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Misael Lopez 11-07-2005 07:18 PM

Hello Crossfit,

This CF newbie and first time poster is looking for advice on an O-bar and B-plates. I've flipped through pretty much all the Equipment archives and while I've learned a good bit about the options out there and what not to get, I still have some questions.

I think getting a Chapman bar ($430) would be a good first step, it seems this is a very solid bar that would only be incrementally improved on by paying up to twice as much. Unless, of course, someone can build a good case for upgrading to Eleiko or some other bar? Would I notice the difference? To my mind, the bar is important enough not to skimp if you don't have to, but I don't want to throw money away.

The one thing I'm certain about bumper plates is I don't want to pay for a full set of Eleiko's.

For context, at 5'7" and 150 lbs I used to squat 450 lbs for reps, bench 250 lbs, and rip out 35 pullups (I've only recently learned about kipping). That was a little while ago and I never trained on olympic lifts back then, but I think I'll be able to get back in that vicinity once again (on certain lifts).

That being said, I'm looking to get around 200kg of bumper plates, so cost is going to start raising it's head. The budget is not unlimited, but I have some room to manuever.

Can you guys help point me in the right direction?

Clay Jones 11-08-2005 08:49 AM

Misal, the Chapman bar is a great choice. You might give Scott at BS Olympic a call (link below), he worked a great deal for me when I bought a bar and bumpers. I think BFS might also be a good source for bumpers, though I have never ordered from them.

There are others on the forum that can tell you which bar to go with.

Lincoln Brigham 11-08-2005 09:07 AM

If you REALLY want to get 200kg of bumpers, seriously consider getting the Eleiko training bumpers. (Most Olympic lifters don't need 200kg in bumpers, however.) You can't fit 200kg in bumpers on a bar if you get the recycled rubber style bumpers such as Chapman's bumpers or BFS. Eleiko has really dropped the price on their training bumpers lately AND they are color-coded now, just like the competition bumpers. A full set of 25s, 20s, 15s, 10s, and an extra set of 25s will run $1,700. If you go with the Werk San brand, you'll get the equivalent for $1,450.

A set of iron plates in kilos will run about $107 from Werk San - 5kg, 2kg, 1kg, 0.5kg. They'd be about the cheapest. Or Ivanko would be even cheaper, but Ivanko doesn't sell the 2kg or 1kg plates, only the olde style 2.5kg and 1.25k plates.

Misael Lopez 11-08-2005 12:03 PM

Obviously you're a believer in good bumpers and I appreciate the feedback. If you were to group Eleiko, York, and Werk San as Tier 1 bumpers, who would produce Tier 2 bumpers? And what kind of difference would I expect to see between 1st and 2nd class gear? Durability, quality, other?

For a set of gear that will used by a single person, is there that much of a difference?

Lincoln Brigham 11-08-2005 12:50 PM

The Tier 2 stuff is the recycled rubber bumpers, such as by Chapman, BFS, the cheaper Yorks (i.e. not the competition Yorks). The differences are size (recycled rubber bumpers are much fatter), cost (about half), appearance (any color you like as long as it is black) and bounce (All rubber-bumpers bounce pretty high). Durability for use by one person won't be much of a factor.

Tier 3 bumpers are like VTX, Ivanko, or any other brand that uses very thin rubber or urethane over metal. They don't last.

Like I said, you are not going to get 200kg of recycled rubber style bumpers to fit on a bar. S What I would suggest is to get enough of the recycled rubber bumpers for your Olympic lifting needs and make up the rest with a different style - such as competition-style iron plates in kilos (Ivanko, for example). Or... Get your lower weight bumpers (10kg, 15kg) in recycled rubber (~$210) and then spring for Werk San 20s and 25s ($628) so that you can fit more weight on the bar.

Here's a video of 145kg of bumpers in action. Most of the bumpers are of the recycled rubber style. (The inside bumpers in red - 25kg - are not recycled rubber.)
Note how much room they take up on the bar and how high they bounce when dropped.

Here's 40 kilos more, in the better bumpers:
Note how much less room they take up on the bar.

Again, for Olympic lifting it's unlikely you'll be using that much weight unless it's for squats. The second video is a kid who did 830 lbs. in the deadlift as a teenager...

Personally I'd rather have good bumpers and a moderate priced bar than a good bar and not enough bumpers or crappy bumpers.

(Message edited by lincoln on November 08, 2005)

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