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CrossFit Barbell Guide

CrossFit Barbell Guide

A CrossFit Barbell has to have many features similar to a General Purpose Barbell. The main differences I see are that a CrossFit bar has to have increased durability and be great when it comes to cycling the bar.

Many bars made for CrossFit are going to be used in an affiliate setting, not just a garage gym. This means many people are going to be using the bars and not necessarily taking the same care of them that the owner would.

This is a big reason you need increased durability.

With a barbell that is going to be used for CrossFit, it needs to be able to do all the olympic lifts, powerlifts, and more. I’ve seen some weird things done with barbells at affiliates not limited to using one a barbell as if it was a shovel, or trying to see how far you could throw the bar, etc.

With the growth of CrossFit, now everyone and their brother wants to sell you a bar, and to be honest, there’s a lot of low quality, made in china bars out there.

A few attributes that I think are best for barbell that will be used for CrossFit are:

  • Price
  • High Durability
  • Low Maintenance
  • Medium Knurl
  • Low Whip
  • Strong Steel
  • Bushings

Let’s Dig In..

CrossFit Barbell Guide

Best-of-the-Best

Rogue Ohio Bar

Rogue Ohio Bar

This is essentially the Rogue Bar 2.0, but made with bronze bushings and more finish options. Basically, it’s a great bar.

Click here to read my in depth review of the Rogue Ohio Bar.

Where to Buy: Rogue Fitness

Specifications:

  • Manufactured in Columbus, OH
  • Diameter: 28.5MM
  • Weight: 20KG
  • Dual Knurl Marks for Oly and Power lifts
  • No Center Knurl
  • 190,000 PSI Tensile Strength Steel
  • Bronze Bushings
  • Finishes: Black Zinc Shaft, Bright Zinc Sleeves. Black Zinc Shaft, Black Zinc Sleeves. Black Oxide Shaft, Black Oxide Sleeves.

1. Finish Options

3 available finishes. I would have liked them to offer chrome, but zinc will have to do.

2. Warranty

Rogue has one of the best lifetime warranties anywhere. There’s other bars that I would say are a little bit cheaper and have the same specs and performance, but can’t hold a candle to the warrant Rogue offers.

Bill Henniger has built his company by putting the customer first. It’s what has allowed Rogue to be in the top spot as far as equipment manufacturers.

3. Tensile Strength

The Rogue Ohio Bar 1.2 uses 190k steel that is great for for olympic weightlifting, powerlifting, bodybuilding, CrossFit, and everything in between. This is a great tensile strength for general purpose lifting and is actually a bar I once owned and only got rid of because I upgraded or sidegraded to the Rogue Ohio Bar which is essentially the same bar, just Made in America, which I personally find to be of importance.

4. Dual Knurl Marks

Both Oly and Powerlifting Knurl marks

5. Whip

Has some whip, but is not overly whippy. Great for just about everything.

6. Durable

Uses proven Bronze Bushings that should stand the test of time.

Things I don’t like:

1. Price

In my opinion the price of the Rogue Ohio Bar is a little much when you can get the Rogue 2.0 bar, which is very similar, but a bit less. However, this bar is made at Rogue’s home factory in Ohio, which is a big plus!

Where to Buy: Rogue Fitness

American Barbell Precision Training Bar

American Barbell Precision Training Bar

This bad boy is B. E. A. UTIFUL. A Stainless steel shaft with Chrome Plated friction welded sleeves. It doesn’t get much better than this.

Where to Buy: American Barbell

Specifications:

  • Application: Olympic Weightlifting, Weightlifting, CrossFit
  • Bushing System
  • Center knurl: Yes
  • Shaft: Stainless Steel
  • Sleeve: Precision Ground Steel with a Hard Chrome Coating
  • IWF Specification
  • Made in USA
  • Warranty: Limited Lifetime*

Reasons why the American Barbell Precision Training Bar is the BEST OF THE BEST barbell in the CrossFit Category:

1. Two Words: Stainless Steel

The shaft of this bar is made from stainless steel. This is a very expensive material and I doubt American Barbell is making a killing with this bar based on how good the price is. Stainless steel allows for a better knurl pattern due to it’s strength as well.

2. Made in USA

Important to me as a US citizen, but not for everyone. (We are back-to-back World War Champions however)

3. Center Knurl

I think a center knurl is great for CrossFit as long as it is very, very, passive. This meets that qualification.

4. Chrome Plated Sleeves

Chrome is a very durable coating and is great for the wear sleeves will receive from plates being put on and pulled off.

5. Lifetime Warranty

Although we have yet to see whether American Barbell will stand behind their equipment like Rogue has, the customer service I’ve dealt with has been more than helpful.

6. Bushings

I don’t think a bearing bar is important in CrossFit, especially in an affiliate setting. I think they are not as durable as a good bushing bar and benching with a bearing bar is a headache.

7. Price

Although price isn’t a big deal when you’re looking for the best bar money can buy, however, the price this bar is listed at which is <$600, is awesome.

Where to Buy: American Barbell

best-value

Fringe Sport Bomba V2

bombabarbellv2-16_large

Fringe Sport makes some of the best value equipment on the market. The Bomba V2 is no exception They price them really well and you can usually get Free Shipping if you look hard enough.

Where to Purchase: Fringe Sport

Specifications:

  • Full year satisfaction guarantee, with Free Returns
  • 100% made in the USA
  • Black on black on black finish (black zinc)
  • 28.5mm shaft diameter
  • High impact bronze bushing
  • 1200 pound weight capacity
  • 205,000 PSI
  • Great knurl depth- neither cheese grater nor too soft
  • IWF and IPF knurl hash marks

What I Like:

1. Great Price

At around $255 including shipping, it can’t be beat.

2. Knurl

Has a good knurl for all purpose workouts. As they say, “neither cheese grater nor too soft.”

3. Bronze Bushings

I really like the use of Bronze Bushings. They last forever, have a decent spin, and look great.

4. Made in the USA

For some this is important, for others they could care less.

5. Dual Knurling Marks

Both IWF and IPF.

6. Warranty

Free returns is a big bonus.

Where to Purchase: Fringe Sport

Contenders

Rogue Bar 2.0

Rogue Bar 2.0

This is THE CrossFit Bar. It’s different iterations have been used in the CrossFit Games for as long as it’s been around. Not to mention, the amount of bar you get for the money is outstanding!

Where to Buy: Rogue Fitness

Specifications:

  • Manufactured in Columbus, OH
  • Diameter: 28.5MM
  • Weight: 20KG
  • Dual Knurl Marks for Oly and Power lifts
  • No Center Knurl
  • 190,000 PSI Tensile Strength Steel
  • Composite Bushings for Reliable Spin
  • Machined Grooves with Replaceable Bands
  • Finishes: Black Zinc Shaft, Bright Zinc Sleeves

Reasons why the Rogue Bar 2.0 is the BEST VALUE barbell in the CrossFit Category:

1. Price

For a value bar it’s important that the price is low enough for what you receive. At around $250 before shipping, this is a great value.

2. Warranty

There were a lot of bars vying for this spot as you’ll see below, but the reason I chose Rogue was because of their Lifetime Warranty. There’s other bars that I would say are a little bit cheaper and have the same specs and performance, but can’t hold a candle to the warrant Rogue offers.

Bill Henniger has built his company by putting the customer first. It’s what has allowed Rogue to be in the top spot as far as equipment manufacturers.

3. Tensile Strength

The Rogue 2.0 uses 190k steel that is great for for olympic weightlifting, powerlifting, bodybuilding, CrossFit, and everything in between. This is a great tensile strength for general purpose lifting and is actually a bar I once owned and only got rid of because I upgraded or sidegraded to the Rogue Ohio Bar which is essentially the same bar, just Made in America, which I personally find to be of importance.

4. Dual Knurl Marks

Both Oly and Powerlifting Knurl marks

5. Whip

Has some whip, but is not overly whippy. Great for just about everything.

6. Durable

Utilizes Bright Zinc Sleeves and a Black Zinc Shaft. This is a durable finish and I especially like the Bright Zinc sleeves as they won’t show abuse as bad as a Black Zinc sleeve will

Things I don’t like:

1. Finish

They only give you one option and I’m not a huge fan of black zinc as it shows wear quickly.

Where to Buy: Rogue Fitness

American Barbell Training Bar

American Barbell Training Bar

One of the best bars for the price. Seriously, this is the Rogue Bar Killer.

Where to Buy: American Barbell

Specifications:

  • Application: Olympic Weightlifting, Weightlifting, Competition
  • Bushing System
  • Center knurl: No
  • Shaft: Hard Chrome Coating
  • Sleeve: Precision Ground Steel with a Hard Chrome Coating
  • IWF Specification
  • Made in USA
  • Warranty: Limited Lifetime*

1. Finish

American Barbell is using a chrome finish with this bar, which I think is awesome. It not only looks good, but it is very durable as well.

2. Price

< $300 is a decent price for this bar. But, when you see that it comes with Free Shipping like is plastered all over their website, it becomes a pretty good deal.

3. Made in the USA

I love USA made products. American Barbell is clearly going after Rogue Fitness with these specs, warranties, and being made in the US. This is my personal favorite bar that I’ve used for CrossFit. Interesting to see how it catches on with others.

4. Lifetime Warranty

LIFETIME WARRANTY. Nothing makes me happier than this combination of words.

5. Whip

Has a great whip, but not too much. Perfect for general lifting.

6. Tensile Strength

190k tensile strength steel is a steal at this price.

Where to Buy: American Barbell

American Barbell California Bar

American Barbell California Bar

Honestly, this is one of the best bang for your buck bars around.

Where to Buy: American Barbell

Specifications:

  • Weight:20KG
  • Diameter:28MM
  • Shaft Finish:Black Zinc
  • Tensile Strength:190K
  • Spec:IWF
  • Warranty:Limited Lifetime

Things I like:

1. Price

For what you get, this is a great price.

2. Chrome Sleeves

The part of the bar that gets beat up more than any other is the sleeves. Having the sleeves coated in chrome keeps them lasting much longer than they would otherwise.

3. Knurling

American Barbell’s knurling is some of the best in the business. The reason is I would assume because they use very expensive machinery. You can tell by looking at it just how precise it is. Would you look at it?! Just take a look at it!

4. Tensile Strength

Standard 190k tensile strength. More than just about anyone reading this will ever need, but that’s okay, if we have money we will spend it.

5. Warranty

Can you say Lifetime Warranty?

What I Dislike:

1. Shaft Finish

This is pretty nitpicky but my favorite shaft has a chrome finish. Some people really like zinc. Just my personal opinion.

Where to Buy: American Barbell

Get Rx’d Stealth Bar

stealth bar

 

Quality features with a good price from a company who’s been around for a little while.

Where to Purchase: Get Rx’d

Specifications:

  • Bronze Bushings
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Hard Chrome or Black ZincCoating
  • 216K PSI Tensile Strength
  • Gold band on Men’s collars for easy identification

What I like:

1. Price

At under $300, this bar is a great price.

2. Finish

Has a hard chrome finish option which is my personal favorite.

3. Knurling Marks

Multiple Knurl marks

4. Tensile Strength

Super high tensile strength. Possibly unnecessarily high.

What I dislike:

1. Unknown Manufacturing Location

This most likely means it was made in China like many other bars out there and is simply a copy of other bars on the market.

2. No Center Knurl

This is a preference, but for me, I really like a passive center knurl.

Where to Purchase: Get Rx’d

Again Faster Evolution Barbell

again faster evolution bar

A high tensile strength barbell at a great price!

Where to Buy: Again Faster

Specifications

  • 209,000 PSI Ultimate Tensile Strength
  • Ball bearing and bushing design
  • Meets IWF and IPF specifications for knurl mark spacing
  • Mild to moderate dual knurl marks provide a secure grip while helping to save your hands during high-rep lifting
  • Finish Options: Bright Zinc Coating

What I Like:

1. Price

Holy Snikes! This thing is $159 as of this writing. That’s dirt cheap for what you get

2. Tensile Strength

209,000 PSI steel. That’s ridiculous! This is kind of Again Faster’s thing it seems. They use steel with super high tensile strength for a really low cost. Interesting idea.

3. Knurl Marks

Uses both IWF and IPH knurl marks

4. Mild Knurling

Good for CrossFit, which involves a lot of high rep barbell cycling.

What I don’t Like:

1. Bearing and Bushing System

This may very well be the best thing since sliced bread but I’m unsure on it’s longevity. Seems like a marketing ploy in my opinion.

2. One Finish Option

WE WANT CHOICES!

3. Ugly as Sin End Cap

Yes, this doesn’t really matter but my goodness, put some creativity into the only logo that’s on the bar.

Where to Buy: Again Faster

Eleiko XF Bar

Eleiko XF Barbell

This is an Eleiko. So it’s good. Also, it looks like Eleiko is trying not to get sued with the ‘XF’ name, good for them.

Where to Buy: Eleiko Sport

Specifications:

• Dual markings and comfortable grip ready for anything
• Fantastic durability and bar feel with 215,000 PSI Swedish steel
• Combination bearings for a true multi-purpose bar

What I Like:

1. Swedish Steel

Swedish steel is some of the best in the world for weightlifting. Eleiko’s cost more, because they cost more to make. You get what you pay for.

2. Chrome

This is the best finish for a barbell until I’m proven otherwise.

3. Soft Knurl

Great for CrossFit and high repetitions.

4. It’s an Eleiko. You know you make a good product when the name says it all.

What I Dislike:

1. Price

For a CrossFit bar the price is a little steep, but then again, it is an Eleiko.

2. Warranty

Eleiko has from what I’ve seen and read one of the worst warranties in the industry. Watch this video from Mark Rippetoe to hear his thoughts.

3. Bushing and Bearing System

I just don’t know about this combination. Does it aid the spin well enough to compromise a  potential shortened life? Or am I just naive?

Where to Buy: Eleiko Sport

Again Faster Team Bar 2.0

again faster team barbell

A great bar at a great price! Perfect for you metconners on a budget.

Where to Purchase: Again Faster

Specifications:

  • 209,000 PSI Ultimate Tensile Strength
  • 6 needle bearing and 4 ball bearing design
  • Meets IWF and IPF specifications for knurl mark spacing
  • Mild to moderate dual knurl marks provide a secure grip and save your hands from high-rep lifting
  • Finish Options: Bright Zinc, Bright Zinc Collar with Black Zinc shaft, All Black Zinc

What I Like:

1. Tensile Strength

209k is a strong piece of steel. Makes me wonder how they’re able to sell it for so cheap with such a high tensile strength steel.

2. Bearings

Uses both needle bearing and ball bearings. This provides for a great spin compared to bushings.

3. Knurling Marks

Both IWF and IPF knurl marks

4. Available Finishes

Many zinc finish options

5. Price

One of the best priced all around bars out there. This bad boy was very close to winning the best value bar.

What I dislike:

1. Only Zinc Finishes Available

I would really like to see this available in a chrome finish.

2. Bearings

Bearings in this cheap of a bar scare me. It also scares me that there’s a combination of ball and needle bearings. I don’t have any evidence as to why I don’t like this because I simply haven’t seen it before. But having both the ball and needle bearings in this cheap of a bar seem like a potential problem for a locked sleeve. Just my observation.

3.Warranty

Again Faster only offers a 1-year warranty on this bar. They do have a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee but in my opinion that’s a cop-out so they can easily deny replacing their broken equipment.

Where to Purchase: Again Faster

York Barbell Burgener and Rippetoe Bar

york b and r bar

At one time the York B&R Bar was one of the best bars available. Since everyone and their mother has started producing bars, it’s no longer at the top of the heap, but still a solid bar.

Where to Buy: Rogue Fitness

Specifications:

  • 29 mm Diameter
  • 190k PSI Steel
  • Bare Steel Coating
  • Dual Knurl Marks
  • Bushings

What I Like:

1. Designed by Burgener and Rippetoe

I’ve always been a big fan of both Mike Burgerner and Mark Rippetoe. Having them come together to design a bar is a pretty sweet thing to have happen. Like I’ve already said, when this bar came out, it was THE BARBELL to have. It’s since been passed up, but many people still love and buy this bar to this day.

2. Bare Steel

Bare steel has a great feel to it. The only problem, especially for those that workout in their garage is the maintenance that’s required to keep the bar from rusting. If you can stay on top of it, it’s a great finish/lack there of, but if you’re lazy, this isn’t the bar for you.

3. Dual Knurl Marks

Having a bar that is good for both olympic lifting and powerlifting almost requires having multiple knurl marks.

4. Sleeve End Caps

York uses a unique sleeve cap to attach the sleeve to the shaft. They’ve been doing it for years and it works. It doesn’t have the best spin, but it is verrrrry durable.

What I Don’t Like:

1. 29 mm Shaft

For CrossFit, this size shaft is less than ideal. However, if you have really large hands, which I do not, this shaft size may very well be right down your alley.

2. Lacking Modern Features

This bar is old school. Which to me is very cool and unique. However, from a pure performance perspective, the York B&R Bar just does not stand up to it’s competitors for the price.

Where to Buy: Rogue Fitness

Rogue Castro Bar

rogue castro bar

The exact same bar as the Rogue Ohio Bar with a different finish

Where to Buy: Rogue Fitness

Specifications

  • Made in the USA
  • 190 KSI Bare Steel
  • 28.5 mm
  • 20 KG
  • No Center Knurl
  • Dual knurl marks for Oly and Power lifts

What I Like:

To be honest, I really like this bar. It’s the same as the Ohio Bar, except it’s lacking a finish. My only problem is that it’s the Rogue Castro Bar. Dave Castro just rubs me the wrong way and I don’t feel like he deserves a barbell named after him. Watch this video and I’m sure you’ll agree:

I do really like Bare Steel bars so if you can get past the name then this is a really great bar and at a good price.

Where to Buy: Rogue Fitness

Rogue Operator Bar

Rogue operator bar

Exact same bar as the Rogue Ohio Bar (click here to read my in depth review) with an Olive Drab shaft. Pretty sweet, especially for those who have served in the military.

Where to Buy: Rogue Fitness

Specifications:

  • Made in the USA
  • Diameter: 28.5mm
  • 190 KSI tensile strength steel
  • Dual knurl marks & no center knurl
  • Finishes: Olive Drab Zinc shaft / Black Zinc sleeves

What I Like:

Same likes and dislikes as what I’ve written on the Rogue Ohio Bar, except with an Olive Drab finish. The only problems I’ve seen with this bar is the finish wearing off quicker than normal. Something to be aware of before you decide it’s the bar you want.

Where to Buy: Rogue Fitness

Rogue Rich Froning Bushing Bar

rich froning bar

Same exact bar as the Rogue Ohio Bar (click here to read my in depth review) with an all black zinc finish. Also, Rich Froning’s sweat is impregnated into each bar. Maybe.

Specifications:

  • Made in the USA
  • 28.5mm Bushing Bar
  • 20KG
  • Black Zinc shaft, Black Zinc sleeves
  • Dual knurl marks, no center knurl
  • 190,000 minimum PSI

Once again, same bar as the Rogue Ohio bar with simply a different finish. This is a great CrossFit bar, especially if you’re a big fan of Rich Froning. I will say this, the “R” logo with the star is one of the blandest logos I’ve ever seen. Seriously, that’s all his agent could come up with?

Where to Buy: Rogue Fitness

Get Rx’d Wod Bar

Get Rxd wod bar

This would be a great bar for an affiliate or for those that are on a budget and don’t want to spend a lot.

Where to Buy: Get Rx’d

Specifications:

  • 28 mm (Olympic Standard)
  • 20KG or 44LB. +/- 1%
  • 190K PSI Tensile Strength
  • Hard Chrome Coating
  • Dual Snap-Ring Design Construction
  • 2 Over-Sized Needle Bearings
  • 2 Over-Sized Oil-Impregnated Bushings.

What I Like:

1. Price

This thing is dirt cheap for the features. Honestly, one of the best priced bars around.

2. Hard Chrome

It confuses me that they can have a hard chrome coating on such a cheap bar. I hope it’s up to par, because it could be chrome coated, but just really sloppy.

3. 28 mm Shaft

I like the 28 mm shaft better than the 28.5 mm shaft and that’s because I have small hands. I wish I could help it but I can’t, so I have to use bars that fit. Stop laughing.

4. 190k Tensile Strength

Standard tensile strength for barbell’s these days.

What I Dislike:

1. Similar bushing and bearing system that Again Faster uses on their bars.

I would guess that Again Faster and Get Rx’d have their bars made in the same factory in China. If my assupmtion is correct I would go with whichever one is operating the bar cheaper and with a better warranty.

2. 1 Year Bending Warranty

Doesn’t show a lot of confidence in your equipment when the warranty is only a year.

Where to Buy: Get Rx’d

Pendlay HD Olympic Bar

Pendlay HD Bar

MuscleDriver/Pendlay produces an excellent olympic weightlifting bar that is also great for CrossFit.

Where to Buy: MuscleDriver USA

Specifications:

  • Shaft diameter of 28mm.
  • Material metallurgy allows for maximum flexibility without material “setting” into a permanent bend like other bars on the market.
  • Only company in the US to produce barbells from this material.
  • Single piece collar construction.
  • Dual bushing design inside each collar.
  • Dual snap ring design inside each collar.
  • Bright Nickel-Chrome coating chosen for its strong wear properties and corrosion resistance.
  • Mixture of two lubricants for best spin and lubricant longevity. No loose fluids that leak out.
  • Perfect knurling with distinct entry and exit point. No fade in and out knurl points.
  • Knurl points set for Olympic Weightlifting.
  • Perfectly weighted, extremely strict weight and dimension tolerances.

What I Like:

1. Made in the USA

As I’ve previously stated, I like a Made in the USA bar and this one scratches that itch.

2. Finish

Bright Nickel-Chrome coating is long lasting and has a strong corrosion resistance. AKA it’s durable.

3. Bushings

Bushings are great for CrossFit due to their durability and good spin, but not too much spin.

4. Tensile Strength

190k standard. This is basically a starting point today.

What I Dislike:

1. Price

Compared to other bars that have come out since Pendlay/MuscleDriver released this bar have come with similar characteristics and a much lower price. In my opinion, you can get a very similar, if not better bar for less.

Where to Buy: Muscle Driver USA

Lynx Barbell Hybrid Bearing Bar

Lynx Barbell

A solid bar at a solid price. But once again, I believe this bar is similar to others in that its made in the same chinese factories.

Where to Buy Lynx Barbell

Specifications:

  • 7′ long 28mm bar available in two finishes
  • Hardened chrome sleeves with needle bearings
  • Duel knurling marks, no center knurl
  • Duel snap ring sleeve design
  • Tensile strength of steel:  190,000 PSI
  • Lifetime Warranty against breakage

What I Like:

1. Price

It’s being offered at a pretty good price. I think there are similar bars, if not the same exact bars offered for less. But, nonetheless, not a bad price.

2. Tensile Strength.

190k industry standard.

3. Lifetime Warranty Against Breakage

Very few barbells ever break. They mostly just bend. That being said, I suppose having a warranty if it breaks is pretty good.

What I Dislike:

1. Similar Bar as Others

This is hardly ever talked about, but this bar has the same properties as many others and in my opinion is probably the same bar as others. What happens is these companies buy bars from Chinese factories and simply put a sticker on the end caps. This may not be the case for this bar, however I have a good idea that it is.

2. Hybrid Bushing/Bearing System

To me this is a marketing ploy. Bearing Bars are what everybody talks about and some companies think throwing a couple bearings in a bushing bar will make people more likely to buy the bar. I’m obviously not impressed.

Where to Buy: Lynx Barbell

Train On,

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About Coop

Hello fellow fitness fanatics and equipment fueled fiends. I'm Coop and when not training I can be found mostly operating other entrepreneurial ventures, spending time with my Wife and family, and worshipping my risen Savior. You can find more about me on my personal blog CooperDane.Com
  • MarkATX

    How would you rate the Bomba v2 versus the American Barbell Training Bar?

    • You can’t go wrong with either. However, I like the Chrome finish on the AB Training Bar much more than the black zinc on the Bomba. I think Fringe has better customer service however and will work with you on warranty issues much more.

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