When you look at the Allrounder Bar from Gungnir, one of two thoughts is likely to pop into your head:
1.) Wow, this is amazing!
2.) Umm, this is solving a problem that doesn't exist.
While either, or even both, could be true depending on the person and the situation, one thing I think everyone can agree on when looking at this bar is that it's an engineering masterpiece… and it's certainly unique.
The Gungnir Allrounder is a multipurpose barbell that includes a built-in lock mechanism that serves as a permanent collar.
This “Slide-Lock” is a rather brilliant way to create an internal collar, and it can be a very practical solution for some people.
For others, it may just be a nice-to-have/touch/show-off feature.
I've been looking forward to using and reviewing this bar ever since I first saw it teased over a year ago. I'm attracted to innovative pieces of strength equipment, and this one from Gungnir fits the bill.
In this review, we'll take a close look at the All-Rounder bar. We'll discuss its advantages, its disadvantages, who it's right for, and everything in between.
Let's dig in.
The Gungnir Allrounder Bar is rated based on the Garage Gym Lab Universal Barbell Score. Read more about the ‘UBS' here.
Gungnir Allrounder Bar
In a sense, the Gungnir Allrounder Bar is a modern take on the old-school Russian barbells. While those bars didn't offer a permeant collar in the same way, they were known for their deeply grooved sleeves that allowed for the use of special locking collars.
The Allrounder bar takes that same principle but improves it to be internally-housed, faster, more convenient, lower-profile, and more aesthetic.
It has been tested thoroughly under various stresses and loads to reveal a very sophisticated solution that is capable of handling whatever you can throw at it.
At $799 (before any special offers from Gungnir) shipped, it's a premium barbell at a premium price. This barbell isn't for everyone (more on that later), but if you have the budget and the need, it's revolutionary and awesome.
Bar Weight: 20kg
Shaft Diameter: 28mm
Center Knurl: Yes
Knurl Marks: Dual/Multipurpose
Shaft Coating: Satin Hard Chrome
Tensile Strength: 216,000 PSI
Yield Strength: N/A
Bar Length: 86.6″
Distance Between Collar Faces: 51.5″
Loadable Sleeve Length: 16.25″
Sleeve Coating: Electroless Nickel
Bushing/Bearing: Bronze Bushings
Made in: Norway
Sleeves & Spin
Normally I start a barbell review with a discussion on the shaft and the knurling, but since the Allrounder is known for its unique sleeves, let's start there.
The obvious difference between the Allrounder and a traditional barbell is the built-in collar feature. The sleeve is CNC-machined to provide a high level of precision, and you can tell just by looking at it. I'm blown away by the machining on this bar. Each groove is perfectly cut and I cannot discern even the slightest inconsistency from groove-to-groove. This is true craftsmanship.
Each groove is approximately 2.3mm wide with a 2mm spacer to create individual slots. On the sides of the shaft are two rails within which the lock can slide. Near the end of the bar is a recessed section that serves as home-base for the lock. When in this position, the lock sits perfectly flush with the top half of the sleeve.
The Slide-Lock itself is a machined piece of titanium with three inner grooves in addition to the two grooves that make up the edges of the piece. In the center is a powerful magnet that provides additional security when the lock is slid into position. Without a magnet, the lock would be susceptible to unwanted movement when using the bar, but with the magnet, it feels extremely secure. The lock also includes two hook-like edges that sit within the rail and prevent the clip from coming off the top.
Using the Slide-Lock is a dream. If you've read any of my other reviews, you would know I don't prefer a grooved sleeve because of the zip noise it creates. While a different style of grooved sleeve, the Allrounder is actually very pleasant on the ears and in the hand. It's really fun to use and makes for a great fidget tool with its pronounced tactile feel and magnet slaps. The way the lock clicks into place is very satisfying. Neither the lock sliding nor plates sliding produce a zip noise as wretched as a thinly grooved traditional sleeve. It's quieter than even some smooth-sleeve bars I own. Who would've thunk?
Because this sleeve has fixed grooves and a fixed lock, this can create small gaps between the lock and the outer plate in certain situations. The most space you will experience is around 4.3mm… 2.3mm for the groove and 2mm for the spacer. Even at a full ~4.3mm, it has a minimal impact on the actual lifts in my experience. Considering traditional collars can loosen even further after repeated drops, it could be considered a benefit to have a lateral ceiling, so-to-speak.
Now, the biggest questions on everyone's mind is “how well does it actually work” and “how is it going to fare over thousands of drops”? While conducting a multi-thousand drop test in my garage would be cool, it's not feasible. Thankfully, Gungnir has gone through extensive testing. After thousands of drops with 320 kg (705 lbs) from 1.6m (5.4 ft.) and 90 kg (198 lbs) from 2.2m (7.2 ft.), there was no evidence of failure. Similarly, the titanium slide lock was able to withstand 15,000 kg of vertical pressure on a hydraulic press without any deformation.
Anecdotally, all I can say is I have seen nothing to present any concern over its ability to perform the job or its long term prospects.
The sleeve is finished in electroless nickel, which is a great coating for overall durability and oxidation resistance. As is standard with traditional barbells, the sleeve diameter of the Allrounder is 1.96″. This bar offers a very tight tolerance, which creates a quiet and smooth operation. Plates slide on and off like butter and, again, without making much noise.
Also consistent with most traditional bars is the 16.25″ sleeve length. The tradeoff is that you don't get quite the same amount of loadable length. On most traditional bars, depending on which collar you're using, you'll get around 14.75″ of loadable length. On the Allrounder, since you have to slide the lock into enough grooves for it to snap into place, you give up about an inch, so you're getting around 13.75″. There is a workaround if you ever needed to max the length out, and that's to keep the lock in its home-base and use a traditional collar as normal.
Within the sleeves, you'll find bronze bushings, which is common for a multipurpose bar application. This will produce an even spin that's appropriate for any type of lift. You won't get the same level of spin as a bearing system in terms of speed, but you'll get a consistent spin that's smooth and one that comes to a gradual stop. Within the bushings themselves, Gungnir has machined diamond-shaped cutouts that are filled with MoS2 grease. This allows the grease to “live” in the cutouts while providing constant lubrication to the system, thereby increasing performance and decreasing the need for maintenance.
Shaft & Knurling
The Allrounder bar uses a 28mm shaft, which demonstrates a bias towards Olympic Lifting. The majority of multipurpose bars utilize a 28.5mm shaft, which bridges the gap between an Olympic Weightlifting bar (28mm) and a powerlifting bar (29mm). As such, this bar will tend to produce a little more whip. If you're performing Olympic lifts, this will be great, but if you're looking for a heavy driver on squat/bench/deadlift, you may want to consider something with a thicker diameter.
My personal training is centered around the Big 3 powerlifting movements, but that doesn't mean I don't enjoy a 28mm bar. In fact, using a 28mm bar as a semi-deadlift bar is a great way to get in some overload training. The California bar from American Barbell and the E1 Training Bar from Lu Xiaojun are two good examples of this.
The shaft on the Allrounder offers a tensile strength of 216,000 PSI, which is firmly in the wheelhouse of high-quality multipurpose bars. As expected, the shaft includes dual knurl rings spec'd to IWF and IPF standards. It also includes a center knurl, which is something I appreciate. Many bars in the multipurpose class don't include a center knurl. This is ultimately a personal preference for many, but if you like the extra tactile sensation of a center knurl, you'll probably find this to be an appealing feature as well.
Speaking of knurl, the Allrounder bar offers what I would consider a well-balanced pattern with a medium feel to it. As someone who prefers an aggressive knurl, it does feel a little passive for my liking on certain lifts, but otherwise, it's a refined knurl with a nice feel to it. It's characterized by a mostly “hilly” pattern, but with some pitch. In other words, it's not a flat hill like the California Bar, which is very passive. It provides enough bite without being aggressive by any stretch, making it a great option for higher rep/volume training.
The shaft has a satin hard chrome finish that doesn't feel like hard chrome at all. To me, it feels more like Cerakote in the sense that it has some texture to it. Side note: not all Cerakote applications are/feel the same. Many hard chrome bars will feel a little more slippery, requiring chalk sooner. This bar has some “grit” to it, and while it's not going to be a replacement for a more aggressively knurled bar with a hard chrome finish, it provides a good amount of grip.
As mentioned, I primarily train with powerlifting movements and accessories that assist those lifts. I've been using this bar for a little over a month now, and even though I'm not using it in an Olympic lifting fashion, I have been very impressed. I've been using this bar primarily on squat variations, press variations, and deadlift variations.
I've really been enjoying this bar on squats. The center knurl is a great feature for me since I prefer that extra grip. Front squats and high bar squats felt especially good, but this isn't a bar I would use much on low bar squats.
On presses, the more medium knurl feels very nice to me, but I do prefer a thicker diameter on these lifts. That said, since many 28mm bars have bearings, I prefer the bushings here when comparing like-sized diameters.
As mentioned earlier, 28mm bars are reserved for overload training for me on deadlifts. This bar isn't aggressive enough for me to use in daily training, but it's fun to use with a little more weight to take advantage of the additional whip.
From my perspective, this is a high-performing bar, which one would expect at this price point. Based on the things I've seen from others, I'm confident it would perform just as well on lifts that I don't normally do (snatches, jerks, etc…).
I will add that I would love for Gungnir to eventually consider offering a dedicated power bar with the Slide-Lock and a more aggressive knurl.
Wow, does this bar ever look nice. I own over 40 barbells now, and the Allrounder is near the top of the list in this department.
Starting with the sleeves, there's not much else to say other than they look incredible. From the gunmetal look of the electroless nickel finish, to the titanium lock, and to the exquisite machining, it's simply beautiful.
The satin chrome is a great looking finish also, but if there's one thing I would ding this bar on, it's that the gunmetal sleeves make the satin chrome look a little light bluish. It still looks very nice, but I would prefer something that compliments the collar a little more. Gungnir originally demoed a dark blue Cerakote application, but due to some QC concerns, they opted for the satin chrome. I would love it if they could introduce that dark blue down the road because it looked tremendous.
The end cap on the Allrounder looks fantastic. It reminds me of the Kabuki Power Bar with its reflective qualities. The design is simple, legible, and all-around beautiful.
In total, this is a stunning barbell that is all-but-guaranteed to turn heads wherever it is.
Who is the Gungnir Allrounder Right for?
So, who is the Allrounder right for?
Obviously, this is a premium bar… with what some might consider an unnecessary feature.
If you're someone who runs a gym, whether it's a busy facility or even a smaller private training facility, this bar could come in handy. In these settings, collars get lost and collars “go missing.” Sometimes they lose their bite over time. If you're spending extra money on collars, the Allrounder may be something to consider.
If you're someone who just has a taste for the finer things in life, the Allrounder may be appealing to you. There is nothing else like it currently on the market. It's not only a high-performer but it's also a great conversation piece.
If you're someone who's training at home with just yourself or maybe a couple of other people and the collar concern isn't much of a concern, then you're probably better off with something less pricey.
At the end of the day, there are other bars on the market at cheaper prices that are going to perform in a similar way when you just consider the bar's performance. You're paying a premium on this bar mainly for a convenient, nice-to-have feature that looks great, saves you time, and potentially saves you money over the long run.
I go back to the beginning of this review: Is this bar amazing or does it solve a problem that doesn't exist? It can certainly be both, but it ultimately comes down to you, your needs, and where you see the value.
Pros & Cons
- The Allrounder's biggest benefit is the Slide-Lock to eliminate the need for external collars.
- The craftsmanship on this bar, and especially the sleeves, is top-notch.
- The knurling is clean, textured, and it provides a solid grip to handle a variety of lifts.
- This bar offers a very satisfying fidget factor.
- Backed by intense testing and a lifetime warranty, you can rest assured it will stand up to daily abuse.
- The bar looks great, headlined by its sleeves and eye-catching end caps.
- Price, certainly. Relatively speaking within its class, this bar is near the top of the spectrum.
- I would love to see more finish options, such as stainless steel or the dark blue Cerakote mentioned above.
- Because of the fixed groove and Slide-Lock, there may be a small gap between the outer plate and the lock.
In summary, the Gungnir Allrounder bar is easily one of my favorites in my collection. The machining alone is out of this world.
I love the Slide-Lock. I love how easy it is to use, how fun it is to use, and how well it works.
I love how this bar looks, how it performs, and how it stands out in a sea of traditional bars.
Unsurprisingly, the biggest barrier is its price. At $799 (not including any promos from Gungnir), you can buy two high-quality bars for the price of one.
But… there's only one Allrounder, and for that, I acknowledge Gungnir and I raise a glass to innovation.
If you want to read about the Universal Barbell Score, check it out here.
If you have any questions about this bar or multipurpose bars in general, please leave a comment below. Likewise, if you own the Gungnir Allrounder and you want to chime in with your own thoughts, please do so!
As always, I appreciate any feedback.
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The bar is loaded,