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Equipment Outfitting a serious gym. Vendors & suppliers. Devices & equipment

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Old 07-30-2004, 11:17 AM   #11
Lincoln Brigham
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The rubber composite "Michelin Man" bumper plates are much better buy than the Hampton "iron with a rubber rim" style. BFS sells both.

The problem with ANY of the lighter bumpers is the stress on the hubs, due to the narrow width. The Hamptons are extra narrow, which will cause the hub to crack and put a lot of stress on the bar. The rubber composite bumper hubs will pop out if dropped at an angle with too much iron on the bar. You simply can't put a pair of 10kg bumpers on the bar, add another 40kg of iron on the bar, drop the bar from overhead, and still expect the hubs to last forever. The 15s, 20, and 25s will put up with that kind of abuse because the hubs are wider.

I haven't seen them, but I know that BFS sells 10 lb. rubber composite bumpers. They'd be so thin I can't imagine how they could last.

For women, I've found the 5lb. training plates from BFS and the 5kg bumper plates from Ivanko to be very useful, along with a lighter barbell. But again, you can't load them up.

The best 5kg bumper plate in the world is made by Leoko and it is built like a tank for all the reasons above. It is also quite pricey to build a light bumper plate that rugged. The Ivanko won't last as long, but it's 1/3rd the cost.

Many Olympic gyms limit the amount of iron you can put on the bar for this reason. They make you add bumper plates instead of iron plates whenever possible.
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Old 07-30-2004, 11:46 AM   #12
elizabeth bradley
 
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lincoln,,,so if my extra iron adds up to about 80lbs (which i doubt if i can ever use all of it but my roommate might be able to),,,,and the 25lb bumper plates are obviously 50lbs,,that is 130lbs,,,plus the bar. i was going to either order the bfs 25lb pair or the bfs 10kg pair,,which are really close,,,you seem to be talking in kg's mostly,,,is that better for some reason? and if i put my extra 80 lbs on with either plate set,,,can those hubs on the bfs solid rubber bumbers handle the drop? i doubt if we will be dropping to often, it is a concrete floor. thanks for your input.
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Old 07-30-2004, 11:54 AM   #13
elizabeth bradley
 
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lincoln,,also,,,you said you got your hampton bumpers from bfs,,and they only sell one style bumper, the bfs brand bumpers,,are those the hampton ones? i just don't want to spend the money for something that is going to break,,,thanks
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Old 07-30-2004, 12:03 PM   #14
Lincoln Brigham
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Kilos makes the math SO much easier. Everything is in nice, round numbers. The bar is 20, the bumpers are in increments of 10,15,20,25. Plus converting kilos to pounds can be done in your head - simply double and add 10%. Plus, the best barbell equipment is usually only available in kilos.
All powerlifting and weightlifting competitions are done in metric.

But in pounds, sheez. The bar is 45 lbs., the plates are in awkard increments of 10,25,45. Can't convert to kilos in your head. Ugghh. I got rid of all my stuff in pounds a few years back and have never regretted it.

If you are careful and don't drop the bar too much or too awkwardly, you can get away with that much on the bar. It depends on your budget and how hard you use the equipment. In a commercial or school setting it wouldn't last a year used that way. The only reason my 5kg Ivankos have survived as long as they have is because I'm very careful with them. They aren't very sturdy. In a hard-use environment they would have been toast in about a month. But I've had them for a few years now.

The BFS website only shows the rubber composite style, but in their print catalog they sell the Hamptons as well.
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Old 07-30-2004, 06:54 PM   #15
Ram Viswanathan
 
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Since I own BFS 10lb bumpers, I just wanted to second Lincoln's comment about not dropping them from arms length. My super smooth Chapman bar started developing problems with rotation when I did this once too many times. Fortunately, Mike Chapman took care of this immediately (fantastic service and HIGHLY recommended!)
The 10 lbs bumpers are built well and developed no problems. I just bought myself 140 kg of York (same as RB) KG bumpers and they appear to be very well made as well.


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Old 07-30-2004, 08:40 PM   #16
elizabeth bradley
 
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you're talking about the 10 lb bumpers,,not the 10 kg bumpers,correct?
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Old 07-30-2004, 11:50 PM   #17
Ram Viswanathan
 
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Yes, I was talking about the 10lb bumpers. I love using them for technique work.

I suggest not using iron plates larger than 5 kg on the bar and for a total < 20 kg for any olympic style movement. Get extra bumpers instead. Its a pain to remember to lower the bar carefully all the time. Also your bar will thank you.

Use your extra iron plates for squats or any other exercise where you are less likely to drop the weight.
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Old 08-05-2004, 11:41 AM   #18
Paul M
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Well, the move went alright and we're actually mostly unpacked. Shortest time to unpack I've ever had.

Anyways, I got the squat rack set up. I'm happy with the construction of it and particularly happy about the price. I still need to get some plywood and rubber mats for the floors and a few other self-made things, but I'm looking forward to getting an Olympic bar and weights.

I stopped by the Sports Authority last night and saw what the cheapo 300 lbs weight sets were like. The weights are fine, but the bars were horrible. Not only didn't the sleeves rotate very well, but they also slid in and out by 1/2 inch or so. Maybe there's a bolt that needs to be tightened, I'm not sure. Anyways, it has me thinking that I need to get at least a passable bar.

The Texas Power Bar Brian mentioned comes highly recommended in powerlifting circles, and runs around $200. I'd like to spend less, at least for now. At around $100-$130, there are bars from New York Barbell, Bigger Faster Stronger, and BSOlympicgym. Anyone get any of the "generic" bars from these places? I also ran across a place called jesupgym.com that has some decent sounding bars. All of the York, Ivanko, Chapman, and Eleico bars are far more expensive than what I can spend.

Anyways, when I get a few more things put together, I'll try to post a picture of my little garage gym!

-Paul
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Old 08-05-2004, 12:50 PM   #19
Larry Lindenman
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I got a bar from BFS. Call them for a deal. I love it (Pro elite I think it's called). Only problem is its showing rust already (had it for two months). The rust wipes off, but still!!
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Old 08-05-2004, 02:12 PM   #20
Paul M
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I gave BFS a call and the guy I talked to recommended their SuperBar, which goes for $175 -> $195 depending on the finish and whether there's center knurling (its called the Squat bar in that case.) That's still a little higher than I'd like to spend, but maybe its worth it. Larry - did you get a discount from the web price? He didn't mention that when I talked to him, but we got disconnected.

A couple of questions, though:

1) Knurling: for deadlifts, its great to have thick and deep knurling and for back squats, center knurling is nice. But what's ideal for doing Oly lifts? Guess I never gave it much thought since I've always used standard issue gym bars. Since your grip switches during a clean, for example, maybe its better to have slighltly less knurling? I would actually get annoyed at the bars in the gym because they had no knurling near the sleeves, where I grab the bar for overhead squats and snatches.

2) Strength: most places give a static weight limit, while BFS gives yield strength in PSI. Any easy conversion?

Well, maybe that's all the questions I have for now. Thanks for all the help!

-Paul
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