Chances are, as of the date of this article, you've never heard of Gymway USA.
Chances also are, you may have actually used a barbell made by them without even knowing it.
This Taiwanese manufacturer has been making barbells for other well-known companies to private label for over 30 years.
I own a couple of these bars myself and, while I can't reveal which companies Gymway has manufactured for, I can say they make high-quality barbells in my experience.
This Cross Training Bar 2.0 is certainly no exception.
This is a well-made bar at under $300 with some features that make it an intriguing option if you're looking for a multipurpose barbell.
In this review, we'll take a close look at this barbell and discuss all of the finer points.
Let's dig in.
The Gymway USA Cross Training Bar 2.0 is rated based on the Garage Gym Lab Universal Barbell Score. Read more about the ‘UBS' here.
Gymway USA Cross Training Bar 2.0
The Gymway USA Cross Training Bar 2.0 is a multipurpose bar that executes well with some solid specs and a strong reputation to back it up. The bar utilizes some fairly standard specs for a bar of this style including a 28.5mm shaft, no center knurl, and a bushing system.
What is interesting on this bar, as I'll discuss later in the review, is the inclusion of a copper bushing vs. the more traditional bronze bushing. Also unique about this bar compared to most is that Gymway reports a yield strength, which I too will discuss in the review.
This bar can be purchased in hard chrome, black oxide, or manganese phosphate. While the hard chrome version will provide the best oxidation resistance, the other two finishes will result in a better overall “feel” in terms of the knurling.
Each of the bar options cost the same and are each offered with free shipping in the continental US.
Let's have a look at the overall specs and then we'll get into the review:
Bar Weight: 20kg
Shaft Diameter: 28.5mm
Center Knurl: No
Knurl Marks: Dual/Multipurpose
Shaft Coating: Hard Chrome (also comes in Black Oxide and Manganese Phosphate)
Tensile Strength: 216,200 PSI
Yield Strength: 206,900 PSI
Bar Length: 86.6″
Distance Between Collar Faces: 51.5″
Loadable Sleeve Length: 16.25″
Sleeve Coating: Hard Chrome
Bushing/Bearing: Copper Bushings
Made in: Taiwan
Shaft & Knurling
The Cross Training Bar 2.0 from Gymway uses a 28.5mm diameter shaft, which is common among multipurpose bars. This diameter will offer a nice balance between whippy and rigid, making it an appropriate choice for a variety of lifts. If you're looking to train with specificity around a certain style of lift, it may make sense to focus on a power bar (29mm) or an Olympic bar (28mm), but if general training is what you're after, 28.5mm is the ideal selection.
The tensile strength of this bar measures 216,200 PSI, which is more than most bars in this class (190,000-200,000). While this is a nice feature to be sure, tensile strength is largely an overrated metric. While tensile strength measures the point at which the bar will literally break, yield strength measures the point at which it will bend and not return to its original shape. In the context of lifting weights, yield strength is the more useful metric, but most companies don't report a measurement. Gymway USA does, however, and the 206,900 PSI indicates a very strong bar indeed.
The knurling on this bar, like most in this class, is medium in feel, although it does lean towards the more aggressive side. It's characterized mainly as a “hilly” pattern with a slight volcano that gives it a little more bite. Adding to a slightly more aggressive profile than most is a more pronounced pattern overall. Where many multipurpose bars have a flatter profile, like the Lu Xiaojun E1 and American Barbell California Bar, this bar is pressed deeper.
This still makes it suitable for a variety of lifts, and during high rep/volume training, but it also helps on heavier attempts with a grippier feel. Keep in mind that it's not as aggressive as most power bars, so comparatively you'll likely find yourself chalking up or throwing on straps sooner. The bar offers dual knurl rings spec'd to IWF and IPF standards and it does not include a center knurl. Another nice feature of this knurl is that it extends all the way to the collar, which not only looks nice, but also serves a functional purpose if you're doing wider snatch grip movements.
The bar comes in three different finishes: hard chrome, black oxide, and manganese phosphate. If you're looking for a little more bite to it, black oxide and manganese phosphate will offer that since they are a conversion coating. Hard chrome, on the other hand, is an applied coating. This means it's actually filling in some of the knurl depth, which will remove some of the aggression. For what it's worth, black oxide is one of my favorite finishes because it provides such a raw feel.
In terms of consistency and overall machining quality, I'm impressed with this bar. The knurl termination points are crisp and I haven't seen any areas of concern with double-tracked knurling, etc…
Sleeves & Spin
The sleeves on the Gymway USA bar are also finished in hard chrome and they have a smooth surface. If you've been following me for any amount of time, you know I prefer smooth sleeves. They're much quieter than grooved sleeves and that is very evident on this barbell.
The sleeve diameter is consistent with traditional bars at 1.96″ and it has a loadable sleeve length of 16.25″. This too is consistent with many bars, but some sleeves are slightly longer. At 16.25″ you would be able to load around 600 lbs of competition bumpers on the bar with enough room for a collar at the end.
This bar utilizes copper bushings, which is a unique system compared to most bars that utilize bronze. While bronze uses copper as its base metal, it also often includes other materials to bolster its hardness and overall strength. Copper is still a strong metal and it's more malleable, but I do wonder about its integrity over the long term as compared to the stronger bronze. Is it going to matter much at the end of the day? Unlikely, but it's an interesting choice nonetheless.
The spin itself is quite good. It's smooth, comes to a gradual stop, and gives me no pause whatsoever in terms of its overall performance.
This is a true multipurpose bar with a 28.5mm shaft and a bushing system. As such, it's capable of handling all of the lifts nicely. If you're looking to train a specific style, I would recommend focusing on something specific to that. Gymway USA sells both a dedicated power bar as well as a dedicated competition Olympic weightlifting bar. If you want a bar that can be used across the lift spectrum, on the other hand, this is a very nice option.
I have been using this bar mainly for squat variations, press variations, and some deadlifts. As someone who primarily trains the low bar squat, I've definitely found myself missing the center knurl. On front squats and high bar squats, however, the smooth center shaft is comfortable. This will likely just come down to which style you mainly train with.
On deadlifts, I've been pleasantly surprised. Generally speaking, I don't like deadlifting with a multipurpose bar unless it has a 28mm diameter so I can get some overload training via a whippier shaft. With the Gymway Cross Training Bar, the knurl is more aggressive and, while it's not to powerlifting standards per se, it's better than most in this class. The hard chrome finish does an admirable job taking chalk, but the black oxide and manganese phosphate finishes will certainly do better in that regard.
I have enjoyed using this bar on all press variations primarily due to its knurling and its smooth-center shaft.
Aesthetically, this is a very nice-looking bar, headlined by an inner-etched collar and a simple, attractive end cap.
The standout feature of this bar in the looks department is the inner edge of the collars, which has a laser-etched design. It reads the company name as well as the bar weight, which is one of Gymway's unique touches across their bar lineup. Aside from maybe removing one of the two company names and replacing it with the barbell name, I really like this feature. I'm also a big fan of the beveled edge on the inner collar – this is a great-looking touch.
The end caps are simple, clean, and I love the color scheme… mainly because I'm a Carolina Panthers fan.
As mentioned, the bar comes in three different finish options. The hard chrome version will look the best over the long term, and it may look the best right out of the box as well depending on your aesthetic preferences. Black oxide and manganese phosphate will also look nice out of the box, but just know that they are more susceptible to oxidation over time. I would recommend applying 3-in-1 oil to these bars on occasion to keep them looking better for longer. This goes for all three finishes.
Pros & Cons
- The 28.5mm shaft will appeal to those who are looking to perform a variety of lifts, and not necessarily a particular focus (e.g. powerlifting and Olympic weightlifting).
- With a moderate, semi-aggressive knurl profile, this bar produces a little more bite than most multipurpose bars. As such, you will likely find this bar more useful on heavier attempts than more passively-knurled bars.
- No center knurl makes this bar comfortable in the front rack and high bar positions.
- Priced under $300 with free shipping, the bar represents a pretty solid value.
- The bar is offered in three different finishes, which allows consumers to pick based on preferences around knurl feel and oxidation resistance.
- Gymway reports a yield strength of 206k PSI, which indicates a strong and highly capable bar.
- Aesthetically, the bar looks very nice, especially with the etched inner-collars.
- This is a subjective benefit, but smooth sleeves are much quieter than grooved sleeves. The downside to them is that they don't keep the plates on the bar as well when not using a collar.
- Copper bushings, while in all likelihood are acceptable in this application, deviate from the stronger bronze bushings that are typically used in barbells.
Overall, this is a nice offering from Gymway USA. I appreciate that they report a yield strength, I love the inner collar design, and I think it's smart to offer the bar in multiple finishes.
On the whole, this is a well-machined bar that will likely appeal to anyone who's looking to train a variety of lifts. It's particularly appealing if you're someone who prefers a more pronounced grip.
Gymway is a reputable brand with a track record of producing quality barbells for decades. I'm excited that they're entering the direct B2C market, and especially within the United States. I'll be reviewing more of their bars very soon!
If you have any questions about this bar or multipurpose bars in general, please leave a comment below. Likewise, if you own the Gymway USA Cross Training Bar 2.0 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,