Let’s rewind back to late 2013, I was shopping for my very FIRST barbell, and knew absolutely nothing about what I was getting myself into. The market was very different then, you pretty much just had Rogue and very few other options. Of one of those other options was FringeSport, with a much smaller sized inventory that you’ll find today. Somehow I got in contact with them, I think they had something about reviewing a barbell for a discounted price, that bar was their original OneFitWonder Wonder Bar. It was bearing, the specs weren’t that amazing, but the price was right and for my first barbell, I thought it would be fine.
I was wrong.
The price was right, but that was just about it. The knurling was uneven, the sleeves didn’t spin THAT great, it looked pretty cheap, and it had a slight bend in it. I wasn’t THAT desperate for a barbell. If there’s anything that hasn’t changed about Fringe, it’s their stellar customer service. I got in contact with the man himself Peter Keller and he exchanged the bar out for a Bomba bar, for the same price, AND paid for the return shipping! That Bomba Bar ended up being the very first review I ever did on AMRAP; years and many barbells later, I’m reviewing the latest iteration of the very first barbell I was set to review.
Here’s the short review: The V2 Wonder Bar is NOTHING like that first gen model.
Here’s the long review: Much has changed between that crappy first Wonder Bar I ended up with (Sorry PK) and that equals a whole lot of good. For some reason everyone that sees this bar thinks it’s some sort or magical barbell. The murdered out black zinc that coats this bar makes looks like it costs three times what it actually does. Couple that with the exposed bronze bushings and the fancy end cap and you have a thing of beauty.
Build quality is excellent, paired with the right bumper plates, the Wonder Bar creates a solid thud when dropped. The knurling is well cut, but on the lighter side of things, and has both IWF and IPF markings. Most people are going to find this comfortable yet grippy enough, just make sure you take some dishwashing soap to the barbell; it’s covered in oil when you first receive it. That being said, it’s an import bar, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad bar. Tons of popular bars you see on the market are imports, even Rogue used imported steel until the Ohio came out. The shaft is a 28mm 205k PSI tensile with 199k PSI yield strength; Fringe is one of the very few that include a yield number.
All that wouldn’t mean a damn if the bar wasn’t useable. The Wonder Bar was made to WOD hard with. The sleeves rotate smoothly and pretty darn well for a bushing bar; enough to move 100kg without issue. Whip is good enough, not the most amazing barbell for Oly, but it’s just slightly worse than what you’re going to find on most bars even up to $300. Most people won’t notice this with the weight they’re lifting; even at my skill (not over 9000) it’s hard to tell. For a squat and press bar, the Wonder Bar is excellent for not being overly bouncy.
If anything, what the Wonder Bar V2 has going for it is it’s stellar value. At $199 shipped/no tax, this barbell is made to stock affiliates, get thrashed, and last for years to come. Starting garage-gyms will also find a ton of value in this bar as their first (and maybe last) bar to throw around at home. Most garage gym folks just like to do accessory/light-work at home anyways and if that’s you, look no further. Not to mention that the Wonder Bar V2 also comes with a lifetime warranty, that’s also backed by Fringe’s 365 day return policy. If for some reason you weren’t satisfied, you can count on FringeSport’s stellar customer service to take care of you, or even reach out to Peter himself, as he makes himself pretty available to the community.
Sure, you can definitely buy better bars out there, but you wouldn’t be reading this review if they were in your budget. Buy it, lift it, love it.