Monday, January 25, 2021

Barbell Shopping

My training has not been at all impeded by my Rogue Beater Bar ($80, purchased used).  This 31mm behemoth is straight, tough and has adequate spin.  It does not have center knurling and the knurling at the hand position is pretty mild.  It has powerlifting marks, which I can work with.

I would like to have a 15 kg barbell for overhead squats and Olympic movements.  Essentially my goal is a better grip.  A 25 mm bar would be a real treat.  I am constantly hoping I can find something used for under $150, but pickings have been slim.

I have also been in the market for a new all around bar.  The contenders are the Rogue Matt Chan Barbell ($395 plus tax, shipping & handling), the Fringe Sport Hybrid Barbell ($420 & free shipping), Buddy Capps Texas Body Building Bar Cerakote ($345 plus tax, shipping & handling), and the Gymway Weightlifting Elite Barbell ($335 + $25 flat rate shipping + tax).  The contenders are based on presence of center knurl, shaft diameter under 29 mm and premium finish in terms of rust and corrosion resistance.

The following reviews are from  The site has been a great resource for me in terms of fair, balanced reviews with adequate consideration given to powerlifting, Olympic weightlifting and Crossfit.  Functionality is king with consideration given to aesthetics and performance.  Brand loyalty is earned on this criteria and is not biased by country of origin.

Rogue Matt Chan - 5 stars, still own (reviewed October 2014)
Fringe Sport Hybrid - 5 stars, still own (reviewed January 2020)
Buddy Capps Texas Body Building - 4.5 stars, still own (reviewed September 2020)
Gymway Elite Weightlifting - 4.5 stars, most recently reviewed (December 2020)

The Rogue and Buddy Capps are made in the USA.  The Fringe Sport and Gymway are imported from Taiwan.  Resale may be a little better on the Rogue barbell.

The Fringe Sport and Gymway barbells are in stock.  The Buddy Capps bar can be ordered and is on a 6 weeks delay.  The Rogue bar is out of stock and getting one means constantly watching the queue.

The Rogue and Gymway bars are bushings, the Fringe Sport is needle bearings and the Buddy Capps bar is dual roll pins.  This is not much of a distinguisher for me, but I am noting it for completeness.

BarbellManufacturerShaft DiameterCenter KnurlMarkings
Matt ChanRogue28.5 mmyes (light)O (36) PL (32)
Hybrid BarFringe Sport28.5 mmyes (light)O (36) PL (32)
Texas Body BuildingBuddy Capps27 mm6 inch26 32 38
Elite Weightlifting BarGymway28 mmyesO (36)

Rogue Matt Chan

Fringe Sport Hybrid

Buddy Capps Texas Body Building

Gymway Elite Weightlifting

UPDATE 2-18-2021.  Rogue Matt Chan Bar is in stock.  $395 + $25 shipping + $20 tax = $440 to my door.  Fringe Sport Hybrid is still in stock $420 + free shipping.  Gymway Elite still in stock $335 + $25 shipping.  Buddy Capps still on 7 week delay.

Gymway offers the following finishes:
  • Chrome: Standard finish, exceptional against rust and corrosion. Recommended for Olympic weightlifting, Powerlifting, and competitive athletes.
  • Black Oxide: Glossy black color, better grip, little anti-rust protection, longer shaft life if properly maintained. Recommended for Crossfit and high-intensity workout.
  • Manganese Phosphate: Great against rust and corrosion with a matte dark green color. Recommended for Olympic weightlifting, Powerlifting, and general training.
I would likely go with the Standard Chrome finish.

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