In this article we will explain how to tell the difference between good quality bars and what we generally refer to as rubbish.
The first thing to look for is how the sleeves of the bar are secured to the shaft. The purpose of the sleeve is to securely hold the plates on the bar and to rotate during lifts to reduce any unnecessary force or inertia back onto the bars that will ultimately place unnecessary pressure on your hands and wrists. Now cheap and nasty bars use bolts on the ends to secure the sleeves to the main shaft of the bar whereas better quality bars always use snap rings.
DO NOT buy bars that use bolts on the ends. These bolts will come loose over time especially when they are used for Deadlifts, Clean and Jerk and The Snatch. This will cause the sleeves to become sloppy, loosen and even fall off during a lift which is extremely dangerous. None of the bars we manufacture are made with bolts, they are all secured with snap rings. Show image of snap rings and how they secure the barbell sleeve.
Now you need to be careful with this point. There are usually two sets of snap rings in each sleeve. The purpose of the end snap ring which is the one that is usually visible on the end of the bar is to hold the end cap or brand logo in place. It does nothing to secure the sleeve to the bar, but once you open the bar up you may find it’s been secured using a bolt instead of a snap ring. It’s these bolts or snap rings that actually hold the sleeves in place. So the bolt can be visible on the outside of the bar in the super cheap and nasty category or on the inside of the sleeve. So only buy bars that use snap rings to hold the sleeves in place.
The most important aspect of a bar is the quality of steel used in its manufacturing. Steel is a mine field as there are over 3500 different types of steel so how the hell do you know if the bar you are looking at buying is any good or whether it’s been made out of high grade steel or rubbish that should never have been used in the first place. There are some key things to look out for.
Bars are generally rated based on their tensile strength, PSI rating.
Tensile strength which is a technical term used in engineering refers to the maximum load your bar can support without fracturing or breaking. So the higher the tensile strength the stronger bar.
There is also the PSI rating (pounds per square inch). This basically refers to the amount of force that would be required to destroy the bar and tear it apart.
So Tensile Strength is the maximum load it can handle and PSI is the amount of force it can withstand.
Now you know some of the terminology, it is important to look for a bar with a PSI rating of 150,000 PSI or more.
Below are some of our barbells and their PSI and Tensile Strength ratings listed next to them.
TITANIUM USA 20KG ELITE SERIES OLYMPIC BARBELL (PSI Rating: 195,000, Maximum Load: 1500LB)
TITANIUM USA 15KG ELITE SERIES WOMEN'S OLYMPIC BARBELL (PSI Rating: 195,000, Maximum Load: 1500LB)
TITANIUM USA 20KG COMPETITION SERIES OLYMPIC BARBELL (PSI Rating: 250,000, Maximum Load: 2000LB)
TITANIUM USA 15KG COMPETITION SERIES WOMEN'S OLYMPIC BARBELL (PSI Rating: 250,000, Maximum Load: 2000LB)
TITANIUM USA DEADLIFT BARBELL (PSI Rating: 195,000, Maximum Load: 1500LB)