Powerbar Top Picks For Your Gym

Powerbar gun rack

In this article we go over the best powerbars for the price for our top picks. There are a ton of olympic weightlifting bars out there, but we’ll go over the best powerbars for the money. So to start we won’t be including any crappy generic made in China bars or any high end specialty Pendlay/ Eleiko bars as this is out of the price range for most home/ garage/ commercial gyms. Here’s the criteria:

  • Made in North America, elsewhere is fine if quality and materials used are good e.g. Canada
  • Must have center knurl for back squats
  • Powerlifting marks (dual marks is okay if powerlifting marks are present too)
  • High tensile strength min. 190,000 PSI
  • Good (at least fairly) aggressive knurl
  • No whip – bar must stay straight for large amounts of weights
  • Budget between $200 and $350 USD

For our research we’ve gone for bars that have been around for a while, have good reviews online and seem to pop up on forums like bodybuilding.com a lot. We’re also looking at bars where you pay slightly higher, but only buy once for your commercial/ home gym. Here we go:

Texas Power Bar

Texas Power bar (TPB)

  • Length: 84″
  • Weight: 45 lb
  • Diameter 28.5mm
  • Capacity: 1500 lb
  • Tensile Strength: Unknown
  • Shaft Finish: Black zinc plated
  • Collar Finish: Bare Steel
  • Price: $255 USD + Shipping from Texas Strength Systems
  • Manufacturer: Buddy Capps

A solid go to for a long time, the TPB is very affordable and performs like a work horse. What’s great about the TPB is that you can pick one up used fairly easy in the US. Not so easy in Canada (even to purchase new). The TPB has very aggressive knurling – great for those deadlifts, but we feel it is a little bit too aggressive compared to the Rogue Ohio Power Bar and the York PB32004. Of course it all comes down to personal preference, so hopefully you can test before you buy.

Also something to point out is the bare steel collar finish which will need ongoing maintenance to combat oxidization. The TPB is also a very popular power bar used by law enforcement agencies and firefighters across the US.

B&R Bar 2.0

B&R Bar 2.0

  • Length: 84″
  • Weight: 20 kg
  • Diameter 29 mm
  • Capacity: Unknown
  • Tensile Strength: 205,000 PSI
  • Shaft Finish: Bare Steel
  • Collar Finish: Bare Steel
  • Price: $295 USD + Shipping
  • Manufacturer: Rogue Fitness

Features dual marks, can get the original for $225 on closeout (not sure how many will be left though) which has a 190,000 psi tensile strength. Due to the bare steel, you’re going to have to maintain this particular bar more often by brushing the bar down with WD-40 or 3-in-1 oil. This is a bit of a pain in the ass especially if you live in a climate where there is high humidity, helping the oxidization process (rust) for your bar.

Rogue Ohio Power Bar

Rogue Ohio Power Bar

  • Length: 86.82″
  • Weight: 45 lb
  • Diameter: 29 mm
  • Capacity: Unknown
  • Tensile Strength: 205,000 PSI
  • Shaft Finish: Black Zinc or Bare Steel
  • Collar Finish:  Bright Zinc to go with the Black Zinc shaft or bare steel to go with bare steel shaft
  • Price: $295 USD + Shipping
  • Manufacturer: Rogue Fitness

Available in a zinc or bare steel version the Rogue Ohio Power Bar (not to be confused with the precious gen Rogue Power Bar, which was made in China, has less of a tensile strength and kinda got a lot of crappy reviews) is a solid go to for a power bar. The best priced Rogue power bar you can really get in their line-up, and it’s worth it. The knurl is aggresive, but doesn’t have that cheese grater type feel.

There’s no whip on this bar and would be adequate for the beginner all the way up to the heavy lifter. There’s also a 20 kg version with friction-welded sleeves. The 45 lb model includes bronze bushings and a snap ring design.

Rogue Westside Power Bar

Rogue Westside Power Bar 2.0

  • Length: 86.52″
  • Weight: 45 lb
  • Diameter: 29 mm
  • Capacity: Unknown
  • Tensile Strength: 205,000 PSI
  • Shaft Finish: Black Zinc
  • Collar Finish: Black Zinc
  • Price: $325 USD + Shipping
  • Manufacturer: Rogue Fitness

10% more expensive than the Rogue OPB (Ohio Power Bar) The Westside Power bar has an extra 0.5mm diameter and an updated aggresive knurling approved by Louie Simmons. W haven’t had the chance to test this bar up close and personally, but from the reviews, the knurling is more aggresive than the Rogue OPB. The bar comes with new green composite bushings and a snap ring design. The green composite bushings are complemented with a green endcap which looks pretty slick on a black zinc bar (you’re going to have to get some green collars to go with).

Rogue Chan Bar

Rogue Chan Bar

  • Length: Unknown, Approx 84″
  • Weight: 20 kg
  • Diameter: 28.5 mm
  • Capacity: Unknown
  • Tensile Strength: 190,000 PSI
  • Shaft Finish: Black Zinc
  • Collar Finish: Black Zinc
  • Price: $295 USD + Shipping
  • Manufacturer: Rogue Fitness

This bar was designed with the help of Cross Fitter Matt Chan. The bar is more of a hybrid bar for olympic lifts as well as power lifts. There is a center knurl that is more of a passive knurl, wider non-knurled section for a slightly wider stance when deadlifting or doing cleans. and a more aggressive knurl outside of this, with dual marks for olympic and power lifts. The Chan bar actually has quite the cult following as it is such a great hybrid bar.

The bar has good whip during olympic lift movements, but stays fairly stiff when doing static power lifts like squats or bench press. You may want to look at some of the other options listed here if a pure power bar is what you are after, as with higher loads this bar will bend easier than some of the other Rogue bars with a 205,000 psi rating.

There have been reports of the black zinc wearing off on the sleeve as weights come on and off over a period of time. We saw some wear on the bar we got to demo, but there isn’t really much you can do to prevent this.

York PB32004

York Power bar PB32004

  • Length: 2200 mm (works out to be 86.6″)
  • Weight: 20 kg
  • Diameter: 29 mm
  • Capacity: Unknown
  • Tensile Strength: 190,000 PSI
  • Shaft Finish: Satin Chrome
  • Collar Finish: Satin Chrome
  • Price: $320 CAD, works out to be $227 USD + Shipping (From XTC Fitness in Canada, although many US retailers sell this bar too)
  • Manufacturer: York – Made in Canada

A classic designed York split sleeved designed barbell. This bad boy is the go to for many commercial non-crossfit gyms. The shaft is actually a plated version of the B&R bar’s shaft. This is a highly underrated bar. This is a great and cheaper option that Rogue’s offerings if you can pick up by yourself. The 190,000 PSI tensile strength is more than enough, and the York satin chrome finish does last a long time. We’ve seen a ton of these used day in day out in commercial gyms and they still perform well.

The knurling feels nice and fairly aggressive, but not as aggressive as some of the Rogue bars or the TPB (Texas Power Bar) we tested. The bar is made in Canada and is an excellent bar for the price. The lack of maintenance on something like this is also a big upside compared to the B&R bar, you give up the feel of bare steel for much less maintenance.

So there you have it, our top picks given the criteria. Our favorites would have to be the Rogue Ohio Power Bar and the York PB32004. Both of these come in at a great price and have the features we want alongside great feeling knurl. Of course you can’t really go wrong with any other power bar mentioned here.

Which power bar is your go-to?

Photo credit: Rogue Fitness and XTC Fitness

Author: Edwin

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