Review: OSO Barbell Collars (Olympic/2″)

Remember that one workout?  The one where you could have PR’d your time or reps, but your collars kept coming un-done?  Yeah, we all have had that experience at least once in our lives.  It always seems like no matter which collars you pick, or switch to, you’re always having to readjust them multiple times in your workout.  Sans the times you check them just to catch a breather.  Not only can this be tedious, it can also be dangerous.  I’ve seen collars come undone mid-workout and plates slide right off during the middle of lifts.  This can be not only harmful for the athlete, but could also lead to legal problems for the affiliate.  There are a lot of options when it comes to collars, but so far none have hit the mark like the OSO barbell collars have.

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Honestly, the OSO barbell collars look a little out of place in the gym.  The clamp is shaped like a cog and the colorway’s are akin to paint schemes you might see on an exotic car (my orange clamps remind me of the orange Amuse S2000!).  It doesn’t take long before you warm up to the shape and at least someones trying to freshen up the tried and true design of the barbell collar.  I don’t have a full spec sheet but I think it’s safe to say that the “gear” part of the collar is a lightweight, anodized aluminum, while the “lever” is plastic.  Inside the gear, you’ll find rubber lining that serves as a grommet between the collar and the barbell. Weight and dimension-wise, the collars aren’t much different than your standard HG collars, but definitely heavier than spring clips.  Also, made in the United States of America! ‘Merrrrica.

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Operating the collars is easy enough: pull the lever open until it clicks, slide the collar on the barbell, and clamp it down.  While you don’t have to open it until you get it to click in place, that setting definitely helps you slide the collar on and off.  Unfortunately there’s no click like that when you lock the collar down, but fortunately it stays in place just fine.  We tested the OSO collars with high-repetition cleans, heavy overhead drops, and hell, we just threw the bar around to see what would happen; the collars stayed put.  Now that’s not to say they didn’t move ever so slightly; I don’t think any collar that isn’t a screw type will ever accomplish that.  The collars did stay put, WOD after WOD, drop after drop, without having to readjust them other than to add weight on.  Much, much better so than the HG collars and spring clips that continually pop off after a couple drops.

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A pair of OSO collars will run you $55 shipped to your door.  A set of Rogue HG collars go for $40, metal HG collars go for $50, and spring clips are just a couple bucks.The metal versions of the HG collars are great clamping down, but they’re a PAIN in the ass to take off!  If you’re a garage gym’er looking for a solid pair of collars, this is a no-brainer.  If you’re a serious affiliate goer and your box doesn’t have optimal collars, once again, no-brainer.  For affiliates, they aren’t much more expensive than HG’s but OSO also offers bulk discounts and will probably never have to be replaced either way (hint hint: invest in gear for your athletes!).  If something were to happen (Murphy’s law), OSO offers a 2 year warranty that covers pretty much everything that could happen while on a barbell.  They do not cover throwing, kicking, or stepping on the collars though; as explained in the nice thank you card that comes with the collars.

Ever since I got my OSO barbell collars in, everyone in the box has been asking me about them, or if I’d sell mine to them after I’m done reviewing.  Sorry guys, I usually unload the stuff I get to review, but these are too sweet and I have to keep them.  I too, was just using spring clips at home, but never again!  If you’re into functional fitness or Olympic weightlifting, you owe it to yourself to ditch those old, worn clips that you’ve been using and invest in some OSO barbell collars.  PR’s not guaranteed, but most definitely probable.

Get your OSO Barbell Collars here!

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