I’ve been wanting to do a review on this barbell for a long time. Most of the equipment I review, I pay for out of pocket, so it can get kind of expensive doing what I do. It took probably a good year after I found out about this bar for LYNX to have a sale on it (they rarely have sales, so jump on them when they do); it wasn’t even the price of the bar that was the issue, it’s actually priced really well. What killed the deal was shipping from Georgia to California; it was always really high before so I needed something to offset that. Thank god for that sale, otherwise I would probably still be missing out on the Hybrid Bearing Bar.
You better have a damned good product on your hands with hashtags like “#BestBarOnMarket”. If you follow some of the athletes from the south region, you’ve probably seen the HBB in action. There are tons of glowing reviews on the website and big names like Irving Hernandez swear by it, going as far to say that it performs just as well as the Eleiko’s used in GRID.
The hype is real.
The HBB’s claim to fame is that it’s a bar that’s priced well under $300, and uses needle bearings for the rotation of the sleeves rather than bushings in most bars you’ll find in that price range. If you’re unfamiliar with the difference, needle bearings keep the shaft rotating in the sleeves much longer and more freely than bushings would, but typically cost more to produce so you’ll rarely see them as general purpose bars in affiliates. With two needle bearings per sleeve, the HBB is definitely fast; I haven’t used an Eleiko bar, but the Hybrid Bearing Bar is just as quick as bars that I’ve used at double the price with double the amount of bearings.
Construction of the bar is excellent, even with the HBB being an imported barbell. You would think it was made in the U.S.A if I didn’t tell you it wasn’t. Sleeve play side to side is virtually non-existent and there isn’t any kind of rattle to speak of when dropped. The shaft is black zinc coated with an IWF standard diameter at 28mm, is 190k PSI tensile and has hard chrome coated sleeves; more rarities in a sub-$300 barbell. Hard chrome is great on the sleeves because it keeps them looking fresher, longer; that’s the area that gets wrecked the fastest though they could use some ribbing to keep plates on. The finish is nicer than a lot of lower end barbells, although it is a little slicker because it’s shinier, akin to a Rogue bar. The HBB also has a lifetime warranty against construction defects. With 190k PSI tensile, I wouldn’t worry about bending the bar in cases other than bailing on spotters or a box.
The Hybrid Bearing Bar is a medium whip barbell, which falls in line with all of the great multi use barbells you’ll see around this price range. It’s stiff enough to use for powerlifting just as it’s flexible enough to use for Olympic lifts and comes with dual knurl marks. The knurl is crisp, yet coarse but holds very well; it’s closer to a medium knurl than light but won’t tear your hands up for high rep work. Knurling is mainly personal preference and paired with the 28mm diameter shaft, to me it provides perfect grip; I never found myself needed to chalk up just to get a grip on the bar.
“This is THE bar that has changed the industry.”
At $245 ($235 for the 15kg version), the performance of the Hybrid Bearing Bar is phenomenal. Though, with shipping to California ($277), that price gets uncomfortably close to the Rogue Bar 2.0. I remember it being a bit less expensive originally and if LYNX could get the bar shipped out around $250-260, it would be absolutely dominant. I fear that brand recognition might be the thing that keeps the Hybrid Bearing Bar out of more people’s garage’s or affiliates. If you’re from the south, the Hybrid Bearing Bar is almost a no brainer since you won’t have to fork up the shipping costs. There isn’t a lot in the same price range (or in general) that can match the Hybrid Bearing Bar in terms of sleeve rotation, so if it’s speed you’re looking for, this is definitely it.