View Full Version : equipment brands

S. Tyler Bayles
06-04-2007, 09:57 PM
new here... gotta get out of my gym, too many people and it's not crossfit friendly. questions regarding olympic bars: i want to get a bar, is there a brand that is superior in some way? are there certain ones i should stay away from? thanks ahead.

Rick Deckart
06-05-2007, 09:22 AM
There a quite a few brands of olympic lifting barbells, in no particular order:

Uesaka, japanese, very nice but sharp and expensive barbell (Didn't lift with it, but had one in my hands). Was used at numerous olympic games.


Eleiko, swedish, for many the best barbell ever produced. Was also used at numerous olympic games. Expensive but really really nice.


Schnell, german, very very good barbell from a traditional company. I am personally looking for a used schnell or even better a used berg barbell. These are long out of production but have a legendary status over here (Germany).


Ligo, czech, good quality barbell, many german lifting clubs use Ligo, besides ligo offers some excellent bumper plates. Don't have a webpage but the following dealer sells them:


Leoko, finland, reportedly excellent barbells, see


Pallini, french, makes also a good barbell I was told, but not comparable to the barbells mentioned above

York, american, produces also a reportedly good barbell for olympic lifting.

Pendlay, american, cheap very good quality barbell says among others Mike Burgener, and those who own one.


werksan, american, also reportedly very good.


And then there is the brand of the next olympic games, Zhangkong, chinese,


No idea how these bars are...

I am certainly no expert but have lifted with eleiko, schnell and my ivanko barbell and liked both eleiko and schnell much better than the ivanko ob-20 bar which I own, back in the days when I bought it, it was the cheapest decent barbell over here. I only wish I had bought a used schnell barbell. Then I would be set for the next decades...

The problem with buying used is there are no good deals around. Nobody clear in his mind I guess, sells an eleiko or schnell barbell. Same for Uesaka and Leoko or any better than decent brand.

If money is a concern I would go for pendlay, if you have the cash go for one
of the top brands, even if they are not IWF approved all of the above olympic lifting barbells should be build according to the IWF specifications. For example Pallini cannot affort the fee for the IWF approvement, being a very small family business.

Keep in mind, you will need some sort of platform if you use bumper plates, or at least full rubber plates if you choose to lift without platform...

Chris Forbis
06-05-2007, 12:29 PM
I've heard good things about Chapman bars as well.

Derek Simonds
06-05-2007, 12:33 PM
Peter thanks for making this list.

I don't know how much the other bars cost, but man I love the Pendlay bar I bought. I was going to purchase the economy bar but stepped up to the full blown deal. With a lifetime warranty I really don't think you can go wrong with it.

Rick Deckart
06-05-2007, 01:02 PM
Your welcome. Those other barbells go north of 800 EUR around here with the exception of Ligo and Pallini.

I didn't mention chapman as these as far as I know are not build to IWF specifications, if I am not mistaken the bar is 28.5mm thick...

Forgot Ivanko, american, build to IWF specifications, basically all competition barbells are also IPF approved.


I own the ob-20 when I bought it a couple of years ago it went for half the price you have to pay today, the knurling would make for a good wood rasp and the black oxid coating likes to rust bigtime (no kidding), you know the series blood on the barbell? Had it often on my barbell because it is so sharp that wearing shorts you may scrap your shins, tights. It likes to rip off calluses too... I am not to happy with it with respect to the oly lifts. For powerlifting i guess it is hard to beat.

Eleiko and Schnell barbells are so much nicer and easier to lift...

Robb Wolf
06-05-2007, 02:20 PM
We have been gutting it out with El-cheapo BFS bars...I think they were $150. By no means competition level but they have lasted well.

Pierre Auge
06-05-2007, 04:48 PM
Seriously having used pretty much all of the bars listed above save the ligo, pallini and schnell. I also own a chapman bar. I have to say bang for buck Pendlay is the best. Very whippy - and extremely tough.

The chapman bars are great but way too expensive, though they are probably the strongest bar on the market. NOT whippy at all unless you can C&J 140kg. I cannot, but its great for backsquats!

I see no reason in spending your money on a competition set unless you are already a competitive lifter or just happen to be LOADED... The cost effectiveness is non existant. They are priced for the niche they meet.

It's like Porshe -
Porsche Salesman: "Why are our prices so high? And how can we warrant keeping them there?"

Porsche Executive: "Because we are Porsche!"

S. Tyler Bayles
06-05-2007, 08:48 PM
thanks for the generous answers. is the issue stiffness? more rigid bars more expensive? and lastly, if not lifting > 200lbs for anything, is getting a higher end bar worth it? cheers, and thanks again.

Greg Everett
06-05-2007, 09:06 PM
depends on what you're doing. lifting for CF only? don''t spend a ton of money. lifting competitively? spend the extra money.

Pierre Auge
06-05-2007, 09:16 PM
Yeah I second Greg here and that was my point - get a bar that suits your needs...

Actually I may have confused you here. No a good Olympic Weightlifting bar will have generous whip. A powerlifting bar will be more ridgid/stiff. The Pendlay bars in my opinion are the best all around bar you'll find without putting yourself in the red. You get the good whip but strong enough that you can lift really heavy if you ever plan to be that strong.

They are not the cheapest bars but they are the best bang for buck thats what I meant. Best of all worlds....

Rick Deckart
06-05-2007, 11:49 PM
While I agree that it is not wise to spent to much, I have to ask how much is a good bar worth? Well i would say it depends, how long do you want to use it, a schnell or eleiko bar will easily hold decades (although both companys give only a five year warranty). The best bet is to buy a good quality used barbell, if you can find one. The Ivanko is my second barbell, I bought a very cheap set six or seven years ago. When I started the olympic lifts some three years ago I discovered that the chrome was to slippery for any prolonged save work. So I bought the Ivanko. Although I can do anything with it, I would rather prefer to own a schnell, eleiko or even ligo. Summing bar one and two together I could have bought a schnell barbell (not a full set) in the first place. Would be long amortisated by now. But back then I thought that I would never ever deadlift 140kg... in other words buy quality that will last, spent the money on the pendlay olympic lifting barbell and buy some cheap rubber composite plates or bumper plates (but then you will need a platform).

S. Tyler Bayles
06-06-2007, 08:12 PM
never knew a bar could cost so much. i plan to get a Pendlay and some bumper plates, seems like prices are pretty even across the board. anyone give a xfit or performancemenu discount? cheers

Rick Deckart
06-07-2007, 10:25 AM
You can buy the bumper plates used, which is much cheaper and works just as well if you don't mind the look. If you don't have a platform and don't want to build one I would consider rubber composite plates instead. These can be bought used too.

I did a little research on the pricing of these barbells, will add the list in due time. For me it makes perfect sense, these are high quality pieces of equipment which last, in other words if somebody bought one he will be set for a long time. Unless he drops the barbell with iron cast plates there is little wear on the bar. Even rust is no problem except for the look. So the manufactures will never be in a position were they could mass sell these bars. In case of the IWF approved bars, which are the most expensive, those manufactures have to pay a fee for this approval which is expensive and of course they won't give these approved bars away without getting parts of that fee back.

And one last remark, I believe it is better to lift with a shit bar than not to lift at all. And sure as hell you can and will make progress with a lousy bar as well. But having lifted with a shit bar, a decent bar (ivanko) and excellent bars (eleiko, schnell) I am certain that a good quality bar is an important component of the training.

S. Tyler Bayles
06-07-2007, 07:41 PM
i'm keeping my eye out for some used bumper plates. thanks for the helpful information. stay strong, tyler