Rogue Ohio Bar Review

My Experience With The Rogue Ohio Bar (2024 Review)

The Rogue Ohio Bar is an excellent multi-purpose barbell for home gyms or CrossFit. It differs from the Ohio Power Bar which is for Powerlifting.

James de Lacey

By James de Lacey
Last updated: January 29th, 2024
8 min read

When it comes to home gym setups, the barbell is the undisputed centerpiece. And if you’re on the hunt for your next purchase, you’ve likely come across the Rogue Ohio Bar. Every CrossFit gym has racks of them, and they can take a beating.

But is it the right barbell for you?

Rogue Ohio Bar
Rogue Fitness Ohio Bar – Black Oxide
$295
Pros:
  • Budget-Friendly: As far as barbells go, the $290-$370 price tag is standard among high-quality barbells. You’re getting a bar that will last a lifetime for this price.
  • Multi-Purpose: It's designed as a multi-purpose bar for all types of lifting, from Powerlifting to Weightlifting.
  • Made In The USA: Manufactured at Rogue’s facility under high-quality conditions.
Cons:
  • Soft Knurling: The knurling is much softer than other barbells, and I prefer rougher knurling.
  • Sticky Sleeves: Sleeves tend to become “sticky” and don’t spin as well during Olympic lifts.
Check Latest Deals
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Rogue Ohio Bar Review

Specs

Feature
Tensile Strength190,000 PSI
KnurlingRogue Hybrid (Soft)
Center KnurlingNo
Knurl MarkingsDual
Shaft Diameter28.5 mm
CoatingBlack Oxide, Black Zinc, E-Coat, Stainless Steel, Cerakote
Bushing/BearingBushings
SpinSlow
WhipLight Whip
Weight CapacityApproximately 1,500 lbs
WarrantyLifetime

Durability

Can You Do Power Cleans With The Rogue Ohio Bar

The Rogue Ohio Bar stands out regarding longevity. It’s built to withstand the rigors of heavy training. Most CrossFit gyms are kitted with Rogue Ohio bars that are abused for multiple classes daily, so they hold up extremely well.

I’ve used many of these heavily used barbells, and they perform well as multi-purpose bars. Being made in the USA at Rogue’s facility with their high-quality steel means these bars last.

Based on Rogue’s barbell rating scale, the Ohio bar is an F8-R, meaning dropping the barbell 100,000 times yearly will last approximately 25 years.

For most of you looking for a garage gym barbell, you may only be dropping the bar up to 10,000 times yearly, making the Ohio bar last at least 50 years.

Tensile Strength

Rogue Ohio Bar vs Ohio Power Bar

Tensile strength is a measure of the force required to deform or break the barbell. Greater than 180,000 PSI is considered high tensile strength with barbells.

The Rogue Ohio Bar has a 190,000 PSI, making it a high tensile strength steel, and is pretty standard amongst most high-quality multi-purpose barbells.

Their stainless steel-coated Ohio bar has a tensile strength of 200,000 PSI, but in my experience, the 190,000 PSI is enough to handle the rigors of hard training.

Whip

This bar offers a moderate level of whip, which is ideal for general training. In my experience, the Rogue Ohio bar is better for traditional strength training than Olympic Weightlifting.

Bar Weight

The Rogue Ohio bar weighs 20 kgs (approx. 45 lbs), which is standard for an Olympic barbell. Being 20 kg makes it a men’s barbell. The women’s equivalent is the Rogue Bella Bar 2.0, which is made from the same material and weighs 15 kg (35 lbs).

Knurling

Rogue Ohio Bar Knurling

The knurling is Rogue’s hybrid knurling, which they use on most of their popular barbells. It’s too soft for me, but many lifters may like the softer knurling if they specialize in high-rep CrossFit training to protect their hands.

However, you’ll want a barbell with slightly more aggressive knurling for heavy lifting to avoid grip issues.

Shaft Diameter

The Rogue Ohio bar has a 28.5 mm shaft diameter, which is standard for a multi-purpose barbell. It sits between a 28 mm Weightlifting bar and a 29 mm Powerlifting bar.

It provides the thickness for traditional lifting but isn’t too thick for using a comfortable hook grip when Weightlifting.

Bushings

Rogue has equipped the Ohio Bar with bronze bushings. High-quality bushings typically provide smooth spin and are best suited for traditional strength training where little to no spin is ideal.

I’ve found the bushings become “sticky” over time and stop spinning well. This could be a symptom of bars being abused at CrossFit gyms, but I’ve noticed the lack of spin in multiple Rogue Ohio bars.

I’d use this bar more for the Powerlifts than Olympic Weightlifting.

Finish

Rogue Ohio Bar Finish

The black oxide finish is the most common coating you’ll come across. It has decent rust resistance and is more budget-friendly than stainless steel.

It does wear in frequently rubbed areas, such as where it’s gripped and where it sits in the squat rack. Another popular finish is Cerakote, which allows you to pick unique colors for the barbell shaft.

Cerakote also provides excellent rust resistance and lasts longer than the black oxide finish.

Weight Capacity

Rogue does not specify the weight capacity of the Ohio bar. I’d estimate the Rogue Ohio bar can handle approximately 1,500 lbs based on equivalent barbells with the same tensile strength.

Price

With the Ohio bar, you’re paying for Rogue’s premium brand name. But their equipment is quality, and their lifetime warranty means you’re protected from defects. Here’s how the price breaks down by coating:

Black OxideE-CoatBlack ZincStainless Steel/BlackCerakoteStainless Steel
$295$295$295$350$350$370

Warranty

Warranties can be complex, but Rogue simplifies it with a lifetime warranty, protecting the original owner against workmanship and material defects.

My Experience With The Rogue Ohio Bar

I’ve used many Rogue Ohio bars at various CrossFit gyms. They hold up well to the abuse and make a solid multi-purpose CrossFit barbell. However, it’s not a bar I enjoy using if I could choose a higher-quality barbell.

It performs well for traditional strength exercises like squats, bench presses, or deadlifts. However, the knurling is too soft, in my opinion, and in hot climates, you’ll struggle to pull heavy deadlifts.

In my experience, the Rogue Ohio Bar is not suitable for the Olympic lifts. The bushings don’t provide fast enough spin, and the sleeves get “stuck” as you turn the bar over.

It makes it difficult to turn the bar over quickly and feels unsafe for your wrists if going heavy. I would classify the Rogue Ohio Bar better for traditional strength training than the Olympic lifts.

Who Is The Rogue Ohio Bar For?

Rogue Ohio Bar vs Power Bar

Garage Gym Owners

As a multi-purpose garage gym bar, the Rogue Ohio bar is the one. You can do all your training with this one barbell, saving space and money on owning multiple bars.

Avid CrossFitters

Rogue is the official equipment provider for CrossFit. It means most competitions and all CrossFit gyms use Rogue equipment. You may as well train on the equipment you will compete with.

Who Shouldn’t Buy The Rogue Ohio Bar?

Olympic Weightlifters

Olympic Weightlifters need a more specialized barbell that spins easier for fast turnovers when performing the snatch and clean. Look for needle bearings instead of bushings for fast spin.

Rogue Ohio Bar vs. Rogue Ohio Power Bar

You may initially be confused with Rogue offering the Ohio bar and Ohio Power bar. Here’s a simple breakdown of what the Ohio Power bar has that the original Ohio bar doesn’t.

  • 29 mm shaft diameter suited for Powerlifting.
  • Center knurling so it sits on your back without slipping.
  • More aggressive knurling for heavy deadlifts and bench press.
  • 205,000 PSI strength for a stiffer bar.
  • Weight in pounds.

The Rogue Power bar is made for Powerlifting, whereas the Rogue Ohio bar is made as a multi-purpose barbell for CrossFit and general strength training.

Rogue Ohio Bar Alternatives

If you’ve gotten this far and are not sold on the Rogue Ohio Bar, here are some alternatives that might be a better fit for you.

REP Fitness Colorado Bar

REP Fitness Colorado Bar

I’ve recently put the REP Fitness Colorado Bar through its paces, and it’s apparent that this barbell brings something special to the weight room. It’s what I believe to be the direct competitor to the Rogue Ohio bar.

Compared to the Ohio bar, it has slightly more aggressive knurling and better spin, so if you’re focusing more on the Olympic lifts, the REP Fitness Colorado Bar is a better choice, in my experience.

It’s slightly more expensive than the cheaper Ohio bar coatings, ranging between $320 to $330.

Bells Of Steel Cerakote Utility Barbell

Bells Of Steel Cerakote Utility Bar

Another contender is the Bells Of Steel Cerakote Utility Barbell. It’s another direct competitor to the Rogue Ohio bar at $300. However, their black zinc finish is $249, making it the budget-friendly Ohio bar alternative.

The only difference is the potentially lower weight capacity of 1,000 lbs, likely due to lower quality steel compared to Rogue Fitness.

The Utility bar also has a center knurling for additional grip when squatting, which I prefer.

Frequently Asked Rogue Ohio Bar Questions

Summary

The Rogue Ohio bar is a quality multi-purpose barbell. It’s best suited for CrossFit and Powerlifting style training. If your focus is Olympic Weightlifting, I’d opt for a Weightlifting-specific barbell with better spin, whip, and knurling.

Rogue Ohio Bar
Rogue Fitness Ohio Bar – Black Oxide
$295
Pros:
  • Budget-Friendly: As far as barbells go, the $290-$370 price tag is standard among high-quality barbells. You’re getting a bar that will last a lifetime for this price.
  • Multi-Purpose: It's designed as a multi-purpose bar for all types of lifting, from Powerlifting to Weightlifting.
  • Made In The USA: Manufactured at Rogue’s facility under high-quality conditions.
Cons:
  • Soft Knurling: The knurling is much softer than other barbells, and I prefer rougher knurling.
  • Sticky Sleeves: Sleeves tend to become “sticky” and don’t spin as well during Olympic lifts.
Check Latest Deals
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Access our course on Agility for FREE!

Learn how to improve your athletes' agility. This free course also includes a practical coaching guide to help you design and deliver your own fun and engaging agility sessions.

Get Instant Access
James de Lacey

James de Lacey

James was the Head Strength & Conditioning Coach for the Romanian Rugby Union. He has previously worked in America’s professional rugby competition Major League Rugby with Austin Elite and the NZ Women’s National Rugby League Team. He is a published author and has completed a MSc in Sport & Exercise Science from AUT, Auckland, NZ.

More content by James
SFS Academy logo - white

Access our course on Agility for FREE!

Learn from a world-class coach how you can improve your athletes' agility. This course also includes a practical coaching guide to help you to design and deliver your own fun and engaging agility sessions.

Get Instant Access
Agility course devices