Rogue Ohio Power Bar – Bare Steel

  • Manufacturer: Rogue Fitness
  • Purpose: Powerlifting
  • Bar Weight: 45lb
  • Gender: Men
  • Tensile Strength: 205,000
  • Yield Strength: N/A
  • Knurl Type: Aggressive
  • Center Knurl: Yes
  • Knurl Marks: Powerlifting
  • Shaft Finish: Bare Steel
  • Shaft Diameter: 29mm
  • Sleeve Finish: Bare Steel
  • Sleeve Type: Grooved
  • Rotation System: Bushing
  • Made In: USA
  • Warranty: Lifetime

Read below to get a closer look at the Rogue Bare Steel Ohio Power Bar including product details, features, real user feedback, and more.

$280.00

Rogue Ohio Power Bar – Bare Steel

The Rogue Ohio Power Bar is probably the most popular and highest-selling power bars ever. The bar is sold in multiple variations at various price points. This particular version is their most raw, including both a bare steel shaft and sleeve. It's also their most economically-priced bar coming in at $265.

Equipped with a 29mm shaft, single powerlifting marks, a 205,000 PSI tensile strength, and bronze bushings, the Bare Steel Ohio Power Bar is built to handle all of your powerlifting needs.

Here are some further details about the bar:

Knurling

The knurling on the Rogue Ohio Power Bar is widely considered to be one of the best powerlifting knurls on the market. It has a noticeable volcano pattern to it with a rather deep pit. It's considered by most to be aggressive, and I would agree to an extent. There are certainly more aggressive bars available, and while this one does provide great grip, I've always found it to be just that: grippy. It's not aggressive in the sense of a mountainous profile like the Rep Power Bar EX, Vulcan Absolute Power Bar, etc…

That said, it's definitely a step-up from a standard knurl. If you're used to something like the knurl on the Rogue Ohio Bar, for instance, this is going to feel aggressive.

I think this moderately aggressive profile is actually what makes the Rogue Ohio Power Bar so popular. It's an excellent all-around power bar that's suitable on each of the big 3 lifts. It's not too aggressive that you wouldn't want to use it, let's say, on bench… and it's not too light that you couldn't pull heavy deadlifts with it. It strikes a great balance.

If you're looking for a single powerlifting bar in your arsenal, the Rogue Ohio Power Bar deserves to be one of the strongest contenders, in my opinion.

The bar does include a center knurl in the same pattern as the rest of the bar.

Shaft

The Ohio Power Bar has a 29mm shaft, which is consistent with most other power bars on the market, and which meets various powerlifting fed guidelines. This diameter creates a rigid shaft that's ideal for the squat, bench, and deadlift. The tensile strength of the shaft is 205k, which stacks up very well against the competition. 

The beauty of a bare steel shaft is the feeling it offers. Unlike a plated finish like black zinc, Cerakote, etc…, bare steel offers a completely raw feel. Nothing is separating your skin from pure unadulterated raw steel. It also takes chalk exceptionally well. As such, the bare steel version of the bar is a great option for those looking for optimal texture without the price tag of stainless steel.

Now, the downside to bare steel is of course the oxidation qualities or lack thereof. This bar is going to produce surface rust no matter what. So if you care about the look of your bar, stainless steel or an alternate version may be more suitable for you. Even still, some people love the look of a bare steel bar with some patina to it.

Sleeves

The sleeves on the Rogue Ohio Power Bar are grooved, and in the case of this version, they're also bare steel.

‘Grooved vs. smooth sleeve' is a lot like crunchy vs. creamy peanut butter. Creamy peanut butter, by the way, reigns supreme, and you'll never convince me otherwise.

For some, grooved sleeves are king. They do a slightly better job of keeping plates on the bar more securely when not using a collar… but they're also much louder. They produce a high-pitched zip noise when sliding plates on and off. Some people love that noise – I do not.

Compared to some other grooved-sleeved bars that I own, I would say the OPB is among the loudest. That said, however, it's not a deal-breaker in my eyes at all… just something to be aware of if you're lifting in your home or some place where sound may play a role.

The bar utilizes bronze bushings to produce a very smooth, slow, and controlled spin – exactly what you want in a power bar.

Aesthetics

Aesthetically, this bar is beautiful right out of the box. Over time, the bar will change as oxidation sets in. Mind you, oxidation is purely cosmetic – it will not have an impact on the performance of the bar at all. Again, some people love the look of oxidation, which creates that hardcore look. Others don't. Only you can decide if that is going to bother you.

The end cap on the OPB is a classic design with the outline of the state of Ohio and the words “Power Bar” within. I think it's one of the best looking end caps out there.


Features & Highlights

  • Bare Steel – Bare Steel is the most cost-effective “finish” available because… well… it's not finished in anything. Because of that, it ranks very highly in the ‘feel' department. You'll get a completely raw texture that provides outstanding grip. It also takes chalk very well. The downside to bare steel is that it's very prone to oxidation. There is no preventing it, although 3-in-1 oil or similar is commonly used to mitigate it. 
  • Agressive”ish” Knurl – The knurling on this bar is pretty aggressive, but not overly so. It's going to feel a bit more aggressive than the other plated-finish Ohio Power Bars given its raw shaft. This knurl has a nice balance between not-too-aggressive and not-too-mild, which will appeal to the majority of people, and certainly one-bar users. 
  • Center Knurl – The Bare Steel Ohio Power Bar includes a center knurl that offers the same feel as the outer knurl.
  • Grooved Sleeves – The sleeves on this bar have fine grooves that help keep the plates on the bar better when you're not using collars. The downside is that grooved sleeves make an audible zip noise when loading/unloading plates. Like the shaft, the sleeves are also bare steel. 
  • Strong Warranty – The Ohio Power Bar comes with a lifetime warranty from Rogue Fitness.
  • American Made – This bar is made in America.

What They're Saying at roguefitness.com

The Bare Steel Ohio Power Bar receives very good feedback from users. With an average rating of 4.9/5, here are some of the things people have said at roguefitness.com:

Positive

  • “This is hands down the best barbell I've ever used. The knurling is perfect (aggressive) and there is nothing to complain about.”
  • “Better bar than any gym bar I have ever used. No fancy coatings. Just bare steel. Perfect knurling and 29mm grip is the best I have ever felt. Center knurl to grip your shirt during squats is a must. This power bar has everything.”
  • “Super happy I went with this bar over others. The knurling is aggressive, which I really like for all lifts including squat, bench, and deadlift. Shipping was also quick. Thanks!”
  • “I love this barbell! The knurl is fantastic! Nice aggressive knurl that really grips. I’ve used it for squats, overhead press and bench. Just an awesome all around barbell.”
  • “I bought the bare steel bar for my home gym. best bar I've put my hands on. I would highly recommend.”
  • “Best bar money can buy at an amazing price (under $300 with shipping) for bare steel. No sleeve slip. Skip the cheap bars and jump straight to this.”
  • “Excellent bar. I've had 500lbs on it and it hasn't even flexed. Feels very strong. The knurling is way more aggressive than any of my other bars but its fine. Its a more coarse knurl than I expected, but I should have just read the description. The bar sleeves are not smooth. The have a texture to them. Overall, very good, strong bar & Ohio made! I'm happy with it.”
  • “Bought this a month ago. After a month of use I’m still impressed. Construction and quality are fantastic. Can’t recommend this enough for a good all around bar.”
  • “I bought this bar in Bare Steel about 2 years ago, and it's still my favorite bar. I live in the Pacific NW, lot of rain. I work out in my garage and haven't had a problem with rust at all (I have never had to sand/scrub it). Just giving you a point of reference if you're concerned about upkeep. Not humid here like FL or TX, but not the driest climate either. 29mm feels great, the knurl is best in class. I also have a 28mm bar, less aggressive knurl, and no center knurl that only gets used for front squat and over head movements, so it doesn't chew up the front of my neck. I use this bar for everything else, it's the best.”

Critical

  • “I love rogue products, nothing but quality. I bought the ohio bare steel bar for my garage gym but unfortunately its already started to rust.”
  • “This was my first bar that I've bought and I have had it for about a year now. The bar it's self is strong and versatile. If you are on a budget it's good. That said, I live in a place can have dramatic shifts in weather (hot to cold) so the bar started to rust within a month of receiving it. Not Rouges fault, as I said it's a great bar. I just didn't realize how quickly it would happen. It's not an issue if you don't mind cleaning it every month or three, which is what I do. But, if I could do it all over again I would have spent the extra money and gotten any one of the slightly more expensive bars with some kind of protective coating.”

Garage Gym Lab Review

I do now own the bare steel version of this bar, but I do own the black zinc and stainless steel versions. You can see my review of the stainless version here:


Other Options

The below barbells were picked as alternatives to the Rogue Bare Steel Ohio Power Bar.

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