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Old 04-16-2011, 04:29 PM   #1
Daniel Frankel
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Barbell guide?

Im not in the market to buy a barbell, but I'd rather do the research now to save time in the future. I haven't the slightest idea what a bushing or bearing is, which type of barbell to get for what purpose, etc.

Does anyone know of any good resources that would help explain to me what the different types of barbells are, or any related "guides"?

Any help appreciated.

Cheers, Daniel
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Old 04-16-2011, 05:45 PM   #2
Michael Loucas
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Re: Barbell guide?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Frankel View Post
Im not in the market to buy a barbell, but I'd rather do the research now to save time in the future. I haven't the slightest idea what a bushing or bearing is, which type of barbell to get for what purpose, etc.

Does anyone know of any good resources that would help explain to me what the different types of barbells are, or any related "guides"?

Any help appreciated.

Cheers, Daniel
Bearing bars have ball bearings, which make them have the best spin and are meant mostly for very experienced competitive olympic lifters and are retarded expensive. Bushing has less spin than bearing, and is mostly used for power lifting. Unless you're a competitive oly lifter, a bushing bar will be more than enough for a crossfitter. A good bushing bar will usually be around $300+, a bearing bar much more expensive.

Good luck!
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Old 04-16-2011, 06:33 PM   #3
Todd Rehm
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Re: Barbell guide?

Here are two videos that illustrate the difference in spin between a bearing barbell (Eleiko) and a bushing barbell (Pendlay). It's pretty dramatic.

Pendlay bushing barbell: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDNLnQndXlQ (wfs)

Eleiko bearing barbell: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJL_QCxe6w4 (wfs)

Putting a bumper plate on it acts like a flywheel and makes each barbell spin longer than it would without the bumper, but it does help illustrate the difference.

You can see that the Eleiko spins much more freely because the bearing reduce friction.

When I worked in railroading, we had cars equipped with both roller bearings, kind of like the Eleiko, and "standard" or "friction" bearings, which were more like a bushing.

I'm perfectly happy lifting with the bushing barbells, but have started making it a point to lift on the Eleikos every time because that's all I've ever seen in competitions around here.

I assume a Pendlay bearing bar would spin more like the Eleiko, but we don't have any in our weight room.

As far as the knurling, I prefer the Pendlay.

But I prefer my vintage York barbells to both of these.
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Old 04-16-2011, 07:11 PM   #4
Keith Miller
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Re: Barbell guide?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Loucas View Post
Bearing bars have ball bearings, which make them have the best spin and are meant mostly for very experienced competitive olympic lifters and are retarded expensive. Bushing has less spin than bearing, and is mostly used for power lifting. Unless you're a competitive oly lifter, a bushing bar will be more than enough for a crossfitter. A good bushing bar will usually be around $300+, a bearing bar much more expensive.

Good luck!
Bearing bars usually have needle bearings, not ball bearings. Basically, a needle bearing is a thin round piece of steel and there are 4-5 of them in a set around the shaft that the sleeve "rides" on. There's anywhere between 3-5 "sets" of needle bearings per sleeve. The more there are, the smoother and "freeer" the spin of the sleeve. Some of the bars have lubricant within the sleeves also (Pendlay) to keep the spin smooth.

Bushings are usually a softer metal, like bronze, that is a solid piece that seperates the shaft and sleeve. Again, there can be lubricant in the sleeves to help smooth out the bushings (like Pendlays).

You can usually feel the difference between the bushing and bearing bars once you have weight on the bar. You will feel the bearing bars easier to turn over the bar on the snatch and clean. Bearing bars will usually start at about $450 and run up into the $1000 range. Bushing bars can range $100 to about $350 or so depending on the type of steel the shaft of the bar is made out of. The higher the quality of steel, the greater the cost of the bar.

Hope all this helps to explain things a bit!!
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Old 04-16-2011, 09:55 PM   #5
Daniel Frankel
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Re: Barbell guide?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Miller View Post
Bearing bars usually have needle bearings, not ball bearings. Basically, a needle bearing is a thin round piece of steel and there are 4-5 of them in a set around the shaft that the sleeve "rides" on. There's anywhere between 3-5 "sets" of needle bearings per sleeve. The more there are, the smoother and "freeer" the spin of the sleeve. Some of the bars have lubricant within the sleeves also (Pendlay) to keep the spin smooth.

Bushings are usually a softer metal, like bronze, that is a solid piece that seperates the shaft and sleeve. Again, there can be lubricant in the sleeves to help smooth out the bushings (like Pendlays).

You can usually feel the difference between the bushing and bearing bars once you have weight on the bar. You will feel the bearing bars easier to turn over the bar on the snatch and clean. Bearing bars will usually start at about $450 and run up into the $1000 range. Bushing bars can range $100 to about $350 or so depending on the type of steel the shaft of the bar is made out of. The higher the quality of steel, the greater the cost of the bar.

Hope all this helps to explain things a bit!!

Yes, this really explains things. Is there anything else that is super important, aside from the knurling marks (one being for powerlifting, the other for OLY lifting, right? ) What is the reason for a center knurling besides marking the middle fo the bar? Is it personal preference? Or do better bars not have it?

Finally, what is standard bar length, as well as length of the part that you grip (the shaft?)?
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Old 04-17-2011, 07:10 AM   #6
Todd Rehm
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Re: Barbell guide?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Frankel View Post
Yes, this really explains things. Is there anything else that is super important, aside from the knurling marks (one being for powerlifting, the other for OLY lifting, right? ) What is the reason for a center knurling besides marking the middle fo the bar? Is it personal preference? Or do better bars not have it?

Finally, what is standard bar length, as well as length of the part that you grip (the shaft?)?
The center knurling is there to scrape the skin off the front of your neck. It's also required to be on IWF-certified bars. The only reason I've ever known of for the center knurling is to help keep the bar from sliding down your back in squats, but I've never personally found it necessary.

IWF specifies 2200 mm length of the bar and 1310 mm between the sleeves. IPF specs are no more than 2.2 meters and between 1.32 and 1.31 meters between the sleeves, so substantially identical in those dimensions.
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Old 04-17-2011, 09:38 AM   #7
Keith Miller
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Re: Barbell guide?

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Originally Posted by Todd Rehm View Post
The center knurling is there to scrape the skin off the front of your neck. It's also required to be on IWF-certified bars. The only reason I've ever known of for the center knurling is to help keep the bar from sliding down your back in squats, but I've never personally found it necessary.

IWF specifies 2200 mm length of the bar and 1310 mm between the sleeves. IPF specs are no more than 2.2 meters and between 1.32 and 1.31 meters between the sleeves, so substantially identical in those dimensions.
Yeah, basically this^^^

There is no difference in quality of bars with or without center knurling. Also, most Oly bars with it tend to make it very "soft", i.e. barely noticeable. I only notice a difference when it's a bit sharp and it can grip the back or front of the neck more than without. But, as Todd mentioned, it's usually not necessary.
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Old 04-18-2011, 05:54 AM   #8
Darryl Shaw
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Re: Barbell guide?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Frankel View Post
Yes, this really explains things. Is there anything else that is super important, aside from the knurling marks (one being for powerlifting, the other for OLY lifting, right? ) What is the reason for a center knurling besides marking the middle fo the bar? Is it personal preference? Or do better bars not have it?

Finally, what is standard bar length, as well as length of the part that you grip (the shaft?)?
The centre knurling is there because people used to compete in one handed versions of a number of lifts. There's a list of some of the old-time lifts including the one handed variations here and you can find examples of things like the one handed snatch and zercher squats on youtube if you look for them.

http://www.usawa.com/the-one-arm-sna...rite-pictures/

http://choosingabarbell.blogspot.com...1_archive.html

*All links wfs*

Last edited by Darryl Shaw; 04-18-2011 at 06:12 AM..
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Old 04-18-2011, 06:37 AM   #9
Michael Loucas
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Re: Barbell guide?

Well, you're supposed to be squatting with a shirt, so the center knurling is supposed to catch your shirt, not your skin.
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Old 04-18-2011, 07:35 AM   #10
Todd Rehm
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Re: Barbell guide?

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Originally Posted by Michael Loucas View Post
Well, you're supposed to be squatting with a shirt, so the center knurling is supposed to catch your shirt, not your skin.
On cleans and front squats my massive, cannonball delts make the bar sit higher and scrape the skin on the front of my neck. Considered wearing a turtleneck but my traps get in the way.
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