Cerakote seems to be the theme for barbells in 2017 and where there are barbells, there is Rogue Fitness. The Ohio Bar is basically the gold standard when it comes to a solid, multi-use barbell for affiliates or garage-gym use; naturally that would be Rogue’s first bar to coat with the polymer Ceramic coating.
So, why even bother with Cerakote in the first place as opposed to oxide, zinc, or even stainless steel? Other than the fact that it just looks plain bad-ass to have a colored barbell, Cerakote is touted to offer 100x more corrosion, scratch and wear resistance compared to the standard zinc coating. If you live in a humid area and have to worry about barbells prone to rust, you should get excited.
As per typical Rogue fashion, the finish of the Cerakote Ohio Bar is immaculate; at least mine was. The knurling on the barbell is perfectly cut, but if you’re expecting the same near medium depth pattern akin to the standard Ohio Bar, you might be disappointed. Since the Cerakote is a little thicker than normal zinc or black oxide, it makes the depth of the knurling a little more shallow. In my opinion, it’s better this way, but if you like a more aggressive cut, you might want to go with the stainless variant. Another benefit of having Cerakote as the coating is that it’s just matte by nature and makes the bar much less slippery than zinc coating.
Rogue seems to be moving towards composite bushings in their barbells. As they did earlier this year with the stainless version, they have again with the Cerakote version. Honestly, they’re starting to grow on me, because the spin on this barbell is better than just about every Ohio bar I’ve ever used. It’s smooth and fast enough for any kind of Olympic or CrossFit movement, but not overly so for when you need to press, squat or deadlift. The sleeves fit nice and tight with the shaft so there aren’t any annoying rattles from this bar either. Hopefully they hold up in the long run though, as my early Rogue Bar 2.0 had flattened bushings by the time I demolished it.
Like every Ohio bar before it, the Cerakote variant sports the same 190k psi, 28.5mm shaft. This is the sweet spot when it comes to barbell meant for just about any application. Thin enough to grip comfortably for Olympic weightlifting and enough real estate to use for pressing movements. The oscillation/whip of the barbell is probably going to be a little stiff if all you want to do is Oly, but is perfect for CrossFit. You also won’t have any issues squatting up to the 500’s; anything past that and you’ll probably want to look into a power bar.
The name “Ohio Bar” is synonymous with the word. The Ohio bar is the “go-to” bar in the fitness community for a reason, it just does everything really well. Sure, you could get a better weightlifting or powerlifting bar, but most people aren’t going to get a barbell for each movement. For those people, you have this barbell.
In all honesty, the best usage for the Ohio is for CrossFit in either home gym or affiliate setting. There, it’ll see the widest variety of uses as opposed to specialty barbells. I’m not saying you couldn’t use this bar for just weightlifting or powerlifting, but if either of those are all you’re planning on doing, then you might as well get a dedicated bar for either. If you’re looking to dabble into both, that’s where the Ohio bar comes in. It’s beauty is in it’s versatility.
Personally, I like using my dedicated Oly bars for O-lifting and my 28.5mm bars for CrossFit stuff, but I’ve had no problems working up to my max lifts with the Ohio bar. This bar has just become my go-to for when I just want to workout with something I’m comfortable with. The whip is adequate for the weight I’m pulling, it spins without a hitch, and the knurling is in my opinion, perfect.
The real star of the show here is that Cerakote finish because it’s really the only thing different between a standard Ohio bar. I live in a dry climate where I really don’t have to worry about rusting, which can happen from time to time on chrome bars, but I haven’t ran into an issue with this bar. The Cerakote is also a breeze to clean, chalk and sweat come right off with a towel and plastic bristle brush; which I actually just cleaned for the first time about 6 months after getting the bar.
One negative to Cerakote, it’s not impervious to scratches or chipping; it is ceramic after all. Since the sleeves are also coated with it, the damage shows almost immediately. It didn’t take more than one workout, for the Cerakote on the sleeves to start chipping away. Keep in mind that I’m using Rogue competition plates; forget about even using metal plates. Also, seeing that made me never want to rack this bar, imagine the damage you’d do if you accidentally caught a j-hook. Naturally, the sleeves are just an area where any coating is going to get roughed up so it’s not really that big of a deal, but it is something against their claims of scratch resistance.
Cerakote is still a premium feature for barbells and Rogue’s offering is going to set you back a little bit more, costing $325, about $40 more than a normal Ohio. If you’re worried about your barbells rusting or are planning on keeping this bar in the garage, or even outside – it’s a no brainer to spring for the Cerakote bar. If you wanted a more aggresive knurl pattern, I’d recommend just going for the Stainless variant unless you really wanted a colored barbell. Stack that up with Rogue’s lifetime warranty of their barbells and you’ve got a bar you’ll probably end up keeping for life. In any case, you just can’t go wrong with an Ohio bar and this one is as sweet as they come.
- Excellent build quality and knurling.
- Good for any application.
- Looks bad-ass.
- Cerakote easily chips from the sleeves.
- Costs a little bit more than the normal version.
- Don’t plan on keeping the bar pretty if you want to rack it.
- Prints are coming, but not out yet.
- Chrome sleeves look silly, but are probably the better way to go.