starting strength gym
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 19

Thread: Am I crazy? Rogue Ohio Power Bar Stainless Steel vs. Starting Strength Bar

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Posts
    14

    Default Am I crazy? Rogue Ohio Power Bar Stainless Steel vs. Starting Strength Bar

    • starting strength seminar april 2024
    • starting strength seminar jume 2024
    • starting strength seminar august 2024
    I have a stainless steel Rogue Ohio Power Bar, 20kg variant (Boneyard Bar, if that matters). I bought it when I bought my power rack a couple years ago in my meager effort to start strength training in my basement, having not done much in the way of lifting before. I didn't get far before I let life get in the way and it sat as decoration for awhile. I've done no maintenance to it at all (granted I never used chalk with it) and the sleeves spin great and there is expectedly not a spec of rust on it though it lives in my damp Midwest basement.

    Recently, as you may have seen in my other thread, I am finally giving training another go. I did a free 30 minute personal training sessions at a Starting Strength gym late last week for help with my squat and noticed that for some reason, the Starting Strength bar there felt way better to me.

    I understand the bar is bare steel and the knurling is obviously different but what really threw me for a loop was that the bar felt lighter than my bar, which is crazy because both bars weigh the same. I don't have small hands, but they are definitely not large either, so I'm thinking maybe the fact that the SS bar is 0.5mm thinner might have something to do with it since I was probably able to wrap my fingers around the bar a bit more and squeeze harder. I only had 30 mins with the bar and only with the squat so my experience is limited.

    I'm considering selling my OPB and buying the SS Bar. Am I crazy? I understand I may be asking a slightly biased community but I digress. I often hear the Rogue OPB is one of the best bars you can buy without getting into American Barbell or Eleiko territories, that people love the knurling, and that stainless steel is often regarded as a large improvement over bare steel for maintenance purposes. I like the bar from a maintenance standpoint, but I can't say in my limited limiting experience I am crazy about the volcano knurl which feels a bit too "thick" for me if that makes any sense. The SS Bar knurl felt "more close to the bar" if that makes sense.

    As mentioned, I'm in the infancy stages of SS so I'm certainly not squatting or pulling anything remotely close to weight that would make whip or the general longevity of the bar a concern at this point. While I am ok oiling a bar every month or two, I certainly don't want to be devoting time to maintaining it weekly.

    Just curious on anyone's thoughts who has experience with both bars. Thank you

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2023
    Posts
    33

    Default

    The "feels lighter" might just be some psychological phenomenon of being in a strength-focused gym with other people who are doing the same. I had a similar experience when I went training at Brussels Barbell after lifting at home for over a year. I had it with the 20kg plates. To me, they felt more like 10kg plates while loading the bar.

    So maybe hold off on selling your bar, until you've been to the SS gym a few times.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    268

    Default

    I have several bare steel bars in my Northeast basement, and they require oiling maybe twice a year. I wouldn't worry about maintenance.

    Depending on your budget, you might consider buying the SS Bar AND keeping the OPB. Both of them are excellent bars. I've found that a 29mm power bar is better to squat with but not as good for presses and unusable for power cleans. You'll need the SS Bar or something like it for power cleans, and it's also nice to have a second bar to superset your warmups and make your workouts shorter.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2021
    Posts
    518

    Default

    A previous employer had an OPB in the on-site gym, and I've also used them occasionally elsewhere, both cerakote and stainless. They're very good bars, though I always find the knurling a bit aggressive. Three years ago, when I started building my home gym, I got a SS bar and never looked back. It's definitely spoiled me. I have "Vietnamese sausage" fingers, so the 28.5 mm diameter is nice. The knurling is by far the best I've used. I prefer bare steel, and it's not a maintenance burden by any means.

    If you're in a financial position to ADD the SS bar, it's good to have an extra bar, for a couple of reasons. First is "two is one, one is none", just in case. Also, if you have room, for some pairs of exercises you can interleave warm ups for the next exercise with the work sets on the current one, to save time. My second bar is a secondhand, older Rogue bar that I got with my rack - it's perfectly serviceable, but an OPB would definitely have been better.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Posts
    14

    Default

    Thanks for the input, gentleman.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Bex View Post
    The "feels lighter" might just be some psychological phenomenon of being in a strength-focused gym with other people who are doing the same..
    That’s an interesting point. I wonder if that could be. When I attempted to lift the same weight at home a couple days later, it definitely felt heavier. I even wore the same shoes and clothes. Go figure.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nikola Blagojevic View Post
    I have several bare steel bars in my Northeast basement, and they require oiling maybe twice a year. I wouldn't worry about maintenance.



    I've found that a 29mm power bar is better to squat with but not as good for presses and unusable for power cleans.
    Good to know - thanks for that Nikola. How do you know when it “requires” oiling? And do you brush the bars at all or is that literally the only maintenance you do on them?

    And after browsing Reddit a bit, it seems you’re not the only one who prefers squatting with the 29mm bar. Why is that?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Donaldson View Post
    A I prefer bare steel, and it's not a maintenance burden by any means.



    If you're in a financial position to ADD the SS bar, it's good to have an extra bar, for a couple of reasons. First is "two is one, one is none", just in case. Also, if you have room, for some pairs of exercises you can interleave warm ups for the next exercise with the work sets on the current one, to save time. My second bar is a secondhand, older Rogue bar that I got with my rack - it's perfectly serviceable, but an OPB would definitely have been better.
    Same question for you Jason if you don’t mind - what sort of maintenance do you do on your Starting Strength bar? And do you notice a difference in feel between bare steel and stainless steel?

    I would love to keep both bars. With where I am in my training, which is an extreme newbie who’s fallen off the training wagon a few times before, it’s certainly a luxury to keep both, and I can’t help but wonder if that money would be better spent on a belt and a bunch of calories down the line. I’ll certainly consider it though given all of your advice. It definitely seems like the Starting Strength bar would be a good buy though.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    North Texas
    Posts
    53,391

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Zoso View Post
    - what sort of maintenance do you do on your Starting Strength bar? And do you notice a difference in feel between bare steel and stainless steel?
    In the 40 years I have owned WFAC, I have maintenanced my bars maybe twice. Unless you're keeping your bars in a humid coastal environment, a drop oil on the bushings/bearings every couple of years is probably overkill.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    268

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Zoso View Post
    Good to know - thanks for that Nikola. How do you know when it “requires” oiling? And do you brush the bars at all or is that literally the only maintenance you do on them?

    And after browsing Reddit a bit, it seems you’re not the only one who prefers squatting with the 29mm bar. Why is that?
    Don't overthink bar maintenance. If it gets a spot of rust, rub it with a little oil. I brush out the chalk once in a while and that's it. A drop of oil on the bushings once a year.

    The 29mm bar is stiffer. I find that a 28.5mm bar flexes noticeably on my walkout north of 405.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Posts
    657

    Default

    You’re not crazy. I own the same OPB and had the same experience with the SS bar. I think the SS knurling and geometry are better, independent of the difference in width.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2021
    Posts
    518

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Zoso View Post
    Same question for you Jason if you don’t mind - what sort of maintenance do you do on your Starting Strength bar? And do you notice a difference in feel between bare steel and stainless steel?

    I would love to keep both bars. With where I am in my training, which is an extreme newbie who’s fallen off the training wagon a few times before, it’s certainly a luxury to keep both, and I can’t help but wonder if that money would be better spent on a belt and a bunch of calories down the line. I’ll certainly consider it though given all of your advice. It definitely seems like the Starting Strength bar would be a good buy though.
    I don't mind at all - I initially brushed off the chalk after every workout and made sure to apply 3-in-1 oil to the bushings and lightly oil the whole thing down every month...but I got over that fairly early. Now, I dry brush the knurling whenever it strikes me (which is rarely) and I oil the bushings and surface every so often - probably 2, maybe 3 times a year. I key it to when we take a family trip out of town, mainly because it hits that cadence.

    Every once in a while I think I see rust forming on it, but it's just particulate matter wearing off of the UHMW plastic on the J-hooks, which comes off with a brush. I live in the upper midwest region and train in my half-insulated garage, so humidity and condensation are not major factors, and salt air is not a factor at all.

    As a side note, since I moved to using Spider Chalk, I seem to be leaving less noticeable chalk in the knurling. Has anyone else found this to be the case?

    As to feeling a difference between steel types, I can't really say. There are too many other features differing between the bars I've used. The knurling differences seem to be more important than the differences in steel types.

    I feel for you with your current dilemma. After the "age of house arrest" and its accompanying disruptions, I personally am loathe to let go of equipment (I even kept the 35s that came with a bolus of equipment I bought a couple years ago...), but your situation and decisions are your own. The basics are definitely most important. You need good shoes. You need a good belt. You need a serviceable rack and plates. A second bar is darned nice for a lot of reasons, but whether you're at either/or or both/and is yours to ascertain.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Posts
    14

    Default

    starting strength coach development program
    Thanks everyone for all of the great tips and info. You've convinced me to order the Starting Strength 20kg bar. Whether or not I keep the OPB is still up for debate but will cross that bridge down the line. For now, the wait has begun for the new piece of kit - can't wait.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •