Rogue Fitness Ohio Bar Review


The Rogue Fitness Ohio bar:  The Cadillac of crossfit bars.

The rundown:

  • 20kg Black Oxide
  • 28.5mm Shaft diameter
  • “Multi” Knurl w/ IPF & IWF markings
  • Snap ring construction
  • Bushing
  • 155k-165k Tensile strength
  • Made in the U.S.A.
  • Lifetime guarantee
  • $289

Let’s talk about how sick this bar looks.  The black oxide on black oxide “murdered” out look, paired with the red end caps just looks downright mean.  The black oxide treatment given to the bar gives it a black, but seemingly un-coated look to the steel. Throw in some gold bushings for a little bit of class, and you’ve got yourself the coolest looking barbell on the market.   Still, all that show wouldn’t mean too much if the bar didn’t perform well.

Everything about the Rogue Ohio bar, exudes quality.  From the moment you grasp the bar, you can feel how much thought/effort was put into designing and manufacturing such a great piece of equipment.  The steel, fit and finish on the bar have a rock-solid feel to it, not hollow and loose like other cheaper bars.  It even feels light years better than the normal Rogue bar; the tolerances just seem much tighter here between the two bars.  I was used to a really clangy metallic rattling noise when a barbell hits the ground after being dropped.  That is not the case here.  When the Ohio bar hits the  ground (w/bumpers), all you hear is the bumpers thudding against the ground.  No metallic rattling to speak of.

If you’ve been following my reviews, you’ll know that I’m a big fan of bars that turn over quick.  The faster the sleeves spin, the better for me, since my elbows lag.  There are downsides to this; using the bar for powerlifting movements, you don’t really want the sleeves to be spinning while you’re on the bench.  Of course, since the Ohio bar is still a bushing bar, it doesn’t have the fastest turn over.  I would say that the Ohio bar’s sleeves spin reliably, not the fastest, but definitely smooth and fast enough for your Olympic lifts, but not so much that it’s going to annoy you for the slower lifts.

If you watched Rogue’s video on the Ohio bar, you’ll know the knurling was a big selling point, as it should be.  You could have all the best specs in the world, but if the bar doesn’t feel great in the hand, no one’s going to want to use it.  Let me go ahead and confirm that this is probably the best knurl on the market, in my experience.  It’s a pretty fine knurl, you can feel a lot of little diamonds biting into your hands, giving you a surefire grip when you pick it up.  I’m not going to lie, at first, I wasn’t too sure I liked it.  It tore my soft-as-a-baby’s-butt hands up.  After a few months of use, or just getting used to it, I now love it and am constantly reminded why, whenever I pick the bar up.  YMMV with the zinc/chrome plated versions.

So, now what’s not to like about the Ohio bar?  Well, like I mentioned earlier, it’s definitely not the quickest bar on the market.  I guess there’s a bit of personal preference that goes with that one, but even my Bomba and Again Faster bar’s spin faster than this does.  The black oxide finish tends to scratch up pretty easily.  I made the mistake of putting the bar bar on a rack that didn’t have any lining for the J-cups and it took some of the finish off the bar.  The sleeves are pretty worn down from sliding plates on and off as well.  Not to mention, the bar is already showing some oxidation, even with pretty regular cleaning and oiling. I’m not so sure I can comment on the 155k-165k tensile strength, I doubt that I can bend the bar, but there are other options out there for around the same price that have much higher steel strength.

I hear a lot of people say that when you buy Rogue, you’re just paying for the name.  Well, that’s pretty much true.  You’re paying for a brand that stands behind it’s products and gives great customer service.  I had a pair of wrist wraps that went bad on me earlier and they replaced them for me. no questions asked.  Those were $20 wrist wraps, but I’m sure the same kind of standards would still apply to a $300 bar.  The fact that the bar is manufactured in the U.S. of A. is always a big selling point to me.  Knowing that my money is funding American workers makes me feel better about spending it.

In the $300 barbell range, there are a lot of great choices out there.  If you’re looking to buy a Rogue bar, spend the extra $20 bucks and just get the Ohio bar.  It’s just better, at least $20 better.

Please use my links to make your purchases!

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