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Buddy Capps has been making barbells for about as long as anyone else (besides Eleiko.) Based in the great state of Texas, Buddy Capps makes their various barbells in house and supplies them to Powerlifting Meets, Universities, and Training Facilities all over the world.
In fact, the Buddy Capps Texas Power Bar is one of the most legendary bars in the world. It could be argued that more World Record Powerlifting numbers have been achieved using the Texas Power Bar than any other barbell ever created. Pretty crazy to think.
It must be said, that the Texas Power Bar isn't our favorite Power Bar at Garage Gym Reviews. It's not a bad bar, in fact, it's an excellent bar, and up until 5 years or so ago, it was the best option for most people, but with the influx of hundreds of variations of barbells flooding the market from companies with large economies of scale, it has been surpassed in many ways by competitors like the Rogue Ohio Power Bar. This said, we greatly respect the Texas Power Bar and completely understand the feelings of many who disagree with us in believing that it's the greatest power bar available.
You see, with a barbell, it's not just about the tensile strength of the steel, rotation system in the sleeves, or corrosion coating on the shaft that make it loved by some more than others. One of the biggest separating factors between barbells is the knurling and Buddy Capps is known for having some of the most generally well-liked knurling in the industry in it's Texas Power Bar.
This attention to detail for quality knurling extends from the Texas Power Bar to their latest bar positioned for general purpose training use such as CrossFit and more dynamic movements like power cleans and snatches.
Let's look at the specs:
First, it needs to be understood that for all intensive purposes, the Texas All American Bar is a Texas Power Bar with a new name, new knurling, and extra knurl marks. It uses the same 190K Tensile Strength, Made in the USA Steel, sleeves, coating, and rotation system as the Texas Power Bar.
One of the unique parts of a Texas Power Bar that was brought over to the Texas All American Bar is the 28.5 MM Shaft Diameter. Most power bars these days are 29 MM, but 28.5 MM is the standard for most general purpose bars and for good reason. It works equally well for the slow lifts as it does power cleans.
The bushing rotation system performs admirably. It doesn't spin crazy like a bearing bar, but it has a smooth rotation that should last for the life of the bar.
The black zinc shaft is standard for Buddy Capps and although it will fade over time, it does a good job of providing corrosion resistance and can be prolonged with the use of 3-in-1 Oil.
The 190K Tensile Strength Shaft is certainly strong enough to take whatever weight you plan on putting on, although it is a somewhat stiff bar.
The main feature we want to comment on is the knurling. Buddy Capps has produced a bar with the most passive knurling they've implemented on a barbell yet. You see, when you're using a power bar, you want deep, aggressive knurling so the bar stays stuck to your hands during a heavy pull and stuck to your back on a heavy squat. However, this isn't the most forgiving with multiple reps, especially when combined with dynamic movements.
It's obvious that Buddy Capps knows what they're doing when it comes to applying knurling to a bar. The knurl is consistent in depth, as well as start and stop points and came with few imperfections or extra shavings out of the tube.
After using the bar for various movements including squats, bench, and deadlifts as well as some barbell cycling with power cleans and snatch, I can safely say that I love this knurl pattern. It feels slightly more aggressive than the Rogue Ohio and Rogue 2.0 Bars which are in many ways the gold-standard for general training bars. I've always felt the knurling on the Rogue Ohio Bars could be a bit more aggressive and the Texas All American Bar hits that sweet spot.
In addition to the outside knurling, the Texas All American Bar has a center knurl that uses the same knurl pattern as the outside. I would have liked to see the center knurl be even more passive as it is a bit uncomfortable in the front rack, but, it does grip the back well during squats.
As previously stated, the Texas All American Bar has dual knurl marks at 32" and 36" that are pretty much essential for an all-around training bar. This is the first Buddy Capps bar to feature this, so it's pretty cool.
Finally, there is just something that's hard to describe about the Buddy Capps Bars that make them cool. I don't know if it's the history, end caps, look, or all of it combined, but they truly are legendary bars and it's cool to see Buddy Capps branch out into markets other than powerlifting.
After using the Texas All American Bar pretty extensively, we can confidently recommend the bar to someone who does mostly the squat, bench, and deadlift and would like to add in some power cleans and other more dynamic movements. We were pleasantly surprised how much we liked the bar.
Although we recommend the Buddy Capps All American Bar, there are some improvements we'd like the see.
The main improvement we'd like to see is increasing the amount of options available with the bar. Things like different shaft coatings and the option to add or remove a center knurl would certainly be welcome even at an additional charge.
We'd also like to see the shipping tube improved. It's not necessarily bad, but the bar could definitely use more padding similar to American Barbell to not experience any possible damage.
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