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The Rogue LT-1 50 Cal Trolley + Lever Arm Kit took about six weeks from the time of order to show up on my doorstep. I was able to get my order in during their promotion period, which was a sort of presale that allowed them time to work out some potential issues and build demand.
One issue that was apparent with the Trolleys I've received was not enough padding in the boxes.
This hole was actually the same on every side of the boxes that contained the Trolley's. Rogue has actually started using a new coating on the inside of their boxes to prevent this sort of thing, but it obviously wasn't enough. These holes lead to this sort of damage:
However, the upshot for all of you is after seeing the damage on these pieces, Rogue has reworked their packaging and eliminated most possibilities of this happening to your units. Although your units will likely not receive this kind of damage, in an effort of transparency, I believe it's important to show. From a distance, the damage isn't noticeable, however.
The Rogue LT-1 50 Cal Trolley + Lever Arm Kit was released to much anticipation and fanfare from most of the fitness community.
The Trolley allows whatever is attached to it, in this case, Lever Arms, to easily and quickly slide up and down the uprights of your 3x3 squat rack and lock into place for a stable connection. As we'll discuss in greater detail in a moment, the ability to quickly change the height of the trolley vastly increases how often you will use the system as well as the versatility that's available.
There is little reason to own a piece of gym equipment that you won't use, and outside of discipline, what most often leads to people neglecting their equipment is the difficulty in setting it up. I don't know how you are, but when I get in the gym, I want to hit it hard and get out to focus on the rest of my day. Easy adjustability like what the Rogue Trolley allows is designed for this purpose. Do lots of different movements and only take a couple of seconds getting it ready for use.
Although we plan on reviewing the rest of the attachments that are planned to come forth in the future to be used with the 50 Cal Trolley, for now, we're going to stick to its use with the Lever Arm Kit.
Let's start with the build quality.
Rogue is known for having high-quality equipment with great attention to detail, however, it seems they've been out doing themselves lately with some of their new Monster Line. Not only have the features increased, but so has the overall fit and finish. I suppose this is a benefit of having a 600K+ ft facility with over 600 employees dedicated to building gym equipment. It started with the Rogue Rhino Belt Squat, and has now carried over to the 50 Cal Trolley...and I love it.
The Trolley itself utilizes four plastic rollers that sit on Abec Bearings to roll up and down the uprights of the squat rack. The rollers are extremely smooth, but what allows the entire system to stay tight against the upright, and when dialed in, it's very tight, are the set screws that push the rollers against the rack upright. The set screws, although have caused some to think their Trolley has fitment issues, are designed so the Trolleys can fit nearly perfect on any 3x3 Rack.
The assembly of the Trolleys is pretty simple, however, I would make sure to keep the instruction pages as the set screws can throw people off.
Either way, the rollers do their job and do it well (the trolley is actually the same thing that's used on the Rogue Rhino Belt Squat, which we remarked was extremely smooth and reliable.)
The metal parts of the Trolley utilize UHMW plastic to prevent metal on metal contact, which is pretty important considering it would easily happen without it. This is an often overlooked step by companies making cheaper equipment, so although it's expected for this price, it's nice to see it not being overlooked.
The Trolley itself features knurled, stainless steel handles that are completely over the top and a feature you'll love using. The knurling, from my perspective, utilizes the Rogue Ohio Bar pattern and thanks to the stainless steel, will resist corrosion and scarring for quite some time.
In between the handles is an aluminum trigger that is machined in-house at Rogue and features a spring that allows the pin to contract when released. This is important as it prevents the unit from falling on users during height changes. We tested this a few different times, and each time the Trolley stopped itself at the next corresponding hole.
The whole design is based on the Browning .50 Caliber Machine Gun, also known as the M2 Machine Gun or "Ma Deuce."
It's' a pretty cool idea that works well in use and can also be done from the side of the rack with one hand.
The lever arm that attaches to the Trolley utilizes bronze bushings that allow the arms to move smoothly up and down. Due to the tight tolerances, the arms have some slight rubbing when they're initially being pushed away from the rack, however, it isn't noticeable during use. It's also somewhat helpful, although it wasn't designed for this purpose, when moving the arms around things like spotter pins and straps.
The lever arms are either a 48" piece of 3x3 tubing or 35" piece of 3x3 tubing. It utilizes the same hole spacing and keyholes as the Monster Rack, which means you can attach any attachments to the arms that you could to the rack. There are bronze bushings at the bottom of the arms that will eventually allow different attachments like a rotating bar to eventually attach, although none of that has been revealed yet.
One thing about the arms that I wish they would have included is laser-cut hole numbers. If they're going to be used to bench and squat off of, I figured this would have been thought of.
Included with the Trolley and Arms are a pair of handles that utilize a pin and bolt to secure to the arms. The inside of the handles utilizes UHMW plastic in the same way the Trolley does to prevent metal on metal contact. The handles utilize the Neutral Grip option standard and feature a textured black powder coat, similar to what's used on Rogue's various pull-up bars.
In order to protect the plates from hitting the handles, Rogue used a rubber washer, which although works, seems like an odd choice when the previous Monster Lever Arms utilize a metal washer.
The Monster Knurled Knob that is on the handle is something else. It is knurled and features a permanently attached acetal washer that works extremely well. This honestly feels like it should be on an expensive automobile more than a rack, which is pretty special. You'll find yourself taking the knob on and off simply because it's fun to play with.
The post that's attached to the handle is made of stainless steel, something we've been asking for, for some time, which is something they also did to the Rogue Rhino. I'm glad to see them making strides in this area, now I just hope it extends to their specialty bars.
The end of the post features a plastic cap that I definitely wasn't happy to see, as they've already fallen off a couple of times when taking plates off, but hopefully they change that in the near future.
In use, the lever arms work extremely well. Thanks to such tight tolerances, the handles allow you to feel connected to the rack. We've used the arms for everything from a monolift on benches to dynamic movements like snatches and presses to deadlifts and RDL's. The arms are really just limited to your imagination in regards to use. And, with the addition of new attachments for the arms and trolley, we'll see many different movements added to the list in the near future.
Overall, the Rogue LT-1 50 Cal Trolley + Lever Arm Kit is an incredible piece of equipment. It's expensive and definitely not made for everyone, but if you like versatility and the ability to do a wide number of exercises, then this is definitely something you should add to your rack.
Although we recommend the Rogue LT-1 50 Cal Trolley + Lever Arm Kit, there are a couple of things we'd like to see improved that were mentioned in the review, but we'll summarize here.
First, we'd like to see the plastic end caps removed and replaced with welded caps or faux barbell end caps like FringeSport has done on some of their specialty bars.
Second, we'd like to at least see the option to have the arms have laser-cut numbers. Yes, I know they can do it custom, but it seems like it would be a good option to have come standard.
Lastly, the price for the short and long arms are the same. Seems like there should be less cost for the short arms considering they use less steel.
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