The 8 Best Barbells for CrossFit

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Dumbbells are pretty cool and you can get in really good shape on your Assault Bike or Concept2 rower.

Kettlebells were everybody’s answer to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Barbells laugh at all of these pieces of gym equipment.

Why?

You want to get really strong? You’re gonna squat, deadlift, and clean…with a barbell.

You want to get really fast at WODs and CrossFit metcons? You’re gonna cycle…a barbell.

Today, we’re not only looking at the best piece of equipment for CrossFit. We’re looking at the best of the best pieces of equipment for CrossFit.

So without further ado, here are the best barbells for CrossFit:

🏆 Best Overall

Rogue Ohio Bar

91

The iconic barbell from the fitness equipment company
Extremely multifunctional
Numerous coating options
Read more on Rogue

Best for Powerlifting

Texas Power Bars Texas All American Bar

90

Dual knurl rings for all types of lifting
Center knurl
Medium knurling ideal for CrossFit
Read more on Texas Power Bars

Best for Women

Titan Series Women’s Olympic Barbell

86

“Diamond”, medium knurling ideal for CrossFit
Very high tensile strength for a women’s barbell
Highly-resilient cerakote finish
Read more on Titan Fitness

Best for Weightlifting

Rogue Olympic Weightlifting Barbell

81

5 needle bearings per sleeve, excellent spin
Incredible barbell whip
Superior stainless steel coating
Read more on Rogue

Best Affordable

Bells of Steel – The Utility Bar

91

Multiple coating options
Center knurling for powerlifting
Inexpensive
Read more on Bells of Steel

Rogue The Ohio Bar

⭐️ Verdict: Best Overall

The Ohio Bar is Rogue’s flagship barbell (and possibly its flagship product). It mixes unmatched versatility with a high degree of general durability that makes it ideal for CrossFit.

The Ohio Bar can be customized to fit a plethora of coating preferences, ensuring that it is up to the task whether lifters are snatching it in a 50-person CrossFit class or squatting solo in the garage or basement.

The lifetime warranty is a nice added touch.

Pros

The iconic barbell from the fitness equipment company

Extremely multifunctional

Numerous coating options

Con

Some have complained of premature rusting

Overall

91

CrossFit

95

General Lifting

90

Price

80

Customer Reviews

96

Read more on Rogue

How we test & score products

Watched any CrossFit on TV sometime in the last 10 or so years (and yes, if you’re reading this, I know you have!)? If so, you’ve almost certainly caught many a glimpse at The Ohio Bar. It has been the barbell of choice for officially licensed CrossFit competitions for quite some time now.

The CrossFit barbell!

And for good reason; it is one of the most versatile barbells on the market today. You’d feel just as comfortable squatting with it, snatching with it, or doing some “curls for girls” with it. For a sport that throws so many different movements at its adherents, The Ohio Bar is able to meet all demands.

Boasting a lifetime warranty and resistance to all types of bending, The Ohio Bar is legendary for its durability. Conversely, the barbell’s bushings make it more than suitable for cleaning and snatching while its dual knurl might trick you into thinking you’re lifting with a competition Olympic weightlifting barbell.

Available in a multitude of colors and sleeve textures (Cerakote, chrome, or stainless steel), there is literally an Ohio Bar out there for all lifters.

Elite powerlifters or those who prefer a bit more “grip” from the barbell while squatting may bemoan the lack of a center knurl. However, the Ohio Bar is going to serve CrossFitters of all experience and ability levels just fine for years to come.

Texas Power Bars Texas All American Bar

⭐️ Verdict: Best for CrossFit & Powerlifting

A “cross training” barbell from a brand known for its powerlifting equipment, the Texas All American Bar provides the best of both worlds.

It’s all about knurling with the Texas All American Bar; the medium knurling makes barbell cycling more comfortable, dual knurl rings guide lifters’ snatch grips, and the center knurl is beloved by powerlifters everywhere.

Pros

Dual knurl rings for all types of lifting

Center knurl

Medium knurling ideal for CrossFit

Cons

Bare steel coating is the default

Overall

90

CrossFit

85

General Lifting

95

Price

80

Customer Reviews

98

Read more on Texas Power Bars

How we test & score products

If you’re aware of Starting Strength and everything those guys are associated with, you’ve probably come across Texas Power Bars at some point. Although you probably also associate this company with rugged, won’t bend when deadlifting 1,000-plus pounds, types of barbells, they also make a pretty good barbell for CrossFit.

The All American Bar does a lot of what most lifters want in a powerlifting barbell, most notably the high (but not absurdly so) tensile strength and a center knurl to provide that extra body-barbell connection when squatting. However, the dual knurl marks and less aggressive knurling are more in line with what CrossFitters expect.

The standard bare steel option (and ensuing highlighted signs of wear that usually comes with it) might be a little off-putting to some lifters. To those who appreciate this (and who put just a little bit of effort into maintaining their barbells) the All American Bar could fit perfectly into their niche interests.

Titan Fitness Titan Series Women’s Olympic Barbell

⭐️ Verdict: Best for Women

Unlike many barbell manufacturers who treat their female barbell offerings as an afterthought, Titan Fitness has cut no corners with their Titan Series offering. Between the incredibly high tensile strength rating and resilient cerakote finish, this could be a “one and done” type of purchase.

The one-year warranty isn’t the longest we’ve seen, but it should cover any problems you would have conceivably experienced during your lifting journey.

Pros

“Diamond”, medium knurling ideal for CrossFit

Very high tensile strength for a women’s barbell

Highly-resilient cerakote finish

Cons

No needle bearings in the sleeves

Overall

86

CrossFit

85

General Lifting

85

Price

80

Customer Reviews

94

Read more on Titan Fitness

How we test & score products

A comparable alternative to Rogue’s The Bella Bar 2.0, Titan Fitness’ women’s barbell entry can do it all…in a number of different colors, at that!

The Cerakote shaft option is the way to go with this barbell as this option will require less maintenance than the hard chrome option. In the meantime, the moderately-textured shaft knurling and impressive 190,000 PSI Tensile Strength will ensure comfortable lifting and maximized performance.

The bronze bushings are sufficient for any type of powerlifting movement as well as for the vast majority of CrossFit WODs and metcons. To elite Olympic weightlifters, the lack of bearings might be concerning, although Titan Fitness’ women’s bar has sufficient spin to get you through a quick run through Isabel or Grace just fine. 

The Titan Fitness barbell’s warranty does not extend through the lifetime of the bar, but it does cover up to a year’s worth of defects and related problems. After a year in, you’ll certainly know how well your bar is holding up; for just about all lifters, this warranty is more than sufficient.

Rogue Olympic Weightlifting Barbell

⭐️ Verdict: Best for CrossFit & Weightlifting

Rogue’s Olympic Weightlifting Barbell’s “standard” stainless steel coating and 200,000 PSI tensile strength ensure that it is both durable and incredibly “sleek” to lift with.

Lifters will be hard-pressed not to hit a snatch or clean-and-jerk PR with this barbell, whether this comes during a dedicated lifting session or in the middle of a CrossFit metcon.

Pros

5 needle bearings per sleeve, excellent spin

Incredible barbell whip

Superior stainless steel coating

Cons

Expensive

Overall

81

CrossFit

95

General Lifting

85

Price

50

Customer Reviews

94

Read more on Rogue

While Rogue is famous for the general quality and versatility of its equipment, it isn’t as renowned for its top-end products. When it comes to Olympic weightlifting barbells, most people probably think about Eleiko before Rogue enters their minds.

With that being said, Eleiko bars are a bit too customized (and expensive) to be regularly throwing around in CrossFit metcons. Rogue’s Olympic Weightlifting barbell is definitely not budget-priced, but with little sacrifice in quality or construction, is one of the most affordable, “speciality” barbells for regular CrossFit use.

The stainless steel shaft alone separates it from the vast majority of “run-of-the-mill”, mass produced (and distributed bars) and the multiple needle bearings in each sleeve create a spin that will unaccustomed lifters. With a surprisingly high tensile strength score, you can even manage to sneak this into your squat and deadlift day workouts without worrying about bending.

Bells of Steel The Utility Bar

⭐️ Verdict: Best Affordable CrossFit Barbell

Combining all of the elements one could ask for a in an ideal CrossFit barbell (medium knurling, high tensile strength, resilient coating) at an affordable price, Bells of Steel’s The Utility Bar works for newb and experienced lifters, alike.

The inclusion of dual knurl rings as well as a center knurl encourage all types of lifting; the Limited Lifetime Warranty ensures lifters will get a lot of use out of the Utility Bar.

Pros

Multiple coating options

Center knurling for powerlifting

Inexpensive

Cons

No bearings

Overall

91

CrossFit

85

General Lifting

90

Price

90

Customer Reviews

96

Read more on Bells of Steel

How we test & score products

Bells of Steel gets it.

Not everybody wants a speciality barbell or even a “great” barbell from a known company, especially if they’re just getting started (and may not need the functionality of some of these other barbells) or are picking up barbells for a class of 20 lifting novices.

Their Utility Barbell (technically called “The Utility Barbell”) does everything you need a CrossFit bar to do without running the tab up or branding it as something particularly special or superior.

The Utility Bar’s Zinc-coated shaft and sleeves will show wear (especially if you don’t clean that chalk off) faster than some others, but ultimately holds up well in most environments. The 190,000 tensile strength ensures that it won’t bend, even if some goofball decides to load it up for a (missed) max deadlift attempt.

You don’t get bearings in The Utility Bar, but most lifters won’t notice. They are more likely to appreciate how seamless lower-skilled powerlifts feel with the barbell.

KingsBox The Great Bar

⭐️ Verdict: Contender!

KingsBox’s The Great Bar Olympic Barbell  is one of many of the brand’s multi-functional bars. It does a lot of things well, while also being a durable enough to handle just about any task.

A possible garage gym centerpiece barbell (or only barbell), this is one that is definitely up to the task. The warranty is its major weak spot, but in all likelihood, this won’t be an issue

Pros

Very multi-functional

Very good tensile strength

Very durable for its price point

Cons

Only a 1-year warranty

Overall

89

CrossFit

90

General Lifting

90

Price

80

Customer Reviews

97

Read more on Kings Box Read our FULL Review

How we test & score products

If you’re not in Europe, you may not be familiar with the KingsBox brand and company. Think of them as kind of a (much) smaller and less-developed version of Rogue, without the advertising budget and cool competitions.

I know you’re probably like “wait…how is this company anything like Rogue?” Well, it’s The Great Bar barbell is like a (Central) European version of the Ohio Bar.

The Great Bar is a good choice for that “centerpiece” barbell that you perform the majority of your more standard CrossFit workouts with. It spins well, has manageable knurling, and its durability outperforms its reasonable price point.

Don’t expect a “Stainless Steel experience” with its Zinc coating, but as long as you don’t leave it outside and you give it a good brushing once it gets too chalked up, it should serve you quite well.

Rogue The Bella Bar 2.0

⭐️ Verdict: Contender!

Rogue’s Bella Bar is essentially the women’s version of the Ohio Bar, sporting the same multifunctional characteristics, tensile strength and durability.

With a number of coating and color options, its difficult to pass on one of the few companies that takes women’s barbells this seriously.

Pros

Extremely high tensile strength for a women’s barbell

Superior barbell whip

Superior internal sleeve tolerances muffles sound; ideal for home gym lifting

Cons

Only more limited “construction” warranty

Overall

86

CrossFit

85

General Lifting

85

Price

80

Customer Reviews

96

Read more on Rogue

How we test & score products

You knew that one of Rogue’s women’s barbells would make it onto the list of the best barbells for CrossFit, didn’t you?

The Bella Bar 2.0 is the women’s bar answer to The Ohio Bar, boasting similar qualities and renowned for its multifunctionality. The 200,000 PSI Tensile Strength has more whip-generation potential than many of the men’s bars we have seen on this list. This provides it with excellent Olympic weightlifting functionality for a non-specialty barbell.

The stainless steel option is the most expensive configuration of The Bella Bar 2.0, but it is also the option that is most likely to increase the barbell’s longevity. The stainless steel sleeves are largely immune to the elements and by going with this option, upkeep requirements are minimal.

Serious Olympic weightlifters would probably decry the lack of bearings and the associated reduced barbell spin. If this is you, you might opt for a different barbell option, particularly one with needle bearings. However, the whip this bar provides does a good job of making up for the limited spin.

Rep Fitness Colorado Bar

⭐️ Verdict: Contender!

Rep Fitness’ answer to Rogue’s Ohio Bar, the Colorado Bar comes standard in hard chrome with sleeves coated in Duracoat for increased resiliency.

The unique medium, volcano knurling adds a degree of comfort when cycling the Colorado Bar and the dual knurl rings make it suitable for just about any kind of lifting.

Pros

Constructed of resilient 1680D CORDURA ballistic nylon

8mm heel drop “sweet spot” for dynamic and “pure” rucking

Official shoe of the CrossFit Games

Cons

Smooth bottom makes descending hills and cobblestones difficult

Overall

89

CrossFit

90

General Lifting

90

Price

75

Customer Reviews

99

Read more on Rep Fitness

It’s interesting that the “Rogue Killer” brand has, in many ways, simply just become Rogue. I’m not quite ready to crown the Colorado Bar as the best barbell for CrossFit, but it comes in at a pretty close second to the Ohio Bar for best all around.

(why so many of these barbells are named after states is beyond me!)

The Colorado Bar offers a lot of the same advantages that Rogue’s entry does (versatility, customization, durability), with some unique and interesting features of its own. The Duracoat is something only Rep Fitness is really doing to better insulate and protect its bars from wear and tear. Also, the “volcano” knurling is about the same “intensity” as other barbells’ offerings, but is a nice change to the more common “diamond” knurling.


What to Look For in CrossFit Barbells

Unlike shoes and other fitness equipment items you wear, barbells are pretty much a “one-size-fits-all” kind of thing. Of course, there are men’s and women’s-sized bars and some very niche specialty barbells, but otherwise, it’s pretty difficult to get your size “wrong” when picking one out.

This is the good news, and is probably pretty reassuring to hear if you don’t know much about bars.

On the other hand, most barbells exceed (in many cases, by a lot) the price of wearable equipment, making the investment in, and potential downside of making a mistake, more significant.

With this greater monetary outlay in mind, you should familiarize yourself with CrossFit barbell attributes and qualities to ensure that you’re making the best decision possible. You also want to make sure you’re selecting a bar that is great for CrossFit specifically, and not better suited for some other kind of fitness discipline.

“CrossFit”

As obvious (…or not) as this category may sound, a lot of qualities are necessary to classify a barbell as being “good” for CrossFit. The most important qualities are a high tensile strength score, dual knurl rings (to facilitate both Olympic lifting and powerlifting), and medium-grade knurling (to promote better grip, but is not too aggressive).

Other factors that are “nice to haves” but are not absolutely necessary for CrossFit are a higher-quality coating (for better “feel” and to promote barbell longevity) and bearings (to facilitate barbell spin when Olympic lifting).

It’s rare for a multi-purpose CrossFit barbell to possess all of these criteria (especially those in a reasonable price range) so don’t be concerned that otherwise highly-rated barbells don’t possess all of these criteria.

General Lifting

Realistically, every movement and/or workout you perform is not going to be a CrossFit movement/workout. Much of the time, you’ll use your “CrossFit barbell” to perform more traditional movements and even more “bro gym” types of exercises.

Barbells that can be used pretty well for a lot of different types of movements are preferred to overly niche barbells. For example, a barbell with incredible spin for the Olympic lifts can be difficult to hold steady in the hands when bench pressing.

Price

There is quite the price range for barbells, whether those designed specifically for CrossFit or not, with cheap, non-durable Amazon bars going for a little over $100 to the highest-quality bars easily dipping into the quadruple digits.

Most of the bars on our list are in the lower-to-middle price range, acknowledging both that “you get what you pay for” and that CrossFit bars don’t really have to be “great” at any one thing.

Customer Reviews

Peer review and use cases are incredibly important, especially in the close-knit “community-based” CrossFit crowd. When something sucks, to include a barbell, people will let the world know.

Appealing to this consensus adds an extra degree of credibility; I’d like to think you’ll blindly trust exactly what we say…

Shopping tips for Crossfit Barbells

As we’ve gone through our top CrossFit Barbells list, you’ve probably noticed a lot of similarities between many of our entries. However, each entry has its own unique characteristics that set it apart from the others.

Let’s look at a few of the key characteristics of the top barbells for CrossFit

Spin

If you’re following any type of CrossFit programming, you’re probably performing the Olympic lifts (in some capacity or another) at least two days per week. This is significant because…

Olympic weightlifting movements (the clean and jerk and the snatch) and other, closely-aligned movements (ex. The hang power clean, the cluster) involve very fast transitions of the barbell within the wrists. The faster these transitions take place, the more easily the lifter is able to execute each lift and maintain control of the barbell.

Barbells that “spin” faster accelerate these transitions and are universally preferred by those executing these movements. Barbell bearings and, more specifically, needle bearings, facilitate this and the top precision bearings can spin the barbell at speeds up to 15,000 revolutions per minute

Although only a few of the barbells included on our list include (the more expensive) bearings, all of them are able to spin to a degree that facilitates Olympic movements. If you’re serious about your CrossFit workouts only consider purchasing a barbell that spins. Trying to lift with a bar that doesn’t spin is…an ugly site.

Props to this guy for hitting 275 with that barbell!

Coating

Coating is the actual outer layer material you find along the bar’s shaft and/or sleeves. The coating contributes to the overall “feel” of the barbell in your hands as well as the barbell’s resistance to the elements and wear (such as rusting and cracking). 

On a scale from least resistant to most resistant:

  • Bare steel 
  • Black oxide
  • Chrome
  • Zinc
  • E-coat
  • Cerakote
  • Stainless steel

Price is normally closely correlated with barbell coating.

Warranty

Between extremely fast and heavy lifting, dropping from height, accumulating DNA (ex. blood and sweat), and being exposed to the elements, CrossFit barbells take a lot of abuse. Thankfully, just about all of the barbells on our list come with some type of warranty. This is important…but not for the reason you’d probably think.

Beware of the asterisk…

A one-year warranty on bending (and, by extension, breaking) should be the absolute shortest warranty a contending barbell should have while Lifetime warranties (which usually aren’t as grandiose as their name implies) are not all that uncommon.

Now, you should have no qualms about actually submitting a warranty claim when warranted (zing!), but, I would contend that the presence of the warranty itself signals the degree of confidence the manufacturer has with their barbell. The better/longer the warranty, the more confidence you can have that your selected barbell is actually durable.

How we Chose the “Best” Products

We try to get our hands on as many barbells as possible. We do this because we want to give the most accurate personal accounts of our experiences (even if they are somewhat subjective) and…ya know…because its fun.

We combine our experiences with the hours of research we’ve conducted on a multitude of barbell contenders to come to our conclusions.

While we aren’t able to personally test every bar, we take what others in the community have said into consideration when reviewing and recommending products. Click here to find out a lot more about how we test and review products.

Frequently Asked Questions

Purchasing a new (or even your first!) CrossFit barbell can be a somewhat frustrating experience if you don’t have all of the answers you need. We try to answer the remaining few you might have here:

If you're performing any types of Olympic lifts with any degree of regularity, your barbell has to have at least a little bit of spin. Otherwise, these lifts will be much more difficult to perform (in a general sense as well as with any type of significant amount of weight).

Don't scrimp on this.

Many expensive barbells have superior coating, needle bearings, or longer warranties. In many cases, these qualities are more of "nice to have" than being "absolutely necessary". If you don't value some of these qualities, then the more expensive barbell isn't necessarily "better".

The Best Barbells for CrossFit…

Picking out your next (or even your first) CrossFit barbell is one of life’s great pleasures. The day it shows up in that long, rectangular box (sorry Mr. Mail Man!) and you slowly unpack it…it’s like being a 5-year-old on Christmas morning again!

Depending on your goals, price range, and willingness to do maintenance, some of the items on our list of the best barbells for CrossFit will make more sense than others. 

No matter which bar you go with, though, you’re going to experience that magical, Christmas morning feeling.

Go ahead and pick your CrossFit barbell out and maybe even invite Santa over for a lifting session (he’s getting a little soft!)

🏆 Best Overall

Rogue Ohio Bar

91

The iconic barbell from the fitness equipment company
Extremely multifunctional
Numerous coating options
Read more on Rogue

Best for Powerlifting

Texas Power Bars Texas All American Bar

90

Dual knurl rings for all types of lifting
Center knurl
Medium knurling ideal for CrossFit
Read more on Texas Power Bars

Best for Women

Titan Series Women’s Olympic Barbell

86

“Diamond”, medium knurling ideal for CrossFit
Very high tensile strength for a women’s barbell
Highly-resilient cerakote finish
Read more on Titan Fitness

Best for Weightlifting

Rogue Olympic Weightlifting Barbell

91

5 needle bearings per sleeve, excellent spin
Incredible barbell whip
Superior stainless steel coating
Read more on Rogue

Best Affordable

Bells of Steel – The Utility Bar

91

Multiple coating options
Center knurling for powerlifting
Inexpensive
Read more on Bells of Steel
Photo of author

AUTHOR

Tom, CrossFit Level 1 Trainer, ISSA-CPT, PN1-NC, DPA, CAPM has been CrossFitting for over 10 years. He has participated in a number of team and individual CrossFit competitions across Europe and the United States. He was the 2012 Chick-fil-A Race Series champion (North Georgia Circuit) and has put together a few gnarly garage and basement gyms in his time!

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