Tag Archives: crossfit bar

Wright Equipment V3 Cerakote Barbell Review

Cerakoting barbells seems to be all the rage in 2017. For good reason, Cerakote is estimated to last 1000x longer than your standard zinc coating and have better corrosion resistance. I don’t think it’ll take long for this to end up being the standard, but for right now, it’s still a premium feature. Wright Equipment refreshed their barbell to it’s version 3 model a little bit earlier in the year with some pretty huge changes, most notably sporting a new 28mm shaft. It wasn’t until right about before the CrossFit Games did they debut their V3 barbell with a shiny new coat of paint, right before the barbell battleship Rogue unveiled theirs. Wright released their offering at a SMOLDERING introductory price of $220 shipped, which made it impossible not to buy, but since then has upped it quite a bit to $255 not including shipping. It’s still less expensive, but are you better off spending the extra bit on the bigger brands?

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Build Quality/Construction:

I have a fair bit of experience with Wright barbells, that’s what I used to stock my affiliate after all. Other than the occasional re-oiling of the bushings, I haven’t had any issues with any of them over the last couple of years. If there was any one thing I could complain about, it’s that they’re somewhat noisy when dropped. The construction of the new V3 barbell has since been upgraded by adding in two more bronze bushings and tightening the tolerances overall. Wright claims that their V3 barbells are quieter, but in my testing, it’s not by much, if at all. The sleeves have a bit of play in them and they’re still quite a bit noisier than pretty much any barbell I’ve used.

Quite possibly the biggest change to the V3 Wright bar is that it now comes with a true 28mm shaft! Which makes it one of the very few, affordable options for a 28mm USA made barbell. The shaft now also sports an upgraded tensile at 201k PSI and since the shaft is a bit thinner, the added strength isn’t detrimental to the whip. If you’re serious about Olympic weightlifting movements, the .5mm should be a big deal to you because yes, it does make a difference. The Wright bar still plays nice whichever way you want to use it because it still has both IPF/IWF markings in the knurling. The knurling itself is a little on the coarse side but cut well enough to not be uncomfortable. Let’s put it like this: it’s like the PBR of knurling, good enough to get a buzz off of, nobody really hates it, lacks polish, it might leave you with a worse hangover than other beers, hipsters will love it but craft beer ( bar) snobs will probably hate it. I don’t mind it but I know others that do.

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What about that brand new paint job? If you don’t already know what Cerakote is, go hereIn short, the reason you’d want Cerakote on a barbell is for it’s rust attenuation and that it doesn’t wear down quickly like zinc does. On the flip side, it’s a ceramic based coating and can chip or scratch so keep that in mind when racking your bar. Unlike the other bars I’ve used with Cerakote, the Wright bar is coated on the shaft only up until the beginning of the sleeve; which makes sense since you really don’t have to worry about anything under the sleeve. I could be mistaken, but that’s what it looks like to the eye without having to take the sleeve off. The coating job is consistent and the only defects look to just be uneven parts of the knurling. Another major benefit of having Cerakote is that it’s matte by nature, so the grip even without chalk is much better than zinc or chrome.

The sleeves still used a tried and true zinc coating which can scratch and will fade over time, but will honestly probably last longer than if Cerakote was on the sleeves. I don’t think Cerakote was ever designed to take hundreds of pounds of impact repeatedly and on my Ohio bar, started chipping off the sleeves in 3 uses.

Performance:

I’m going to keep going with the PBR reference mentioned earlier. Is the Wright V3 the smoothest, fastest, or best tasting bar in the world? Nope. But like PBR, it’s a little rough around the edges but get the job done well enough and is great for the money. To be honest, I’ve had nothing but great lifting sessions with this bar and I love PBR.

To me, the biggest upgrade to the Wright bar is the 28mm shaft. I don’t mind using barbells that have 28.5mm, but my small hands definitely favor the thinner shaft. Plus I can always fallback on the fact that 28mm is the standard diameter used in IWF, so it’s more official and my hands aren’t just small. You see a lot of imported barbells have 28mm shafts, so why there aren’t more USA made 28mm barbells perplexes me (I actually know why). The whip of the V3 bar isn’t anything to write home about, but it’s  better than the Ohio bar and good enough to suffice most Olympic weightlifters; most CrossFitters probably wouldn’t notice a difference. I felt totally comfortable with clean and jerks up to my 100% and even hit a new 1RM squat clean thruster with the Wright V3.

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Wright upgraded the V3 bar with two more bushings, one per sleeve, presumably to upgrade the speed and smoothness of the turn over. Like all of the traits mentioned earlier, the V3 bar is good enough but isn’t the smoothest and fastest spinning bar in the world; and again, for most people, it doesn’t need to be. The shaft spins freely enough inside of the sleeves and never feels slow, choppy, or like you wouldn’t be able to make a lift because of it. All that really matters is that the shaft doesn’t get stuck in the sleeves anyways. You also don’t have to worry about them over-rotating for the slower lifts, making the V3 bar even more of an all-arounder.

The Wright V3 would probably be best suited for an affiliate setting, at a secluded home gym on top of a mountain, maybe bomb shelter, or a garage gym if you just hate your neighbors. This bar is LOUD AF. If there was anything that still needed upgrading, it’s the sleeve tolerances. I appreciate the use of bronze bushings still, but maybe those need to be retooled so that there isn’t so much play in the sleeve.

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Value/Conclusion:

When this bar dropped it only costed me a meager $220 shipped, which for this bar, was INSANE. There are very few, good American made barbells for under $250, almost none with 28mm shafts (haven’t tried the 3B bar from Wright), and zero with Cerakote. When the introductory deal was available, I urged EVERYONE to buy this bar, nothing could touch it for $220. They only had 1500 barbells for that deal that went fairly quick and since then, have upped the price to it’s standard price of $255 without shipping. Add in $44 to ship to California and the bar quickly loses it’s appeal. $300 isn’t exactly cheap – the sub-par build quality and just good enough performance of the bar just can’t justify it’s price tag (not too bad if you can pick it up though). If I was only going to buy one barbell for my home, I would spend the extra bit on a nicer bar, or I would spend much less on something I could just toss around; the latter applies if I were to stock up an affiliate as well. You can get REALLY good bars for around $200 now.

I’m not calling for this bar to sell for $220 shipped again, but if Wright could get it down to the $250 shipped range, I’m sure they’d see a ton more sales. That would make it much more competitive against the American Barbell and Rogue offerings that are more expensive, but also much higher quality. It would at least be easier to forgive some of the build issues while still getting a good performing, Cerakote barbell for still far under the price you’d be paying for the premium names. Don’t get me wrong, I actually like the Wright V3 barbell…Hell, I LOVE it for what I paid for it; I just don’t think it’s worth $300.

(I wish I ordered more of them when they were $220!)

The Good:

  • 28mm diameter shaft
  • Good whip, decent spin
  • Made in the USA

The Bad:

  • Shipping to the CA costs $45
  • Knurling isn’t well cut
  • NOISY AF

The Ugly:

  • Cerakote can chip
  • The shaft isn’t fully coated
  • Doesn’t quite feel as solid as other bars

Get your Wright V3 Cerakote Barbell here!

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Eleiko Sport Training Barbell 45lb Review (NPGL)

Eleiko – The most famous name in weightlifting.

For good reason, they’re used on the main stages in weightlifting, numerous world records have been set using them, and everyone just aspires to own one someday. I’m one of the latter, I’ve wanted one to test one of these bars for the longest time but just couldn’t get myself to pull the trigger on one.  My reasoning was: “How much better could it possibly be than what I have?” and “Am I even good enough to feel the difference?”. You also have factor in that they cost almost double than even the most expensive bars I’ve used.  At this point, I’ve tested pretty much every barbell that you could possibly think of owning thats under $500, so there’s only going up from here. So begins my journey to test the upper echelon of barbells, starting with the “lowest” of the bunch, the Eleiko Sport Training bar.

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The STB is currently the one being used in GRID matches.  While not platform certified and missing two needle bearings, the STB uses the same exact shaft found in both the training and competition Eleiko weightlifting barbells. Besides the knurling, that 215k PSI Swedish manufactured steel is really what makes an Eleiko, an Eleiko. From a construction standpoint, nothing I’ve used is nearly made as well as this bar besides the Rogue EURO bar, which is equally as nice. No rattles, no loose end caps, when you drop this bar with just about any kind of weight on, it just sounds solid. The noise the bar makes when you make contact is one of the most satisfying things a weightlifter could ever hear.

From a purely aesthetic standpoint, the polished chrome coating used on the STB is not quite as brilliant as the Rogue WL or even Pendlay Bars, but should still provide resistance against scratching and major rust. Like with all chrome bars, make sure you wipe down your bars after use if you have sweaty hands, as they will acquire a bit of surface rust.  My GRID STB arrived with a TON of surface rust on it, nothing 3-1 oil and a copper bristle brush couldn’t fix, but still disappointing to see the lack of care that goes into their closeout items.

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As stated before, one the two things that separate Eleiko from the pack is the knurling. From reading up on Eleiko’s knurl, people say that it almost grips your hands back, some say that it’s too aggressive, some say that it’s not aggressive enough, but most people agree that their knurling varies from bar to bar. I’ve read people saying the STB has more aggressive knurl than the Training bar, and vice versa. I don’t think there is a “standard” cut, I’ve definitely seen better machined patterns. Maybe since mine is a GRID™ bar, the knurling is a bit more harsh than a normal STB bar would be but it really is unpleasant to use for more than a few reps. It’s deep and coarse, definitely something you would not want to use in a CrossFit™ workout; but on the plus side, you won’t have to chalk up as much .  If I had to put this on a scale with a standard Rogue Bar being a 5, the Eleiko would be an 8.  Keep in mind that knurling is like fine wine (or beer) and everyone has a different taste, you might think that this bar is perfect.

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Legends have been written with the fabled 215k psi tensile shaft that has been said to  produce amazing amounts of oscillation. Just a reminder, tensile strength is not totally indicative of whip.  It’s a number that states how many pounds per square inch it takes before the material breaks. How well the bar whips is totally dependent on the metallurgy of the steel and is represented as yield strength. Granted, I’m no engineer and this is what I’ve just picked up over the years so correct me if I’m wrong. That being said, the Eleiko is one of the smoothest moving bars I’ve ever used. I generally use 100kg/225lbs as my reference point, that’s when you can usually start to feel the bar start to get going and I’m sure it only gets better as you get heavier. Jerks felt the best, but I never really thought twice about the bar I was using when doing all the lifts. Nothing feels better than going to the bar with the utmost of confidence to hit a lift.


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The 8 needle bearings that the Eleiko uses don’t produce a ton of spin if you just spin the collars by themselves. All that really matters is that the bar spins freely and smoothly within the sleeves under load. I couldn’t imagine two extra bearings really making a huge impact on how the bar spins either. Let’s just call it a “quality” spin. Have I used more “spin-y” bars before? Yes. Will you notice a difference? No, not unless you’re coming from a bushing bar.

Also note, a little difference between the Training Bar and the Sport Training Bar is the size of the sleeve shoulder.  The Sport Training Bar has a slightly wider shoulder so it doesn’t allow for as much loadability, though should suffice most people.

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It’s no question that the Eleiko Sport Training Bar is an excellent barbell. Knurling aside, no one in the world would pass up the option to lift on one.

The real question is: “Do you need an Eleiko bar?”

Let’s put it like this you could buy a car that redlines at 9k, or a car that redlines at 7k.  Both have a respectably high top end, but with the 9k car, top horsepower doesn’t kick in until the later RPMs, whereas the 7k car you’ll hit max horsepower in a more usable range. The 9k car also costs double the amount that the 7k car does. Though the 9k car is undoubtedly faster at the end of the day, why not just go for the 7k car that you’ll actually be able to use?

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That wasn’t meant to talk you out of buying an Eleiko, just to put some sense into you when shopping for a barbell. Most people won’t actually reap the benefits of using such a barbell unless you’re a fairly high level weightlifter. You’ll also be paying quite a bit more, whereas you can get a great performing barbell at half the cost of the Eleiko; not taking anything away from the overall quality and performance of the Eleiko. If you’re serious about lifting, you have the money and you want a quality barbell to last you a lifetime, Eleiko is no doubt one of your best options. It’s one of the oldest and most popular names in weightlifting; I’ve read about people still using 30+ year old Eleiko bars! Also, if you buy an Eleiko, there’s also not a whole lot better you can get, so you also won’t have to worry about replacing your bar anytime soon. Eleiko bars come with a 10-year warranty; rest assured as that’s longer than most current companies will probably still be in business with their lifetime warranties.

In short – If you got it, go for it! You can’t go wrong with an Eleiko bar.