Best Olympic Barbells

Man holding the Rogue Fitness Ohio Barbell

We’ve talked about barbells quite often on Barbell Pursuits, so much so that it’s even in our name! Today, we’re going to get into the best Olympic barbells.

The reason why it’s important to discuss barbells is because of the fact that a barbell is one of, if not the most important piece of equipment you can find in any good gym. It can be used on its own for workouts, rehab work, with plates, chains, resistance bands, and so many more combinations to produce a high-quality workout.

Olympic barbells aren’t just for the elite of the elite athletes, they come in all shapes and sizes, and for all kinds of purposes. Before I talk you head off with why Olympic barbells are so important, let us get into the best-of list to see which ones you’ll want.

Don't Have Time To Read? Here's Our Top Pick

#1

5/5

Rogue Ohio Barbell

One of the most iconic barbells around, the Rogue Ohio Barbell is a sure-fire go-to for powerlifting, Olympic lifting, CrossFit, and general weightlifting.


190 000 - 200 000 psi range, various coating finishes, dual knurling, 28.5MM diameter and 16.40" loadable sleeve length.

rogue ohio barbell

Best Barbells


Rogue Ohio Barbell - Best All-Around Barbell

As is typical, Rogue finds its way on this list multiple times and, not surprisingly, at the top. 

Rogue Fitness is quite easily one of the most dependable brands out there - just like the Rogue Ohio Barbell. We’ve even talked about their Ohio Bar before on the site!

The Rogue Ohio Barbell is the go-to for me because of the high-quality knurling on the bar, the tensile strength, whip needed for deadlifts, and can take some serious abuse without showing an ounce of damage.

  • Dual Knurling
  • 190 - 200K PSI Tensile Strength
  • 16.40" Loadable Sleeves
  • Bronze Bushings

Although this list might be titled “Best Olympic Barbells,” the Rogue Ohio Bar is the best all-around barbell because it is useful for powerlifters, Olympic lifters, and general lifters. It does just about everything right so it nails every important checkmark that you want.

The tensile strength is between 190 000 - 200 000 psi (for the stainless steel version), loadable sleeve size of 16.4”, a 28.5mm shaft, and dual knurling.

It’s not only highly efficient in terms of performance, but it’s a pretty gosh darn good-looking piece of equipment, especially the stainless steel version I hinted at, but the Cerakote finish is quite eye-popping as well if the aesthetic quality is something you care for.

A lifetime warranty is standard for this barbell so you can drop it as many times as you like, it’s durable, effective for a wide range of lifting styles, and it’s good looking - in other words, it truly lives up to the best all-around barbell spot.


Rogue Ohio Power Barbell - Best Power Barbell

Don’t be confused, the Rogue Ohio Power Barbell is not the same as the previously mentioned Rogue Ohio Bar.

Even though they have similar names, the Rogue Ohio Power Bar is slightly different for a few reasons. Firstly, the name itself alludes to it being more suited for powerlifting.

  • 29mm Diameter Grip
  • 16.25" Loadable Sleeves
  • 200K PSI Tensile Strength
  • Center and Aggressive Knurling

This is compounded by the fact that it has a tensile strength of 200 000 psi, which is slightly more than the normal Rogue Ohio Bar. Secondly, this bar has the center knurling which is crucial for performing heavy deadlifts, a favorite for powerlifters.

It’s more expensive, retailing at $415.00 for the stainless steel finish, compared to the Rogue Ohio Bar stainless steel finish at $370.00, but some of the other finishes (Bare Steel - $290.00, Black Zinc - $305.00, E-Coat - $305.00) are a little cheaper, with a tensile strength rating of 205 000 psi.

Rogue’s Ohio Power Bar also has a 29mm shaft, slightly larger than the regular Ohio Bar, but a 16.25” loadable sleeve which is just a bit smaller than its counterpart.

Ultimately, this bar is an excellent alternative to the regular Ohio Bar, but the small differences are clearly geared towards powerlifters which makes it a great barbell for that purpose.


Eleiko IWF Competition Barbell - Best Competition Barbell

Any list of best barbells that doesn’t include Eleiko is incomplete. Although we might be guilty of it with some of our past best barbell lists (our bad!) so let us correct that quickly.

The Eleiko IWF Competition Barbell is the cream of the crop when it comes to competition style and approved barbells.

It’s the one that you see professional lifters using in competitions like the Olympics, the World Weightlifting Competition, and the IWF World Championship. Eleiko has pedigree, which is basically what I’m getting at.

  • Competition Tested and Legal
  • 1500kg / 3306.93lbs Max Load
  • 16.34" Loadable Sleeves
  • 28mm Diameter Grip

So what makes this bar so special? They’re handcrafted by the Eleiko team meaning each bar has to pass a rigorous quality control test. Not only that, but they have 60 years of experience and as mentioned, are competition certified for the highest level.

As for the specifications, the Eleiko IWF Competition Barbell has a loadable sleeve of 415mm, significantly larger than typical consumer bars. A 28mm diameter grip, a max load of 3306.93lbs (1500kg), 50mm sleeve shaft, chrome steel finish, medium balanced knurling rating, and a lifetime warranty.

The only issue I have with this bar is that this kind of performance, quality, and reliability comes at a hefty price. It retails for $1099.00 USD, which is definitely a lot more than any bar you’ll find on this list but if you’re serious about getting the best bar that’s certified for the top competitions or plan on building a high-end home gym, it’s the Lamborghini of barbells.


Rogue Olympic Barbell - Best Affordable Competition Barbell

If the Eleiko is the Lamborghini of Olympic barbells, then the Rogue Olympic Barbell is Ferrari.

While it might not be as insanely constructed and used in nearly every major lifting competition, it's pretty damn close.

Rogue always finds its way onto these lists numerous times, and their Olympic barbell should be no surprise to find on this best Olympic barbell list.

  • 200K PSI Tensile Strength
  • 16.30" Loadable Sleeves
  • 28mm Diameter Grip
  • Single Olympic Knurl

The Rogue Olympic Barbell is an excellent competition grade Olympic barbell, certified by International Weightlifting Federation standards, that won't break the bank. 

If you're a little bit hesitant to drop $1k on a barbell, then the $620.00 USD price tag for this bad boy will give you some breathing room for your budget.

Just because it's an affordable competition bar doesn't mean it's any less of a quality product either. 

A loadable sleeve of 16.3" means more plates and a tensile strength rating of 200 000 PSI means more drops too.

Center knurling, a 28mm shaft diameter, 5 needle bearings per sleeve, stainless steel (shaft) and chrome (sleeve) finish, and F2 rating make this one of the most durable Olympic barbells on this list.


Titan Fitness Regular Olympic Barbell - Best Budget Barbell

Moving on from Rogue and Eleiko, we have the Titan Fitness Olympic Barbell.

An absolute pivot from the previous category, this is strictly a budget barbell, but that by no means makes it low quality. Titan Fitness is one of my favorite fitness brands solely for the fact that they always have what I need, including their Regular Olympic Barbell.

It’s not going to blow you away, it’s pretty standard, but that’s exactly what you need if you’re trying to watch your spending all the while building a competent home gym.

  • 165K PSI Tensile Strength
  • 30mm Diameter Grip
  • Multi-Knurling
  • 453.6kg / 1000lb Max Load

We’ve reviewed plenty of other Titan Fitness products, and the marriage of quality and affordability is something that always stands out.

Titan Fitness’ Regular Olympic Barbell has medium texture multi-knurling (including center knurling for you powerlifters), a 30mm grip diameter, 50mm sleeve diameter, a 1000lb weight capacity, tested up to 165 000 psi tensile strength, and a nice chrome finish which makes it an all-around gem in your fitness equipment treasure chest.

It’s not going to blow you away with a tensile strength rating, it doesn’t come in lavish finishes, but it does exactly what you want it to do, does it well, and best of all does it for only $139.99 which is a deal any day of the week.


Rogue Bella Barbell 2.0 - Best Barbell for Women

Now, you might wonder why the best Olympic barbell needs a specific category for women and I’ll elaborate before we talk about it.

Everyone lifts differently, and that includes the equipment we use, especially barbells. The knurling texture, the length of the bar, and especially the weight are 3 of the most important factors why women would choose a different bar than men. Obviously, this isn’t always true, but I don’t want to recommend a bar that is too light, or too heavy-duty for any of our readers, regardless of gender.

  • 200K PSI Tensile Strength
  • 13.00" Loadable Sleeves
  • 25mm Diameter Grip
  • Dual Powerlift and Olympic Knurling

Rogue Bella Barbell 2.0 is the answer to the problem of what barbell makes the most sense for women. Not only is it 15kg (as opposed to 20kg for the typical bars), it’s slightly shorter at 79.13” in total length, which helps for a more stable lift.

Along with the decreased bar weight and length, it has a 25mm grip which is much more comfortable for women, 190 000 psi tensile strength for plenty of weight, 13” loadable sleeves, and comes in 3 finishes.

Rogues Bella Bar 2.0 has a stainless steel finish ($330.00), E-Coat ($235.00), and Black Zinc ($235.00). Even the most expensive option, stainless steel, is pretty affordable given the high quality we expect from Rogue.

All-in-all, this is a great bar that is near identical to the regular counterpart but more comfortable and forgiving for female lifters.


Blues City Power Barbell - Best Value Barbell

I already mentioned the Titan Fitness Regular Olympic Barbell as our budget option, but value and budget aren’t always the same thing, which is why I made a category for a value barbell as well.

Introducing the Blues City Power Barbell. Odds are you haven’t heard of Blues City Barbells, but they’re actually owned by Titan Fitness which gave me some relief knowing they’re under good leadership.

As for the actual barbell itself, the Blues City Power Barbell is awfully comparable to many leading power bars for a generous price of $299.99 for the black zinc finish and $288.99 for the red Cerakote finish model (final sale).

  • 200K PSI Tensile Strength
  • 28.5mm Diameter Grip
  • 15.25" Loadable Sleeves
  • 680.4kg / 1500lb Max Load

Center knurling, 28.5mm shaft diameter, 15.25” sleeve, 1500lb weight capacity, and a good 200 000 psi tensile strength make it more than enough for anyone that is looking at putting in some serious work in the squat rack or on the Olympic platform.

Even though it might be a little less well known than some of the other brands, it’s an incredibly capable bar for intense powerlifting requirements and at a seriously reasonable price (so much so that I thought I was reading it wrong), and thus, is my best value barbell pick.


Titan Fitness Safety Squat Barbell V2 - Best Safety Barbell

Veering away from the traditional barbell for these next two, we first have the Titan Fitness Safety Squat Barbell (SSB).

An SSB is a special type of barbell that is designed to help lifters adjust the weight distribution with the use of pads to protect their neck/upper back and handles for more control/less strain on wrists and shoulders.

It might look funny or might seem impractical, but it’s a barbell that can save many an injury down the line.

  • 680.4kg / 1500lb Max Load
  • 6" Shoulder Padding
  • 16" Loadable Sleeves
  • 12.75" Shoulder Pad Grip Length

With the Titan Fitness Safety Squat Barbell, you’re not going to be performing serious PBs on deadlifts, power cleans, or OHP, but it’s perfect for beginner lifters learning form or those that suffer from pain, soreness, or any ailment that’s interrupting their lifting.

Even the Safety Squat Olympic Bar V2 has a max load of 1500lbs which is probably going to be more than enough, but to add on top of that, the 6” shoulder pads are going to keep the weight from bearing down too much.

It’s not a traditional barbell by any means, but as I mentioned, no two lifters are the same so it’s important for me to mention options like these so we can all feel comfortable lifting and keep lifting without pain or problems.


Rogue TB-2 Trap Bar - Best Hex Barbell

Last but not least we have the Rogue TB-2 Trap Bar, which is in other words, known as a hex bar.

This is an unusual-looking barbell in the same vein as the Titan Fitness Safety Squat Olympic Bar V2, but you’ve more than likely seen it in a few gyms in your time.

The hexagonal shape is designed to allow the lifter to step into the middle and lift the bar with their palms facing towards their own body for a more comfortable deadlift.

  • 27.2kg / 60lb Bar Weight
  • 25" Handle-to-Handle Length
  • Knurled Handles
  • 16" Loadable Sleeves

The deadlift is a fundamental lift and I stress it plenty that the Big 3 compound lifts (squats, deadlifts, bench press) are essential to any successful routine, but I also understand how traditional deadlifts can be painful, awkward, or unfamiliar for many lifters, hence why I felt the need to include the Rogue TB-2 Trap Bar.

Rogue’s TB-2 Trap Bar is a little expensive at $395.00, but considering it can help maintain good posture for such a crucial lift and make it a safer lift, the cost-to-benefit is more than worth it. It’s also heavier than a normal bar, being 60lbs, which makes it a sturdy piece of equipment that you won’t need to load too many plates onto.

It has 16” loadable sleeves so you can fit plenty of plates than typical lower quality hex bars/trap bars. The grips have knurling on them to help with lift efficiency and its black powder coat is incredibly aesthetically pleasing, although keep in mind these coatings can wear off if rubbed against other abrasive materials.

What I would say to anyone looking to buy this barbell is that, although it is in the specialty barbell category, it’s helpful in simulating a natural lift motion for the wrists (ex. Farmer’s walks), it’s durable as all heck, and it’s one I’ve used countless times in my own experience and absolutely loved. Long story short - it’s a keeper.


Final Thoughts

Tensile strength this, the loadable sleeve that, grip diameter, etc. I’ve talked shop here mentioning some of the particulars and technical aspects of barbells, but the real important measure of quality is always how useful it is for you and your goals.

Each barbell represented today has some contribution for lifting goals, be it Rogue’s all-around Ohio Bar that can do it all, the Eleiko IWF Competition Bar that is tested to the utmost of quality, or Titan Fitness Regular Olympic Bar and its combination of high-quality and low cost, each barbell is important for you in some way.

Hopefully you’ve come away with more answers than questions today and you’ll find the right barbell to help you smash that deadlift PB or find something that combines comfort and quality to keep lifting with joy!

Denver Matheson
 

I spend a lot of time at the gym and even more time in the kitchen giving my body what it needs to repair itself and grow stronger. The third most important place for any athlete is their research zone. That's exactly why this site exists, to help me share all of the information I've learned throughout the years just like people did for me in the first place!

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