Ever since I released the Preacher Pad, I’ve become borderline obsessed with curling.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always enjoyed a good biceps pump, but these days even moreso.
In my quest to find the best curl bars, I’ve tested and researched dozens of options.
In my opinion, the Rogue Curl Bar is at the top of the list.
This is a well-made, ergonomic curl bar with standout features, including full knurl coverage, long sleeves, and high-end finishes.
However, it does have some minor drawbacks that I’ll discuss.
In this review, we’ll take a close look at the Rogue Curl Bar to see all that it offers. I’ll highlight the pros and cons and compare it to the popular REP Curl Bar. By the end, you should be able to tell if it’s right for you.
Let’s dig in.
Rogue Curl Bar
The Curl Bar from Rogue is a versatile bar with several variations, including size and shaft finishes.
You can buy this bar in a rackable or non-rackable version in either e-coat or Cerakote.
This is one of the more impressive curl bar lineups in the industry, especially with the quality and design.
Let’s look at the specs, and then we’ll get into the review.
Bar Weight: 30lb Standard / 35lb Rackable
Shaft Diameter: 28.5mm
Bar Length: 54.5″ Standard / 74.75″ Rackable
Shaft Length: 31.5″ Standard / 51.8″ Rackable
Sleeve Length: 10.5″
Shaft Finish: E-Coat or Cerakote
Sleeve Finish: Bright Zinc
Spin: Bronze Bushings
Made in: USA
Overall Build Quality
Rogue is considered one of the top barbell manufacturers. They make high-quality equipment from power bars to Olympic weightlifting bars and everywhere in between. This curl bar is certainly no exception.
I’m impressed with the overall quality of this bar. At 30lbs and 35lbs for the non-rackable and rackable options, this is a heavier bar than most. For reference, the Titan Curl Bar is 14lbs, the Gungnir Curler is 24lbs, and the popular Synergee Curl Bar is 19lbs. This bar is on par with REP, which also sells a 30lb non-rackable bar and a 35lb rackable one.
It uses a 28.5mm shaft, which is consistent with multi-purpose bars. If you like the idea of using a similar shaft as some of your favorite barbells, you’ll love this diameter. I tend to favor the thicker 30mm REP shaft, but 28.5mm is a great thickness and likely preferred by most.
The Rogue Curl Bar has tight tolerances throughout. The sleeves have virtually no lateral play, which reduces noise and creates a more fluid experience. The machining on the knurling is nicely done, and the geometry of the bar is top-notch.
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a higher quality curl bar in this price range.
The bends of a curl bar are one of the most important factors to consider. A bar that has shallow bends won’t target the biceps as well or reduce wrist discomfort as much. On the other hand, a bar with a very steep profile (AKA a ‘Super Curl Bar’) is better for niche-specific movements like hammer curls and skull crushers.
In my opinion, the bends on the Rogue Curl Bar have ideal angles. Of all the curl bars I’ve tested, this bar is at or near the top. It’s a comfortable profile that feels great on the wrists and creates a fantastic pump. If I could change anything, it would be to steepen the narrow bend just slightly. But with narrow, wide, and ultra-wide grip settings, you can target the biceps in multiple ways.
This ultra-wide setting is made possible by the increased knurling coverage.
The knurling on this bar is one of my favorite features about it. Firstly, this is a medium-textured knurling that feels the same as the popular Ohio Bar. It’s neither passive nor aggressive, but it provides just the right amount of stick in the hand. Normally, I favor more aggressive profiles, but since grip isn’t a limiting factor on curls, I appreciate this pattern.
Secondly, unlike most other curl bars, the knurling on the Rogue Bar extends nearly the entire length of the bar. This is a major benefit, in my eyes. Other bars have separate knurled sections only on the bends. The issue is that if you have wide hands, you may be touching smooth steel. More often than not, this is true for everyone on the inner grip widths.
On the Rogue Curl Bar, you’re guaranteed to be lifting on knurled steel. The only section that isn’t knurled is a 5″ area in the center of the bar. Since this isn’t an area you’d normally grip on the curl bar, it’s inconsequential. The extra coverage also allows you to grip the bar on the third bend closest to the collar, giving you a new width not available on others bars.
I have a love/hate relationship with the sleeves of this bar. On the plus side, the sleeves are 10.5″ long, making them the longest of mainstream curl bars. With longer sleeves, you can load more weight or use wider plates. Cheaper curl bars have much shorter sleeves, some as short as 6″. If you’re a heavy lifter, you’ll love the extra length on these sleeves.
On the downside, they’re grooved. This is a qualm I have with all Rogue barbells. This will be a benefit to some, but to others, an annoyance. Finely grooved sleeves like this are notoriously loud. They produce a high-pitched zip noise as you slide plates on and off. This is one of, if not the loudest, curl bars I’ve tested. Then again, some people love the sound.
Which Version of the Rogue Curl Bar Should You Buy?
When deciding which version of the Rogue Curl bar to buy, first ask yourself if you need a rackable or non-rackable bar. A rackable bar is easier to set up since you can rack it in your squat rack and load plates. It also opens up more training options while making others easier to perform. A non-rackable bar is shorter and less expensive, but it can be more difficult to load.
After determining the size, you can pick between e-coat and Cerakote for the shaft finish. E-coat is the less expensive option, and it’s a resilient finish with a polished look. Cerakote does a better job of preventing rust and creating a stickier grip. It also holds chalk better.
If you have the budget, I recommend Cerakote over e-coat. Both are suitable barbell finishes, but I find Cerakote is a better performer. Regardless of your choice, both bars have a black aesthetic that looks sharp.
Below is a breakdown of the four Rogue Curl Bar options:
|Rackable – |
|Standard – |
|Sleeve Finish||Bright Zinc||Bright Zinc||Bright Zinc||Bright Zinc|
Rogue Curl Bar vs. REP Curl Bar
The Rogue Curl Bar and REP Curl Bar are two of the best curl bars on the market. These are both high-quality options with great features. Like Rogue, REP offers a rackable and non-rackable version, but there are a few distinctions.
Whereas Rogue has e-coat and Cerakote as shaft finishes, REP has hard chrome and stainless steel. The e-coat and hard chrome will perform similarly in terms of feel and oxidation resistance. Stainless and Cerakote are both excellent rust fighters, but stainless provides a better texture. Aesthetically, Rogue Curl bars are black, while REP is silver. Depending on your gym scheme, this may make a difference.
Both bars provide great bends, although I do favor Rogue’s more pronounced profile. I also prefer Rogue’s knurling. The texture of both is quite similar, but Rogue provides substantially more knurl coverage.
The Rogue Curl Bar has a 28.5mm shaft, which is thinner than the 30mm on the REP bar. If you like the idea of having a diameter consistent with an Olympic barbell, you’ll likely prefer the Rogue Bar. I enjoy both, but I find the 30mm feels better on curls.
The sleeves on both bars stand out compared to most other curl bars, but I give the nod to REP overall. Both have great length, but at 10″, the REP bar is slightly shorter. REP sleeves also have a smooth surface, which I prefer over grooved. Another difference is that REP uses a hybrid bushing/bearing system compared to only bushings with the Rogue bar. Lastly, the stainless REP Curl bar also comes with stainless sleeves, which is a nice feature.
In terms of price, Rogue is more expensive and doesn’t include free shipping. Ultimately, I think the Rogue Curl Bar is the better bar, but the REP Bar offers tremendous value. If you have the budget for it, I recommend going with Rogue. Otherwise, the REP Curl Bar is a fantastic option.
|Rogue Rackable||REP Rackable||Rogue Standard||REP Standard|
|Sleeve Finish||Bright Zinc||SS/Chrome||Bright Zinc||SS/Chrome|
The Rogue Curl Bar is one of the most reviewed curl bars out there. With a 5-star average across hundreds of reviews, it’s hard to find a bar with more positive feedback. Users rave about the ergonomics and design, but a few have complained that the e-coat is too slippery.
- Angles are comfortable and effective at targeting the biceps
- Available in rackable and non-rackable versions
- E-coat and Cerakote shaft options
- Full knurl coverage with medium texture
- Longest sleeves in the game
- 28.5mm shaft is consistent with traditional barbells
- 5-Year warranty
- Grooved sleeves are much louder than smooth
- E-coat can present a slicker texture
- Some users may prefer a thicker shaft
- More expensive than most
Should I Buy a Curl Bar for my Home Gym?
Curl Bars are a great home gym addition after you purchase the essentials. These versatile and affordable barbells can help grow bigger and stronger arms while eliminating wrist discomfort.
Is the Rogue Curl Bar Worth it?
The Rogue Curl Bar is arguably the best curl bar on the market. If you have a bigger budget, I recommend it for its quality, design, and full knurl coverage.
What Exercises Can You Perform with a Curl Bar?
You can use curl bars in multiple ways. In addition to biceps curls, you can use them for triceps extensions, upright rows, overhead presses, and even front squats.
In summary, I think the Rogue Curl Bar is one of the best curl bars you can buy. It’s more expensive than a couple of other high-quality bars, but the features of this bar stand out among the rest.
From the knurling coverage to the ergonomic bend profile, this is just an all-around great curl bar.