T Nation

Purchasing Olympic Barbells


CT, I'm looking into purchasing an Olympic BB, as I have grown tired of using standard barbells for olympic lifts. My wrists and elbows have taken a beating recently, and I am wanting to find a reasonably inexpensive barbell. Instead of asking about a specific brand, I was wondering if you might have any insight into the differences between a barbell with bushings v. bearings?

I'm specifically looking into Pendlay, Rogue, and York barbells. I've heard good things about them, but the only barbells I've ever used for Olympic lifting are Eleiko barbells, which are obviously more expensive than I would like. Thanks for any help and insights, I really appreciate it.


I personally bought a Pendlay bearing bar and love it. If you plan on doing plenty of olympic lifts, get a bearing bar.

York really is not what it used to be, I don't like their olympic lifting bars now.

Eleiko is obviously the top of the line but not affordable to all.

Rogue has about 2000 different bars. I only have experience with their all-purpose crossfit bar and women's olympic lifting bar. The first is not an olympic lifting bar so it doesn't count and the women bar's knurling is too rough so it might be the same thing with their men's bar. As I mentioned, they have many other bars but I have no experience with them.

You can't go wrong with a Pendlay bearing bar. Almost as good as Eleiko for half the price..


CT, Thanks for the response. I've heard great things, via reviews, but always wondered about the differences between bearings and bushings and whether or not the difference is apparent. I will most likely spend the little bit extra for the bearing BB. Do you use Olympic bars for deads, bench, or any other "traditional" gym lifts? I'm wondering if I might need to buy a Texas Power bar from Elitefts for non-Oly movements.


I use my olympic lifting bar for olympic lifts, pull and deadlifts (I use deadlifts using the same motion as 1st pulls in olympic lifting, not like a powerlifting deadlift) and a powerlifting bar for squats. Since I use all bumpers, as soon as I go over 425 for squats, the bar whips too much to my liking on squats.

And an olympic lifting bar is not ideal for a bench press for 3 reasons:

  1. smaller grip which actually puts more pressure on the shoulders during bench press
  2. too much bar rotation
  3. Too much whip

The Econ Westside bar (from Rogue) and the Texas power bar are two good choices