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You’ve heard that a job is a job is a job, or a car is a car is a car, or something like that. Maybe those sayings are true; maybe they’re not. You can decide. 

But I know one thing to be true for certain: One weight plate is NOT all weight plates. 

What I mean by this is that the quality of weight plates varies drastically across different brands and even different models manufactured by the same brand. Sometimes, the smallest differences in specs can make a big difference in workout performance or convenience. 

To show you how this might play out IRL, we’ve put together this guide to REP bumper plates vs Rogue bumper plates. 

For the sake of comparison, we’re going to look at the basic bumper plate model from each brand: the REP Fitness Black Bumper Plates and Rogue Echo Bumper Plates. We’re not looking at Hi-Temps, competition bumper plates, or Olympic training bumper plates; instead, we’re comparing the types of bumper plates most home gym owners are likely to outfit their gyms with. 

RELATED: REP Fitness Sport Bumper Plates Review

REP Fitness Black Bumpers

REP Black Bumper Plates

GGR Score: 4.75 starstarstarstarstar
Community Score: 4.4 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Extremely durable and attractive
  • Ideal for cross-training and Olympic weightlifting
  • 10-lb plates are extra thick (1") to increase durability
  • 45-lb plates are thinner than most at 2"

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Extremely durable and attractive
  • Ideal for cross-training and Olympic weightlifting
  • 10-lb plates are extra thick (1") to increase durability
  • 45-lb plates are thinner than most at 2"

Cons

  • 3% weight tolerance is pretty high
  • Like many rubber bumpers, may smell a little for some
  • No 55-lb option

Bottom Line

The REP Black Bumper Plates are extremely durable and feature a thick 10-lb plate meant to withstand drops.

Rogue Fitness Echo Bumpers

Rogue Echo Bumper Plates

GGR Score: 4.75 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Great value for the quality
  • Black-and-white contrast for easy weight identification
  • 88/100 durometer rating
  • 3-year warranty

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Tremendous value
  • Shore A Durometer rating of 88
  • Weight tolerance of these bumpers is +/- 1%
  • Great for general training and CrossFit
  • White lettering offers great contrast
  • Stainless steel insert rings
  • 25-45 lb plate variants are warrantied for 3 years

Cons

  • Wide plates
  • Maximum you can fit on the bar is less than 500 lbs
  • May smell bad out of the box

Bottom Line

The Rogue Echo Bumper Plates are a great value plate based upon our review. Although they're cheaper than Rogue's flagship HG 2.0 Plates, they have extremely similar specs and warranty at a much lower price. If you need bumper plates for your garage gym, these are a great option. If you need them for your commercial facility or CrossFit Affiliate, we'd suggest going with something like Hi-Temps.

Comparison Chart

REP Black Bumper PlatesRogue Echo Bumper Plates
Price range$70-210 (10-45-lb pairs)$64-190 (10-45-lb pairs)
Available asPairs and setsPairs and sets
Type of rubberNot specified Virgin rubber
InsertsHooked stainless steelHooked stainless steel
MarkingsWhite, lbsWhite, lbs
Weight tolerance+/- 1% +/- 1% 
Durometer ratingNot specified88
BounceLow bounceLow bounce
10-lb width1”0.83”
15-lb width1.2”1.04”
25-lb width1.8”1.5”
35-lb width2.4”1.9”
45-lb width2.8”2.4”
Collar openingNot specified, but fits 2” barbells50.6 mm
DiameterNot specified 450 mm (+/- 3mm) / 17.72″ (IWF Standard)
Warranty6 months for 10- and 15-lb plates; 3-year warranty for others for home useNo warranty info on Rogue website

Quick Look: REP Black Bumper Plates vs Rogue Echo Bumper Plates

Both the REP and Rogue bumper plates are high-end pieces of gym equipment and will serve most lifters well. In use, both will perform well for CrossFit, general weight training, Olympic weightlifting, and moderate powerlifting. 

They both feature a matte black finish with white lettering and weight markings; hooked stainless steel inserts; and beveled edges. Honestly, by just looking at the plates, most people would find it hard to tease apart the differences. 

But that’s why we’re here! Product testers on our team have extensively used both the Rogue Echo plates and the REP Black Bumpers, so we can inform you of the minute differences between them. (To be frank, the differences are so small that they won’t matter for the majority of people, and either option will perform just fine—better than fine.) 

Who Should Buy REP Black Bumper Plates

  • People who want free shipping on all options
  • Those concerned about a warranty 
  • People who plan on heavy use of 10-lb plates 

Who Should Buy Rogue Black Bumper Plates

  • People buying pairs who want a lower up-front cost (but you’ll have to pay for shipping) 
  • Those who want virgin rubber plates 
  • Individuals who want plates that explicitly meet IWF standards 

RELATED: Rogue Deep Dish Weight Plates Review

Key Similarities Between REP Fitness Bumper Plates and Rogue Echo Bumper Plates

The bumpers from these two brands have a lot—and I mean a LOT—in common, both aesthetically and in regard to performance. Here’s a look: 

rep bumper plates
  • Black rubber bumper plates with white lettering and weight markings
  • Marked in pounds, not kilos 
  • Sold as both sets and pairs
  • Free shipping on bumper plate sets
  • Stainless steel inserts 
  • Hooked inserts
  • Olympic plates (fit Olympic barbells with a 2” sleeve diameter) 
  • Not color-coded 
  • Available as 10-, 15-, 15-, 35-, and 45-lb plates 
  • Low bounce 
  • Not calibrated 
  • Weight tolerance of 1%

RELATED: Rogue US Mil Spec Weight Plates Review

Important Differences Between REP Fitness Bumper Plates and Rogue Echo Bumper Plates

Despite the swath of similarities, there are some differences between these plates, too. 

  • REP 10-lb plates are slightly smaller in diameter to make them thicker (1”) and more durable
  • Some REP Black Bumper Plates are available on Amazon
  • REP plates are drop-tested to withstand 12,000 drops from a height of 8 feet 
  • REP bumpers are listed at a higher price point as of this writing 
  • REP plates available for pick-up at Carlisle, PA warehouse; Rogue Echo plates ship only  
  • Rogue states the Echo Bumper Plates are made of virgin rubber, while REP doesn’t disclose whether the Black Bumper Plates are made of virgin or recycled rubber (but we think they’re virgin rubber, too, based on look and feel)
  • Rogue states the Echos have a durometer rating of 88; REP doesn’t disclose the durometer rating on the Black Bumper Plates

RELATED: REP Fitness Competition Bumper Plates Review

An image of Coop with REP Fitness weight plates

REP Bumper Plates vs Rogue Bumper Plates: Durometer Rating and Bounce

One of the most important specs regarding bumper plates is the durometer rating, which directly influences the bounce of a plate. Plates with a low durometer rating have high bounce: When you drop a barbell loaded with high-bounce plates, it’ll hop around and settle some 10 feet away from you. It might even jump up and bite you. (Kidding. Kind of). 

Conversely, bumper plates with a high durometer rating have low bounce. Low-bounce plates are dreamy: When dropped, even from overhead, they hit the floor with a thud and a bit of pitter-pattering, coming to a stop right at your toes. If you have nice, dense gym flooring, the bounce will feel nearly dead. 

Both the REP Black Bumper Plates and Rogue Echo Bumper Plates have low bounce. Rogue publishes the durometer rating of the Echos as 88 (out of 100), which is solid. REP doesn’t publish the rating for its bumpers, but from experience using them, we know the durometer rating is close to that of the Echos. 

Remember: high durometer rating, low bounce. 

REP Bumper Plates vs Rogue Bumper Plates: Construction and Durability

We’ve had sets of REP and Rogue bumpers in our Springfield, Missouri, equipment testing warehouse since it opened in early 2021. Before then, the same sets had been moved around as Coop moved around, claiming their stake in each of his home gyms along the way. 

Both sets still perform perfectly. Aside from some scuff marks that the plates have endured from outdoor use on concrete and some slight fading of the rich black color, we haven’t noticed much degradation on either set. 

I will say: Although our Rogue 10-pounders have not “taco-ed” (term for the plates developing a taco shape due to sideways force when dropped), they are more likely to warp than the REP plates due to their thinner diameter. The Rogue Echo 10-pound plates have a width of 0.83 inches.

REP purposely designed the 10-pound bumper to be a full inch in width to prevent said “taco-ing.” The tradeoff is that the 10-pound plates are slightly smaller in diameter than the rest of the set. 

REP claims that their Black Bumpers are drop-tested and proven to withstand 12,000 drops from a height of 8 feet; Rogue doesn’t make such a claim, but we know the plates are more than durable enough for all uses. 

rogue echo bumper plates

REP Fitness vs Rogue: Company Policies

Rogue is known for high-end fitness equipment, not necessarily a stellar customer experience. First off, limited items are eligible for free shipping from Rogue. Rogue also almost never runs sales. (But we watch closely for when they do.)

And at the time of writing, I can’t find any information on the Rogue website about a warranty on the Echo Bumper Plates (or any plates for that matter). Here’s the warranty webpage so you can scan it for yourself. 

The Rogue return policy is pretty standard: Return undamaged items in the original packaging within 30 days of the initial delivery for a refund. Some items are subject to restocking fees, and original shipping fees are not refundable. Here’s the return and exchange policy webpage.

REP offers free shipping across the board. 

REP also has a clearly stated warranty on these bumper plates (and its other products). The Black Bumper Plates are warrantied as follows: 6 months for 10-pound and 15-pound plates; 3 years for 25-, 35-, and 45-pound plates for home use; and 1 year for 25-, 35-, and 45-pound plates for commercial use. 

The return policy at REP is essentially the same as at Rogue. You may return undamaged items in original packaging within 30 days of the delivery date. You have to contact REP for a return authorization first, and there is a 15-percent restocking fee for items returned without their original packaging or returned damaged. Additionally, like with Rogue, original shipping charges are not refundable (but REP offers free shipping on all orders). 

Final Thoughts: REP Bumper Plates vs Rogue Bumper Plates

The REP Black Bumper Plates and the Rogue Echo Bumper Plates are both fantastic choices for all types of home gym owners. Both appear on our guide to the best bumper plates and we happily and confidently recommend both. 

FAQs

Are bumper plates good for CrossFit?

Bumper plates are all you’ll ever use in CrossFit. Since CrossFit involves so much dropping of the barbell, it’s imperative to use bumpers to protect floors, barbells, and the plates themselves.

Can you use bumper plates for Olympic lifts?

Yes, bumper plates are great for Olympic weightlifting; however, in competition, you’ll see calibrated bumpers with steel discs for inserts and a rubber veneer instead of a fully rubber plate. This makes the plates thinner so athletes can add more weight onto the bar.

Are bumper plates better than metal plates?

It’s not necessarily that bumper plates are better than iron plates or steel plates. Each type of weight plate has its place in a garage gym, and often, you’ll see rubber and metal plates in commercial gyms. 

Metal plates are typically better for powerlifting and people who do very heavy strength training, since you can fit more on the loadable sleeve of a barbell. Bumper plates are better for CrossFit and other high-intensity workouts where the barbell might be dropped. 

Competition color bumper plates, which are typically the highest-quality bumper plates, are best for Olympic weightlifting. If you compete, it’s a good idea to get competition bumpers that meet the specs of the international weightlifting federation (IWF). 

What is virgin rubber?

The term “virgin rubber” means the rubber hasn’t been used before in a different product, AKA, it’s not recycled rubber. Another term for recycled rubber is “crumb rubber,” which is what Hi-Temp Bumper Plates are made of. High-quality bumpers made of virgin rubber typically have a dead bounce compared to crumb rubber plates. (Pro tip: Hi-Temps make deadlifts easier, but you didn’t hear it from me.)

What are the best bumper plates?

Our top picks for the best bumper plates include: 

Best Bumper Plates Overall: REP Black Bumper Plates
Best Budget Bumper Plates: Fringe Sport Milspec Bumper Plates
Best Bumper Plates for CrossFit: Rogue Echo Bumper Plates
Best Standard Bumper Plates: Vulcan Alpha Bumper Plates
Best Competition Bumper Plates: Rogue KG Black Training
Best 10-Pound Bumper Plates: Fringe Sport Black Bumper Plates
Best Urethane Bumper Plates: Titan Fitness Urethane Bumper Plates
Best Rubber Bumper: Eleiko IWF Weightlifting Training Plates
Best Rogue Bumper Plates: Rogue Competition Plates

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