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TOP 11 Best Olympic Barbells for Your Home Gym Reviewed 2020

If you are about to set up your own home gym, you’re probably already thinking about the best Olympic barbell to get.

No doubt about it…

Your Olympic bar is the crown jewel of your home gym, and the selection out there is pretty vast, as are the prices.

I did my homework and researched just about every brand I could, from Rogue, Fringe Sport, Titan, CAP, and more and cherry-picked the top Olympic barbells for this list.

Come with me as I show you the 11 best Olympic Barbells of 2020.

TOP 11 Best Olympic Barbell Sets & Bars 2020

Rogue Ohio Bar

Rogue Ohio Bar

buy from Rogue button

Review: The Rogue Ohio bar is a top-rated barbell because it is a high-quality bar at a very fair price. It has a good whip and can be used for all Olympic lifts, including the deadlift, and it has no center knurling to tear up your shins.

The sleeves spin smoothly and need minimal maintenance and is a great multi-purpose bar that will withstand abuse and heavy use and last for years to come.

The Rogue Ohio bar is among the best Olympic barbells for your home gym.

Pros

  • Smooth spinning – long-lasting spin.
  • No center knurling.
  • Mid-level whip – not too much nor too little – great for CrossFit.

Cons

  • Bar needs periodic maintenance to prevent oxidation of the grips.

Takeaway

Superior quality, highest-rated barbell at a fair price. Will not let you down!

Fringe Sport Wonder Bar

Fringe Sport Wonder Bar Olympic Barbell

Fringe Sport large button

Review: The Fringe Sport Olympic barbell is designed for CrossFit and Functional Fitness lifting, specifically Olympic lifts. It is one of the best Olympic barbells of 2020 and here is why:

The all-black Zinc finish, either fast or moderate spin (you choose bushing or bearing), stiff whip and 28 mm bar diameter make this bar one of the most comfortable to use, and you will notice the difference, especially if you were previously using an inferior bar.

Pros

  • No center knurling.
  • 28mm diameter, for strong grip.
  • 1600 lb capacity.
  • Choose from bushing or bearing.

Cons

  • Stiff whip makes deadlifts slightly more challenging but makes the bar more versatile, overall.

Takeaway

Wonderful full size Olympic bar for you CrossFit or Functional Fitness garage gym.

This Fringe Sport Wonder bar is perfect for CrossFit, where it is common to drop the weight. If you are a CrossFit athlete or plan to drop the weights, a set of bumper plates is needed. Check out the top bumper plates here.

Rogue Echo Bar 2.0

Rogue Echo Bar 2.0

rogue large button

Review: The Echo Bar 2.0 is one of the best Rogue barbells for your home gym – it’s economical, durable, and performs well on many different levels.

The Echo Bar has 190,000 PSI tensile strength steel shaft so it holds serious weight without bending or warping.

It was recently upgraded with snap ring sleeve construction and I really like the 16.4” of loadable sleeve length as well as the bright zinc finish.

I’m a big fan of the Rogue Echo Bumper Plates as well – a great addition to a home CrossFit gym.

Pros

  • Affordable.
  • 190,000 PSI tensile strength (same as many other bars that cost 2X as much).
  • IWF standard Olympic knurl marks.
  • Updated Snap Ring construction.

Cons

  • Zinc finish is more prone to oxidation/corrosion.

Takeaway

Great bar for the money. Perfect for a home gym or as part of a larger package, the Echo 2.0 offers great performance for the price.

Fringe Sport Hybrid Barbell

Fringe Sport Hybrid Barbell

Fringe Sport large button

Review: The Hybrid bar is the best Olympic bar for experienced lifters.

The difference between this hybrid bar and the Fringe Sport wonder bar is the hybrid bar has higher tensile strength and slightly wider diameter than the wonder bar, with stiffer whip and more intense knurling too.

It has center knurl, but the knurl is less deep towards the center to spare your shins during deadlifts.

Pros

  • Needle bearings provide great spin.
  • Heavy knurling with lighter center knurl.
  • 5 mm diameter bar.
  • Stiff whip.

Cons

  • Not for new lifters.

Takeaway

Carefully crafted bar for experienced lifters.

The Bella Bar 2.0

The Bella Bar 2.0

rogue large button

Review: The Bella Bar 2.0 is Rogues most popular woman’s bar. It eighs 15kg, is 25mm diameter and 6.9 feet length.

This bar has an impressive 200,000 psi tensile strength that can hold a lot of weight, but keep in mind, the sleeves are a bit shorter than the man’s Olympic bar at 13 inches.

This is an excellent bar for women, it has good spin, thanks to the bushings, and the slightly shorter length and lighter weight and smaller diameter shaft give women more confidence while lifting.

Pros

  • Women’s Olympic bar: 15kg, 25mm shaft, 6.9 foot length.
  • Good knurling not too aggressive but has some bite.
  • No center knurling.

Cons

  • Shorter sleeves mean less weight plates can be loaded.

Takeaway

The best women’s Olympic bar of 2020.

Rogue Euro Olympic WL Bar

Rogue Euro 28MM Olympic WL Bar

rogue large button

Review: This Rogue Fitness Euro Olympic bar is a must-have for the competition Olympic weightlifter. Weighing 20KG and coated with polished chrome, this bar has an impressive 16.25” of loadable sleeve length.

Other features include a 28MM diameter, Olympic Knurl pattern and a PSI Tensile Strength of 215K.

The EU steel is not only the strongest Rogue product available, but it also has a fantastic whip for snatches and cleans.

Finally, this particular Olympic bar features friction welded sleeves – these provide a premium, forged quality bond.

This IWF Certified bar is subjected to Rogues Work Hardening process to achieve a bar with an F6-R durability rating and is weighed and measured for precise length and weight.

Pros

  • Friction welded sleeves.
  • 10 quality needle bearings
  • Superior quality European Steel.
  • Tensile strength of 215,000 PSI.

Cons

  • Expensive.

Takeaway

Top of the line, IWF certified, precise and competition ready Olympic bar.

Buddy Capps Texas Deadlift Bar

Review: This Buddy Capps bar is designed for powerlifters and deadlifts because the plates sit farther out and the bar uses brass bushings, commonly seen on power bars because spin is not a huge factor.

This bar has a huge weight capacity of 1500 lbs, great whip and aggressive knurling. If you want to progress in your deadlift, this bar is the real deal and will help you get it done.

Pros

  • Polished steel ends with Black Zinc Oxide bar.
  • 186k PSI Tensile Steel Strength.
  • Brass bushings.

Cons

  • Not designed for the abuse of weighted overhead drops – this is not a CrossFit bar, it’s a deadlift bar.

Takeaway

A classic power bar for over 30 years. This is THE Olympic barbell to use if you deadlift over 500 lbs.

Okie Power Bar

Review: The Okie power bar, designed by Rickey Crain, can be seen in competitions around the world. It is a true Olympic bar that has been tested for up to 1500 lbs.

The Okie bar features knurling with a little bite, for a good grip on the bar, and has a diameter of 28.5 mm and 15.5 inch sleeves means there is plenty of room to load up the plates. The Power bar can be used for all Olympic lifts, and squats, deadlifts and presses.

Pros

  • 5 mm diameter.
  • Good, grippy knurling.
  • Rated and tested for up to 1500 lbs.

Cons

  • A little pricy.

Takeaway

A high quality full size Olympic bar suitable for training and competition.

CAP 7-Foot Olympic Bars

Review: The Beast by CAP Barbell is a budget-priced barbell with good performance, in fact, it is the best budget Olympic barbell on this list.

It is a full length, full weight Olympic barbell with a respectable 28.5 mm diameter and black phosphate finish. It has moderate knurling with no center knurling, making it good for deadlifts and Olympic lifts.

It is made using cold rolled steel with a tensile strength of 110000 and is rated for up to 1000 lbs, but is not designed to be dropped like you might in CrossFit.

Pros

  • Moderate knurling.
  • Budget price.
  • Spinning sleeves via bushings.

Cons

  • Knurling is underwhelming.
  • Not designed to drop with weights.

Takeaway

Great price for a good, full size, full weight, high capacity. Excellent bang for your buck.

Body-Solid OB86B Olympic Bar

Review: This Body-Solid bar is the right choice for those looking for a full-size Olympic bar at a budget price. It is rated for up to 600 lbs, making it good for beginners and those who do not plan to lift over 600 lbs.

It is suitable for powerlifting, weight lifting and all Olympic lifts and is available in black oxide and chrome finishes.

Pros

  • Affordable.
  • 600 lb capacity.
  • Full size and weight Olympic bar.

Cons

  • Knurling is not too deep.
  • Not designed to be dropped.

Takeaway

A great choice for beginner lifting at a very affordable price.

CAP Barbell Classic Olympic Bar

Review: This CAP barbell is full length, but not full weight bar which is great for beginners or those who do not plan to lift over 700 lbs. The bar itself weighs 16 kg.

It is available in black and chrome finish and has a moderate diamond knurl with center knurling. This model has rotating sleeves with bushings so the weight rotates as you lift, making lifting easier on your body.

Pros

  • Black or chrome finish available.
  • Full length Olympic bar.
  • 30 mm diameter.

Cons

  • Pricy, considering its weight capacity.
  • Only weighs 16 kg, not full weight of 20 kg.

Takeaway

A decent bar for beginner to intermediate lifters.

Invest in the Best Olympic Barbell You Can Afford!

man doing workout with Rogue Fitness olympic barbell

Cheaper Barbells do Not Spin as Smooth as Higher Quality Barbells

Higher quality bearings or bushings, and the attention to detail and craftsmanship in top-quality Olympic barbells allow the sleeve to spin smoothly during both fast and slow lifts.

If you have ever encountered an old cheapie style Olympic barbell, you no doubt noticed the sleeves were locked in place and no longer rotate. Such is the fate of most cheap barbells.

Top-quality barbells, however, will retain their spin year after year.

Cheaper Barbells have Larger Diameter Grips – Meaning Harder to Grip

Cheaper barbells are made from inferior quality materials and in order to bring the weight of the bar up to the standard 20kg some manufacturers need to make the diameter of the bars thicker.

Wider and thicker diameters make the bar more challenging to grip. Not to mention barbells made with inferior metal are not as strong, which leads me to my next point…

Cheap Barbells Can and Do Bend, and Occasionally Break in Half

Cheaper barbells are made from inferior quality metals that bend easier and are not as resilient as high-quality steel. I have heard of many people who have had a cheap barbell that developed a bend over time, or after being dropped while weighted.

Usually, a cheap barbell will bend if overloaded, instead of break. But…

There have been cases of cheap barbells straight-up breaking in half, which can be very dangerous. Whew! I am glad those two guys are OK, that was a close call with the barbell breaking right by their head.

Bottom line: allocate as much of your budget to the barbell as you can, this is where your home gym investment pays off the most.

Speaking of cheap barbells, did you realize, cheap collars are not doing you any favors either?

Barbell collars keep the weight securely in place and the best barbell collars are easy to get on and off, so it’s easier to change the weight. Anyone who has wrestled with janky spring collars knows what I am talking about.

Pick up a set of the best Olympic barbell collars here.

person standing in front of green Olympic barbel at the gym

Why it is Important to Choose the Right Olympic Barbell

Here is the problem with choosing a cheap, inferior quality bar:

  • The bar may not hold up under the weight you want to lift without bending.
  • The bar may be too heavily knurled that you tear up your hands or not knurled enough for you to get a decent grip.
  • The bar may not match your style of lifting. Powerlifters, Olympic lifters, CrossFitters, Heavy lifters, and casual strength trainers have different needs and specific bars that suit their sport best.

Types of Lifters and the Kind of Bar They Need

Olympic Style Weight lifting

Oly lifters need a bar with good spin to perform the snatch and the clean and jerk and quickly get under the bar.

You may see needle bearings on an upper level Oly bar because bearings spin better than bushings, usually. There are, however, plenty of good Oly bars that use brass bushings, but the top-level bars like the Rogue Euro Competition Barbell, have quality needle bearings.

Oly lifters usually lift really heavy weight and slam or drop the bar. A cheap barbell will eventually warp.

The best Olympic weightlifting bars have a good whip to peel the weights from the ground.

The weight plates used for Olympic lifts are called bumper plates. Bumper plates have a uniform diameter and are designed to be dropped. Check out the best bumper plates here.

Powerlifter Olympic Bar

Powerlifters focus on the squat, bench press and deadlift. Powerlifters focus on RAW strength, as opposed to Olympic lifts which focus on explosive power.

The bar of a powerlifter does not need a huge amount of spin because these moves are performed slowly, compared to the snatch and clean of Oly lifters.

A powerlifting bar should be STIFF with a minimal whip, and usually has bushings.

The CrossFit Olympic Bar

Crossfitters also perform the snatch and clean and jerk, along with the squat and deadlift.

They need a multipurpose or versatile bar, which usually has dual hand placement markings. CrossFitters often do Olympic style lifts using lower weights and far more repetition.

Crossfitters use rubber bumper plates when lifting, like Oly lifters. The best Olympic lifting bar for Crossfitters is a bar with a good whip.

Both the Rogue Ohio Bar and the Fringe Sport Wonder Bar are great CrossFit bars.

Speaking of CrossFit, if you are in the process of building your own CrossFit gym at home, take a look at this list of essential CrossFit gym equipment I put together.

5 Features to Look at Before Choosing the Best Olympic Lifting Bar

woman doing weight lifting exercise with Olympic barbell

The Price – You get What You Pay For

When it comes to the best Olympic weightlifting bar, you get what you pay for.

Ideally, the bar diameter should be 28mm for a good grip on the bar. Cheaper bars are often thicker because the use lower grade steel which means the bars are made thicker to compensate, making grip challenging.

A good Olympic weightlifting Barbell often costs upwards of 400 dollars.

Tensile Steel Strength – Weight and Stress Resistance

Tensile strength is the strength it takes to pull the steel apart.

Tensile strength is measured in pounds of pressure per square inch, or PSI. The higher the PSI, the stiffer the metal is.

Corrosion Resistant Coatings

Coating of the barbell matters. The coating is what keeps the bar free of rust and corrosion, and in some cases, the coating adds grip.

Many Olympic barbells will have one coating for the bar portion and a different coating for the sleeves because hands affect the barbell in a different way than weights, so different applications are necessary.

The sleeves need to be protected from impact and metal on metal wear. The grip or bar portion needs to resist sweat, salt, perspiration dirt, etc.

In order from least effective to most effective, the most common coatings are:

Worst: Bare steel

Not much protection, unless the steel is high-quality stainless steel.

OK: Black Oxide

This type of bar is immersed in chemicals that darken the bar, and finished with oil, while the bar is hot.

This coating leaves the bar feeling bare, which means you can get a good grip, but it requires maintenance.

Better: Chrome

Chrome often flakes or chips, and then rusts. Chrome is also easily chipped by the impact of the weights.

Chrome also has a slippery feel and when applied over the knurling, tends to dull it, decreasing grip.

Chrome does provide excellent corrosion protection, provided it stays on the bar. It requires virtually no maintenance.

Chrome is common on power bars, because powerlifters do not drop the bar. This is one reason power bars are less expensive than other bars.

Better: Black Zinc or Bright Zinc

The bar is dipped in zinc, imparting a silver color that is not shiny like Chrome.

Zinc feels more ‘bare’ than chrome, but it still causes the bar to lose a little grip.

Zinc imparts excellent corrosion and oxidation properties.

Even Better: Manganese Phosphate

Manganese Phosphate resists rust better than black oxide, and has a nice matte finish that helps improve grip.

It also requires no maintenance, and does not chip like Chrome might.

Best: Cerakote

Cerakote is a relatively new coating often seen on firearms. It is a polymer ceramic coating that is said to last up to 70 times longer than any other coating.

A few of the bars featured in the review are Cerakoted. Cerakote does not wear away, like a zinc coating will, and it has a natural matte finish that improves grip.

Best: High-Quality Stainless Steel

While not technically a coating, high-quality stainless steel bars resist rust and corrosion on their own, and do not need a coating.

The best Olympic barbells are made with superior quality stainless steel like European or Japanese steel.

man is doing squat exercise with barbell at the gym

The Sleeves: Bushings or Bearings

Olympic weightlifting bars that get dropped are better off with a needle bearing system than a bushing.

Bearings not only turn more freely, but bushings can get crushed and malformed from repeated drops to the ground.

Power bars, which are not meant to be dropped, use bushings exclusively.

Bushings do not turn as freely as bearings, but powerlifters do not need much spin as they lift much slower than Olympic lifters.

Bar Diameter Matters, Smaller Diameter = Better Grip

High-quality Olympic bars are commonly 28mm. This width offers a good grip and decent whip.

Power bars are more often made with larger diameters like 30 mm. This makes the bar stiffer, and less flexible, hence, less whip.

Watch out for cheap bars, which are also made thicker to compensate for poor quality steel.

Bottom Line

If you are an Olympic weightlifter or intend to lift heavy weights, you can expect to pay more for a barbell than a powerlifter.

Regardless of what lifting sport you are involved in, investing the money in a decent bar is worth it.

Even one failed deadlift on a power bar can warp or permanently bend the bar, which will need to be replaced.

One of the most common regrets I see among lifters is not getting the best Olympic barbell they could.

While you are looking for the ideal Olympic barbell, take a look at this carefully curated list of the best equipment for your home or garage weight lifting gym.

Olympic Barbell FAQ

man wearing weightlifting shoes and lifting heavy barbell

What is the Best Olympic Barbell?

What you consider the best Olympic Barbell is a matter of opinion, and as such, I will give you mine. The Rogue Ohio Bar and the Fringe Sport Wonder Bar are the barbells I consider to be the best.

The Rogue Ohio bar has a nice diameter, great knurling, without center knurling so I don’t rip up my knees deadlifting, a PSI tensile strength so high I could never lift enough to cause to fail or bend, and high-quality bushings I know will still spin years from now.

I love the Fringe Sport Wonder Bar for all the same reasons. It too has a 28mm diameter for easy grip, no center knurl, a slightly higher tensile strength than the Rogue Ohio bar and needle bearings that spin well, but need oiling and maintenance.

They are both solid Olympic barbell choices.

What Size Olympic Bar Should I Buy?

Men’s Olympic Bar

A men’s Olympic barbell has a standard length and weight. A men’s Olympic barbell is 20kg, 7.2 feet long and has a diameter of 28 to 29mm.

Note: a men’s bar is sometimes said to weigh 45 lbs, although technically it’s closer to 44 lbs and is 20kg.

Woman’s Olympic Bar

A woman’s Olympic bar is 15 kg and has a diameter of 25mm, and is 6.9 feet, usually.

Note: A woman’s bar is sometimes called a 35 lb bar, although it is technically closer to 33 lbs and is 15 kg.

Training Bar for Practicing Form

Training Olympic bars are even lighter at 15 lbs. These lighter Olympic barbells are designed to train proper form.

True 35 lb Olympic Bar

There is also the rather rare 35 lb Olympic barbell, that actually weighs a full 35 lbs, unlike the woman’s bar which is sometimes called a 35 lb bar but weighs closer to 33 lbs. The true 35 lb bar is pretty uncommon.

So what size barbell should you get? It depends on your goals, gender and what you want.

I will say this, the most common size is the men’s Olympic barbell that is 20kg, 7.2 feet and 28 to 29 mm in the center, but many gyms also carry the women’s bars too.

What is the Difference Between Standard and Olympic Bars?

Standard bars have thinner 1 inch sleeves, while Olympic bars have two inch sleeves.

But the biggest difference?

Olympic bars are stronger and can hold more weight than standard bars, by Olympic bars themselves vary in weight capacity.

Be Aware: when buying weights, remember that weights with a 1 inch hole pair with the standard bar, and plates with a 2 inch hole pair with an Olympic bar.

Want to know more? I wrote a guide to the difference between standard and Olympic bars here.

Do all Olympic Bars Weigh the Same?

  • Men’s Olympic bars weigh 20 kg
  • Women’s Olympic bars weigh 15 kg
  • Olympic Training bars usually weigh 15 lbs

So no, not all Olympic bars weight the same.

The most common Olympic bar is the men’s Olympic bar, which weighs 20 kg, is 7.2 feet long and has a center diameter of 28 to 29 mm. This bar is sometimes called the 45 lb bar, even though it actually weighs closer to 44 lbs, and weighs a true 20kg.

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