T Nation

The Quality Of Your Olympic Bar

Hey Fellas and Gals,

I was just wondering how many of us actually pay attention to the quality of the olympic bars that we use especially if you have your gym at the house.

I’ve moved up in weight considerably since buying my original bar and recently became concerned with the flex when coming hard to the top of a squat.

After a bit of research, I found that the bar is in fact as cheap as suspected (500 pound test, no bearings, chrome flaking off the collars, etc., so having researched all the top brands, I think I’m gonna get a Texas power bar made by Troy barbell. Any suggestions or comments?

Quality of the bar means a lot, especially if you are using heavy weights. I routinely have 800-1000 pounds loaded on my bar, with no problems. Try handling something heavy with a bent bar; it sucks.

Be careful of bars using the name “Texas Power Bar”. There are lots of imitators out there. The real one is sold by Dave Tate at Elite FTS, and he seems to have the best price on the net. That is the bar I use.

Other really good bars are the Eleiko and Ivanko power bars, but they are more expensive and only equal in quality to the Texas.

[quote]holmdog wrote:
Hey Fellas and Gals,

I was just wondering how many of us actually pay attention to the quality of the olympic bars that we use especially if you have your gym at the house.

I’ve moved up in weight considerably since buying my original bar and recently became concerned with the flex when coming hard to the top of a squat.

After a bit of research, I found that the bar is in fact as cheap as suspected (500 pound test, no bearings, chrome flaking off the collars, etc., so having researched all the top brands, I think I’m gonna get a Texas power bar made by Troy barbell. Any suggestions or comments?
[/quote]

Word.
We ahve a few different bars, a texas powe rbar for benching, a WPO squat bar(longer and stiffer0 that will support 1500+, and two crap bars for p[in pulls. One is an old pa power bar that got a little bent from rack pulls, adn the other is a cheapie that can be used for accessory stuff.

Never use your top bar for rack pulls, almost any bar will get bent from rack work after hitting the pins a few hundred times.

Holmdog (and anyone else!)
If you want to frighten yourself go and take a look at the article named How To Break An Olympic Bar over on the Ivanko site.

Dax

I’d check out Piedmont Design, too. Good heavy-duty stuff pretty much made to order. All the stuff I’ve bought from them has been absolutely top-notch, as is their customer service.

BTW, they make a pretty good argument that non-Olympic lifters for the most part don’t even need revolving bars, and that doing without the moving pieces not only saves money but also increases the overall life of the bar.

[quote]Boscobarbell wrote:
I’d check out Piedmont Design, too. Good heavy-duty stuff pretty much made to order. All the stuff I’ve bought from them has been absolutely top-notch, as is their customer service.

BTW, they make a pretty good argument that non-Olympic lifters for the most part don’t even need revolving bars, and that doing without the moving pieces not only saves money but also increases the overall life of the bar.[/quote]

I would have to disagree with the non-revolving bar. I have tried lifting with a bar like that. I would say its about 50% harder to handle the weights. For powerlifting or maximum effort purposes, this is definitely a bad thing.

I have used an Appolon’s Axle, which is a non-revolving fat bar. It was incredibly hard to use.

[quote]slattimer wrote:
Boscobarbell wrote:

I have used an Appolon’s Axle, which is a non-revolving fat bar. It was incredibly hard to use.
[/quote]

I have had a hungry curiosity about Appolon’s Axle. What feedback do you guys have about it?

Another thing I have noticed is that some of these bars cost toward $300-500.
On the one hand, I think - a bar is a bar. You hang weight on it, and the rest is up to you.

On the other hand, I think - the bar is what you hang EVERYTHING on. It is very important.

I need a new bar soon too, and wonder how much of a difference it makes in lifting.

FamilyMan,

When I was only using 200-300 pounds in major lifts it seemed that a bar was just a bar. Now that I’m well beyond that I can assure you that there is a difference.

Check out the Ivanko thing that Dax was talking about. I don’t want any part of that!!!

Slattimer mentioned elitefts. They do have a really good price on the Texas Power Bar ($220.00 I think it was) but my local supplier can do just a little better on the exact same product. He ought to considering how much I spend there.

Anyway, If I would have been thinking a few years ago and spent a little more then, I probably wouldn’t be buying another bar now.

Holmdog.

I find bar quality has a tremendous impact on my lifting. A commercial gym I was at made me buy my own bar a while ago, and I picked up one of the TPBs from EliteFTS. Ever since, I’ve been spoiled; I just can’t go back to the crummy bars. The Texas from Elite really was a great bar, and then some wretch thieved it.

I currently have a Capp “Texas Power Bar”, and an Ivanko OBX-20kg, and have been very happy with them. The Ivanko knurling is much sharper than any of the others, and runs closer towards the center. It can really shred your shins! That being said it is my favourite bar to bench with?You might want to check around and see what bars get used in your favourite leagues, there was a considerable brouhaha last year when a major meet switched to Ivanko and some people had trouble with the sharper, wider checkering snagging them on deads.

Personally I disliked the only Eleiko that I have played with?It felt much whippier and bouncier than a normal powerlifting bar. Obviously nothing like a 500lb butter-bar, but for the price I would have expected more of a powerlifting bar, and less of an Olympic lifting bar.

Unsurpisingly I agree with Mr. Lattimer on the non-rotating bar issue. I found them a lot harder to work with, and unforgiving when I messed up.

Definitely keep your cheap bar for pin-work?

Hope this helps.

[quote]holmdog wrote:
FamilyMan,

When I was only using 200-300 pounds in major lifts it seemed that a bar was just a bar. Now that I’m well beyond that I can assure you that there is a difference.

Anyway, If I would have been thinking a few years ago and spent a little more then, I probably wouldn’t be buying another bar now.

Holmdog.[/quote]

It sounds like we are thinking in the same direction. I have just started playing in the 400# range, and I’m concerned about what my bar can take.

I would hate to buy a replacement bar, and then have to replace it because it isn’t good quality. I’m starting to see a good bar as a life investment.