Rogue Ohio Power Bar Review

Image of Rogue Ohio Power Bar

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The Rogue Ohio Power Bar has long been my top pick for the best powerlifting barbell for most people. It comes in a number of different finishes, all with unmatched powerlifting knurl marks.

Is this bar the right pick for your home gym? Find out in our Rogue Ohio Power Bar review.

Brief Look at the Rogue Ohio Power Bar

The Rogue Ohio Power Bar (OPB) is one of the most beloved and best barbells in the weight lifting community. Shortly after its release in 2014, Rogue's Ohio Power Bar quickly became the best value power barbell available.

Value isn't to be confused with cheap, this bar feels and performs anything but. Value in this sense means for the price, you aren't going to find a better deal on power bars.

The Eleiko IPF Powerlifting Bar, for example, is one of the world's best, but it retails for over $1000, and I still think the Rogue Ohio Bar has better knurling.

Rogue Ohio Power Bar

The king of barbells is the Rogue Ohio Power Bar. Made for any level of powerlifting, this bar is durable, well-constructed and will last you a lifetime - but the lifetime warranty is there just in case!

Rogue Ohio Power Barbell

You may notice on Rogue's site that there are different versions of the Rogue OPB, this review is focused on the stainless steel version, but they are all generally the same with minor cosmetic differences.

What I Liked


  • Stainless steel construction resists oxidation and corrosion 
  • Manufactured in the USA at Rogue’s Columbus, Ohio factory
  • Perfect for heavy compound lifts (deadlift, bench press, squats)

What I Didn’t Like


  • Only the shaft is stainless steel, not the sleeves
  • Knurling can be aggressive 
  • Not officially IPF-certified (20kg version meets the requirements)

Rogue Ohio Power Bar - Is It Worth It?

I'll put it bluntly - yes, it's worth it a 1000 times over. The Rogue Ohio Power Bar is amazing if you're squatting, bench pressing, and deadlifting constantly, and it's worth it if you aren't doing those lifts.

It's one of the best barbells for a home gym that you can find, and it's going to hold up for years to come. 

Slightly over $400, it's not the cheapest bar, but for the build construction and quality, lifetime warranty, and durability, there isn't anything out there like it.

Good For


  • Lifters looking for a great value powerlifting barbell
  • Garage gym owners looking for a bar that will resist corrosion and last for years to come
  • Anyone who wants a stiff, durable bar with strong knurling

Not Good For


  • People who want the least expensive Rogue barbell 
  • Anyone looking for the best barbell for CrossFit or Olympic weightlifting workouts
  • People who need milder knurling

Rogue Ohio Power Bar - Specifications

Bar Weight

45 Lbs.

Shaft Diameter

29mm

Knurling

Aggressive

Center Knurl

Yes

Knurl Marks

Powerlifting

Shaft Coating

Stainless Steel

Bare Steel

Black Oxide

E-Coat

Black Zinc

Sleeve Finish

Hard Chrome

Tensile Strength

200 000 PSI

Bar Length

86.5”

Loadable Sleeve Length

16.25″

Bushing/Bearing

Bushing

F-Rating

F2 - F8R

Made In USA

Yes

Warranty

Lifetime

Using the Rogue Ohio Power Bar

Maintaining your equipment is a big priority for garage gym and home gym owners, so the stainless steel of the Rogue Ohio Power Bar is much-appreciated. The resistance to oxidation makes it a clear-cut favorite in terms of finishes.

The Cerakote is a personal favorite of mine and holds up well, but stainless steel is unbeatable for oxidization resistance.

I can rave about the stainless steel finish, but the knurling is likely the standout feature of the OPB. Compared to the competition, the aggressive knurling is enough to ensure a rigid hold, but won't chew your hands up. Take that, Texas Power Bar!

Knurling

Featuring 4 diamond points instead of just 1, the OPB's knurling is aggressive but not overly rough. Rogue's manufacturing invests their team and design to make sure they get it right, and the additional passes to create this pattern pays off.

There is also center knurling for better grip on the back for squats. The Cerakote finish Ohio Power Bar does not have center knurling.

You can't tell what kind of knurling you prefer until you hold the bar in your hands, but I can vouch for the OPB as having some of the most reliable knurling I've used, hence it being one of the key features.

As of 2021, Rogue has released their AGGRO Ohio Power Bar, which uses even more aggressive knurling. You can pick from the 2x AGGRO or 3x AGGRO bars. The 3x has the most aggressive knurling Rogue has produced yet.

Shaft

Not much to say here that isn't expected. The Rogue Ohio Power Bar uses a 29mm shaft diameter, which is commonplace for powerlifting bars used for compound lifts (squat, bench press, and deadlift).

Even if you're used to a 28mm or 28.5mm shaft diameter barbell, the 29mm will feel very comfortable, especially during squat and bench. Wrapping your hands around the bar is slightly less uncomfortable with that additional size.

It's even better for overhead press, which requires a lot of grip placement.

Finish

Rogue's Ohio Power Bar comes in several finishes you can choose from (Stainless steel, cerakote, bare steel, e-coat, black zinc) but the stainless steel should be the first choice you look for.

Stainless steel is in my humble opinion, the best barbell finish you can choose. E-Coat and cerakote are definitely great, some even argue better, but the natural feel of stainless steel is an unmistakably pleasant experience.

Aside from the aesthetic and superficial qualities, the stainless steel coating is unaffected by coating and won't suffer scraping the same way coated barbells will.

Disclaimer: bare steel =/= stainless steel. Bare steel is incredibly exposed to oxidation. Bare steel will suffer corrosion much worse than other Ohio Power Bar finishes.

Chrome sleeves on the Ohio Power Bar are another area that Rogue could have upgraded. While not a huge issue, for the price you'd expect stainless steel sleeves to complete the overall protective quality of the bar.

Tensile Strength

The Rogue Ohio Power Bar has a tensile strength of 200 000 PSI (pounds per square inch), which is a good tensile strength for this type of bar.

It also has very little flex. The tensile strength is far from the strongest out there, but you're never going to push it past its limit, I can guarantee that.

The flex is very stiff, and using it for rack pulls, it's very evident. A stiff bar is great for squats and bench press, but not as much for deadlifts. Don't get me wrong, it's a great deadlift bar, but a thinner shaft (27mm) with more flex/whip is considered closer to ideal for a deadlift bar.

Even though 200K PSI is good for tensile strength, Rogue should try to push it higher if they want to truly own the competition for best power bar.

Rogue Ohio Power Bar vs. Texas Power Bar

A topic of debate is the Rogue Ohio Bar vs. Texas Power Bar, which I've already discussed to help you out. You can also read my Texas Power Bar review to see more about it in-depth. 

In summary, the Texas Power Bar and the Rogue Ohio Power Bar are both top of the line barbells. The Texas Power Bar by Buddy Capps has been around for quite some time compared to the competition, and used in plenty of competitions too.

From a purely technical standpoint though, the Rogue OPB's specs are better. 

Texas Power Bar

The original power bar, the Texas Power Bar from Buddy Capps has been around for years and it still holds up.

Good knurling, competition certified, there's plenty to love about this classic.

The Ohio Power Bar has higher tensile strength rating, lifetime warranty, and more finish options, but the Texas Power Bar does slightly edge out the OPB in terms of price.

Knurling is always going to come down to personal preference, and I don't find the OPB to be too aggressive, but the Texas Power Bar knurling does feel a tad sharper.

No matter which you choose, both of these power bars are among the best barbells in their respective rights.

Rogue Ohio Power Bar vs. REP Stainless Steel Power Bar EX

REP Fitness is another major player in the world of fitness equipment, and the REP Stainless Steel Power Bar EX is another competitor to the Rogue Ohio Power Bar.

Although the REP Power Bar is an excellent barbell, and I love REP Fitness, it still falls short of taking the top spot for best power bar from the Rogue OPB. 

REP Fitness Power Bar EX

IPF-certified, 1500lb weight capacity, 200K tensile strength, and double-pass patterned knurling.

The REP Fitness Power Bar EX is a welcome addition to the collection of power bars.

rep fitness power bar ex

Comparing the specs, the REP Power Bar EX is very similar to the Ohio Power Bar. Where they differ is in the knurling, a common trend among barbell competitors.

The REP Power Bar EX knurling has a finer knurling, with more points per square inch, making for an evenly distributed knurling pattern. Whether it's less aggressive compared to the OPB is up to personal preference.

The REP Power Bar EX does have one feature that I wish the Rogue Ohio Power Bar had which is stainless steel sleeves. Overall, if you aren't picky about your barbells being made in the USA, then the Power Bar EX is still a fine choice.

Ordering and Assembling the Rogue Ohio Power Bar

Ordering from Rogue is always a pleasant experience. Shipping is fast, arriving quickly, and there was no hassle tracking it. Likewise, the package arrived without any breaks and no scuffing on the barbell or broken caps.

Customer Experience 

I've talking about the Boneyard bars deals for Rogue, and while it's usually a good option, I wouldn't use them for the Rogue OPB simply because the bar comes with a lifetime warranty.

Buying it new is a better bet to ensure it's in top-condition out of the box and it's going to last a long time anyways. That being said, Rogue has some of the best customer service I've encountered so it's all good either way.

Rogue Fitness equipment is high-quality, but cost a bit for that quality. Check out my write-up on how to save money on Rogue Fitness equipment to get the best for a little cheaper.

Customer Reviews

Rogue Fitness is known for consistent praise from customers. The Ohio Power Bar has plenty of 4 and 5-star ratings, plus rave reviews on roguefitness.com, and many reviewers calling it "the gold standard" of barbells.

One cause of complaint however is the knurling. Some customers believe it can be a tad bit aggressive, but that seems to be the only issue.

Final Verdict - Rogue Ohio Power Bar Review

Rogue Ohio Power Bar

The Rogue Ohio Power Bar is my choice for the best barbell for most people and most uses. While it is technically a powerlifting barbell, you can use it for whatever lifting needs you have.

If you're looking for a durable and high-quality barbell that can withstand all your squatting, deadlifting, and benching, the Rogue Ohio Power Bar is the one you need.

Brand: Rogue Fitness

Currency: $USD

Price: $290 - $415

Product In-Stock: In-Stock

Rogue Ohio Power Bar Rating

Value

durability

construction

versatility

knurling

oxidation resistance

tensile strength

sleeves

sleeve spin

Shipping & delivery

customer service

warranty, financing, returns

overall 

5/5

Rogue Ohio Power Bar FAQs

Is The Ohio Power Bar Worth It?

The Ohio Power Bar is considered one of the top power bars and barbells out there.

It's constructed with materials from and manufactured at Rogue's Columbus, Ohio facility. With a high tensile strength of 205K PSI, the Rogue Ohio Power Bar is incredibly strong.

Rogue Ohio Bar vs. Texas Deadlift Bar?

Rogue Ohio Bar vs. Texas Deadlift Bar come very close in terms of features, build, and quality.

In terms of cost, Texas Power Bar is slightly cheaper, but Rogue Ohio Bar has the slight edge in most categories

How Much Does The Rogue Ohio Power Bar Weigh?

The Rogue Ohio Power Bar weighs 45 pounds.

What Is The Rogue Power Bar Used For?

The Ohio Power Bar is an all-around barbell used for lifts like deadlifts, squats, and bench press.

Durable bronze-bushings, snap ring construction, and a loadable sleeve length of 16.25" make it a reliable multi-use barbell.

Denver Matheson
 

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