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Old 01-30-2016, 09:26 PM   #1
Mike Hollister
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Best barbell for box use?

Haven't had a good box-use barbell thread in a while. My box is looking to pick up a bunch of new barbells and my honest thought at this point is to buy one of each and try a bunch. I think for the right value, $300 is not too much to pay for a really nice bar that people will compete for. Here are my thoughts so far:

1) Rogue - solid construction although I don't love the new composite bushings. Seem a little sticky. The main thing about the Rogue bars is the oxide finish just plain looks like crap after a few months of box use. Black becomes gray or green and it seems like the finish is really inconsistent. I've seen some really old bars that seem to hold up some that discolor super early. I know it's a barbell and it's not a beauty contest but it's not like you have to pick between performance and durability... or perhaps you do?

2) AF - Klokov bar looks promising but mixed reviews (rust concerns) and it is at the TOP of the price range.


3) New nickel chrome from MDUSA... how is that holding up? Always dug the look and feel of those bars. Is the finish any good?

Any other decent chrome bars out there? Should we get a few different singles and see how it goes?
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Old 01-31-2016, 08:50 AM   #2
Robert Diggs
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Re: Best barbell for box use?

I use the Pendlay 20kg HD bar everyday and it's a great bar

$275 on Muscle Driver
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Old 01-31-2016, 09:02 AM   #3
Steven Thunander
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Re: Best barbell for box use?

1. Rogue- Composite bushings seem to spin OK on the bar at my box; the same as my Ohio Bar. Just make sure you use some spray in lithium grease from time to time on it. If a composite bushing is of concern to you, get the Ohio bar, which is a good bar, and spins even better now.
2. Stay away from the Klokov unless you like you neck and collarbone chewed up by a harsh center knurl. It also rusts like crazy. If you are getting bars for general use get the Team Af bars. It should be noted that there have been issues with soft knurl on this one as well as bending.
3. The Pendlay HD bars I have seen are running just fine. And it is 28mm, so that is a plus. And they are on sale right now so grab it.

As far as durability goes, though. stick with Rogue. Their customer service is by far the best in the industry. But the Pendlay will still work.
Price points
Rogue bar 2.0 $255+$14 shipping
Klokov Bar-$300+$20-40 shipping
Pendlay bar- $275 (on sale for $247 through 2/2) free shipping
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Old 02-10-2016, 01:03 AM   #4
Joel Te
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Re: Best barbell for box use?

Here's my opinions FWIW:

1) Rogue makes a great barbell, composite bushings in my experience spin just as well (not that great) as their bronze cousins. Rogue uses cast bushings now as well too so don't expect any Rogue bar to spin a ton unless its a bearing bar. Black zinc coating is what it is, it's going to fade and get ugly no matter what. if you want to avoid that, I'd recommend bright zinc, but even then that will fade, it just won't look as bad as it fade into bare steel. The Rogue 2.0 is a favorite at my affiliate, for some reason people don't care for the Ohio, and people think the Echo bar is expensive because it's bright zinc so they stay away from it.
You're going to pay a little bit more for the Rogue name, but the bars are great, will last, and have resale. Personally, I stocked up on Rogue Bar 1.0's from CL and not a single one is bent, and they all spin great.

2) I would stay away from the Klokov, its stiff and it rusts way too easily. The Team Barbell is a great option, but has very light knurling. Whip is excellent, spins smooth/fast, shaft diameter is 28mm and AF has AMAZING customer service(seriously, if you have any issues, they'll replace your bar without any hassle). Stay away from the Evo bars, they're cheap for a reason, they work okay, but I had some straightness issues with them (I'm thinking reject Team bars). When I had a Team Barbell at my gym, people would gravitate towards it for the light knurl and spin.

3) I had a bushing and currently have a bearing version of the newer 2015 Pendlay bars. They have a new knurl pattern as well as the nickel chrome coating. Knurling compared to the older bars is a little more subdued, but still provides adequate grip, about on par with a Rogue 2.0/Ohio/Echo. The polished chrome finish is super nice, it's 28mm, you can request a very light center knurl which is excellent if you wanted dedicated oly bars, the spin is smooth as butter on both versions and the whip is excellent. For $275 + 10% off, it's almost a no brainer. The only "downside" is that it doesn't come with a PL mark.

4) You've got some other great options nowadays too. If you wanted solid performing US made bars on the cheap, you could check out Wright Equipment. Their bars are cheap, durable, perform well, and have great grip due to their chalkier zinc coating. Just make sure you stay on top of lubricating the bushings. All of my 15kgs are Wright and the ladies seem to like them just fine. I also own the Wright Pro Elite and Elite bars, which are excellent, but I wouldn't have them for general use. Also the FringeSport Bomba bar is similar.

Pure-Strength bars are also very nice and made in the US. The knurling is super light, but people at my gym gravitate towards this bar for that reason. American Barbell also makes very good US made training bars that are 28mm, great spin from composite bushings, have great whip, but don't have PL markings.

FINALLY, if you don't mind import barbells, the Lynx Barbell Hybrid Bearing bar is a blast to use. Spins like crazy, whip is good, grippy but lightish knurl, and seems durable enough so far. I guarantee people going for this bar for the spin alone. Same with the GetRxd Stealth bar, which you can get hard chrome if you wanted the finish to hold up a bit better.

Probably just confused you more with all of that. I go through a ton of barbells, pretty much everything I listed, I use at my affiliate.
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Old 02-10-2016, 09:46 PM   #5
Mike Hollister
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Re: Best barbell for box use?

Thanks man, very helpful. Seriously. I've read most of your reviews so it's good to get your perspective as an affiliate owner rather. I dig the blog.
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Old 02-10-2016, 10:46 PM   #6
Joel Te
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Re: Best barbell for box use?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Hollister View Post
Thanks man, very helpful. Seriously. I've read most of your reviews so it's good to get your perspective as an affiliate owner rather. I dig the blog.
Always here to help, let me know if you need anything else.
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Old 02-19-2016, 09:21 AM   #7
Alex Burden
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Re: Best barbell for box use?

I Know you might want USA made products but Eleiko have some amazing bars with lifetime guarantee and they only get better with time.

They are expensive but they could be worth it if they are used hour upon hour.

I have been using them for years and the older ones bounce perfect and the spin is amazing.
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Old 02-19-2016, 03:06 PM   #8
Marshall Flagg
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Re: Best barbell for box use?

+1 on Eleiko. I suppose their XF bar is too expensive if you need to fill a gym-basically twice as much as a Rogue 2.0. If their XF bars have similar longevity as their WL bars, a bar should really last forever. Sure, stuff breaks, bends on occasion.

Also, there seems to be an opinion that Eleiko is a crappy, mean, non-caring, whatever company. That is not true at all.

Their CS is great. Howevere, they aren't just gonna ship out a new bar and tell you to keep the messed up one if you have a problem or anything. If some moron bends/breaks your bar doing something stupid, make them pay for it.

I bet money, you have a better chance of getting a little bit of a discount from Eleiko than some other companies if you make a phone call.

Finally, you get epic style points when people look at the endcaps.
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Old 02-19-2016, 04:54 PM   #9
Mike Hollister
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Re: Best barbell for box use?

I agree about endcaps being a bigger deal than you think. Good ones are quiet and speak to quality.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marshall Flagg View Post
+1 on Eleiko. I suppose their XF bar is too expensive if you need to fill a gym-basically twice as much as a Rogue 2.0. If their XF bars have similar longevity as their WL bars, a bar should really last forever. Sure, stuff breaks, bends on occasion.

Also, there seems to be an opinion that Eleiko is a crappy, mean, non-caring, whatever company. That is not true at all.

Their CS is great. Howevere, they aren't just gonna ship out a new bar and tell you to keep the messed up one if you have a problem or anything. If some moron bends/breaks your bar doing something stupid, make them pay for it.

I bet money, you have a better chance of getting a little bit of a discount from Eleiko than some other companies if you make a phone call.

Finally, you get epic style points when people look at the endcaps.
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Old 02-20-2016, 01:55 AM   #10
Alex Burden
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Re: Best barbell for box use?

I don't know if you have seen the film by Barbell Shrugged when they visit Eleiko but it is work watching. They show the process and also tell you how to take care of the bars.

The most important thing is not to drop the bar on the floor/ground without any weights on it. I think this is what ruins any good bar as the shoulders and bearings take the brunt of it.

I know they second hand equipment on sale in Sweden to great prices and they might have some in the US, demo stuff. Check their HomePage
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