Best CrossFit Barbell Reviews: Multipurpose Bar Guide


In this article, I’ll help you’ll choose the best CrossFit barbell for your home gym. I’ve written and compiled short reviews of the best CrossFit barbells, also known as multipurpose bars, to help you make your choice.

I’ve categorized the CrossFit barbell reviews on this page into 3 categories based on price: Budget, Mid-Range and High-End.

Continue reading if you already know you need a CrossFit barbell and are familiar with their features and specifications.

If you’re not sure you need a multipurpose/CrossFit barbell or what to look for in one, read my barbell buying guide first. It discusses the differences between multipurpose bars vs powerlifting barbells vs Olympic weightlifting bars and how to pick the right one for your needs.

Best CrossFit Barbells Under $275 (Budget Multipurpose Bars)

Bells of Steel Utility Barbell Review

Bells of Steel Utility Barbell - Sleeve

Key Specs

  • Weight: 20kg (44 lbs)
  • Diameter: 28.5mm
  • Tensile Strength: 190k PSI
  • Knurl: Mild to medium
  • Center Knurl: Yes
  • Shaft Finish: Black zinc
  • Sleeve Finish: Bright zinc
  • Rotation: Brass bushings
  • Knurl Marks: Dual (IPF & IWF)
  • Bar Length: 2200mm (86.61 in)
  • Loadable Sleeve Length: 410mm (16.14 in)
  • Manufactured: Import
  • Warranty: 5 years
  • Price: $199.99
Bells of Steel Utility Barbell - Shaft and Sleeve

Reasons to Buy

  • The Bells of Steel Utility Barbell has medium-light knurl that’s great for higher rep work. Heavy low rep work is possible, but you’ll want to chalk or straps at near-max loads.
  • It has a center knurling with the same mild to medium knurl intensity as the outer knurl. The presence of a center knurl on a CrossFit barbell is rare, so it’s awesome to see on this bar, especially at this price. It makes squatting easier since you have a bit of grip to hold the bar in place.
  • The whip is okay for a multipurpose bar. It’s what you’d hope for in a 28.5mm shaft at this price.
  • The sleeves have deep grooves to help keep the plates on. It also gives the bar a unique aesthetic.
  • The rotation is sufficient for doing the Olympic lifts efficiently, at least with lighter to moderate weights.
  • It has dual IPF/IWF knurl marks for hand positioning on both the powerlifts and Oly lifts.
  • The $199 price, which includes shipping, makes this bar a crazy good value considering what you get.
Bells of Steel Utility Barbell - Center Knurl

Reasons Not to Buy

  • It has a black zinc shaft finish. This is not the best finish by any stretch, but it’s what you’d expect at this price point. While it’s good for protection against oxidation, it has a slicker feel and will fade over time.
  • It has brass bushings, which are a lower quality bushing compared to bronze or composite bushings. Over time, this may cause issues with rotation.
  • If the above issues are major issues for you, I recommend upgrading to the Vulcan One Bar. It costs more, but it’s a relatively small jump in price.

Buy Now – Bells of Steel Utility Barbell »

Vulcan One Basic Olympic Barbell Review

Vulcan One Basic Olympic Barbell

Key Specs

  • Weight: 20kg (44 lbs)
  • Diameter: 28mm
  • Tensile Strength: 190k PSI
  • Knurl: Mild to medium
  • Center Knurl: No
  • Shaft Finish: Hard chrome
  • Sleeve Finish: Hard chrome
  • Rotation: Bronze bushings (self-lubricating)
  • Knurl Marks: Dual (IPF & IWF)
  • Bar Length: N/A
  • Loadable Sleeve Length: N/A
  • Manufactured: Import
  • Warranty: 4 years
  • Price: $248.99
Vulcan One Basic Olympic Barbell - Shaft with Dual Knurl Marks

Reasons to Buy

  • The Vulcan One Basic Olympic Barbell has mild to medium depth knurl, making it ideal for high-rep work. You can still do heavy pulls with it, but you’ll benefit from chalk or straps when the weight gets high enough.
  • The whip is surprisingly good on this bar, which is great if you’ll be doing any Olympic lifting. It becomes apparent even at moderate weights, which is great since most people getting this bar will probably be beginner to intermediates on the Olympic lifts. A big part of this is because it has a 28mm shaft instead of 28.5mm, though an older version of this bar was 28.5mm. The type of steel used and the heat treatment surely plays a role, too, since the older/thicker 28.5mm version of this bar also had surprisingly good whip.
  • This bar uses hard chrome as the finish for both the shaft and sleeves. This is a great finish on a bar in this price range, and even bars in higher price ranges. Bars at this price typically use a lesser zinc finish. And if they are chrome, they’re usually decorative chrome; not hard chrome. Hard chrome is an industrial finish. It has much better oxidation resistance and resistance against chips and scratches.
  • It uses a one one piece sleeve construction with a double snap ring assembly. This makes the bar more durable.
  • The rotation is quite good on this bar thanks to the self-lubricating bronze bushings and well-constructed sleeve. The spin is great on this bar for the price. In fact, it’s commensurate with some of the mid-range bars out there. It’s smooth and reliable, with no over rotation.
  • It has dual knurl markings to help with hand placement on the powerlifts and Oly lifts.

Reasons Not to Buy

  • It only has a 4 year warranty. A lifetime warranty would be nice. However, a warranty of a few years is pretty common at this price point.
  • It doesn’t have a center knurl. If that’s a must-have for your multipurpose bar, your options are the Bells of Steel Utility Barbell, Fringe Sport Hybrid Barbell or Rogue Chan Bar.
  • If you want a bearing bar without spending much more, look no further than the Vulcan Training Olympic Bearing Bar. It’s essentially the same as the Vulcan One, but it has bearings. There’s two versions: one with IWF marks/center knurl; the other with dual marks/no center knurl.

Buy Now – Vulcan One Basic Olympic Barbell »

Fringe Sport Wonder Bar Review

Fringe Sport Wonder Bar

Key Specs

  • Weight: 20kg (44 lbs)
  • Diameter: 28mm
  • Tensile Strength: 205k PSI
  • Knurl: Medium
  • Center Knurl: No
  • Shaft Finish: Black zinc
  • Sleeve Finish: Black zinc
  • Rotation: Oilite® oil-impregnated bronze bushings (bearing version available with 4 needle bearings per sleeve)
  • Knurl Marks: Dual (IPF & IWF)
  • Bar Length: 86 in
  • Loadable Sleeve Length: 16 in
  • Manufactured: Import
  • Warranty: Lifetime
  • Price: $262
Fringe Sport Wonder Bar - Sleeve Collar

Reasons to Buy

  • The medium knurl on the Fringe Sport Wonder Bar is typical of most CrossFit barbells. It’s high-rep friendly in that you’ll be able to perform long sets or WODs without beating up your palms. Heavy deadlifts and heavy Oly work are possible, but are best done with chalk.
  • The whip is actually somewhat stiff for a multipurpose bar, which is surprising considering it’s a 28mm shaft instead of 28.5mm. Still, it’s not as stiff as a power bar, so you will have a bit of oscillation when you need.
  • The rotation is smooth thanks to a well put-together sleeve with sintered bronze bushings. Reliable spin will be no issue with these sleeves. Plus, you won’t have to do sleeve maintenance as often since the bushings are oil-impregnated.
  • It has dual knurl marks that let you place your hands as needed for both powerlifting exercises and Olympic lifts.
  • The bar is quiet when dropped. This is a plus if you need to minimize noise when training, for whatever reason.
Fringe Sport Wonder Bar - Shaft with Dual Knurl Marks

Reasons Not to Buy

  • Both the shaft and the sleeves have a black zinc finish. This provides decent oxidation resistance and it looks good when you first get the bar. However, the black zinc on the shaft will fade over time and may turn green. Plus, the sleeves will get scratched up quickly from sliding the plates on and off. This is a mostly aesthetic consideration, but it’s worth noting.
  • It used to cost $199 with shipping included. But the last I checked, it goes for $262 shipped. This makes it less attractive because there are better bars for the same or less, like the Vulcan One Bar.
  • If you want a low cost bearing bar, there’s a bearing version of this bar. It’s not going to be as good as most bearing bars, which are generally much more expensive. But if you want a bearing bar at a low price, this is a good option.

Buy Now – Fringe Sport Wonder Bar »

LUXIAOJUN E1 Training Bar Review

LUXIAOJUN E1 Training Bar - Hard Chrome or Black Chrome

Key Specs

  • Weight: 20kg (44 lbs)
  • Diameter: 28mm
  • Tensile Strength: 200k PSI
  • Knurl: Mild to medium
  • Center Knurl: No
  • Shaft Finish: Hard chrome or black chrome
  • Sleeve Finish: Hard chrome or black chrome
  • Rotation: 4 needle bearings per sleeve
  • Knurl Marks: Dual (IPF & IWF)
  • Bar Length: 2200mm (86.61 in)
  • Loadable Sleeve Length: 415mm (16.33 in)
  • Manufactured: Import
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Price: $215-225
LUXIAOJUN E1 Training Bar - Shaft with Dual Knurl Marks

Reasons to Buy

  • The LUXIAOJUN E1 Training Bar is on the lighter side of the medium knurl spectrum. Yet it also has a relatively dense knurl point density (i.e. number of knurl points per square inch), which helps gives a more grippy feel. This pattern makes it perform best on moderate to high rep sets and long training sessions because it saves your hands.
  • Whip is good for a 28mm multipurpose bar at this price point. But without consideration for price, it’s just average. It’s sufficient for beginners and intermediates doing Oly or Crossfit work.
  • This bar is rare in that it’s a multipurpose bar that uses needle bearings instead of bushings in its sleeve assembly. This gives it a much faster spin. If you’re looking for a decent low cost bearing bar, this is a good option.
  • There are two finish options for this bar: black chrome shaft and sleeves for $215 and hard chrome for $225. Both will provide good oxidation and abrasion resistance. Plus, they won’t take much a way from the grip of the knurl. I’d personally opt for the hard chrome option, as the black chrome sleeves will eventually show wear and it will be more visible because of the contrast with the underlying steel.
    • NOTE: I’m not sure if the hard chrome finish is actually decorative chrome instead of true hard chrome (i.e. industrial chrome) since that usually boosts the price more. I can’t say either way, but wanted to mention this possibility.
  • The bar features dual IPF/IWF knurl marks to make hand positioning easier when doing the powerlifts or the Olympic lifts.
LUXIAOJUN E1 Training Bar - Shaft and Sleeve

Reasons Not to Buy

  • The E1 bar only comes with a 2 year warranty, which is short even for budget bars.
  • If you’re doing true multipurpose training i.e. Olympic lifting AND powerlifting, then a bearing bar may not be right for you. This is particularly the case if it’s going to be your main, or only, barbell. The reason is that the fast/sensitive spin can disrupt your groove on squat and bench. A multipurpose bushing bar would be more appropriate. I’d recommend taking a look alternatives like the Vulcan One Basic Olympic Barbell or Bells of Steel Utility Barbell, which are both in the same price range as the E1.
  • Some owners have said that there is some over-rotation of the sleeves. It’s not major, but it can make executing some Oly lifts feel less smooth.

Buy Now – LUXIAOJUN E1 Training Bar »

Best CrossFit Barbells Between $275-$350 (Mid-Range Multipurpose Bars)

Vulcan Standard 28.5mm Olympic Bar Review

Vulcan Standard 28.5mm Olympic Bar - Sleeve

Key Specs

  • Weight: 20kg (44 lbs)
  • Diameter: 28.5mm
  • Tensile Strength: 194k PSI
  • Knurl: Medium
  • Center Knurl: No
  • Shaft Finish: Bright zinc or black zinc
  • Sleeve Finish: Bright zinc
  • Rotation: Oilite® oil-impregnated bronze bushings
  • Knurl Marks: Dual (IPF & IWF)
  • Bar Length: N/A
  • Loadable Sleeve Length: N/A
  • Manufactured: USA
  • Warranty: Lifetime
  • Price: $299.99
Vulcan Standard 28.5mm Olympic Bar - Shaft and Sleeve

Reasons to Buy

  • The Vulcan Standard 28.5mm Olympic Bar has medium knurling that will let you do high rep sets without tearing your hands. Yet you’re still able to lift heavy, though chalk/straps may be needed for extra heavy pulls.
  • With its 28.5mm shaft and 194k PSI tensile strength, this bar has a medium whip. It’ll work well for both powerlifts and Oly lifts.
  • The sleeve is constructed with tight tolerances, using oil-impregnated bronze bushings. This makes for smooth and reliable rotation without any quirks.
  • This bar has one piece construction sleeves with dual snap ring end caps. This makes the sleeves extra durable.
  • It has dual IPF/IWF markings to allow for both powerlifting and weightlifting hand positioning.
  • Two finish options are available: black zinc shaft/bright zinc sleeves or bright zinc shaft/bright zinc sleeves. I recommend the latter since the black zinc will eventually fade and may develop a greenish hue.
  • It’s made in the USA so you can expect slightly higher quality and better quality control than usual.
  • Overall, this is a super durable bar that can stand up to heavy use in a high-traffic CrossFit box or commercial gym. If you’re getting it for your home gym, you should have even fewer worries about long-term durability.
Vulcan Standard 28.5mm Olympic Bar - Shaft with Dual Knurl Marks

Reasons Not to Buy

Buy Now – Vulcan Standard 28.5mm Olympic Bar »

American Barbell Training Bar Review

American Barbell Training Bar

Key Specs

  • Weight: 20kg (44 lbs)
  • Diameter: 28mm
  • Tensile Strength: 190k PSI
  • Knurl: Mild to medium
  • Center Knurl: No
  • Shaft Finish: Hard chrome
  • Sleeve Finish: Hard chrome
  • Rotation: Composite bushings
  • Knurl Marks: IWF
  • Bar Length: 86.5 in
  • Loadable Sleeve Length: 16.25 in
  • Manufactured: USA
  • Warranty: Lifetime
  • Price: $315
American Barbell Training Bar - Shaft and Sleeve

Reasons to Buy

  • The American Barbell Training Bar has a refined, mild to medium knurl. It’s the same signature knurl pattern that’s on all AB bars (including their power bars and Olympic weightlifting bars). It provides a very grippy texture without being sharp. It’s great for high reps, but you can lift heavy with it too especially if you chalk up.
  • It has good whip. This is in large part because it’s a true 28mm bar, rather than the typical 28.5mm for multipurpose bars.
  • This bar has smooth rotation thanks to the tight tolerances in the sleeve construction and the use of composite bushings. While the composite bushings aren’t as fast as bronze bushings, they’re nonetheless very reliable, which is what matters. They’ll also spin better under extra heavy loads compared to bronze bushings.
  • The AB Training Bar has a hard chrome shaft and sleeves. This industrial finish looks amazing, feels good in the hands and provides strong protection against rust and abrasions.
  • The bar is very quiet when dropped because of the tight sleeve construction and composite bushings. This is typical of American Barbell bars.
  • It has IPF/IWF dual knurl markings for both the powerlifts and the Oly lifts.
  • This bar is made in the USA. Like all AB bars, the construction and quality control is exquisite.
American Barbell Training Bar - Sleeve

Reasons Not to Buy

Buy Now – American Barbell Training Bar »

American Barbell California Bar Review

American Barbell California Bar

Key Specs

  • Weight: 20kg (44 lbs)
  • Diameter: 28mm
  • Tensile Strength: 190k PSI
  • Knurl: Mild to medium
  • Center Knurl: No
  • Shaft Finish: Cerakote (several colors available)
  • Sleeve Finish: Hard chrome
  • Rotation: Composite bushings
  • Knurl Marks: Dual (IPF & IWF)
  • Bar Length: 86.5 in
  • Loadable Sleeve Length: 16.25 in
  • Manufactured: USA
  • Warranty: Lifetime
  • Price: $335
American Barbell California Bar - Shaft with Dual Knurl Marks

Reasons to Buy

  • The California Bar has the same fine, mild to medium depth knurl that American Barbell bars are known for. It’s very grippy but not sharp at all. It’s ideal for moderate to high rep work. It will suffice for heavy low rep work, too, if you add a bit of chalk.
  • This bar has a bit more whip than the average multipurpose bar, largely because it has a 28mm shaft instead of the typical 28.5mm shaft. However, it’s not quite as whippy as a bar designed just for Oly lifting. It performs well on lifts where some whip is helpful, including all the Oly lifts as well as deadlifts. You can squat and bench with it, too, without it bouncing around too much unless you’re pushing really heavy weights, in which case you should get a power bar.
  • The rotation is very smooth and reliable on this CrossFit barbell thanks to the tight sleeve construction and the use of composite bushings instead of bronze bushings. While not as fast as bronze bushings, these composite bushings are stronger. Thus, they ensure uninterrupted spin even at very high weights.
  • The shaft finish is what makes this bar stands out: It uses a cerakote finish, available in green, black, grey, blue (and other colors for the women’s 15kg version). Cerakote is the best finish for oxidation resistance. The only thing better is unfinished stainless steel. The cerakote also has a tacky feel to it, which enhances the grip — This is good because the cerakote does fill in the knurl slightly. The grippy feel of the cerakote mostly negates the loss in knurl depth.
  • The sleeves are coated in hard chrome. This is one of the best choices for sleeve finishes. It’s highly resistant to scratches, chipping and corrosion. I like it better than cerakote for the sleeves because if the cerakote eventually chips on the sleeves, it will be much more obvious than if the chrome does.
  • The California bar is very quiet while the sleeves spin, during explosive lifts and when dropping the bar. This is thanks to the combo of composite bushings and tight tolerances in the sleeve construction.
  • It has dual knurl markings (IPF/IWF). This allows you to easily position your hands properly for powerlifting movements and Oly movements alike.
  • Like all AB bars, the California Bar is made in the USA. Also like all AB bars, this one is precisely manufactured. You can expect great build quality all the way down to the small details.
American Barbell California Bar - Shaft and Sleeve

Reasons Not to Buy

Buy Now – American Barbell California Bar »

Rogue Ohio Bar Review

Rogue Ohio Bar

Key Specs

  • Weight: 20kg (44 lbs)
  • Diameter: 28.5mm
  • Tensile Strength: 190k PSI
  • Knurl: Medium
  • Center Knurl: No
  • Shaft Finish: Black zinc (other versions of the bar have different finishes)
  • Sleeve Finish: Bright zinc (other versions of the bar have different finishes)
  • Rotation: Bronze bushings
  • Knurl Marks: Dual (IPF & IWF)
  • Bar Length: 86.75 in
  • Loadable Sleeve Length: 16.4 in
  • Manufactured: USA
  • Warranty: Lifetime
  • Price: $295
Rogue Ohio Bar - Shaft and Sleeve

Reasons to Buy

  • The Rogue Ohio Bar has a standard medium knurl that gives you traction without tearing up your hands. This works great for the high rep work typically done in WODs. The knurl is okay for heavier work, but chalk may be needed when maxing out on pull movements.
  • The whip is average for a multipurpose bar. With a 28.5mm shaft, it has a bit of whip when you load enough weight on for deadlifts and Olympic lifts. Yet, it’s stiff enough to not oscillate excessively on heavy bench and squats.
  • The rotation is solid for a multipurpose bar. It uses cast bronze bushings and has a good sleeve assembly. This gives it a smooth and reliable rotation.
  • The base version of this bar has a black zinc shaft and bright zinc sleeves. But there are several other versions with different finishes. See the first point under “Reasons Not to Buy” below for all the versions.
  • Like most multipurpose/CrossFit barbells, it has dual knurl marks for powerlifting and weightlifting hand positions.
  • It is made in the USA by Rogue. You can expect great build quality and and consistent quality control.
Rogue Ohio Bar - End Cap

Reasons Not to Buy

  • If you like the Rogue Ohio Bar overall, but want a better finish than zinc, you’re in luck. This popular Rogue bar comes in several flavors, including: E-coat, black oxide, stainless steel, cerakote and custom finish configurations.
  • It is quite loud when dropped, which is typical of many Rogue bushing bars. So if you’re training in a place where minimizing noise is important, I’d recommend an American Barbell bar like their Training Bar or California Bar.
  • There’s no center knurl. If you want a center knurl, go with the Bells of Steel Utility Barbell, Fringe Sport Hybrid Barbell or Rogue Chan Bar.

Buy Now – Rogue Ohio Bar »

Rogue Bar 2.0 Review

Rogue Bar 2.0

Key Specs

  • Weight: 20kg (44 lbs)
  • Diameter: 28.5mm
  • Tensile Strength: 190k PSI
  • Knurl: Medium
  • Center Knurl: No
  • Shaft Finish: Black zinc
  • Sleeve Finish: Bright zinc
  • Rotation: Composite bushings
  • Knurl Marks: Dual (IPF & IWF)
  • Bar Length: 86.75 in
  • Loadable Sleeve Length: 16.4 in
  • Manufactured: USA
  • Warranty: Lifetime
  • Price: $280
Rogue Bar 2.0 - Shaft and Sleeve

Reasons to Buy

  • The Rogue Bar 2.0 has a medium knurl depth. It’s designed to give you some grip without killing your hands. This makes it ideal for high rep WOD work. It’s also suitable for heavy max effort work, but chalk will be required at the heavier weights unless you’ve got impressive grip strength.
  • The whip is average for a 28.5mm multipurpose bar. It will flex enough to help you more easily catch your cleans, but it won’t give you high whip like an Oly bar. It will also have more bend during heavy deadlifts than a power bar, but it will stay stiff enough to do heavy bench and squats without too much oscillation.
  • Rotation is smooth and reliable. This bar actually uses composite bushings instead of the cast bronze bushings that is typical of many Rogue bushings bars. This is arguably an upgrade. While there’s less free spin with composite bushings, they continue to spin the same even at very heavy loads.
  • It has dual IPF/IWF knurl marks for powerlifting and weightlifting hand positions.
  • The sleeve collars have machined grooves that allow you to put replaceable bands in. The bands that come with it say “Rogue” but you can get your own to add your unique style to the bar.
  • This bar is made in the USA with the high quality everyone has come to expect from Rogue.
Rogue Bar 2.0 - Shaft with Dual Knurl Marks

Reasons Not to Buy

  • If you like this bar, but don’t like the black zinc finish, unfortunately there’s no other versions of this specific bar with different finishes. However, the Rogue Ohio Bar is very similar and has many different finish options.
  • If you want a similar bar from a different company that also has a better (hard chrome) finish and a true 28mm shaft, check out the Vulcan One.
  • If you want a center knurl on your CrossFit barbell, this is the wrong bar. Check out these instead: Bells of Steel Utility Barbell, Fringe Sport Hybrid Barbell or Rogue Chan Bar.

Buy Now – Rogue Bar 2.0 »

LUXIAOJUN M1 Training Bar Review

Rogue Bar 2.0

Key Specs

  • Weight: 20kg (44 lbs)
  • Diameter: 28mm
  • Tensile Strength: 200k PSI
  • Knurl: Mild to medium
  • Center Knurl: No
  • Shaft Finish: Black chrome
  • Sleeve Finish: QPQ
  • Rotation: 4 needle bearings per sleeve
  • Knurl Marks: Dual (IPF & IWF)
  • Bar Length: 2200mm (86.61 in)
  • Loadable Sleeve Length: 415mm (16.33 in)
  • Manufactured: Import
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Price: $319
LUXIAOJUN M1 Training Bar - Shaft and Sleeve

Reasons to Buy

  • The LUXIAOJUN M1 Training Bar is on the lighter side of the medium knurl spectrum. Yet it has a relatively dense knurl point density (i.e. number of knurl points per square inch), which helps gives a more grippy feel. This pattern makes it perform best on moderate to high rep sets and long training sessions because it saves your hands.
  • The whip on the bar is good. However, it really only kicks in once you’re using moderate to heavy weights. This makes it better if you’re already an intermediate or more experienced on Oly lifts.
  • The sleeve rotation on the M1 is fast, smooth and reliable (better overall than that of the LUXIAOJUN E1 in terms of reliability, albeit slightly slower). It uses 4 needle bearings per sleeve to achieve this. The quality of the spin is better than you’d expect for a bar at this low price, especially considering that most multipurpose bars use bushings. However, if your training is skewed more towards Oly lifting and you’re seeking a solid multipurpose bearing bar at an entry level price, this one fits the bill.
  • The shaft finish is black chrome. I believe this is a decorative chrome, but it still gives decent oxidation and scratch resistance. It’s better than black zinc in terms of feel and longevity.
  • It has dual knurl marks to make hand placement easier for both the powerlifts and the Olympic lifts.
  • It has a unique anti-rolling cut-out in the sleeve to stop the unloaded bar from rolling on the floor. The practical utility of this is limited, but it’s a neat feature that at least looks cool.
LUXIAOJUN M1 Training Bar - Sleeve and End Cap

Reasons Not to Buy

  • It has a 2 year warranty. Most barbells, even at lower price points, have longer warranty terms.
  • This bar is really more tailored toward Olympic lifting, considering the use of bearings and 28mm shaft. If your training is heavily skewed to Oly training, this is fine. However, you may be better off with a bushing bar if you do a fair amount of powerlifting or general strength training. The reason being, the spin from the bearings may throw off your technique on squats, bench and presses.
  • The sleeve finish is QPQ (quench polish quench). While it does provide some oxidation resistance, it does easily show wear from sliding plates on and off. So it won’t be long before your bar starts to look used.
  • There’s no center knurl. If that’s a must-have, you’ll need to look elsewhere.

Buy Now – LUXIAOJUN M1 Training Bar »

Best CrossFit Barbells Over $350 (High-End Multipurpose Bars)

Fringe Sport Stainless Steel Wonder Bar Review

Key Specs

  • Weight: 20kg (44 lbs)
  • Diameter: 28mm
  • Tensile Strength: 200k PSI
  • Knurl: Medium
  • Center Knurl: No
  • Shaft Finish: Stainless steel
  • Sleeve Finish: Stainless steel
  • Rotation: Bearings
  • Knurl Marks: Dual (IPF & IWF)
  • Bar Length: 86 in
  • Loadable Sleeve Length: 16 in
  • Manufactured: Import
  • Warranty: Lifetime
  • Price: $360

Reasons to Buy

  • The Fringe Sport Stainless Steel Wonder Bar features medium depth knurling, similar to most multipurpose barbells. It’s perfect for WOD-style high rep sets, but can also works with Oly singles especially if adding a bit of chalk. If you’re doing heavy max effort deadlifts, chalk and/or straps are advised.
  • The whip of the stainless steel Wonder Bar is slightly above average as far as multipurpose bars go. This is certainly helped by having a 28mm shaft instead of the usual 28.5mm. However, the properties of this stainless steel and the heat treatment process used during manufacturing likely also helps. My reasoning for this is that the standard (black zinc) version of the Wonder Bar is also 28mm, but is less whippy.
  • The sleeve rotation is very fast because this bar uses needle bearings (2 per sleeve) instead of bushings.
  • The shaft is stainless steel, which is the standout feature of this bar. Obviously, this gives the bar excellent oxidation resistance and greatly reduces how often you need to do barbell maintenance. The other big benefit is that the unfinished steel gives you a tackier feel, which equates to better grip. Plus, the lack of a finish means the gaps in the knurl aren’t filled in at all.
  • The sleeve finish is chrome. This looks sleek, and more importantly, it protects against corrosion, scratching and chipping. It’s the next best thing to having stainless steel sleeves.
  • It features dual marks for both IPF and IWF hand placement.

Reasons Not to Buy

  • Some owners report that the quality of the spin is decent overall, but that it’s not always consistent and can over-rotate. This is something that may occasionally impact near-max Olympic lifts that require a high degree of precision.
  • Because the sleeves spin so fast, this bar isn’t great for powerlifting movements if you’re already lifting heavy weight. As such, it’s not a great choice if you do a lot of powerlifting/strength training work. If you do mostly Olympic lifting, then it’s a solid choice.
  • This bar lacks a center knurl. If you want a Fringe bar with that feature, check out the Fringe Sport Hybrid Bar.

Buy Now – Fringe Sport Stainless Steel Wonder Bar »

Rogue Stainless Steel Ohio Bar Review

Rogue Stainless Steel Ohio Bar

Key Specs

  • Weight: 20kg (44 lbs)
  • Diameter: 28.5mm
  • Tensile Strength: 200k PSI
  • Knurl: Medium
  • Center Knurl: No
  • Shaft Finish: Stainless steel
  • Sleeve Finish: Chrome
  • Rotation: Composite bushings
  • Knurl Marks: Dual (IPF & IWF)
  • Bar Length: 86.75 in
  • Loadable Sleeve Length: 16.40 in
  • Manufactured: USA
  • Warranty: Lifetime
  • Price: $355
Rogue Stainless Steel Ohio Bar - Shaft and Sleeve

Reasons to Buy

  • The Rogue Stainless Steel Ohio Bar uses the standard medium knurl, similar to most multipurpose bars on the market. It’s that in-between knurl depth that gives you decent grip without killing your hands. It’s perfect for Crossfit/high-rep work. Heavier work is still possible, but you’ll inevitably end up supplementing with chalk and/or straps when the weight gets heavy enough.
  • This bar has average whip. It’s what you’d expect and want out of a 28.5mm multipurpose bar. It will have a small amount of flex on Oly lifts, especially once you get to and beyond moderate weights. Yet, it’ll still be relatively stiff on the powerlifts, which is what you want.
  • The rotation is smooth and reliable in the SS Ohio Bar. It’s not as fast as the regular Ohio bar(s) because it uses composite bushings instead of cast bronze bushings. However, it’s still a consistent spin. It even improves this consistency under heavier loads. Whereas, spin can degrade for bronze bushings once the weight is heavy enough.
  • The shaft is stainless steel, which is the major draw for this barbell. It has excellent oxidation resistance and thus requires minimal maintenance to remain rust-free. It feels great to hold onto, since the unfinished steel surface has a natural grippy feel to it. The lack of a finish means the knurl isn’t filled in at all.
  • The sleeves are chrome. This looks great while keeping rust and scratches away. The only thing better would be stainless steel sleeves.
  • It has dual knurl marks that make it easy to position your hands for Olympic lifts or powerlifting exercises.
  • This bar is quieter when dropped compared to the other Ohio bars thanks to the use of composite bushings.
  • It’s made in the USA by Rogue so you can expect an excellently constructed piece of equipment.
Rogue Stainless Steel Ohio Bar - End Cap

Reasons Not to Buy

  • If you like this bar, but it’s a bit too much for you, there’s plenty of other versions of the Ohio Bar — all of which cost less. These versions include black zinc, e-coat, black oxide, cerakote and custom finish configurations. Note that only the cerakote version also has the composite bushings; the others use cast bronze bushings.
  • There’s no center knrul on this barbell, which is the case for most CrossFit barbells. If you want the center knurl feature, your options in the high-end range are the Fringe Sport Hybrid Barbell or the Rogue Chan Bar.

Buy Now – Rogue Stainless Steel Ohio Bar »

Fringe Sport Hybrid Barbell Review

Fringe Sport Hybrid Barbell

Key Specs

  • Weight: 20kg (44 lbs)
  • Diameter: 28.5mm
  • Tensile Strength: 216.2k PSI
  • Knurl: Medium to moderately aggressive
  • Center Knurl: Yes (passive)
  • Shaft Finish: Matte chrome
  • Sleeve Finish: Matte chrome
  • Rotation: 2 needle bearings per sleeve)
  • Knurl Marks: Dual (IPF & IWF)
  • Bar Length: 86.75 in
  • Loadable Sleeve Length: 16.3 in
  • Manufactured: Import
  • Warranty: Lifetime
  • Price: $420
Fringe Sport Hybrid Barbell - Shaft and Sleeve

Reasons to Buy

  • The outer knurl on the Fringe Sport Hybrid Barbell can be described as slightly more aggressive than medium knurl. It still doesn’t feel sharp, but it has a bit more depth and grip to it than the average CrossFit barbell. It’s suitable for both high rep and heavy, low rep work.
  • The outer knurl starts further out from the center than the typical barbell. This is prevents you from scraping you shins on deadlifts or cleans, which can be an issue for lifters with average to wider stances.
  • This is one of the few multipurpose bars with a center knurling. This really makes it a true “hybrid” bar, since it’s so much easier to squat with the center knurl especially if you’re putting up respectable numbers. The center knurling is passive, though, so it won’t irritate you collar bone when doing cleans.
  • The whip is moderate for a 28.5mm CrossFit bar. It’ll give you just a bit of flex to make cleans and other Oly lifts easier. Yet, it’s not so reflexive that moderate to heavy loads on the powerlifts become difficult to stabilize.
  • The rotation system uses 4 needle bearings per sleeve. This gives the bar a very smooth, reliable and quick spin. That said, it’s not necessarily as fast as you’d expect for a bearing bar. This is actually a good thing because it makes it possible to do the slower powerlifts without having to worry about the sleeves rotating too quickly and throwing off your groove. Yet, it still rotates plenty quick for Oly lifts.
  • The shaft and sleeves are coated in matte chrome. This gives the bar great corrosion resistance; it’s even better than polished chrome in this respect. The matte chrome offers a more natural “tacky” feel compared to polished chrome, and many other finishes for that matter. It also protects well against abrasions.
  • It has dual knurl marks for powerlifting and weightlifting grip positions.
  • It’s got a strong shaft for a multipurpose bar. The tensile strength is 216.2k PSI and the yield strength (the point at which permanent deformation occurs) is 206.9k PSI. The yield strength is well above the average tensile strength for multipurpose bars. Suffice it to say, you won’t run into any issues with the bar bending unless you totally abuse it. Side note: It’s nice that Fringe Sport even lists yield strength. Most manufacturers don’t.
Fringe Sport Hybrid Barbell - Shaft with Dual Knurl Marks

Reasons Not to Buy

  • If your normal deadlift grip width as at the start of the outer knurl on a normal barbell, then this bar isn’t ideal. You’ll have to take a wider grip than you normally would because the knurl starts further out from the center.
  • If you want a similar bar (further spaced outer knurl; passive center knurl), but with bushings instead of bearings, check out the Rogue Chan Bar.

Buy Now – Fringe Sport Hybrid Barbell »

Rogue Chan Bar Review

Rogue Chan Bar

Key Specs

  • Weight: 20kg (44 lbs)
  • Diameter: 28.5mm
  • Tensile Strength: 200k PSI
  • Knurl: Medium
  • Center Knurl: Yes (passive)
  • Shaft Finish: Cerakote (over stainless steel)
  • Sleeve Finish: Cerakote or chrome
  • Rotation: Composite bushings
  • Knurl Marks: Dual (IPF & IWF)
  • Bar Length: 86.77 in
  • Loadable Sleeve Length: 16.5 in
  • Manufactured: USA
  • Warranty: Lifetime
  • Price: $395
Rogue Chan Bar - Shaft and Sleeve

Reasons to Buy

  • The Rogue Chan Bar has the typical medium knurl that’s expected on most CrossFit barbells. It’s designed to allow higher rep work without ripping your hands up. Yet, you can still lift heavy, though chalk is advised, especially on deadlifts.
  • The outer knurl starts further away from the center of the shaft than on a typical bar. This prevents you from scraping your shins when using a wider stance on cleans and deadlifts.
  • The center knurl on this bar is very cool. First off, it has a center knurl, which is rare among CrossFit bars. The center knurl is passive, though, so as to not scrape or irritate your chest/neck in the front rack position. Yet, it gives you enough grip to help keep the bar in place in the front rack position as well as on squats and behind-the-neck work. The center knurl knurl portion is also exposed; there is no cerakote finish. The exposed steel, however, is stainless, so no worries about rust. But you do get the additional “tacky” feel of raw steel on the center knurl to give an extra bit of traction when you need it. Plus, exposed steel juxtaposed with the black cerakote finish looks awesome.
  • This bar has average whip for a 28.5mm shaft multipurpose bar. It’s enough whip to do the Oly lifts without issue, yet gives some decent stiffness for the powerlifts.
  • The rotation system uses composite bushings. These allow for a smooth and reliable spin, but not necessarily super fast one. The quality of the rotation maintains better under extreme loads compared to bronze bushings.
  • This bar is built for extreme rust-resistance. It has a black cerakote finish over stainless steel. That’s two levels of strong oxidation resistance. The cerakote also does a good job of resisting abrasions. On the smooth portions of the shaft, there are the cerakote logos for Rogue and Chan, which add to the aesthetic.
  • This bar is available with either black cerakote sleeves or chrome sleeves. I’d personally go with chrome sleeve. This is because the cerakote, despite being abrasion resistant, is bound to eventually develop some scratches and chips from constantly adding and removing plates. Chrome tends to be better for this. If the chrome does ever chip/scratch, it’ll be less noticeable because the underlying steel is very similar in color.
  • It features dual IPF and IWF knurl markings to allow hand positioning for both the powerlifts and the Olympic lifts.
  • The 16.5 inch loadable sleeve length of this bar is longer than most multipurpose/CrossFit barbells on the market. Having even a little bit of extra length is great if you have thicker bumper plates and are trying to load as many on the bar as possible.
  • This barbell is made in the USA by the expert manufacturers at Rogue Fitness.
Rogue Chan Bar - Rogue Logo on Cerakote Shaft

Reasons Not to Buy

  • If you’re used to deadlifting with your hands positioned where the outer knurling starts on most bars, this bar may not be ideal. This is because the outer knurling starts further away from the center on this bar. Specifically, the other knurl is spaced 21 inches apart on this bar, where most bars have the outer knurl spaced just under 17.5 inches apart.
  • If you want a bar with the same unique features as the Chan bar (i.e. passive center knurl, more spaced-out outer knurl), but with bearings instead of bushings, go with Fringe Sport Hybrid Barbell.

Buy Now – Rogue Chan Bar »

Eleiko XF Bar Review

Eleiko XF Bar

Key Specs

  • Weight: 20kg (44 lbs)
  • Diameter: 28mm
  • Tensile Strength: 215k PSI
  • Knurl: Moderately aggressive
  • Center Knurl: No
  • Shaft Finish: Chrome
  • Sleeve Finish: Chrome
  • Rotation: Bearings and bushings
  • Knurl Marks: Dual (IPF & IWF)
  • Bar Length: 2200mm (86.61 in)
  • Loadable Sleeve Length: 415mm (16.33 in)
  • Manufactured: Sweden
  • Warranty: 12 years
  • Price: $630
Eleiko XF Bar - Sleeve and End Cap

Reasons to Buy

  • The most unique thing about the Eleiko XF Bar is its knurl. It’s one of the rare CrossFit barbells on the market with a moderately aggressive knurl rather than a medium or mild knurl. This could be the best CrossFit barbell for you if you want a bar with some actual bite to it. It’ll give you more control over the bar during those heavier clean sets. Yet, you can still do higher rep sets. That said, if you’re doing lots of high rep sets during your workouts, there will be an adjustment period for your palms if you’re used to softer bars.
  • The whip on this bar is good for a CrossFit barbell, but it’s less than the whip on any of Eleiko’s Olympic weightlifting barbells. If you were to compare them all, the difference what become apparent after around 100kg. Again, that’s compared to other Eleiko barbells. Compared to other multipurpose barbells from other brands, it has above average whip. This is thanks to it having a true 28mm shaft and using excellent quality steel.
  • The rotation of this bar is excellent. It’s very smooth and reliable. It’s quick, but not as fast as the Eleiko weightlifting bars. This is because it doesn’t use just needle bearings. Rather it uses needle bearings and bushings, so you can perform the slower powerlifts without too much unwanted rotation happening.
  • The shaft and sleeve are both coated in the same high quality chrome as all other Eleiko bars. It looks beautiful while providing strong protection against rust, scratching and chipping.
  • It has dual IPF/IWF knurl marks so you can position your hands as needed for either powerlifting exercises or Olympic lifts.
  • This bar has a dustproof seal to keep chalk and debris out of the sleeve. This means you’ll have great rotation for longer, with less sleeve maintenance required. This is nice in a home gym, but it really pays dividends if you have it in commercial setting.

Reasons Not to Buy

  • If you prefer a milder knurl for your training, you should avoid this barbell. Your hands will be feeling it if you do WODs or just a lot of high rep training on pulls/Oly lifts.
  • The price is the main factor that will be a deal-breaker for most people. You can get premium CrossFit barbells for a full $300 less. But if budget isn’t a problem, by all means go for it. You won’t be disappointed by the quality and performance.
  • Despite the high price, it only has a 12 year warranty. Considering the price, a lifetime warranty would be nice. That said, this is the same for all Eleiko bars except the IWF-certified ones. Also, considering the build quality and quality control standards of Eleiko, you can expect this bar to last MUCH longer than 12 years, especially if you’ll only be using it in a home gym setting.

Buy Now – Eleiko XF Bar »

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