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Fringe Sport Competition Bumper Plate Review

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Looking for some new competition bumper plates?

Don’t want to pay typical competition bumper plate prices?

Fringe Sport just may be the answer.

Over the last couple of years, particularly the last 12 months or so, Fringe Sport has been introducing some nice products at great prices.

From specific-purpose barbells like their weightlifting bar and power bar to these competition bumpers, Fringe Sport has been hitting the scene hard as of late.

And frankly, I love it.

Having options is always a good thing, especially in the gym equipment space.

These plates feel great, perform great, look very nice, and they come in at a great price. When you add in free shipping, even on individual pairs (unlike Rogue, etc…), it makes for a very compelling option.

There are a couple differences that I’ll explain in more detail below when compared to the likes of Rogue, but I’m a definite fan overall.

Fringe Sport Competition Bumper Plates

There are a few key reasons why someone would buy a competition style bumper plate:

  • Tight weight tolerance
  • Thinner profile
  • Dead bounce
  • Highly durable
  • Olympic Weightlifting
  • Aesthetics

When compared to a traditional bumper plate, a competition bumper plate is simply better in all of the above categories.

Their stated weight is truer, you can load more weight on the bar, they have less bounce, they’re far more durable, they’re ideal of Olympic lifting, and they look beautiful.

Fringe Sport offers two different competition plates. They have a colored plate (Competition) and a black plate w/ colored lettering (Training).

Both of these plates offer the exact same specs. The only differences are aesthetics and price. I will be displaying both so that you can make the best determination as to which is better suited for you.

Fringe Sport Competition Bumper Specs Garage Gym Lab


  • Material: Virgin rubber
  • Diameter: 450mm (tolerance of +/- 1mm) – consistent with IWF standards
  • Weight: lb (25, 35, 45, 55) or kg (10, 15, 20, 25)
  • Thickness: 25 lb/10kg – 1.25″; 35lb/15kg – 1.70″; 45lb/20kg – 2.15″; 55lb/25kg – 2.55″
  • Weight Tolerance: +/- 1% of stated weight
  • Durometer Rating: 90 (very low bounce)
  • Center Hub: Zinc coated, 7.75″ in width.
  • Collar Opening: 50.4mm (1.98″)
  • Color: 25 lb/10kg – green; 35lb/15kg – yellow; 45lb/20kg – blue; 55lb/25kg – red
  • Lettering: Raised with a matte finish
  • Flanges: Inner and outer for protection and easier grip
  • Warranty: 1-year full satisfaction guarantee and 5-year against manufacturer defects.

Overall Construction

The Fringe Sport competition bumper plates are made with virgin rubber, which simply means new rubber. That is, it’s not recycled. Because of this, you can expect a longer life, a nicer look, and a more pleasant smell (compared to recycled). If you have horse stall mats in your gym, you know what I’m talking about with the smell!

Fringe Sport Competition Bumper Plate on Bar Garage Gym Lab

The plates are built entirely to IWF specs, which is what you would expect out of a set of competition bumpers. Everything from the width, to the collar opening, to the diameter… it’s all dialed in.

The center hub is made of zinc-coated steel and it’s secured with 5 locking bolts. These bolts can be adjusted with a simple Alan wrench, but I don’t suspect they will need much adjusting. If you’re constantly dropping from overhead, you may need to tighten them on occasion, but that’s the case with any similar competition-style bumper plate. One thing to note is that some higher-end competition plates offer 6 locking bolts, but I don’t think that it will make a material difference in performance.

Fringe Sport Competition Bumper Plate Closeup Locking Bolts Garage Gym Lab

Surrounding the center hub is a raised flange with just enough overhang to protect the plates from one another. Whether on the bar or stacked for storage, this flange serves as a barrier to prevent metal-on-metal contact. Similarly, there is another raised flange on the outer edge of the plate. This also serves as a protective barrier, but with the added benefit of being able to grip the plate more easily. This helps tremendously when loading and unloading weight.


When it comes to a competition plate, weight accuracy is paramount. I mean, it’s one of the primary reasons to pay up for this kind of plate. While a few grams here and there may not seem like a lot on paper, it can actually lead to issues on the platform.

Unless you suck at gym math (it’s hard, I know), you can rest easy knowing the weight on the bar is highly accurate with these plates.

Fringe Sport Competition Bumpers Accuracy JPG

Fringe Sport claims a 1% +/- tolerance to the stated weight of their competition plates. Having weighed each of my 45lb competition and training plates, I can confirm that the actual weight is well in-line with this tolerance. In fact, all 4 plates weigh 45.1lbs. While I don’t own a full set of all the weight increments, my confidence is high that the other plates will also satisfy this tolerance.

Plate Thickness 

If you’ve ever used a hi-temp bumper or a more traditional bumper plate, you’ve likely noticed that they’re fairly thick. This does two things:

  1. It limits the amount of weight you can load on the bar, and;
  2. It changes the weight distribution on the bar

If you’re squatting or deadlifting a considerable amount of weight, you’re going to be quickly capped by how much you can lift if you’re using a thick plate. With a Hi-Temp, you’d be hard-pressed to get anything more than 405 lbs on the bar. With a competition plate, however, you can load over 600 lbs on the bar with ample room for a collar.

Fringe Sport Competition Bumper Plate Weight Thickness

As for weight distribution, if you’re lifting with thick plates that extend to near the end of the bar, you will experience more flex. Alternatively, if you have most of the weight closer to the collar, you will experience less flex. This of course will also depend on the type of bar you’re using, but the general notion remains. Mechanically, flex can have a big impact on overall performance of a lift, so it’s certainly something to consider along with max load.

Fringe Sport Competition Training Bumper Plate Weight Thickness Garage Gym Lab

The Fringe Sport competition bumpers are very thin for a bumper plate, and they’re consistent with other high-end comp manufacturers. Below is a comparison to Rogue and Eleiko comp plates as well as the American Barbell Urethane plates and the Rogue Hi-Temps. Keep in mind the figures below are the stated measurements from the manufacturer. On the 45lb plates from Fringe Sport, the thickness is actually 2.11″-2.12.” The Rogue Fitness competition plate thickness is actually 2.23″, which is quite a bit different from the stated 2.15.”

Plate Thickness - Fringe Sport Garage Gym Lab


The hardness of a plate, as measured by the shore durometer rating, has a close correlation to the bounce of the plate. This shore durometer is measured from 0-100… the higher the number, the harder the material. So for example, a gummy bear would be near the bottom, whereas a shopping cart wheel would be near the top.

Shore Hardness

The Fringe Sport competition bumpers boast a shore durometer rating of 90, which is a very strong rating when measuring bounce. To give some perspective, a crumb bumper plate like a Hi-Temp has around a 75 durometer rating. Those plates obviously have considerable bounce.

Fringe Sport Competition Training Bumper Plate Closeup Garage Gym Lab

The Fringe Sport plates have very little bounce. This means you can use them in a number of ways, from weightlifting to powerlifting. In any application, it reduces the risk of the bar bouncing around and it limits the need to reestablish positioning with the bar itself.

I’ll take ‘low bounce’ for $500, Alex.


When you add up the elements above, what you get is a very durable bumper plate.

  • The high-durometer virgin rubber is very dense, which contributes to a longer expected life.
  • The nearly 8-inch steel insert is securely fastened by 5 locking bolts, which virtually eliminates lateral warping.
  • The raised rubber flanges remove metal-on-metal contact, thereby preventing damage to the hub.
Fringe Sport Competition Bumper Plate Closeup Garage Gym Lab

With a durability profile like this, you can count on having these plates in your arsenal for a very long time. They’re built to endure whatever lifts you through at them. I’m not necessarily suggesting you completely outfit a heavy-use commercial-like gym (CrossFit Box, etc…) with them (due to cost), but in a home gym or in a setting with limited users, they’re going to last years.


If you’re looking for sex appeal, competition bumpers are hard to beat. Whether you’re looking at the full-colored comp plates or the black with colored lettering training bumpers, they both look awesome.

The plates themselves have a matte finish, but the colors are still vibrant. On the competition bumpers, the lettering is white, and on the training bumpers, the letters are in the IWF color scheme. I think they both look awesome, but if I had to pick just one to go with, I would probably pick the competition bumpers in full color. This is just personal preference of course.

Fringe Sport Competition Bumper Plate Closeup Loaded on Bar Garage Gym Lab

I also much prefer the raised lettering vs just a painted lettering. It has a higher-end feel. That said, on the colored bumpers, I noticed that there are a few areas where the white on the lettering isn’t applied thickly enough. Because of that, you can see just a little bit of the underlying color.

The steel hubs are zinc coated, which look nice, but I prefer the chrome hubs from a pure aesthetics perspective. You can see the side-by-side comparing the two hub styles below.

Fringe Sport vs Rogue Garage Gym Lab

Overall, I think Fringe Sport did a nice job with the look of these plates. They look sexy on and off the bar!

Pros and Cons


  • These are well-priced competition bumpers.
  • Tight weight tolerance of +/- 1%
  • The thin profile means more weight on the bar.
  • 90 durometer rating creates a low bounce.
  • Virgin rubber + raised flanges + large steel hub = long life expectancy.
  • The raised outer flange makes gripping the plates easier.


  • The lettering on the fully colored competition plates could be improved by a heavier coat of white. On some of the letters, you can see a small amount of the underlying plate color.
  • The virgin rubber is slightly slippery, which makes it a bit more difficult to grab and hold.

Final Thoughts

All in all, these plates are pretty damn awesome. Their specs are great for a competition bumper and I have no concerns with their performance or longevity. They seem very well-built and capable of handling whatever you throw at them. Aesthetically, they look awesome, but they’re not quite as polished as the Rogues or Eleikos of the world.

What really separates these plates from those is the price point. You might not be getting as much sex appeal, but you are getting a high-performing plate at a relatively steep discount.

If you’re looking for competition bumpers and you’re trying to mind the budget, I don’t think you can go wrong with these from Fringe Sport.

Fringe Sport Competition Bumper Plates Rating

Build Quality: 9.3/10

Accuracy: 9.8/10

Plate Width: 9.6/10

Bounce: 9.3/10

Aesthetics: 9.1/10

Price: 8.9/10

Final Verdict

Overall: 9.3/10

These competition bumper plates are an awesome offering from Fringe Sport. With great value and nice specs, you can’t go wrong with checking these out.

Adam Hensley
Adam Hensley
Adam is the founder of Garage Gym Lab and has over two decades of fitness/training experience. He serves as the chief content creator and runs our YouTube channel and social media accounts. When he's not testing equipment or sharing his love for home gym life, you'll find him with his wife and two kids in sunny South Carolina.
Adam Hensley
Adam Hensley
Adam is the founder of Garage Gym Lab and has over two decades of fitness/training experience. He serves as the chief content creator and runs our YouTube channel and social media accounts. When he's not testing equipment or sharing his love for home gym life, you'll find him with his wife and two kids in sunny South Carolina.

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