I am looking for some feedback regarding bar manufactures, women's bars in particular. Does anyone here have experience with the Pendlay bushing bar? What has the quality experience been?
I train regularly at a weightlifting gym that has Eleiko and York bars, so that is what I am used to using. I'm a mediocre lifter, but I enjoy lifting quite a lot and my training is consistent. I am looking at getting my own bar to train with when I can't make it to the weightlifting gym.
How does bar quality affect training? Does bar quality matter more or less if you are old and slow? I'd appreciate any feedback regarding bar quality experience.
I'm not an engineer, so I won't pretend to understand the parts and design process that goes into making a bar, but I will say that I have experience with a Pendlay bushing bar. When I started, that was my first bar. For what I knew (not exposed to yet), it felt fine. I'm not sure if they started to use the same steel as they do with the bearing bars, but my first bushing bar started to lose some of its "feel." I have not had the same issue with the bearing bar from Pendlay.
If you can spare the extra $150, I would go for the Pendlay bearing bar. It's not as pricey as the others (Eleiko, York, Werksan, DHS after shipping) and they offer a lifetime warranty. In addition, it ships free. For the economically conscious person, you will enjoy that bar.
As for the differences you'll feel, the bearing bar has a moderate whip (more so on the favorable side), the knurling is less aggressive than an Eleiko (and much less than the York), and the spin is pretty good. Once you've felt a bearing bar (and you have with Eleiko), the bushing bar leaves more to be desired. I would say the bushing bar is fine for CrossFit and generic use; the bearing bar is more for the weightlifter. The spin eases the strain on the wrists, elbows, and shoulders.
I hope this helps you. Best of luck and enjoy!
I have a Pendlay 15 kg bearing bar as well as three 15 kg Pendlay bushing bars at my gym.
Unless you really want to spend $500, I would tell you to go a completely different route and buy the 15 kg bar from Again Faster. It is $189. We have a 15 kg and a 20 kg one at our place, and it is fast becoming the favorite weightlifting bar at the gym.
The knurl is a little more slick than some, but mine spins as well if not better than the Pendlay bushing bars. I bought it to compare to the Rogue Bella bar because of the similarity in price, and I love this one compared to the Bella bar.
The other one to check out is the bushing bar from Vulcan. I don't own one yet, but I often lift at a gym that does. It's about the same price as the one from Again Faster, and it spins better than the Pendlay bearing bar. The spin is kind of ridiculous compared to any of the bars I've lifted on.
I've snatched to max and/or hit PRs on all of these bars, so until a $500+ bar can prove that it really makes or breaks a lift for me, I am all for a slightly less expensive bar, especially if you are the only one who will be using it. I am not talking about buying a piece of crap bar that doesn't spin... there are simply quality bars for less money out there at this point.
Save the extra money for travel expenses for meets, better bumper plates and other weightlifting stuff unless you really have $500 to spend just on a bar.
For reference, my max snatch is 71 kg, and I'm 37 years old. One of our better male lifters, who snatches 131 kg, much prefers our Rogue Econ bar to the Pendlay bushing bar. In fact, I think all of our guys do at this point. The Rogue Econ is $199. So, it's not all in the price of a bar.
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