The End of Noisy Barbells?

decibel drop test of Rogue barbell

Rogue released their first “silent” bar in May, the Ohio Bar 2.0S. It’s meant to drastically reduce the amount of noise produced from dropping the bar with bumper plates. I’ve delayed mentioning it all year because I wanted to wait and see how much of a difference it really made for people.

Sure, they can quantify the noise difference in decibels. The real story is the different bushings they use in the sleeves and behind the end caps prevent most of the clanging noise. There’s still a thumping noise and a small bit of clang. It’s not magic. Your neighbor will feel the earthquake just as much. It’s an improvement for a portion of the noise, that’s all.

Bottom line is if you’re looking at Rogue’s flagship Ohio Bar (which I featured as one of the best Crossfit-specific bars), the 2.0S version is worth considering. While I understand the marketing of releasing this “new” bar with the hype of a new model number, I hope they eventually phase these bushings into all their bars. The bar is otherwise no different from their existing Ohio Bar.

I Goofed and Fixed It

Earlier this year I updated the power rack attachments compatibility guide to indicate that Titan Fitness’s hole spacing was now 2″ on all their racks, making them compatible with Rogue and others!

Scratch that, reverse it. Upon further chatting with several owners of new Titan racks, that was dead wrong. All Titan racks still have 50mm hole spacing (slightly under 2″), which makes some attachments incompatible. I relied on bad info from Titan’s customer service team. That said, the majority of Titan’s well-priced attachments use only 1 hole and are generally compatible with Rogue and others.

Hansu’s Deep Dish Plates

low priced deep dish plate

I recently added these well-priced plates to my machined weight plates guide.

This Chinese-owned, Canada-based company started up in 2021. Basement Brandon had positive things to say, leading me to look at them.

I should warn you that Hansu’s 45lb plates have been out of stock for the whole back half of this year. At this point the price and future availability looks questionable. With the rise in prices of all goods this year, I wouldn’t count on the same price when they restock, and they appear to be in no hurry to restock for some reason.

Also, Hansu never responded to my inquiry about the status and info for this blog. Perhaps you’ll get a response, but I can’t yet recommend a company who is unresponsive. I want to like these plates, and I’m still considering buying a pair to check out if it’s possible at some point.

So we’ll have to keep an eye on them and see what happens in 2022.

Stop With the Grooved Sleeves!

micro grooves on barbell sleeves

Perhaps I am in the minority here, but I prefer the old-fashioned smooth sleeves that plates can slide on and off like butter, not these ridged sleeves that everyone is doing.

Searching around for some more smooth-sleeved options led me to update the list of bar manufacturers who do grooved and smooth barbell sleeves. From the list it appears to be a 50/50 split. If you look closer you’ll see that it’s a more limited selection of models that have smooth sleeves that might not be what you’re looking for.

Anyway, I’m mostly letting you know that I updated the article, as it’s one of the “list” type ones that people have found helpful.

Rogue’s New Adjustable Monolift Attachment 2.0

Rogue monolift 2.0 attachment

To balance out my negative-to-moderate tone on the stuff above, here’s a positive one!

This is another “2.0” release from Rogue, new only last month, a set of redesigned adjustable monolift attachments, coming in a Monster Lite version and Monster version.

First, if you don’t know, a monolift eliminates your need to awkwardly move the barbell out horizontally from the rack J-hooks when starting the lift, which is helpful for heavy bench presses especially. The barbell starts at the normal starting height but directly above your chest, and when you unrack the barbell the monolift arms fall back against the rack, ready to receive the barbell after your set. They can also be used for squats and other exercises, but people tend to like it for bench press the most.

This version has some big improvements:

  1. Smaller – It’s thicker so that the depth and height can be about 30% smaller, giving you more room around your rack and making these more handy to carry and store away.
  2. UHMW – Better surface covering, including where the arm falls back against the rack, eliminating metal-on-metal contact.
  3. Ball Lock Pin – Just one pin on each piece to attach to the rack, a single ball-lock pin, which is a different design than the “drop-in” style of most attachments nowadays. This makes it easier to put on and off, adjust up and down, and it’s compatible with other racks with different hole spacing.
  4. Swing Arm Pin – Stick this extra pin in to keep the arm against the upright and use the monolift like a traditional J-hook. However, this pin does not secure very well, leaving its utility questionable.
  5. Swing Arm Limiter Bolt – Optional bolt on the top stops the arm from swinging away from the rack too far. This is a nut and bolt, making it more of a long-term decision based on preference. Update: Our reader Tyler in the comments below shared that the arm’s finish will quickly come off if it keeps hitting this bolt, and it might be best to avoid using it.

The price is only $35 higher (Monster Lite) or $20 higher (Monster) than version 1, which is still available at the moment. Definitely go for the 2.0. There’s too many improvements to miss out on.

Coop’s great youtube review helped me identify all these new features. I’ve outlined it above, but here it is if you’re interested: