We’ve sold thousands of barbells over the years. So, as you can imagine, we are often asked similar questions during sales. Here’s one that might be helpful to you when buying your next barbell.
Company XYZ is selling barbells much cheaper. Why is that?
Steel work is a process and not all steel is created or processed equally. Some can end up flexible and soft like chewing gum – you’ve all seen a bent bar in a gym somewhere, I’m sure. And some can end up brittle and shatter like glass – you’ve probably seen a bar break in half, too. Impurities need to be managed, too, so if the price is well below market value, a corner is being cut somewhere.
Again Faster Evolution and Team 2.0 bars sit right in the sweet spot here. Not too soft and not too hardened. Years of development have made them just right with a very high strength rating, designed specifically for hi-rep workouts.
If you want to be taken seriously in the lifting world, your barbells need to meet a specific tolerance rating, meaning the weight (20kgs / 15kgs) needs to be accurate within a certain margin – usually a Weight Tolerance of +/- 0.1%.
That’s pretty tight, which requires testing and monitoring, and it costs a little bit to do so, but it’s worth it. All Again Faster Barbells meet this rating. A cheap barbell will most likely not meet the standard.
Components play another part in the cost of a barbell. Inside the sleeve of the barbell you usually have one of two set ups - a bushing / ball bearing set or a needle bearing set. Put simply a needle bearing barbell usually spins faster and smoother than a bushing barbell. Needle Bearings are more complex to manufacture than bushings so you might pay a bit more but it will pay off in PR's time and time again.
The Evolution Barbell is the Workhorse of the industry, which has bushings / Ball Bearings and the Team 3.0 is one of the highest performing bars in the industry – a needle bearing bar. Either Again Faster Barbell is a great choice.
The finish comes down to rust prevention and feel of the knurling. The knurling on the Again Faster Bars are spot on. Aggressive enough to help you hang on for a long time, but won’t tear the crap out of your thumbs during a big set of hang snatches.
As far a rust prevention is concerned. Zinc and Powder coat are noted as the best all around coatings for an everyday use hi-rep barbell in most climates, and that’s what you get with the Evolution and Team 3.0 Again Faster Barbells.
Always shoot for the Again Faster Team 3.0 barbell. It's the best barbell on the market in its class.
If the budget won't allow for the Team 3.0, you can’t go wrong with The Evolution Barbell either.
Don't bother with the cheaper bars on the market for functional fitness. Most boxes have a barbell graveyard in the corner somewhere and you'll see most of the bars have something in common. Cheap steel, cheap components, cheap finish.
For a few dollars more you can have an Again Faster Barbell that will last you for years and years, not a handful of months.