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Old 04-12-2010, 07:29 PM   #1
Elliot Fuller
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Black Zinc coating coming off of my Rogue Bar maybe sorta kinda?

On our inaugural workout with my new Rogue Bar and bumpers, a friend developed, and subsequently exploded a rather large blood blister on his hand. This gave my new bar an awful lot of "character" all over the knurling, but I gathered that having blood, iron, chalk and sweat on my new bar was probably not a great mix.

I read that an ammonia solution is best used to clean these bars with a plastic or nylon bristled brush, followed by a light coating of 3-in-1 oil (although I was also told that the 3-in-1 oil is only necessary really if there is exposed steel).

I decided, perhaps foolhardily, that I would "disinfect" the bar first, by wiping it down with rubbing alcohol and a nylon brush. Well, it looks like I either brushed too hard (seems a little unlikely that the coating would come off with just brushing like this), or the rubbing alcohol has had a bad effect on the coating.

I notice several "glimmering" spots on the bar that I hadn't noticed before. It might be my mind playing tricks on me (or perhaps the chalk is just dissipated a bit more evenly on the knurling, after I brushed it), but I'm really hoping that I haven't somehow managed to brush off the black coating on the knurling. What are the chances that it is indeed the coating coming off? Hopefully I'm just being paranoid and overly protective of my new baby.

Is it ill-advised to use rubbing alcohol? I probably should have thought of it before-hand, but really didn't think I was brushing it that hard.

I'm not looking to complain about the construction of the bar by any means. I just want to know if I should/can continue brushing it in this manner (not with alcohol, for future reference); I don't want the brushing to remove the finish.

As a follow-up question:

I've heard these bars described as "bombproof" more times than I can count. I'm curious how much abuse I can realistically expect to throw at it. It is being used several times a week by 3 or 4 Marines, and NEVER on a proper lifting platform/surface. It is almost always lifted on asphalt or concrete, and, lacking a rack, it is almost always dropped from overhead when the weights get heavy'ish.

How bombproof is "bombproof," and should I consider trying to find a new place to PT to avoid the risk of chipping my plates or damaging my bar with repeated drops on asphalt?
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Last edited by Elliot Fuller : 04-12-2010 at 07:32 PM.
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Old 04-13-2010, 12:55 PM   #2
William Henniger
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Re: Black Zinc coating coming off of my Rogue Bar maybe sorta kinda?

Due to all the tangents on bar care we are getting ready to release instructions on bar care. Here is an excerpt from the publication:

Zinc coated steel will resist rust for far longer than an untreated bar while providing nearly as firm a grip as raw steel. It does not need regular maintenance to keep from rusting. However, your bar will still benefit from cleaning to remove chalk that has become caked in the knurling. It is actually better to avoid cleaning the chalk off at every use, because if you clean excessively, you can eventually cause damage to the zinc coating.

1. Use a plastic bristled brush or toothbrush to remove excess chalk every week or two. Do not use a metal bristled brush as this will damage the coating. If there is chalk left, it can be easily removed with a rag and any household cleaner. After removing the chalk, wipe the bar thoroughly to remove any residue.

Plastic bristled brushes can be bought at a hardware store or grocery store.


-------------

General Bar FAQ:

1) We get tons of questions about the finish on the bar and how to maintain it. The short answer is that all zinc finishes will wear over time so you will see the areas where you put your hands show some discoloration.

2) All zinc plated bars go through the same basic dip cycle and all of them have bright zinc as a base. After they have been dipped in bright/clear zinc they get dipped in black or olive drab to give it a different look. It is more expensive to have the secondary color than bright zinc.

3) The area that will see the most wear is at the tips of the knurl and the area that is dropped in the rack

------------------------

Bombproof: We guarantee them for life against bending so please don't be gentle on our part. We fully expect you to put these bars through normal rigor without treating them like a fragile piece of equipment. That being said I would not advise dropping the bar itself off a roof. Bars don' respond well to getting dropped on the sleeve itself but drops with plates are what they were designed for. Our Rogue HiTemp plates are made to take a serious beating, they have already seen 100K miles on your car so there is little chance you are going to damage the rubber.

We have replaced a few bars out of thousands, the track record is excellent on these bars.

If you have any concerns about the bar just shoot me an email: bill@roguefitness.com Either myself or one of the folks on our team will answer your questions!

I mentioned Olive Drab above because we are getting ready to launch a new custom division where you can choose the color bar and sleeve!

Bill
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Old 04-13-2010, 01:21 PM   #3
Todd Condell
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Re: Black Zinc coating coming off of my Rogue Bar maybe sorta kinda?

Bill
I recently purchased a B&R and an Eleiko Training Bar. The Eleiko comes with instructions to only use their wire brush to clean the knurling but nothing else on its chrome finish (I posted that here recently). What would you recommend for both these bar I got from Rogue. It is hard to find info even on your website and I mentioned that it is hard anywhere to find manufacturer info in my previous post about bar care. Eleiko contradicts what you just posted here about care of their Comp and Training Bars so could you clear that up. I also own an Eleiko Powerlifting Bar which seems to be natural steel and what would you recommend for care of that bar. I currently use 3-in-1 oil and plastic bristle brush and tack cloth to care for it.
thanks
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Old 04-13-2010, 09:43 PM   #4
Elliot Fuller
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Re: Black Zinc coating coming off of my Rogue Bar maybe sorta kinda?

Thanks for the reply Bill. Glad to see that you take the time to follow-up with customers who don't even come to you directly; that's great service and certainly worth my continued business.

With that said, it sounds like I'm babying my new toy a bit too much, and I won't fuss so much about the finish coming off with routine scrubbing w/ a plastic brush.

Now I wish I'd held out a little longer on my purchase though, to get that custom color coating

Thanks again.
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Old 04-14-2010, 08:13 AM   #5
William Henniger
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Re: Black Zinc coating coming off of my Rogue Bar maybe sorta kinda?

Elliot:

You have a great bar and we stand behind it 100%, if you ever have any issues we will be here to help!

Todd:

If the responses vary it is because of a few varying responses we have direct from Eleiko:

1) Eleiko - What type of brush should you use on an Eleiko Powerlifting Bar? Steel Brush that is provided on the bare steel shaft and softer brush on the chrome sleeves

2) Eleiko - What type of brush should you use on the Eleiko Comp/Training Olift Bars? Steel brush but should be softer bristle type as opposed to the one used on the bare steel

So we are left to draw our own conclusions as to the exact brush to use etc. Referencing two engineers at Rogue our suggestion would be:

1) Zinc/Chrome - Use the plastic bristle brush, if it cleans the knurl then you have used the least amount of lethal force necessary. If the dry brushing does not release any residue you can apply some 3:1 oil/Cleaner with a rag then brush it again. Wipe the bar down when done.

2) Referencing a use of force continuum I think you only want to use the tool that inflicts the least amount of damage first. Start with a little hammer before I break out the sledge hammer. I think using a steel bristle brush is not necessary for plated bars and I would not recommend it unless you have a seriously neglected bar

3) Type of Brush - I would use in this order - Plastic, Brass and then steel type bristle brush.

We will publish the Rogue Bar Care data sheet very soon! In the end it is going to be pretty rare that your bar rusts through and breaks in half. If you look at the bars at West Side Barbell they have never seen a brush and/or 3:1 oil. So if that is one extreme then on the other end of the scale is Britt Freund(look up his threads), he keeps his bars in immaculate shape. Neither person is going to have a bar that snaps in two because they didn't clean the chalk out, cleaned it with the wrong solution or cleaned it too often.

That being said the bacteria etc that will get trapped in the knurl are a major concern for gym owners, this is where getting them disinfected is important.

Bill
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Old 04-14-2010, 06:12 PM   #6
Todd Condell
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Re: Black Zinc coating coming off of my Rogue Bar maybe sorta kinda?

Thanks Bill,
I have to tell you that is the same info I found about Eleiko bars and I really appreciate your responses for bar care. Its not that I am worried about a bar rusting through but the color of rust doesn't match the color of my equipment in my garage and there is something about the aesthetics of my workout space that despises rust. Rust in my mind equates with lack of use and so it needs to look good so I look good using it. I would have loved to purchased my B&R Bar in neon yellow. Natural steel is what some prefer but neon yellow would match my GHD and dynamax medicine ball. Well I guess I will have to live with that too.
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Old 04-15-2010, 08:44 AM   #7
Scott Stevens
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Re: Black Zinc coating coming off of my Rogue Bar maybe sorta kinda?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Todd Condell View Post
Thanks Bill,
I would have loved to purchased my B&R Bar in neon yellow.
Something tells me Rogue won't be supplying that color anytime soon. haha
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Old 04-15-2010, 10:29 AM   #8
Stu Christensen
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Re: Black Zinc coating coming off of my Rogue Bar maybe sorta kinda?

I really don't understand that weekly threads that post up about cleaning a bar. I have had my bar for over two years and NEVER cleaned it. Not once. And it is in great shape. Hmmmm.
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Old 04-15-2010, 11:36 AM   #9
Jason A Smith
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Re: Black Zinc coating coming off of my Rogue Bar maybe sorta kinda?

Stu,

I also have a Rogue bar, been using it for about 3-4 months, dropped it lots and I don't clean mine either. Maybe something about being from Saskatchewan ? As a dude with a mechanical engineering degree, I understand why the zinc is on there and why I want it on as long as possible. the oil from your skin will help do the same thing, protect the steel from oxidizing.

Hmmmm
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Old 04-15-2010, 12:32 PM   #10
William Henniger
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Re: Black Zinc coating coming off of my Rogue Bar maybe sorta kinda?

Todd - There is a Yellow Zinc but it looks like crap I think, there are some folks out there doing a version of powder coat to the bar but I like the zinc and/or raw bars.

Bars like the B&R bar rarely get oxidized badly when used every day. So maybe it is the steel gods telling us to lift more often!

----------

Stu & Jason - As I mentioned there are folks who keep there trucks dirty and some that keep them spotless. We rarely clean our bars but I can understand why some folks like to keep their pride and joy clean!

Owning a good weightlifting bar is pretty cool, for me sort of like my grandfather giving me his old Buck Knife.

Bill
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