There was a lot of hype leading up to me pulling the trigger on the original Lynx Barbell hybrid bearing bar, admittedly that I didn’t want to succumb to, but I was immediately impressed by it. Everything about it felt good, from the knurling to the whip, all for about $245. The problem about producing such a good barbell is that your next effort has to top the original in some way; and just putting a bar with higher specs doesn’t quite work with barbells as we’ve come to learn from the Klokov bar.
When I first heard that Lynx was releasing a “pure” oly bar, I knew right away that topping the hybrid bearing bar would be quite the feat. From a pure specification standpoint, the Lynx Barbell Oly bar improves on the HBB in every way.
- 205k PSI tensile strength vs 190k
- Full satin hard chrome vs black zinc/chrome sleeves
- 5 needle bearings per sleeve vs 2 needle bearings
- 28mm diameter shaft with a single IWF marking
- Light to medium depth knurling
From a construction standpoint, the Oly bar is on par with the HBB, which is excellent despite both bars being imported. The knurling remains well machined and even, the same pattern as the HBB with just a little more depth on the Oly bar. It’s comfortable to use even for high repetition workouts despite it’s added depth. Many times with chrome finishes, bars tend to end up with a little bit of jaggedness around the ridges of the knurling, which isn’t the case with the Lynx Oly bar. Not quite up to the standard of my Rogue EU bar, but better than most. The sleeves are secured by your typical snap ring design with very minimal play side to side. Like the HBB, the Oly bar doesn’t have any annoying rattles when it’s dropped.
Spin, spin, spin. The HBB’s claim to fame was it’s incredible sleeve rotation; all with just 4 total needle bearings. With more than double the amount of needle bearings per sleeve, it’s safe to say that the Oly bar trounces the already amazing spin the HBB had. There is a point, enough spin is enough spin and all besides the highest level lifters would do just fine with the HBB, but that doesn’t make the Oly bar any less awesome to use. Rotation of the sleeves is also very uniform, although the bearings aren’t the quietest I’ve come across. Your wrists will thank you for the extra protection the spin of the Lynx Oly bar provides.
One can easily get caught up with how freely a bar spins, but I think the most important factor of a barbell is how well it whips. The ability of a bar to bend and return to center can make or break a lift but only really becomes noticeable when you get to heavier weights. Increasing the tensile of a bar is risky, because the yield with theoretically have to go up with it. Honestly, you’re not going to notice much oscillation until you get into the 200lb range, which is just about as good as pretty much all the mid-range bars out there. I thought the HBB had pretty good whip for being a “CrossFit” bar, so I expected the Oly bar to trounce that, but it’s just about the same. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but I would have liked to see an increase of performance in this area for a dedicated oly bar.
Value was the strong point of the HBB, and the Oly bar doesn’t fail in this area either. Obviously it costs a bit more than it’s predecessor at $319 for the 20kg and $289 for the 15kg. At this price point, many of the training bars out there don’t come with bearings, and even the ones that do don’t have 10 total. Am I going to ditch my Rogue EU bar for the Lynx Oly bar? Of course not, but that bar also costs double the price of the Lynx. I wouldn’t miss the Rogue EU too much either if I had to use the Lynx Oly bar. As an intermediate training bar, the Lynx Barbell Oly bar stands out from the bunch for having great construction, incredible spin, and excellent customer service all for just over three Benjamin’s.