Rogue Barbells


Level 3 Valued Member
At my gym, the most popular bar (and my fav) is an old Texas Power Bar. Most people don't know the brand name, but it moves around a lot because people seek it out. There's a lot of good bars there, but that's the only one people wander around and look for. It's aged to a nice black finish- not sure if it's designed to do that or not, but it hasn't rusted. It has 20+ yrs of very heavy service. As Steve said, I'd trust RDC's stuff just as much. I think he sold the Texas Power Bar for years until he got the Okie.

The best way to buy weights is used. For home use, I bought one of the generic bars at a store somewhere (maybe d@#$'s Sporting Goods?), but I bought it in person and didn't get one until I liked the knurling and way it felt enough to bring it home. If you're still going to have access to your gym, the home can be any decent bar and enough plates for a basic medium session. Different if your home setup is for all your workouts.


Level 6 Valued Member
I think it's odd that barbells don't come with the center knurling option.
Perhaps someone can verify my knowledge of lifting history, but I believe that at one time single arm lifts, e.g., the one arm snatch, were actual competition lifts in weightlifting. This is why bars had the center knurling. These lifts are no longer contested so there is no need for the center knurling. I like the center knurling for back squats because it creates extra friction to keep the bar in place, although it's not critical for the high bar position as the bar sits on a "shelf" created by the traps. I would think center knurling is almost a requirement for low bar squats as the "shelf" on which the bar sits is less secure. For front squats and the Olympic lifts themselves I like a bar without the center knurling.

TLDR: It's not unusual for bars not to have the center knurling.

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
I like the center knurl. It makes the bar feel solid on my back for back squats, even at the 135-185 ish lb weights that I'm using. My impression is that weightlifters don't like the center knurl against the throat for cleans, front squats, etc. But I think I'm OK with that.

I found another bar that is zinc oxide and has the center knurl:

I think I might do this order shown below minus the last item, the 300 lb black training plate set, which is the big ticket item. The plate set ships for free anyway, so I wouldn't miss out on the free shipping to wait on the big plate set. And I just really can't decide if I want to get those plates or the Rogue HG 2.0 Bumper Plates... or even just go with cheap plates from wherever. The nice plates shown there would take me up to 400 lb in increments of 5 lb if I get the change plates listed, for $1,136. This is the set with 4 45s (blue stripe), instead of 2 45s and 2 55s (red stripe) (320 lb set); I worked it out on a spreadsheet and I think the set with 4 45s makes more sense. The 350LB HG 2.0 Set would take me up to 410 in 5 lb increments with the change plates shown minus one set of 10 lb which wouldn't be needed, for $700. Worth an extra $436 for really nice plates? That's a lot. What if I want to expand further, would I want to be committed to the nicer plates? Will the prices go up? Would one or the other be easier to store, stack, move, load/unload? Would I just enjoy lifting more with really nice plates? These are the things running through my mind...


And yes, I'll have access to a gym for the foreeable future. I'd like to have a home option for when it's not convenient or when they are closed, and possibly to train people. My husband plans on building me a workout room when we build a shop in the backyard, hopefully in the next year or two, and I might wait on that to even unpack whatever I get. In the gym when it's built, I'd like to eventually have a rack, bench, pull-up bar, stall mats, and Sprossenwand :). And of course the kettlebells that I already have, plus perhaps a few more.

Thanks everyone for your great inputs so far, it has helped a ton!


Certified Instructor
@Anna C If you are looking at the Chan bar just know that the knurling starts further from the center. Could be a problem based on your deadlift stance, you might be holding non knurled metal.

Edit: and the plus to that would be a slightly wider stance without dragging knurling up your shins.

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
Ah, great point. Yes, I want the knurling at 17 inches or less. The space between the inside of my hands in a conventional deadlift is only about 16-17". The Chan bar has 21".

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
Argh.... I'm just going to hold off for now. I don't have that 100% feeling that this is for sure the setup I want... especially because none of the barbells are quite right.

At least I am a lot more aware of what options there are, and what I need to look for. I'll pay more attention to the equipment I have access to so I can really decide what I want. Will also check out deals other than Rogue.

Thanks again everyone for the help and ideas.


Level 6 Valued Member
@Anna C, skipping through the thread I recall no real consideration of the Ohio Power Bar (
It has center knurl and because I considered buying it myself looked up some reviews on the net and they're all poitive.
On the Starting Strength forum they compare it to the B&R bar and the original Texas Power Bar and come to the conclusion that in terms of quality they are all very good and personal preferance for things like the knurling are the deciding factor.
It's also zinc coated or even stainless steel, which makes it more durable than e.g. the B&R.

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor

Carl in Dover

Level 5 Valued Member
I cannot comment on any other brands , but Rogue quality, customer service, speedy shipping with awesome tracking, and dependability is why I chose Rogue equpment to outfit my home gym.


Level 5 Valued Member
@Anna C I'm going to give a contrary opinion.

I bought a cheap no name bar and actually I have found it just fine. Admittedly it's only 1 year in - probably used 5 days a week on average. I won't consider changing it until my deadlift is at 200 kg. I view it as the equivalent of my first car - that was pretty crap but I loved it.

The chrome plating on the sleeves has started to flake so there are some tiny rust spots but that doesn't bother me (again like the car). The sleeves turn OK and I don't do any fast olympic lifting anyway.

I also have a random mix of bumper plates and trigrip plates - again it's not going to win any beauty contests but it does the job and I haven't dropped a plate on my foot yet.

Looking down your kit list - you should put a heavy bag on it - punching stuff is very therapeutic.

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
Super cheap, haha! I'm seeing that barbells are a lot like bicycles, with no upper limit on how much you can spend...

I have over 17,000 miles on my Trek Madone road bike with Dura-Ace components, so I can appreciate the value one can get from money well spent on good equipment.

On the other hand, I don't mind driving a thrifty car. To me, a car falls in the category of, "It is vain to do with more what can be done with less."

Just trying to figure out which mindset best applies to a barbell set.


Level 8 Valued Member
I think the price is dependant on a couple of things.

The obvious one is if you can afford it or not.

The second one is how much you'll use it, how much you enjoy the use and how long you'll use it. Ok, that's three things here.

I don't mind driving an older car. I don't like driving. I only drive the minimum I have to. Cars break down.

When I got shoes for lifting, I felt horrible as they cost over 200€. The most expensive shoes in my lifetime. But they'll last it, and I use them often and love it. No regrets about the money afterwards.
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