If you happened to read my review on the Diamond Pro Crumb style bumpers, you’d know that I think pretty highly of this brand so far. I’ve gone through a ton of bars, some I liked, some were so-so, and some were great. I base my reviews on barbells mainly on two factors: price versus performance. With the amount of choices of barbells on the market today, these are really all you can go by. Specifications are fun to look at but they’re just that, specifications; no amount of numbers or words will be able to trump how a barbell feels in the hand. A lot of barbells touch in at around the $200 price point, give and take shipping/tax. I consider this price to be on the low to midrange barbell spectrum; while if you went up about $75 you’d be in the mid/high category and $50 less would put you in the low end category. The Diamond Pro 20kg Barbell retails for $189, not including tax or shipping from Mike’s Fitness Equipment, which just hits the lower end of the midrange barbell price spectrum; but does it perform like a low/midrange bar?
The Diamond Pro comes in all kinds of flavors when it comes to colors: black zinc/bright zinc, all black zinc, and all bright zinc. The star of the show here is the knurling, it’s not too aggressive and it’s not really light either, perfect for anything you can throw at it making it an all around great WOD bar. It’s very similar to Rogue’s knurl, though Rogue is a little more refined. Under load the bar whips great, though I’m not the best Oly lifter. Call me crazy but I actually feel like I’m better with something of this tensile (165k) than even my Rogue WL bar (190k). I’ve used this bar from both Oly and power lifting and never found myself worrying about what bar I’m using. Sure, there are better performing and more specialized bars out there, but you’re going to need to pay for them or sacrifice things. The Diamond Pro is just a solid performer in all facets of fitness.
Something similar yet different are the sleeves. While they spin great due to their bronze bushings (check out the spin here), they also now feature a machined groove so you can put a rubber band in the shoulder of the sleeve for identification purposes. You’d be surprised how many people get the 20kg and 15kg bars at my affiliate mixed up so this is a great feature. I see this becoming a trend as more manufacturers catch on. Not only that, but the shoulders are also knocked down to 1″ so there’s more loadable area on the sleeve. The only thing that I can gripe about here is that there’s an excessive amount of play in the sleeve. You probably wouldn’t notice much under normal use, until you dropped the barbell. It rattles like crazy, but once again, just as much the other barbells near this price point. Probably wouldn’t be my first choice to use for a late night workout but should be fine in the affiliate setting. Although the barbell is kind of loud, anyone that’s ever worked out in an affiliate is already going to be used to noisy barbells anyways. Take a listen to it here.
You can get the Diamond Pro barbell from Mike’s Fitness Equipment for $189 plus tax and shipping. For a barbell that performs as well as the Diamond Pro does, this is a steal. You could spend up to $300 for a barbell and get the same performance you’re getting here. Diamond Pro has a 3 year warranty on their barbell and also manufactures out of Decatur, AL so you know that money is staying within the U.S. All of the contact I’ve had with Diamond Pro has been nothing but positive experiences. Disclaimer, they provided all the equipment to me, but everything I’ve said comes directly from me.
I really enjoy using this barbell. By that I mean I don’t have to worry about what I’m doing when I use it other than the task at hand. If you need a great performing barbell but you’re not looking to break the bank, the Diamond Pro IWF 20kg bar needs to be on that list. Not to mention it also comes in 15kg as well! Hopefully soon I’ll get my hands on that bearing bar!