrome sleeves, this bar will not age like lesser bars, and it absolutely will not rust.

I realize the California is 50% more money than other dual-marked bars, but it is a lot of bar for the money. If you’ve already got a lot of experience under your belt and you want a bar that can keep up with your progress, this is the bar.

American Barbell California in Black, Cerakote Trainer in pink

Want pink? The 15 kg Cerakote Training Bar, while not a California, is dual-marked – and for only $295.

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My Bar Suggestions

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

Women’s Economy CrossFit Bar Recommendation

Definitely the Bella or One Basic. Both are solid barbells, and the low price tags just makes them no-brainers. They perform well and will last many years. The chrome on the Vulcan along with a lower delivered price makes it stand out a little, but both are great. Spend less than this at your own risk.

Women’s Multi-purpose Bar Recommendation

By multi-purpose I mean truly using the bar for both Olympic lifting (whether CrossFit or not) and general strength training (like the big three).

I think the California Bar is the nicest, true, general purpose bar available for the cash. The rotation system of the California (the composite bushings) along with the premium finish makes it a real stand out.

Women’s Professional Olympic Bar Recommendation

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

I doubt that anyone would have a reason to dislike this American Barbell bar, but I certainly don’t suggest buying a nearly $700 bar for your first Olympic bar. This bar is intended for experienced Olympic weightlifters.

♦ ♦ ♦

Women’s Olympic Barbell Review & Shopping Guide Summary

Always do your homework. Read those user reviews and understand that I am not the only opinion out there. Yes I do favor certain brands because of their track records and their innovative approaches, but I try to remain unbiased enough to just give you the information and let you decide. Please share this post.


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

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

    • jburgeson July 12, 2015, 8:57 pm

      Awesome, yeah keep me posted.

      • shane July 20, 2015, 10:49 am

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

        • jburgeson July 20, 2015, 1:50 pm

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

          • shane July 20, 2015, 2:34 pm

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

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

            • jburgeson July 20, 2015, 3:19 pm

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

              • shane July 20, 2015, 3:35 pm

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

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

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

    • jburgeson July 13, 2015, 12:07 pm

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

  • shane July 27, 2015, 11:51 am

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

    • jburgeson July 27, 2015, 12:07 pm

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

    • Mark February 28, 2016, 11:06 am

      Hi Shane,

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


      • Shane February 28, 2016, 2:28 pm

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

  • shane August 19, 2015, 12:35 pm

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

  • yigalev94 September 8, 2015, 3:34 pm

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

    • jburgeson September 8, 2015, 4:32 pm

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

      • yigalev94 September 8, 2015, 6:06 pm

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

  • yigalev94 September 8, 2015, 5:19 pm

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

    • jburgeson September 8, 2015, 5:46 pm

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

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

      • yigalev94 September 8, 2015, 10:02 pm

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

        • jburgeson September 10, 2015, 4:27 pm

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

          • yigalev94 September 10, 2015, 4:38 pm

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

            • jburgeson September 10, 2015, 5:38 pm

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

  • yigalev94 September 8, 2015, 6:18 pm

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

  • yigalev94 September 10, 2015, 4:52 pm

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

  • yigalev94 September 10, 2015, 4:56 pm

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

    • jburgeson September 10, 2015, 5:34 pm

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

  • yigalev94 September 10, 2015, 7:22 pm

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

  • yigalev94 October 3, 2015, 7:36 pm

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

  • Alex October 29, 2015, 4:04 pm

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


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

    • jburgeson October 29, 2015, 8:35 pm

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

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

      • Alex October 30, 2015, 11:33 am

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

  • Miki November 24, 2015, 11:24 pm

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

    • jburgeson November 24, 2015, 11:34 pm

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

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

      • Miki November 24, 2015, 11:48 pm

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

      • Miki November 27, 2015, 10:31 am

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

        • jburgeson November 27, 2015, 11:46 am

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

  • Christine April 28, 2016, 8:57 am

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

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

    Suggestions for a starter barbell?

    • jburgeson April 28, 2016, 10:10 am

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

  • Elena August 24, 2016, 7:50 am

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

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


    • jburgeson August 24, 2016, 9:22 am

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

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

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

  • Tristan August 26, 2016, 12:02 pm

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

    Thanks for your time

    • jburgeson August 26, 2016, 12:37 pm

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

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

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

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

      • Tristan August 28, 2016, 2:17 pm

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

        • jburgeson August 28, 2016, 5:41 pm

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

  • SteveL April 5, 2018, 8:53 am

    I have some women who want to start working out in my garage with me in the near future. I’m looking for a 25mm bar that will be used for overhead press, bench presses, squats and dead lifts. Any recommendations or changes to this article since it was written? Thanks so much for your site!

    • jburgeson April 5, 2018, 9:50 am

      With no Oly work I’d go with one of the bushing multi-purpose bars… the Bella is fine and very inexpensive, but the California is tighter and much quieter when set down (deadlifts, rows, power cleans, or especially if Oly work was ever introduced). I mention this because in garages and boxes, the sound coming off these bars is a real concern for not only the athlete, but the coaches and trainers who have to listen to it day in and day out from other athletes too. Especially with multiple athletes/bars.

      There’s been no sudden changes or improvements to 25 mm bars though outside of adding Cerakote (which that being an improvement over just a color change is debatable.)

  • Ariel June 3, 2019, 9:05 pm

    Hi my name is Ariel. I strictly do Olympic lifting and some other exercises with the bar that help with my lifts. I want a get a nice long lasting bar with a whip. I have about a year of experience and 2 competitions under my belt so I don’t want a beginner bar. My budget is about 200 with a little room. Please let me know what you recommend for me. Love your site very helpful.

    • jburgeson June 3, 2019, 9:24 pm

      Hi Ariel, I’d recommend probably the Women’s Vulcan Standard Bushing Bar. The Standard is American-made, very strong, good finish and a medium knurling. It’s got Oilite bronze bushings which spin great and require much less maintenance than cast bronze or composite. Problem is that this bar pushes your budget a little, and is also out of stock! I like Vulcan though because their bars are known to have a nice elasticity to them.

      The women’s Oly bars from Rogue that I like start at $275… kinda high. I don’t care for the less-costly Bella and it’s cousins. The knurl is weak.

      American Barbell bars are fantastic but they start even higher than Rogue.

      The newer Wonder Bar from Fringe is acceptable, and only $189, but that black zinc finish will not go the distance. If you can live with a poorly aging finish, the price is right and the rest of the bar will last.

      Actually, you could take a look at the women’s Excalibur Bar from Rep. It’s only $199 down from $299 (which it may be worth asking them why that is.) It is dual-marked though – not sure if you care about that since you’re only doing Oly lifts – but it’s strong and is supposed to have a fairly good knurl for pulling.

      My favorite is still the Vulcan but, can’t even order it right now. Avoid Titan, and try to avoid any bar in the low $200’s that has bearings. Bearings this cheap are not meant to last. A real bearing bar will cost more than $200.

      • Ariel June 4, 2019, 6:55 pm

        Okay thank you. I was looking at the B&R bar on rouge it looks decent would that be good for Olympic lifting?

        • jburgeson June 10, 2019, 9:38 am

          Oops I didn’t see this one. Oh yes, the B&R – I always forget about that one. Yes I like that much more than the Bella/Ohio line. Yes keep in mind that all women’s bars are 25 mm so the flex is naturally better, and unlike men’s bars where you have to watch whether the bar is 28mm, 28.5mm, or 29 mm, you don’t have to do that. B&R is good – great price too on the 15 kg variant.

  • Julia Mhr September 28, 2019, 9:41 pm

    I’m interested in a curl bar for women. It seems all the bars that are 25mm curl bars, other than the Bella, are the box store curl bars. Any thoughts?

    • jburgeson September 29, 2019, 11:48 am

      There aren’t specifically women’s curl bars, and I don’t think you’ll find much of anything under 25 mm for any kind of bar. It’s the closest you can get to an inch in diameter without going over an inch, and 1″ diameter bars are what the lower end barbells are (box-store bars). I’m not saying there exists nothing narrower than that anywhere, but I’ve just never heard of it. Sorry =/

  • Kelly April 4, 2020, 12:51 pm

    Hey! So I think I’m on the right ball park but not quiet sure. I use to Olympic lift and got pretty into it… I’ve taken about 5 yrs off and now I’m going to start a home gym in the garage in South Carolina and get back into it (I say that for the humid factor in the summers here) which bar would you recommend for kinda a person starting over but does have experience and for something that will hold up in the garage. My budget would be $300. Thanks!!

    • jburgeson April 4, 2020, 9:39 pm

      It’s slim pickings right now with everyone buying all the manufacturers out of bars, plates, and racks, but women’s bars are still kind of available. You want to favor a resilient finish like chrome or Cerakote, or stainless steel, as those will hold up the best in your climate.

      Rogue has both a Cerakote and stainless steel version of the Bella, but they are 100% sold out of all colors and variants. But maybe do the ‘notify me’ button and who knows, maybe they’ll show up in inventory again soon (https://www.roguefitness.com/the-bella-rogue-womens-bar-cerakote?a_aid=527973956e9ea&a_bid=5176f2fa)

      Fringe Sport has the Wonder Bar 15 kg in stock, but it’s got pretty weak knurl and it’s black zinc – not a great finish for humidity (or at all, really)

      Finally, and my favorite pick, would be the Women’s Vulcan Elite 4.0 Training Bar, but it’s $360; a little over your budget. The Elite has always been one of my favorite bushing based weightlifting training bars. (https://www.vulcanstrength.com/Vulcan-V3-0-Elite-Training-Bushing-Barbell-15-kg-p/vebb15.htm?tap_a=9303-be8ddd&tap_s=42825-89bfb5)

      If you can’t justify the $360 for the Vulcan and have to scour the net for something – anything… just keep in mind that you probably want to avoid bare steel, black zinc, and black oxide. Cerakote is great but can dull knurl, so look closely at knurl pictures if they have them (they better.) Stainless is the best but it tends to be more than your budget. Not always by a lot, but more.

      I hope this helps. When things are in stock I would have more ideas by far.

      • steph August 7, 2020, 6:24 am

        Thankyou for all the great info on womens bars.
        Do you know the length of the Women’s Vulcan Elite 4.0 Training Bar? Would it be 79″? Can’t find this information on the site.

        And would you recommend this bar over the AB training 15kg cerakote bar? Thanks again

        • jburgeson August 9, 2020, 10:19 am

          Vulcan bars always adhere to IWF and IPF guidelines. They take their weightlifting bars quite seriously. Not sure why they aren’t consistent with their specs. =/

          The Elite is the highest-performance, bushing-based Olympic training bar out there. I love American Barbell and commonly lean in their direction for recommendations, but in this case I’d have to say I like that Elite more than the AB Trainer. They both have their pros and cons, but in terms of performance; namely elasticity; Vulcan definitely wins.

  • Chris Slattery May 19, 2020, 2:30 pm

    I was just turned on to the Lynx Bar. It is a hybrid bar going for mid $200. Just wondering of you have heard anything about this bar, or have ever used it. Mens or womens.



    • jburgeson May 21, 2020, 10:21 am

      I’ve heard half decent things about Lynx – not bad for the money. I haven’t personally handled one though.

  • annap January 19, 2021, 9:46 pm

    Hello! i know the article is a few years old now so wondering if i could get some help/insight for general multipurpose barbell (crossfit, oly lifting, powerlifting, etc). I think i’ve narrowed my options down to these but happy to expand options if folks have other recommendations:

    Vulcan 15 kg Bearing Bar
    Bella Bar 2.0 Cerakote
    AB California Bar Cerakote

    • jburgeson January 20, 2021, 10:10 am

      You can’t go wrong with any of those, but my favorite of the bunch would be the American Barbell, followed by the Vulcan. There’s also the Starting Strength Bar in 15 kg, but it’s raw steel – feels great, but maintenance is definitely a thing with a raw bar.

      • annap January 20, 2021, 12:51 pm

        Thanks for the quick reply! Does the cerakote make the bar too slippery for high rep crossfitty workouts?

        • jburgeson January 20, 2021, 12:53 pm

          No. Cerakote is sufficiently tacky. Avoid black zinc.

          • annap January 20, 2021, 1:06 pm

            Ok cool. May I ask what makes the California Bar your favorite above the others?

            • jburgeson January 20, 2021, 5:08 pm

              American Barbell just makes some of the best bars period. They’re highly refined, built with better components than most other manufacturers use, and they’re quiet.

              • annap January 21, 2021, 12:43 am

                That’s a good enough response for me! Thanks again for the help @jburgeson.

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