Review: Again Faster Team Barbell (Bright Zinc) (Discontinued Model)

Update: This version is now discontinued, please refer to the review on the new iteration. (click for link)

 

If you’ve been following my reviews or if you read my review on the Fringe Sport Bomba bar, you’d know that I’ve only got positive things to say about Crossfit equipment companies. It’s probably just my luck that I end up with the problematic stuff, but every single company has gone out of their way to make sure that I’m happy at the end of the day. Again Faster is no exception. I had actually ordered the Again Faster Team Barbell before I got the Bomba bar. The coupon code for it from July 4th was still active in my shopping cart and since I was looking for a bar to use at home, so I said what the hell. I had been in contact with Beth from Again Faster for a few months before when I was looking for my first bar, and her customer service alone brought me back to purchase the Team barbell. The day that my bar arrived at my house, she had sent me an e-mail saying that certain bars with coating blemishes were sent out and upon inspection of my bar, I found out I received one. A few pictures and an e-mail to Beth and I had a new barbell shipped to my house. I didn’t even have to send back the perfectly working one that I already had! Two barbells for the price of one? Uh, YES! Unfortunately, with what must be that dumb luck stated earlier, the second one had a few of the same coating blemishes, but hell, I got one for free! I literally told her to not send me another one. I’m still a 100% satisfied customer.

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Again Faster Team Barbell

Enough already, on to the bar specifications…

  • 20kg Bright Zinc Plated
  • IWF Markings
  • 28.5mm Shaft Diameter
  • 185k PSI Tensile Strength
  • Bronze Oil-lite Bushing
  • Snap Ring Collar Design
  • Made in the USA
  • Lifetime Guarantee
  • $209

This bar has a hell of a lot going for it on paper, for the money. As well all know, that doesn’t mean much if the bar sucks when it’s in your hands. Thankfully, this bar, does not suck. This bar would be a good deal at around $300. To think that the price of this bar was less when it came out blows my mind. Quite honestly, this is probably my favorite bar that I’ve used, Ohio bar included. The collars on this bar spin freaking awesome! Every time I clean, I can hear my wrists sigh with relief, if wrists could sigh that is. I haven’t used the most expensive needle bearing bars, but the AF barbell spins just as fast as the Pendlay Nexgen HD, IMO. Maybe not as smooth, but we’re not far off their either. I don’t ever have a problem with slow lifts either, but I couldn’t imagine the collars starting to spin on their own there.

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I love goldddddddddd.

There are two many black bars on the market. Not that I have problem with black zinc, it’s just kind of played out now. Call me a hipster, but I like the bright zinc look. The coating here feels pretty good, though I could see the middle part between the knurling becoming slippery when you get sweat on it. I’ve heard a lot of people complain about the knurling being too aggressive on the AF bar, but honestly I think it feels just like the Pendlay knurling. Maybe a little more sharp if anything, but it’s definitely not harsh (The Ohio bar was the hardest on my hands). If you were to get the black zinc finish, I’m pretty sure that knurl would be a little lighter since that bar is probably coated with bright zinc, then black zinc.

 photo DSC_1486_zps3d8d3710.jpg
Clean lines.

With steel rated at 185,000 PSI tensile strength, the bar should be able to take a beating and not bend a millimeter. Which is a good thing, because I love dropping bars. The bar definitely has an indestructible feel to it as well, unlike some of the other budget bars on the market that have a semi hollow-ish feel to them. The collars are secured on using snap-rings, which seems to be pretty standard nowadays, but is nice to see. The first bar I got has gold colored bushings, which looks pretty hot, the second has silver. Dat spin doe. (They both spin equally well.)

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Bar 1 v.s. Bar 2…a little messier the 2nd time around.

The bad? More just like little quips. As mentioned before, both the bars that I got have coating blemishes. Not a big deal to me since they’re perfectly usable. But maybe someone should have clearly marked the bars as “defective” bars so they don’t make their way out of the warehouse. Both times, the bars ended up at my house with one end cap from the tubing packaging gone and somewhere along the way, someone dragged the bar along the ground causing an end to get pretty scratched up. The first bar with gold bushings is actually longer and the knurling start stop points are more precise than on the 2nd bar that has silver bushings. Not a big deal, but it’s interesting to note that the manufacturing changed a little bit. Also, it seems like the black zinc bar now comes with dual IPF/IWF markings, and the all black bar is only 130k PSI tensile strength. If this is any indicator about how the manufacturing is going to change, I’d probably pick one up soon if you were planning on getting a Team Barbell. Oh, it’s noisy when dropped as well.

I LOVE the Again Faster Team Barbell. For the price, the specifications, and the customer service…it’s unbeatable.

 photo IMG_4156_zps009f3eeb.jpg
Bar 2 on top, is shorter by a little.
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Gold or Silver, they both spin amazingly well.
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