KingsBox’s The Great Bar Olympic Barbell – Our Review

⭐️ Best for Multi-Function on a Budget: 87/100

KingsBox’s The Great Bar Olympic Barbell (hereafter referred to simply as “The Great Bar”) 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.

If you’re looking for a garage gym centerpiece barbell (or only barbell), this is one that is definitely up to the task.

What sets The Great Bar apart is its budget-friendly price tag and absurdly good customer service that the KingsBox company provides. The warranty is its major weak spot…but in all likelihood, this won’t be an issue.

Pros

Truly multi-functional

Very good tensile strength

Inexpensive

Cons

Not “great” at anything

Only a 1-year warranty

Black Zinc coating can show signs of wear

Buy on KingsBox

Overall Score

87

Sport-specific Functionality

90

Multi-use Functionality

90

Tensile Strength

85

Coating

75

Price

85

Customer Reviews

97

Warranty and Returns

70

Customer Service

100

How we test & score products

If you’re not in Europe, you may not be familiar with the KingsBox brand and company. More than just another fitness gear company, KingsBox has quickly developed the reputation as a stalwart in the “cross-training” equipment world.

(or at least on one continent of the “cross-training” equipment world!)

KingsBox doesn’t really have “flagship” items (like The Rogue Ohio Bar), but The Great Bar can easily be classified as the company’s it barbell. More durable, accommodating and functional (…and with a slightly higher price tag) than some of the brand’s other options, it’s the kind of bar you can randomly grab and work with.

You know when you go to some new, somewhat ominous-looking gym, pick up a barbell, attempt to clean…only to find that you have to essentially reverse curl it? Or when you cheap out on the $150 Amazon, no-name bar that bends a little bit more every time you clang that third plate on each side?

The Great Bar ain’t those bars.

the great bar

What it is is my current, primary training barbell. If it can hold up during the rigors of HWPO training for me, I’m pretty sure it will for you, too.

Sport-specific Functionality

The Great Bar’s full name (as mentioned earlier) is The Great Bar Olympic Barbell”. However, if you read closely, you quickly realize that it is marketed more as a multi-use bar as opposed to one designed specifically for Olympic weightlifting endeavors. That being said, I have enjoyed my lifting with this barbell which has largely consisted of the metcons, power lifts, and Olympic lifts that are generously sprinkled throughout the HWPO program.

When I began using The Great Bar, I had been lifting with another multi-purpose barbell that was more suited for “bro” lifting sessions than CrossFit. It doesn’t have a ton of spin or whip, but also doesn’t have any significant amount of knurling that would help you grind through a heavy set of deadlifts. On other occasions, when this bar wasn’t available, I’d be left with bearing-free bars…which made Oly lifting…not so fun.

The Great Bar was an immediate upgrade from these bars. The spin and whip are more in-line with entry-level Oly lifting bars, but are not so pronounced that they make gripping/handling the bar difficult when bench pressing (a problem I have unwittingly run into with quality Olympic lifting bars in the past).

The knurling isn’t as aggressive as I would like in a bar and there is no center knurl, but the double knurl rings make for quick and easy set-up for snatches, which is especially useful during WODs involving heavy, but fast singles.

If you’ve been unlucky enough to have to cycle a dedicated powerlifting barbell or other type of spin-free bar, even the moderate attributes of the Great Bar will greatly improve your cycling ability. The hang cleans in DT are still gonna be hard, but at least you won’t have to reverse curl 155 pounds!

The whip isn’t going to make you think you’re using one of Eleiko’s Oly bars, but it is more than enough for most lifters in most workouts and isn’t significant enough to be bothersome during powerlifts.

As a “metcon bar”, there isn’t much not to like about the Great Bar. You could refer to it as a “Poor Man’s Ohio Bar”, but it would be more accurate to label it “An Ohio Bar…at ~⅔ of the price”.

Sport-specific Functionality Score: 90

Multi-use Functionality

Because, at its heart, the Great Bar’s “sport-specific” purpose is “multi-use functionality”, the comments from above directly apply here.

Multi-use Functionality Score: 90

Tensile Strength

The Great Bar boasts a much better-than-needed Tensile Strength of 205.000. Given that it isn’t really designed or intended for serious (and I mean serious) powerlifting/deadlifting, it’s going to be able to hold up to any type of lifting the vast majority of the gym-going population is going to be getting into.

In terms of actual “feel”, the bar certainly doesn’t give the impression that it won’t hold up under heavy loads. On the other other, being overly “brittle” is not a way I would ever describe the bar.

Tensile Strength Score: 85

Coating

There is something about Black Zinc coating (particularly brand new Black Zinc coating) that is appealing. Not in the same, raw, old school, way as a bare-steeled beast, but in a sleek, refined manner.

While Black Zinc almost always looks great out of the box, it doesn’t take long for it to start scuffing up a bit and showing signs of wear. Truth be told, I haven’t been as diligent with wiping and scrubbing mine down as I could be, but even tiny traces of chalk seem like they quickly become permanent “features” to the Great Bar.

On the other hand, my bar hasn’t experienced any significant rusting or more problematic coating issues and as a purely inside bar (kept at a constant, “reasonable” room temperature at that), I don’t get the impression that significant upkeep will need to be conducted in order to keep it this way.

(and yeah…my bar scrub brush is on the way!)

Coating Score: 75

Price

At ~256 euros (~ $280), The Great Bar isn’t some bargain bin, ultra low-cost barbell. However, it doesn’t exactly break the bank given it’s sub-$300 price tag.

Considering the overall quality of the bar, its functionality, and the fact that it doesn’t actually label itself as a niche, speciality barbell, it punches above its weight in regards to price-to-value ratio.

Price Score: 85

Customer Reviews

The Great Bar doesn’t have a ton of reviews, but the ones that it has are pretty good. On the KingsBox website, it boasts a 4.9/5 over 38 reviews and on Amazon UK, it clocks in at a 4.7/5 over its 4 reviews. 

Just in case you can’t read Italian or Slovene…these people are happy!

For those unable (or, more likely, just unwilling) to do the math, this works out to just above a 4.85/5 collective score.

Equally impressive that the score is this high and that there were zero scores of 3 stars or less.

Customer Reviews Score: 97

Warranty and Returns

In a more objective sense (relative to industry standards), KingsBox has a good return policy. 30 days, no questions asked, customer only has to pay for shipping. The company’s website doesn’t have much more to say than this, though.

The barbell itself has a one-year warranty. Use too much weight for it to handle and it busts during your 1000-pound deadlift attempt (first of all, good for you!), KingsBox will send you another one. Truth be told, this warranty is pretty below average for the sector; it’s not difficult to find a multitude of manufacturers offering 5-year or even lifetime warranties on their barbells.

Warranty and Returns Score: 70

Customer Service

Thankfully, having ordered from KingsBox on multiple occasions, I can provide insight into my personal experiences with dealing with the company and company personnel. 

E-mails are responded to in a timely manner (even when workers have “out of office” auto replies set) and every individual I have dealt with has been incredibly personable and friendly. 

When I put together my third home/garage gym a few years ago, my wife and I ordered a lot of equipment from KingsBox. A couple of items were damaged which the company quickly acknowledged after we sent in documenting pictures. The damage was noticeable, but not so significant that using the specific equipment (lifting platforms) would have been impossible, but we were still given vouchers for the full value of the equipment and were instructed not to go through the hassle of sending the items back.

(I should note that a cash refund was offered, but would have taken a bit longer to facilitate. Knowing we would order from them again, the voucher was fine for us).

While we would have preferred undamaged equipment, the empathy of the workers and the overall resolution was more than acceptable and fair to us.

Customer Service Score: 100

Who is The Great Bar really for?

The Great Bar is a (almost) Great Bar…but who would think it is really great?

Single-barbell Households

Want to enjoy a diverse array of workouts without getting too specialized in any single discipline? The Great Bar gets the job done just fine.

Exclusively Indoor Athletes who can be Bothered to “Clean” (ha!)

As you can see, I’m lazier than I should be with my bar’s upkeep. If you’re inclined to spend a couple of minutes (tops!) wiping your bar down, whether with a specialized brush or simple hand towel, that black coating will stay looking sleek.

Also, for those who keep their bars inside at all times, the oxidation process will be prolonged, enabling the bar to remain rust free for a greater period of time.

Not for those Seeking an Oly Lifting or Powerlifting Bar

For those who really need that center knurl to get the most out of their squat and even bench press sessions…

…or those who with high, high level Olympic weightlifting aspirations, a barbell designed for these disciplines (and these disciplines only) makes more sense than the multi-functional Great Bar.

How we reviewed The Great Bar

This bar has become a staple in the small group training I am currently conducting (and participating in) with 3 other athletes. We (obviously) don’t share it for every rep of every set, but it has become the go-to bar when there are any types of Olympic lifts present in Fraser’s infamous 40-minute EMOMs. We generally share the Great Bar as we rotate between stations.

More specifically, we have used the Great Bar since early in the year to perform all of the Olympic lifts (to include common accessory lifts), power lifts, “bro” lifts (yeah, we curl with it). Additionally, we store it in a room with an appropriate climate, but is an olfactory nightmare, allowing us to assess how it holds up in different environments.

The Great Bar Alternatives

The Great Bar does what is does pretty well, but if you’d rather opt for something that is pretty similar, check out our picks of top alternatives:

Best alternative

ROGUE – The Ohio Bar

The “gold standard” as far as multi-functional barbells go. It’s versatile enough for use in CrossFit Games competition…so it’s versatile enough for any workout you’re probably doing!

Pros

Possibly the most versatile barbell

A number of coating and price options

Subject to Rogue’s lifetime warranty

Cons

Not ideal for dedicated powerlifting or weightlifting

Not inexpensive

Inexpensive Alternative

Rep Fitness – Black Canyon Bar

The “Ohio Bar killer”…at least for US audiences! Rep Fitness’ inclusion has a lot of similarities to the Ohio Bar (multi-functionality, tensile strength, multiple coating options) at roughly 2/3 the price.

Pros

Versatility

Inexpensive

Hybrid bushings & bearings

Cons

“Only” a 5-year warranty

No Stainless Steel coating option

Brand Alternative

KingsBox – White Knight Bar

A really short description of what the product is about and why people should consider it instead of the product reviewed.

Pros

Bushings & bearings

Multi-functional

Inexpensive

Cons

Some may not appreciate Hard Chrome

1-year warranty

Frequently Asked Questions

No. Although the bar has adequate spin for performing the Olympic lifts, it is not so pronounced that it spins during other exercises, most notably, the bench press.

Even if you're a heavy chalk user (like me), you really only need to wipe the bar down/brush it down at the end of each training session. To be honest, the bar isn't "worth" enough to do more extensive care on (such as some VERY expensive Olympic lifting barbells).

At the time, no. KingsBox ships throughout continental Europe. However, it is worth reaching out to the company directly to inquire about possible alternative shipping and delivery options which may be available.

The Greatest Garage Gym “Starter Bar” (in Europe)?

If you live in Europe (or are able to get the bar to wherever you are at a reasonable price/rate) and are thinking about getting your home or garage gym started, The Great Bar is a good choice for that “centerpiece” barbell. It’ll do just about everything you need it to do and, when/if you get more ambitious, you can add specialty bars/equipment around it and still feel like you got a good deal with it!

Don’t expect a “Stainless Steel experience” with the Black Zinc coating, but if you’re halfway competent at taking care of your barbells (teach me, please!) the bar will likely serve you well for the long haul. For less than ~$100 more than some no-name Amazon crap, you could do a lot worse than this bad boy!

Summary

Overall Score

87

Sport-specific Functionality

90

Multi-use Functionality

90

Tensile Strength

85

Coating

75

Price

85

Customer Reviews

97

Warranty and Returns

70

Customer Service

100

How we test & score products

KingsBox – The Great Bar Olympic Bar

KingsBox’s The Great Bar Olympic Barbell (hereafter referred to simply as “The Great Bar”) 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.

If you’re looking for a garage gym centerpiece barbell (or only barbell), this is one that is definitely up to the task.

What sets The Great Bar apart is its budget-friendly price tag and absurdly good customer service that the KingsBox company provides. The warranty is its major weak spot…but in all likelihood, this won’t be an issue.

Pros

Truly multi-functional

Very good tensile strength

Inexpensive

Cons

Not “great” at anything

Only a 1-year warranty

Black Zinc coating can show signs of wear

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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