Author Topic: Looking to buy a new bar  (Read 5610 times)

Offline BLK00TJ

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Looking to buy a new bar
« on: June 26, 2014, 08:24:57 PM »
I'm looking around for bars to replace my cheapo-bolted-end oly bar.  I was kind of hoping to have to get a bar because I bent it pulling huge numbers for deadlift, but sadly that doesn't seem to be possible soon.

My reason for wanting a new bar is I'm starting to do some rack pulls.  That will surely bend the cheap bar eventually since I'll be hitting the pins over and over.  Plan is to let it bend and only use it for rack pulls and maybe land mine work (if I get an attachment).  Also, I didn't realize until this week that my bar is  marked with olympic grooves and not powerlifting grooves.  I put some athletic tape at the 81cm for now but it bugs me.

My wife is going on a business trip in two weeks so I want to order so that it'll arrive while she's gone.  :)

I've narrowed my choices down to these:

  • B&R Bar - $295
  • Texas Power Bar - $348
  • Westside Power Bar - $375
  • Rogue Power Bar - $275

I think I'm leaning towards the B&R.  It is raw steel so it will need more maintenance for rust prevention but everyone raves about the knurling from being raw.  I think the bars at my high school were raw steel Yorks so that'll bring me back some memories.  My second choice is the TBR but I'm not sure I want a 28mm bar. Will I even notice a difference?  Dunno.  I'm also reading that the TPB isn't what it used to be.  The Westside power bar is 29mm, black zinc, has a very aggressive knurl, but it also has a much bigger price tag.

Anyone have any experience with any of these bars?  I'm sure Alex's gym is stocked to the ceiling with Rogue bars.

Online FLEX

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Re: Looking to buy a new bar
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2014, 08:31:06 PM »
Those bars are nice, but also expensive.

I bought a York Black Oxide bar a couple years ago and I am sure it was just over $200.

Suits me just fine.
Powerlifting Meet Bests:

2018.04.28:  620 Squat, 345 Bench, 615 Dead   |  1580 Total
2017.04.29:  610 Squat, 325 Bench, 600 Dead   |  1535 Total
2016.04.22:  600 Squat, 330 Bench, 600 Dead   |  1530 Total
2015.08.09:  600 Squat, 320 Bench, 600 Dead   |  1520 Total

Offline BLK00TJ

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Re: Looking to buy a new bar
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2014, 08:54:41 PM »
Those bars are nice, but also expensive.

I bought a York Black Oxide bar a couple years ago and I am sure it was just over $200.

Suits me just fine.
I live about an hour from York barbell.  I might drive up there and take a peak in their retail outlet.

Online FLEX

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Re: Looking to buy a new bar
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2014, 09:16:16 PM »
You should do that.

If you're the only one using the bar chances are you're not going to fuck it up and the worst thing you can do to a bar IMHO is bend it.

And you're not going to bend it.

All the bars in my gym are bent.  Even the new ones we just got last week.

WTF man?

Powerlifting Meet Bests:

2018.04.28:  620 Squat, 345 Bench, 615 Dead   |  1580 Total
2017.04.29:  610 Squat, 325 Bench, 600 Dead   |  1535 Total
2016.04.22:  600 Squat, 330 Bench, 600 Dead   |  1530 Total
2015.08.09:  600 Squat, 320 Bench, 600 Dead   |  1520 Total

Offline BLK00TJ

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Re: Looking to buy a new bar
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2014, 09:23:41 PM »
I just may luck out and find a B&R at York since they are the ones that make them.

Online FLEX

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Re: Looking to buy a new bar
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2014, 09:32:22 PM »
And there ya go...
Powerlifting Meet Bests:

2018.04.28:  620 Squat, 345 Bench, 615 Dead   |  1580 Total
2017.04.29:  610 Squat, 325 Bench, 600 Dead   |  1535 Total
2016.04.22:  600 Squat, 330 Bench, 600 Dead   |  1530 Total
2015.08.09:  600 Squat, 320 Bench, 600 Dead   |  1520 Total

Offline BigDaddy

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Re: Looking to buy a new bar
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2014, 09:52:22 AM »
All the bars in my gym are bent.  Even the new ones we just got last week.

WTF man?

What the hell are they doing to bend them?  I've put over 500lbs on the bars at my gym for shrugs and they flex while I'm lifting it, but they always go back to straights when I unload them.   None of the bars at my gym are bent and they've been the same ones for the 4 years that I've been there.
"If you want something you have never had, you must be willing to do something you have never done."

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Re: Looking to buy a new bar
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2014, 10:13:38 AM »
Honestly I don't know...
Powerlifting Meet Bests:

2018.04.28:  620 Squat, 345 Bench, 615 Dead   |  1580 Total
2017.04.29:  610 Squat, 325 Bench, 600 Dead   |  1535 Total
2016.04.22:  600 Squat, 330 Bench, 600 Dead   |  1530 Total
2015.08.09:  600 Squat, 320 Bench, 600 Dead   |  1520 Total

Offline BigDaddy

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Re: Looking to buy a new bar
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2014, 10:19:05 AM »
Honestly I don't know...

Maybe it's the big, angry MOFO trying to deadlift 600lbs with them :)
"If you want something you have never had, you must be willing to do something you have never done."

"Donít tell me what you canít do ó you donít know what you canít do. What you think you canít do is only what you wonít do."

Online AlexanderOmand

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Re: Looking to buy a new bar
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2014, 10:44:20 AM »
In all the time that I've been in a gym, the only time I've bent a bar, is recently, when it slipped off my back squatting and landed on the safeties.

Yes, my gym is stocked full of Rogue bars.  They're fine for most everything in the gym, but I would love to have a few specialized bars . 
Check out an Okie Bar.
http://www.crain.ws/okie_bars_weights_equipment.html
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Unless acted upon by a Superior Force.
Squat: 545; Bench: 350; Deadlift: 610; Total: 1490

Offline Get-n-fit

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Re: Looking to buy a new bar
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2014, 10:53:12 AM »
Speaking of bars, after my recent trips to a real gym, I discovered REAL powerlifting bars.  At Golds we have real thick f'in bars and I always wondered how the hell some guys online do the hook grip.  I figured they must have huge hands bc I can't get my fingers to wrap around the bar and my thumb.  Anyways, at the PL gym they have bars dedicated to deadlifts and they are thinner...still 45lbs though.  It's amazing what a difference a thinner bar makes.  I was able to do reps at 405 without my versa grips and with a double over hand grip.  I tried a mixed grip at lower weights but couldn't get my underhanded arm to stay straight so I stuck with double over hand.  There were a ton of bars at the PL gym and I tried several of them.  The buffalo bar was very different, I used it for squatting, but couldn't get it to set right.  I'm a "high" low bar squatter so that's part of the issue.  Also the bars at the PL gym are very knurled and that made a bug difference in grip. 

Anyways, investing in a good bar is definitely worth it, especially when you're trying to lift some decent weight.
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Offline BLK00TJ

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Re: Looking to buy a new bar
« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2014, 01:27:40 PM »
On Ivankos website they have an article on how bars get bent.  Usually it is from dropping from height to the floor or dropping on pin safeties.  I try not to fail on my lifts, but when I do I try to ease the weight down on the pins.  Not the safest for me, but safer for the bar.  The other day I started doing rack pulls/power shrugs trying something new to get my DL numbers up and I thought of the Ivanko article.  Doing these will bend my bar even with the girlie weights I'm pulling now.  My bar has a slight wobble to it that wasn't there when I bought it, but at this point it isn't noticeable at less than 1/8".  The higher the tensile strength of the steel, the less likely to bend.  B&R and Westside are both 205k PSI and Rogue is 155k.

I'd love to have a dedicated squat bar but damn those things are expensive.  Maybe one day I'll invest in one but for now, I just want a good all around bar that won't slip down my back as much as the one I have.

Flex's post had me looking at what the difference is between zinc oxide and zinc plating.  Most bars are zinc or chrome plated which dulls the knurling due to the added thickness.  Bars like the Westside and TPB compensates for this by making the knurling deeper and more aggressive.  Zinc oxide adds less thickness so it remains unchanged dimensionally while still providing corrosion resistance.  I'd guess it is like bluing on a firearm.

I almost dismissed the B&R bar due to it not being made in the US (Westside, Rogue and TPB are US made).  I found out that it is made in Canada by York so that's not bad.  Canadians make some pretty good steel I think.  Most all of York's stuff is made in China now.  I have zero confidence in Chinese steel regardless of warranty.

I'm still looking for reviews on the Okie bars.  Not much out there so far.

Offline BLK00TJ

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Re: Looking to buy a new bar
« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2014, 12:39:41 AM »
I keep coming back to this B&R bar.  Part nostalgia from the raw steel and part tensile strength for the price.  I emailed Rogue to ask if they had plenty of B&R bars in stock and ready to ship.  They replied within 30 minutes saying they are stocked full of them and gave me shipping estimates so I could make sure it comes while the wife is out of town.  I'm going B&R and will order next Friday so it comes while the wife is gone.

Online FLEX

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Re: Looking to buy a new bar
« Reply #13 on: June 28, 2014, 11:31:02 AM »
Powerlifting Meet Bests:

2018.04.28:  620 Squat, 345 Bench, 615 Dead   |  1580 Total
2017.04.29:  610 Squat, 325 Bench, 600 Dead   |  1535 Total
2016.04.22:  600 Squat, 330 Bench, 600 Dead   |  1530 Total
2015.08.09:  600 Squat, 320 Bench, 600 Dead   |  1520 Total

Offline BLK00TJ

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Re: Looking to buy a new bar
« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2014, 11:44:33 AM »
Yup. Wow I didn't realize there was that much of a difference in US to Canadian currency.