6 Best Barbells For CrossFit (2024) – A Coach’s Perspective


If you feel like life used to be much simpler when the barbell was just a barbell, you are not alone. With different kinds of specialty barbells, knurlings, whips, coatings, and tensile strengths, it is easy to get overwhelmed and second-guess whichever choice you make.

But I’m here to help.

I’ll give you the best barbells for CrossFit that will help you nail your WODs any day.

You will see barbells in different price ranges, but I will also explain what I looked for when choosing a CrossFit barbell so you can better understand our decision-making and improve yours.

Best Barbell For CrossFit

Rogue Ohio Bar


Rogue Signature Knurling (Soft)

Black zinc, Black oxide, Stainless steel, Cerakote, E-coat

  • Excellent durability as evidenced by the long lasting barbells in CrossFit gyms.
  • Multiple finish choices depending on your budget and preferences.
  • Fair price and a lifetime warranty (workmanship and material defects).
  • The main men’s barbell used in Rogue CrossFit competitions.
  • Not the best spin, especially after prolonged use.
  • Coating can wear off easier than hard chrome or stainless steel options.

There’s a reason why Rogue Ohio Bar is on all best barbell lists – it’s simply an awesome and versatile barbell.

The bonus is it’s the main barbell used in Rogue CrossFit competitions so if you’re doing the Open, you’re likely using a Rogue Ohio Bar.

This is an Olympic men’s barbell, which means the weight is 20 kilograms. If you want the women’s version, you will need to get the 15kg Bella Bar, which is also popular.

Ohio Bar ticks many boxes: excellent tensile strength, lifetime warranty, which means phenomenal durability, balanced whip, and solid bronze bushings, and all of that with a great price tag.

As for the knurling, it’s on the softer side, which is usually a preferred option for CrossFit athletes, as it won’t tear the hands as much. However, the knurling might be too slippery if you combine CrossFit with heavy deadlifts.

But, there are some downsides too – while bronze bushings are great at first, with prolonged (ab)use, the Ohio Bar sleeves won’t spin as fast, which will become problematic for Weightlifting movements.

Rogue Ohio Bar CrossFit

Runner Up CrossFit Barbell

REP Fitness Colorado Bar

REP Fitness Colorado CrossFit Bar


Moderate Volcano Knurling

  • Excellent spin for Olympic lifts and good whip.
  • Nice and versatile volcano knurling so it doesn’t feel slippery when sweaty.
  • Very affordable so you get a decent CrossFit bar for less than a Rogue barbell.
  • Lifetime warranty, so you can rest easy knowing any performance problems, means you can replace your bar.
  • There are few finish options, and it lacks the premium quality feel of more expensive barbells.

REP Fitness Colorado Bar is our runner-up, but it could well be the best CrossFit barbell, as it is a close call. This all-arounder will serve your gym for multiple purposes but can also withstand the heavy-duty use of CrossFit.

Moreover, Colorado Bar is very affordable, so it tops our list of best barbells for home gyms.

However, we are talking about CrossFit here specifically, and the central thing that makes it an excellent pick for this sport is the good amount of whip and its buttery-smooth spin that won’t ever interfere with the Olympic lifts.

But it also has more than decent volcano knurling, so it won’t slip when you perform traditional powerlifting moves.

As for the finishes, fewer options are available, with the hard chrome and cerakote finish.

The Colorado bar has excellent tensile strength, but the feel and finish quality don’t feel as premium as the Ohio bar.

Further, the Ohio bar is the barbell used in most CrossFit competitions so it makes sense to train with the equipment you’ll use. 

But, considering the price and the lifetime warranty, this is a close second.

Even from its name and price point, you can see that REP Fitness went hard for the Rogue’s Ohio bar throne and market share. We have to say – they certainly succeeded with that while making one hell of a barbell!

REP Fitness Colorado CrossFit Bar

Best Budget Barbell For CrossFit

REP Fitness Black Canyon Bar

REP Fitness Black Canyon CrossFit Bar

  • Excellent value for the price.
  • Bushings and bearings hybrid for fast and smooth spin.
  • Very affordable so you get a decent CrossFit bar for less than a Rogue barbell.
  • Dual knurling and excellent-looking coating.
  • The black zinc finish will wear down rather fast.
  • The Colorado Bar is slightly more expensive but a far better choice

While The Colorado bar isn’t expensive, if you are on a tight budget but want to get something more than decent, another REP Fitness barbell is what you should get – Black Canyon Bar.

First, this bar looks fantastic with its black zinc finish. That alone makes it look super premium. On the other hand, with prolonged CrossFit use, the coating will wear down, but the bar will still look unique.

This is a flexible bar, and because it has dual knurl markings and no central knurling, it is suitable both for powerlifting and weightlifting.

Because of this, you can use it even outside your WODs for your regular powerbuilding activities. 

The bushings and bearings combination has a smooth spin and won’t interfere with your explosive lifts.

The same goes for its medium whip, which will provide the right boost but won’t affect your powerlifting exercises much.

Black Canyon Bar has phenomenal tensile strength, and although it only has a 5-year warranty, you can reasonably expect it to last more than that.

Overall, the Black Canyon Bar does offer an enormous amount of value for its price. Its main problem is that you only need to spend a bit more money to get the superior Colorado bar, which you should consider carefully.

REP Fitness Black Canyon CrossFit Bar

REP Fitness Black Canyon Bar

Best Women’s Barbell For CrossFit

Rogue Bella Bar 2.0

Rogue Bella Bar 2.0 CrossFit

  • Specifically designed for women at 15 kg with a 25 mm shaft diameter.
  • Good build quality and a variety of finishes
  • The same manufacturing process as Rogue’s durable Ohio bar with a 190,000 PSI tensile strength.
  • Great for CrossFit and Weightlifting while allowing you to perform heavy strength movements.
  • Good amount of spin and whip, moderate knurling
  • Black zinc coating wears over time, especially in commonly gripped areas.
  • The Bella bar warranty only covers construction, which is problematic when considering its price.

We’ve discussed the Ohio bar and recommended it as the best barbell for CrossFit – Rogue Bella Bar 2.0 is its twin sister, designed for women, and will provide the same benefits.

A women’s barbell is 15-kilogram and has a shorter length of 79”. It also means a thinner, 25mm shaft diameter.

But the thickness of the sleeve is standard for Olympic plates, so it won’t be a problem if your training partner uses a men’s barbell.

As for the rest, you can expect the same quality the Ohio bar has, and other premium Rogue products possess – excellent tensile strength, various types of coating, quality bronze bushings with moderate spin and quiet performance, and dual, medium knurling.

Dual Rogue knurling is a bit softer, but that is less of a problem for this bar than Ohio, as you will likely use less weight.

However, the Bella bar has one distinct drawback – instead of a lifetime warranty the Ohio bar has, the Bella bar only has a construction warranty.

Considering it is far from the cheapest bar, that’s not nice to see, even though beating down a barbell takes a while, especially for home/garage gym use.

Rogue Bella Bar 2.0 CrossFit

Best Premium CrossFit Barbell

Eleiko XF Bar

Eleiko XF Bar CrossFit

  • Terrific tensile strength so it will last through heavy training.
  • The bushing and bearings combination makes the bar versatile for Olympic and Power movements.
  • Phenomenal durability and build quality backed by the Eleiko brand.
  • Super expensive, as in double the price of other bars on this list.

This entire list is made of high-quality barbells, but if you never regret spending money on getting something that is premium, the Eleiko XF Bar is the one you get.

First, this is an ultra-strong barbell with a 215k PSI tensile strength (other models on the list have 190k PSI). That alone means this barbell can take quite a beating.

But, the barbell also stands out in other aspects – take its needle bushings and bearings combination as an example.

Because of the combo, the XF bar behaves perfectly in explosive CrossFit-type moves and traditional powerlifting.

Therefore, you will have both control and stability, regardless of the type of training you do, which makes the XF Bar the ultimate choice regardless of the activity.

As for the knurling, it has both the weightlifting and powerlifting markings, and there’s no central knurling, which is good for CrossFit. The knurling is medium, making this bar a well-balanced choice for most individuals.

There’s only one finish option – Swedish steel. But that’s always the ultimate premium barbell feel that lasts long.

The warranty is 12 years, but you can expect all Eleiko barbells to be in near-mint condition throughout their lifetimes.

Downsides? Price. This is the ultimate splurge, as you can get two or even three barbells for the price of one Eleiko XF Bar.

So buy it before your next cut, its price will certainly cut down your caloric intake in the months that follow the purchase.

Eleiko XF Bar CrossFit

Best Value CrossFit Barbell

Bells Of Steel Cerakote Utility Barbell – Multipurpose Bar

Bells Of Steel Utility Cerakote Bar

  • Premium Cerakote coating that is rust resistant.
  • Perfect for CrossFit with good whip, smooth spin, and Olympic knurl markings.
  • Limited lifetime warranty for a fair price.
  • Max capacity only 1000 lbs (other top quality barbells usually have 1500+)

After one massive splurge and some more budget-friendly options, we have one well-balanced pick, Bells Of Steel Cerakote Utility Barbell – Multipurpose Bar.

When you look at this one, it doesn’t stand out with anything in particular when you compare it to the other models on the list. But, considering its fair price, you will notice a few things.

First, the cerakote finish is premium, especially when combined with the black cerakote sleeves – the barbell looks AWESOME.

The brass bushings inside give decent spin, and the snap ring ensures everything stays in place.

Sleeves have grooves, making loading and unloading the barbell easier and holding plates in place better (but grooved sleeves make more noise).

There’s also a solid amount of whip, making lifting easier. As for the knurling, it is a medium/moderate hill-type of grip. Again, it is a good balance for most lifters and most lifts.

As for durability, Bells Of Steel offers a limited lifetime warranty on all of its products, which is nice to see.

However, it has to be noted that this bar has a max capacity of 1000 lbs (454 kg).

While you will hardly lift nearly as much during CrossFit training, other barbells on the list have at least 1500 lbs max, which means they will withstand more beating. 

But, when you consider the price of their Utility Barbell, you can hardly ask for more.

Bells Of Steel Utility Cerakote Bar

Bells Of Steel Cerakote Utility Barbell

How To Pick The Best CrossFit Barbell

Tensile Strength

Barbell tensile strength will determine how much a barbell can withstand without breaking.

This is important not just for the total weight you can put on it while lifting (you will hardly ever break a barbell by putting too much weight on it) but how much it will tolerate across its lifetime.

Tensile strength is shown in PSI numbers (pounds per square inch). For CrossFit, due to the number of Olympic lifts and throwing, you should look to get a barbell with at least 150 000 PSI, but north of 180 000 is ideal.


CrossFit barbell

Barbell coating will determine how the barbell looks and how it feels. It will impact its durability regarding oxidative resistance (rust and wear primarily caused by sweat and friction).

Here are some options to consider:

Bare Steel: bare steel barbells have a rugged, old-school, hardcore feel. They also look awesome with an all-black steel look.

However, they are not ideal for their oxidative resistance, so you better take good care of them if you want bare steel barbells to last, especially for CrossFit training, where there are a lot of sweaty hands.

Manganese Phosphate: this type of coating will have better corrosion resistance than bare steel and is also very hard, which will mean solid durability.

However, it doesn’t look as nice, as it is semi-black and not as resistant as some other coatings on the list.

Black Oxide: the black oxide finish looks terrific and feels great, but it won’t be the best regarding corrosion resistance. However, black oxide barbells are usually cheaper, which makes them a good budget pick.

Zinc: zinc coating is highly durable for oxidative stress resistance, so these barbells won’t require much maintenance. Because zinc barbells have been around for a long time, some good deals fit all budgets.

Chrome: hard chrome barbells are popular in most commercial gyms. This field-tested coating has a good feel and oxidative stress resistance, making it a safe pick.

Cerakote: Cerakote barbells are far from the cheapest, but they offer some major benefits – great look as they come in various colors, unmatched resistance, and solid feel. But if you are looking for something old-school or have a limited budget, cerakote isn’t the best pick.

Stainless steel: if you can afford it, you can’t go wrong with the stainless steel coating – it’s super durable, feels incredible, and looks good too.

E-Coat: Electronically applied coating is a good option for durability and resistance, but it doesn’t have the best feel, as it is somewhat slippery, which can be problematic for Olympic lifts.

But, considering they are not too expensive, they are generally a good choice.


What Kind Of Barbells Are Used In CrossFit

While coating will predominantly determine looks and durability, knurling is all about the feel and performance of the barbell, as it will heavily impact how the barbell “sticks” while you lift.

Considering that CrossFit involves many Olympic lifts, you can’t just go with as much knurling as possible, like you would when buying powerlifting barbells.

But, on the other side, the barbell needs to have enough friction so you can catch it safely, so a good balance is an absolute necessity.

Volcano Knurling

Volcano knurling is the best option for most lifters and lifts, providing good grip while still allowing smooth transitions.

At the same time, volcano knurling durability is great as your skin has four touchpoints with each segment instead of one, which means better force distribution, leading to less wear and tear.

Mountain Knurling

Mountain knurling is super rough and digs into your skin for maximal friction.

For this reason, this type of knurling is awesome for deadlifts but won’t be the best option for Olympic lifts such as snatches, where you are supposed to transition the bar forcefully from one point to the next in a single motion.

Diamond knurling

Diamond knurling is less aggressive than pointy mountain knurling and, therefore, provides less friction and is better for Olympic lifts.

However, this knurling is prone to wear, which means the bar will have less friction over time.

Centre Knurling

Center knurling is not about knurling type but position. When the bar is knurled in its center, it is a better option for lifts that require greater stability, such as barbell back squats.

However, this type of knurling is not ideal for explosive weightlifting moves in CrossFit, as the center knurling might tear your skin when you catch a barbell in the front rack position.

Bushings vs. Bearings

As we highlighted before, CrossFit training involves many explosive Olympic lifts.

Because you forcefully snatch the barbell, the spinning sleeves will safely release the created energy, which would otherwise be transferred to your body.

This is why barbells with bearings are a slightly better option.

Unlike bushings, bearings allow better rotation, which is important when transitioning the bar throughout the Olympic movements.

Unfortunately, they are also more expensive, but they are necessary if you want to train correctly.


Bearings are better because they allow more spin. Bearings are much more sophisticated and complicated, consisting of several metal needles in each barbell sleeve, which allow rotation.

Therefore, barbells with bearings are much more prone to breaking and are also more expensive.

On the other hand, bushings are a much more affordable and simpler option found in most Olympic barbells.

However, they have much less spin, and because of this, decreased spin speed is a subpar option for Olympic-style lifts, at least when it comes to performance.

Barbell spin is essential for safe lifting, especially for explosive movements and Olympic lifts.

Because you forcefully snatch the barbell, the spinning sleeves will safely release the created energy, which would otherwise be transferred to your body.

This makes the lift safer, so barbells with bushings are a better option for Olympic lifts, as they allow more spin.

Shaft Diameter

Olympic vs CrossFit Barbell

While you should use an Olympic one when it comes to barbell length, there are differences in barbell shaft diameter even within the Olympic category.

A thinner barbell (25mm-28mm) for strictly Olympic lifting moves will provide better grip and more whip, making the lifts easier.

However, because CrossFit is a mixed sport with some powerlifting elements, going super-thin is not optimal.

Then again, getting an ultra-thick monster barbell (30-32mm) powerlifters use is an overkill, as it will make catching the bar next to impossible when you make explosive moves.

Therefore, for CrossFit, staying somewhere in the middle is optimal – a 28-29 millimeter shaft will work for most, with 28.5 mm being an ideal choice.

It allows good control and whip during explosive moves and won’t interfere with your strength training lifts.


Whip will determine the elasticity of the bar or how much it will bounce as you perform the movement.

This is very important for explosive movements you do in CrossFit, such as clean and jerk and snatches – more whip will make these moves easier, which is always welcomed.


We don’t have to explain anything here – price is a significant factor. Especially considering that you will need to buy plates and other CrossFit equipment if you want to practice those WODs in your home or garage gym.

Still, you will notice massive price jumps even in our reviews:

Budget range: While you can find cheaper, the budget barbell range that won’t compromise quality (too much) is somewhere between $200 and $250, which is the regular price. But be super careful, as you don’t buy barbells daily, and they are a staple of your training.

Optimal range: the $250-300 range (but closer to the upper limit) is where you will find the best options. These barbells are more expensive than the budget ones, but those extra $50-70 make so much difference.

Premium range: going far above $300 for a barbell is considered expensive. Our list also has premium picks, which can cost 2-3x more than other barbells.

You get more, and the quality shows after years (or even 10+ years!) of use. If you have the money to splurge, do it, and mortals like us will hate you forever!


Warranty is another self-explanatory feature that you should be aware of. A more extended warranty will automatically mean a better quality product the manufacturer is prepared to vouch for.

Considering that you will throw those barbells mercilessly while training, a warranty isn’t something you should ignore.

Frequently Asked CrossFit Barbell Questions

How Heavy Is A CrossFit Barbell

What Kind Of Barbells Are Used In CrossFit?

Because CrossFit training and competitions include many Olympic lifts, standard Olympic barbells are an excellent option for CrossFit training, too.

The standard Olympic barbell length/weight is 2.2m/20 kg for men and 2m/15kg for women.

But, as you can see in our article, there are some significant differences between barbells, as some have features that make them a much better fit specifically for CrossFit training.

What Bar Do They Use In The CrossFit Games?

CrossFit games require Olympic barbells (20 kg for men, 15 kg for women). As for the manufacturers and models, Rogue models, such as C 70, The Ohio Bar, and The Bella Bar, are

popular options, but this article shows some great models from other manufacturers.

What’s The Difference Between Olympic and CrossFit Barbells?

Standard Olympic barbells are used for CrossFit training, too. But, there are slight differences that make certain types of Olympic barbells a better option for CF training:

Whip: More whip is a better option for Olympic weightlifting, but too much can interfere with classifying powerlifting moves that are also a part of CrossFit. Therefore, a moderate whip is optimal.

Shaft diameter: thinner bars are preferred for Olympic lifts, while powerlifters generally prefer thicker ones. Again, CrossFit comes in the middle, as both elasticity and grip are important.

Knurling: Olympic weightlifters like smoother barbells, while powerlifters need as much grip as possible. CrossFit barbells need both things, which makes moderate knurling optimal (although knurling comes to personal preference).

Bushings vs. bearings: bushings are generally a better option, providing better spin. However, you will see that many CrossFit barbells are bushings/bearings hybrids, providing lifters with the best of both worlds.

How Heavy Are CrossFit Barbells?

Most CrossFit barbells for men are 20 kg (44 pounds), while women use a 15 kg (33 pounds) barbell. These are standard weights for Olympic barbells.


Whether you listen to my advice (there’s no bad choice as all models are battle-tested and reliable) or use this as a benchmark for further research, it all comes to one advice – the barbell is the foundation stone of CrossFit training. 

So choose wisely and stretch your budget, if possible. After all, you are not buying a barbell every day, and it will be your best friend (if not your significant other!) for years to come.

Rogue Ohio Bar CrossFit