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The Best Short Barbells For Home Use

Best short barbells for home use - Reviews - Title picture v3.1

I don’t have a lot of space to work with in my home gym, which limits what I can do with a full size barbell. Thankfully several companies offer “shorty” Olympic bars, which are great for use in confined spaces.

Obviously tradeoffs have to be made to achieve the shorter length. However, a good compact barbell can still meet the needs of most home gym lifters.

The best short barbells

Short Olympic bars come in several sizes, including 4-foot, 5-foot, and 6-foot versions.  In my opinion, 6-foot barbells offer the best compromise between compactness and versatility since many of them can still fit on a regular sized squat rack.

However, I realize that not everyone has enough space to accommodate a rack, so in some cases a good quality 5-foot bar would be a better choice. For the record, I don’t think 4-foot bars offer enough versatility to be worth your time ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I’ll cover the specs I used to choose the bars I tested in the Requirements section, but the short version (ha ha) is that I chose bars that met the following criteria:

  • Rackable, with at least 50″ of bar width between collars
  • If not rackable (less than 50″ of bar width between collars), does it have other features that make it stand out?
  • 25-28.5mm shaft diameter
  • At least 300lb max weight

The following table is for those that are short on time or just want the TL;DR version. Full reviews for each bar can be accessed through the links provided. 

Barbell

Specs

Rating / Best Use

Buy

Best Short Bar Overall - Rogue C-70S Bar

• 72" bar length

• 28.5mm bar diameter

• 15kg weight

• 400+lb rating

• 190K PSI 

• Dual markings

• Cerakote finish

Kettlebell Reviews Rating - Four Stars

• Olympic lifts

• WODs

• MetCons

• Powerlifting

• SL 5x5 

• Home gym

Best 28mm Short Bar - Fringe Sport Shorty Barbell

Kettlebell Reviews Rating - Four Stars

• 72" bar length

• 28mm bar diameter

• 15kg weight

• 400+lb rating

• 216K PSI 

• Dual markings

• Hard chrome finish

Kettlebell Reviews Rating - Four Stars

• Olympic lifts

• WODs

• MetCons

• Powerlifting

• SL 5x5 

• Home gym

Best 25mm Short Bar - American Barbell 10KG Performance Training Bar

Kettlebell Reviews Rating - Four Stars

• 67" bar length

• 25mm bar diameter

• 10kg weight

• 400+lb rating

• 180K PSI 

• Dual markings

• Hard chrome finish

Kettlebell Reviews Rating - Four Stars

• Olympic lifts

• WODs

• MetCons

• Powerlifting

• SL 5x5 

• Home gym

Best Short Bar for Functional Fitness - Eleiko XF Short Bar

Eleiko XF Short Bar 300x300px

• 69" bar length

• 28mm bar diameter

• 15kg weight

• 3300+lb rating

44" between collars 

• 233k PSI

• Dual markings

• Hard chrome finish

Kettlebell Reviews Rating - Four Stars

• Olympic lifts

• WODs

• MetCons

• Powerlifting

• Home gym

Best Compact Barbell - Rogue Fitness C-60B Bar

Rogue C-60B 250px

59" bar length

28.5mm bar diameter

44.13″ between collars 

25lb weight

• 300+lb rating 

190K PSI

• Dual markings

• Cerakote shaft

• Chrome sleeves

Kettlebell Reviews Rating - Four Stars

• Olympic lifts

• WODs

• MetCons

• Home gym

Best Value 28mm Short Bar - GetRXd Shorty Bar

Kettlebell Reviews Rating - Four Stars

• 74" bar length

• 28mm bar diameter

• 15kg weight

• 400+lb rating

• 190K PSI 

• Dual markings

• Hard chrome finish

Kettlebell Reviews Rating - Four Stars

• WODs

• MetCons

• Powerlifting

• SL 5x5

• Home gym

Best Value 25mm Short Bar - Rogue Fitness 10KG Junior Bar

Kettlebell Reviews Rating - Four Stars

67" bar length

25mm bar diameter

10kg weight

• 300+lb rating 

190K PSI

• Dual markings

• Black zinc shaft

• Bright zinc sleeves

Kettlebell Reviews Rating - Four Stars

• Olympic lifts

• WODs

• MetCons

• Powerlifting

• SL 5x5 

• Home gym

Lowest Priced Short Bar - Titan 6' Technique Olympic Bar

Kettlebell Reviews Rating - Four Stars

• 72″ bar length 

49.25″ between collars 

• 28mm bar diameter

• 30.5lb weight

• 350lb rating

• Single markings

• Chrome finish

Kettlebell Reviews Rating - Four Stars

• Powerlifting

• SL 5x5 

• Home gym

Troy Barbell 6ft Olympic Chrome Bar

Kettlebell Reviews Rating - Four Stars

• 72″ bar length 

• 28mm bar diameter

• 30.5lb weight

• 350lb rating

• Single markings

• Chrome finish

Kettlebell Reviews Rating - Four Stars

• Powerlifting

• SL 5x5 

• Home gym

CAP Ultra-Light Olympic Training Bar

Kettlebell Reviews Rating - Four Stars

• 73" bar length

• 28.5mm bar diameter

• 30lb  weight

250lb rating

• Single markings

• Black phosphate bar

• Hard chrome sleeves

Kettlebell Reviews Rating - Four Stars

• SL 5x5

• Home gym

Barbell buying guide

If you’d like to know more about barbells, check out my Olympic Barbell Buyer’s Guide.

The Buyer’s Guide has answers to every question I had when first researching barbells, including questions I’ve seen asked elsewhere.

Barbell Buyers Guide - Title Pic

Click the pic to read the guide

Requirements

First and foremost, there is no perfect “shorty” replacement for a full size barbell. Compromises have to be made to achieve a compact size, which typically mean shorter sleeve length and therefore less room to load weights, or a shorter space between collars which means the bar may not fit on a standard squat rack.

My goal with this article is to articulate the pros and cons of the most versatile compact barbells I’ve been able to find so you can make an informed decision about which tradeoffs matter most to you. For the purposes of evaluating and rating the bars, I’m considering factors such as price, build quality, and usefulness in comparison to a full size barbell.

The majority of squat racks and power racks are built to accommodate a standard 7ft barbell, which has 52” of shaft length between collars. Most commercially available racks like the Garage Series Squat Rack from Fringe Sport (full review), are roughly 50″ wide.

When I originally started my research, I focused primarily on short barbells that could be used in a rack for squats, overhead presses, and bench presses. This meant the short barbell needed to have at least 50” of shaft length between collars.

However, thanks to COVID19 I now know that many more people are working out from home who may not have space for a full size rack, as well as people who want to focus more on Olympic-style lifts and/or functional fitness and don’t necessarily need a full size rack.

So, I’m also evaluating short bars that aren’t rackable but still offer some extra benefit that make them worth considering.

Olympic bars, even compact shorty bars, come in several different shaft diameters. I limited my search to barbells with a shaft diameter between 25-28.5mm, since that’s the range best suited for a broad mix of powerlifting and Olympic lifts that would cover most home gym lifters.

The bar also needs to support at least 300lbs of weight. I picked this weight because it’s within achievable range for most healthy adults who train consistently, especially on the big compound lifts like deadlifts and squats.

There are plenty of 6-foot bars available, but surprisingly few that meet all these requirements. After months of scouring the internet, reading through forums, and tracking down obscure product information, so far I’ve managed to find just ten barbells that met all three requirements:

I’ve managed to acquire all of these bars and put them all to the test. So without further ado I present to you the best short barbells for home use!

Full reviews

What follows is a full review for each of the bars I’ve tested. For reference, I tested all of these bars with a 140kg set of competition bumper plates.

Most of the plates were tested using a set of Rogue competition plates (full review), although I recently replaced them with a set of Titan Fitness urethane competition plates (full review) after getting a good deal on them during a Black Friday sale.

Competition plates are the among the thinnest bumper plates available, and 140kg is likely the most weight any of these bars will be able to fit on the sleeves without moving to steel plates.

Titan Fitness Urethane Bumper Plates Review - Colorful Plates

The test weights – ain’t they purty?

For the sake of clarity, some of the bars include the word ‘Olympic’ in the name, but this doesn’t necessarily mean they’re intended to be used for Olympic lifting.

When describing barbell features, the term “Olympic” is often used as shorthand to mean the bar sleeve is 50mm (2″) in diameter. A standard non-Olympic bar typically has sleeves that are 1″ in diameter, so the distinction is important.

A bar designated as an ‘Olympic’ bar will be compatible with other equipment designated as ‘Olympic’, like bumper plates and collars. Refer to my Barbell Buyer’s Guide for more details.

None of the bars I’ve tested has a center knurl. In fact, I don’t think I’ve seen any short bars with a center knurl, so if that’s important to you you’ll have to go with a full size bar.

I should also note that none of these bars is a perfect replacement for a full size barbell. They all have different tradeoffs, but I think the advantages of having a compact barbell for use in a tight space outweigh the disadvantages.

Fringe Sport 15kg Shorty Bar Review

The Fringe Sport Shorty Bar is built to the same specs as the Fringe Sport Olympic Weightlifting Bar, but in a smaller package.

It’s clear that Fringe Sport didn’t skimp on quality to make this short barbell. Everything about it feels well constructed.

Best Short Barbells for Home Use - Fringe Sport Shorty Bar Review - Size Comparison

Fringe Sport Shorty Bar size comparison to a full size 20kg barbell

Specs

  • 72″ bar length
  • 28mm bar diameter
  • 15kg weight
  • 400+lb weight rating
  • 216K PSI tensile strength
  • 4 bronze bushings per collar
  • Light knurl
  • Dual markings
  • Hard chrome finish

Measured lengths

  • Bar: 71.5″
  • Shaft: 51.25″
  • Loadable sleeve: 8.75″

The Fringe Sport’s Shorty Bar is a true 15kg bar, which makes plate math easier for those of you lifting in kilos instead of pounds.

The Shorty Bar is spec’d at a full 52″ bar length, which is the same length between sleeves as a regular 7ft bar. This is a big deal, because it makes the bar much more usable for Olympic lifts.

The measured length is actually only 51.25″ so saying it’s a full-width bar is a bit generous, but it’s still one of the widest bar lengths of the review group.

You might be asking yourself, “how’d they do this?”, which is a good question. There’s only so much real estate on a 72″ bar (actual measured length is 71.5″), so they cut down the sleeve lengths to accommodate the full size bar length.

I didn’t find the shorter sleeves to be a hindrance though. The bar will fit the full 140kg of weight, although I’m unable to use my Lock Jaw collars when I do this. As you can see in the pictures below, the collar comes right to the edge of the sleeve with only 120kg of loaded weight.

Best Short Barbells for Home Use - Fringe Sport Shorty Bar Review - Loaded Sleeves

Sleeve loaded with 60kg and a Lock-Jaw collar

The spiral ribbed sleeves spin smoothly and consistently with no side-to-side play. In fact, the amount of spin these sleeves have is impressive, especially since they use bushings instead of bearings. Bumpers slide on and off easily, with almost no noise.

The light knurling extends all the way to the sleeve collars and is easy on the hands, which makes high-rep snatch/clean/jerk sessions a breeze.

On the other hand, the hard chrome finish is great for corrosion resistance, but not so great for maintaining grip during pulls. The hard chrome combined with the light knurl make this bar difficult to hold on to during deadlifts once I start sweating.

It also makes high-rep snatch sessions a little tricky, since I find my hands starting to slide outward when the bar is overhead. A little bit of climbing chalk helps the grip tremendously, but I don’t like using chalk in my spare bedroom if I can avoid it for the sake of keeping my spare bedroom clean.

I would love to see this bar offered with a cerakote option for improved grip, especially since Fringe Sport has recently introduced a cerakote-coated Bomba Bar.

A slightly thicker knurl would also help, although that would potentially impact this bar’s usefulness for high-rep work.

Best Short Barbells for Home Use - Fringe Sport Shorty Bar Review - Knurling and Sleeve

Despite the small size, this bar has room to grow. The Shorty Bar can hold over 400lbs of weight if you use metal plates, so it should be usable by all but the most beastly of you out there.

Best use

The Fringe Sport 15kg Shorty Bar is the most versatile and well made 28mm short bar I could find. This bar is perfect for CrossFit-style WoDs and MetCons, Olympic lifts, and also good for pressing lifts like squats, bench press, and overhead press.

This bar can also be used for pulling lifts and high-rep sets, as long as you’re okay with using some chalk for adding grip to the light knurling and chrome finish. 

 Buy The Fringe Sport Shorty Bar

GetRXd Shorty Bar Review

The GetRXd Shorty Bar is constructed with the same steel as the GetRXd WOD Bars, which are designed to take a beating.

Although not explicitly stated in the product info, I confirmed with customer support that the Shorty Bar can be dropped while loaded.

Best Short Barbells for Home Use - GetRXd Shorty Bar Review - Size Comparison

GetRXd Shorty Bar size comparison to a 20kg Olympic bar

Specs

  • 74″ barbell length
  • 28mm bar diameter
  • 15kg weight
  • 400+lb weight rating
  • 190K PSI tensile strength
  • 1 oversized oil-impregnated bushing per collar
  • Light knurl
  • Dual markings
  • Hard chrome finish

Measured lengths

  • Bar: 73.25″
  • Shaft: 51.31″
  • Loadable sleeve: 9.69″

I’m actually reviewing version 2.0 of this bar, which I’m happy to say is an improvement over version 1.0.

The original version was not wide enough between collars to fit most standard squat racks, so GetRXd went back to the drawing board and redesigned the bar accordingly! The new and improved GetRXd Shorty Bar now fits on all standard squat racks up to 50″ wide.

The sleeves are completely smooth with no side-to-side play. Bumpers slide on and off easily, with very little noise.

The GetRXd Shorty bar works great for nearly any kind of workout, including WODs and CrossFit-style workouts.

Best Short Barbells for Home Use - GetRXd Shorty Bar Review - Knurling and Sleeves

If your training consists mainly of Olympic lifts, the GetRXd Shorty is probably not the bar for you. Some of the bar’s rotational inertia gets transferred to the plates during snatches and cleans, which causes the plates to continue spinning at the end of the movement.

The knurling on the GetRXd Shorty Bar is light, which is great for high rep work but not so great for heavy pulls with sweaty hands.

Tradeoffs are to be expected when using any multi-purpose bar, so I counter the slick grip with a bit of climbing chalk when necessary.

Best Short Barbells for Home Use - GetRXd Review - Loaded Sleeves

Sleeve loaded with 60kg and a Lock-Jaw collar

The GetRXd Shorty Bar can hold the full 140kg of test weight, although I only have 120kg loaded in the pictures above.

There isn’t enough sleeve space for me to load the full 140kg of weight and still use my Lock Jaw collars, but I can definitely fit a spring clip on the end so no worries about safety.

The GetRXd Shorty can hold over 400lbs of weight if you use metal plates, so it should be usable for the vast majority of home lifters. All in all, this is a great bar for the asking price.

Best use

The GetRXd Shorty Bar is the best mix of price versus performance. This bar is good for CrossFit-style WoDs and MetCons, Power lifts like squats, bench press, overhead press, etc and will fit any standard squat rack up to 50″ wide. This isn’t a bar for use in frequent Olympic lift training.

This bar can also be used for pulling lifts, as long as you’re okay with using some chalk for adding grip to the light knurling and chrome finish.

 Buy The GetRXd 70″ Shorty Bar

CAP OB-73UL Review

The CAP OB-73UL, aka the Ultra-Light Olympic Training Bar, is an interesting product that doesn’t quite seem to know what it wants to be. It has the look and feel of a powerlifting bar, but doesn’t have the weight rating to back it up. It has ‘Olympic Training’ in the name, but is definitely not spec’d for Olympic lifting.

It’s an odd duck, and I was left with mixed feelings about it.

Best Short Barbells for Home Use - CAP OB-73UL Review - Size Comparison

CAP OB-73UL size comparison to a 20kg Olympic barbell

Specs

  • 73″ bar length
  • 28.5mm bar diameter
  • 30lb  weight
  • 250lb rating
  • Medium knurl
  • Single markings
  • Black phosphate bar
  • Hard chrome sleeves

Measured lengths

  • Bar: 73″
  • Shaft: 51.75″
  • Loadable sleeve: 9.25″

The OB-73UL is a decent bar that I found myself using a lot. The grip provided by the finish on this bar is among the best of all the barbells I reviewed for this article.

I like to deadlift and the black phosphate finish combined with a medium knurl make the bar easy to hold on to during pulls.

Best Short Barbells for Home Use - CAP OB-73UL Review - Knurling and Sleeve

What is most curious to me about this bar is the weight rating. Even though it looks and feels like a powerlifting bar, it’s only rated to hold 250lbs.

Deadlifting over 250lbs is well within the range of achievability of most healthy people that train consistently, so the relatively low weight rating means this bar has a built-in limited lifespan of usefulness.

When I originally bought the CAP Ultra-Light Training Bar bar, the product specs listed the weight rating as 300lbs. If you’ll recall from the requirements section, 300lbs puts the bar right at the limit of acceptable criteria for inclusion in this review.

However, CAP lowered the weight rating from 300lb to 250lb in the time between when I bought the bar and posted this review. Boo!

What’s even more confusing is their product website still says the bar will hold 300lbs, even though the specs on the same page clearly state 250lb. Why??

Best Short Barbells for Home Use - CAP OB-73UL Review - Contradicting Product Info

Taken straight from the product page ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

I don’t know which rating is correct, but I can verify this bar does hold at least 120kg (264lbs) of weight. However, the bar had a very noticeable bend at this weight and given the inconsistency in ratings I would not recommend using this bar for any pressing or squatting lifts in excess of 250lbs. Better safe than sorry!

The sleeves are grooved and finished in hard chrome. Unlike the other bars, sliding bumpers on and off the CAP Ultra-Light Training Bar produces a very irritating high-pitched metal-on-metal scraping. Not sure why, I guess the thin grooves just grate on the bumper inserts.

I mention this in case you have pets or small children, since the sound really annoys my dogs and I have to be extra careful when using this bar.

Best Short Barbells for Home Use - CAP OB-73UL Review - Loaded Sleeves

Sleeve loaded with 60kg and a Lock-Jaw collar

There’s not a lot of spin in the sleeves, and I noted a little bit of side-to-side play in them. Despite the inclusion of “Olympic Training” in the product name, this isn’t really a bar designed with Olympic lifts in mind.

The bar length between collars measures 51.75″ inches, which is almost the same as a full size bar. CAP managed this by extended the overall length of the entire bar to 73″ to accommodate the extra length.

Incidentally, now you know where the “73” in the OB-73UL name comes from.

Best use

The CAP Ultra-Light Olympic Training Bar is good for basic home gym lifting like bench press, squats, overhead press, deadlifts, and rows. In other words, this is a perfect bar for a Stronglifts 5×5 type workout, at least till you work up to 250lbs in any one lift. 

This is not a bar for use with Olympic lifts, and is unlikely to make a good WOD bar. 

 Buy The CAP Ultra-Light Olympic Training Bar

Troy Barbell 6 ft Olympic Chrome Bar Review

The Troy Barbell 6 ft Olympic Chrome Bar is by far the most boring bar of the bunch in terms of specs and features.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing though, it’s still a solid bar with a solid use case.

Best Short Barbells for Home Use - Troy Barbell 6 ft Olympic Chrome Bar Review - Size Comparison

Troy Barbell 6 ft Olympic Chrome Bar size comparison to a 20kg Olympic bar

Specs

  • 72″ bar length
  • 28mm bar diameter
  • 30.5lb  weight
  • 350lb rating
  • Medium knurl
  • Single markings
  • Chrome finish

Measured lengths

  • Bar: 72″
  • Shaft: 51.75″
  • Loadable sleeve: 8.75″

The Troy Barbell 6 ft Olympic Chrome Bar has a medium knurl that extends to within 1 inch of the collar. The bar has a tacky finish that feels closer to bare steel than chrome.

I was surprised by this till it dawned on me that the bar was not coated with a protective oil for storage and shipping like the rest of the chrome bars were.

Best Short Barbells for Home Use - Troy Barbell 6 ft Olympic Chrome Bar Review - Knurling and Sleeve

The Troy Barbell 6' Olympic Bar uses bronze bushings that don’t seem to rotate very smoothly, and as a result sleeve spin is almost nonexistent.

The lack of decent spin plus the single markings on the bar make it pretty clear this bar is intended for traditional powerlifting rather than Olympic lifting or CrossFit.

The sleeves also wobble a bit while spinning, which is indicative of loose manufacturing tolerances.

Not a big deal if you only want to bench/squat/deadlift, but not so bueno if you want to clean/snatch/jerk.

Best Short Barbells for Home Use - Troy Barbell 6 ft Olympic Chrome Bar Review - Loaded Sleeves

Sleeve loaded with 70kg weight and Lockjaw collar, should have used a spring clip collar instead

The Troy Barbell 6 ft Olympic Chrome Bar sleeve is long enough to hold the full 140kg of test weight, although as you can see from the picture above there’s not much room left over for a full size collar. 

Even though the sleeves are smooth, sliding bumpers on and off resulted in a high-pitched scraping sound. Not as bad as the CAP bar, but close.

The specs for this bar are very clear that 350lbs is a static weight limit, meaning that this bar is not intended to be dropped. This includes deadlifts, which means that 140kg (308lbs) is probably the actual working limit if you don’t want to risk breaking this bar.

I wish there was more to say about this bar, but there really isn’t. It’s a standard, run of the mill lifting bar that doesn’t really excel at any particular use case, but it’s not bad either. It would make a good beater bar if you can find one on sale.

Best use

The Troy Barbell 6 ft Olympic Chrome Bar is a basic barbell for basic needs. Good for bench press, squats, overhead press, deadlifts, and rows. In other words, this is a perfect bar for a Stronglifts 5×5 type workout, at least till you work up to ~300lbs.

This is not a bar for use with Olympic lifts, and is unlikely to make a good WOD bar. 

 Buy The Troy Barbell 6ft Olympic Chrome Bar

Titan 6′ Technique Olympic Bar Review

The Titan 6′ Technique Olympic Bar is the dark horse of the test group.

This is the only sub-$100 bar that met my review criteria, and at that price point I wasn’t really expecting much from it.

I’m happy to say I was pleasantly surprised.

Best Short Barbells for Home Use - Titan 6ft Technique Olympic Bar Review - Size Comparison

Titan 6′ Technique Bar size comparison to a 20kg Olympic bar

I’ll get this out of the way up front – I included this bar because the specs list the inner bar length as 51″, but it only measures 49.25“.

This is important because it means the Titan 6' Technique Olympic Bar will not fit many standard racks from companies like Rogue Fitness or Fringe Sport, which typically have a distance between posts of 50″.

However, other companies like GetRXd and Rep Fitness do sell power racks with posts spaced 48″ apart. So, if you’re looking at this bar and want to use it with a rack, you do have some choices.

Specs

  • 72″ bar length
  • 28mm bar diameter
  • 15kg  weight
  • 700lb rating
  • Medium-sharp knurl
  • Single markings
  • Chrome finish

Measured lengths

  • Bar: 72″
  • Shaft: 49.25″
  • Loadable sleeve: 9.5″

The Titan 6′ Technique Olympic Bar has a lot of good qualities at a fantastic price, which explains why the bar is often sold out on Amazon and on the Titan Fitness website. I think I may have bought mine just after it was introduced, so I was lucky to get one before everyone else jumped on it.

The Titan bar is a true 15kg bar, which makes plate math easier for those of you lifting in kilos instead of pounds.

Best Short Barbells for Home Use - Titan 6ft Technique Olympic Bar Review - Knurling and Sleeves

The knurling on the Titan 6′ Technique Olympic Bar can best be described as ‘medium-sharp’. It’s not super aggressive, but definitely the sharpest of the bars included in this review.

It provides a good amount of grip for pulls, but maybe a touch too much for high-rep clean/snatch sessions if that’s your thing.

The knurl pattern on both ends is shifted toward the center, leaving three inches of smooth un-knurled bar at the ends by the collars.

This is an unfortunate design choice, since it reduces the amount of usable grip for you tall folks out there and also makes the bar less usable for deadlifts since there’s no way to pull this bar up without scraping your shins.

The bar is marketed for use by youths and beginners, so my guess is the narrower knurling is intended to make it easier for young lifters to use.

On the other hand, the bar is wildly over-spec’d for a youth bar. It’s rated to hold up to 700lbs, which is way more than any kid and very few adults will ever be hoisting.

The shifted knurling is the biggest drawback to what is otherwise an excellent value home gym bar.

Best Short Barbells for Home Use - Titan 6ft Technique Olympic Bar Review - Inner Knurl Comparison

Standard knurl width (top) vs Titan knurl width (bottom)

The sleeves on the Titan 6' Technique Olympic Barhave decent spin, but nothing special. This bar isn’t geared toward Olympic lifting anyway, so the amount of spin provided by the brass bushings is adequate for powerlifting and the occasional snatch or clean.

The sleeves wobble a bit when spinning and there’s a bit of side-to-side play in them, indicative of loose manufacturing tolerances. One sleeve also rattles under spin, due to a loose fitting Titan-branded endcap placed in the hollow at the end of the sleeve.

Making allowances for how affordable this bar is, I consider these things to be annoyances more than anything else since they don’t take away from the usability in any way.

Best Short Barbells for Home Use - Titan 6ft Technique Olympic Bar Review - Loaded Sleeves

Sleeve loaded with 70kg and a fully secure Lock-Jaw collar

With 9.5″ of measured sleeve length, the Titan 6′ Technique Olympic Bar can securely fit the most weight of all the bars tested. I was able to load the full 140kg of test weights plus collars.

The collars stick out from the end of the bar by only about a quarter of an inch, leaving plenty of collar in contact with the bar to keep the plates secure.

The sleeves are smooth, and bumpers slide on and off easily with very little noise.

The product info on the Titan website doesn’t specify whether or not this bar can be dropped from overhead under load, so I reached out to customer service to ask them. Here’s what they said:

Though we do not recommend that, it will withstand it safely

Take from that what you will.

Best use

For the asking price, the Titan 6′ Technique Olympic Bar is almost a no brainer purchase for a basic barbell. Use it for slow grinding lifts like bench press, squats, overhead press, and rows. The knurl placement makes the bar less useful for heavy deadlifts, but if you don’t mind the occasional shin scrape then this bar is a fantastic value.

This is not a bar for use with Olympic lifts, and is unlikely to make a good WOD bar. 

 Buy The Titan 6′ Technique Olympic Bar

Rogue Junior Bar Review

The Rogue Junior Bar is the first true 25mm bar I’ve ever owned and trained with. Based on my experience with the American Barbell T-Grip Shorty Bar (which I love by the way) I thought 25mm would be too narrow for me to use effectively for regular lifting, but I was wrong.

To me, the name “Junior Bar” implies a product made for kids, and the bar does kind of look like a toy when placed next to a full size 20kg barbell.

However, the Junior Bar is most definitely not a toy.

Best Short Barbells for Home Use - Rogue Junior Bar Review - Size Comparison

Rogue Junior Bar size comparison to a 20kg Olympic bar

Specs

  • 190K tensile strength steel
  • Diameter: 25MM
  • Weight: 10kg
  • Overall length: 66.80”
  • Loadable sleeve length: 6.625”
  • Distance between the inside edge of the sleeves: 52.18”
  • Bronze bushings
  • Dual knurl marks w/ no center knurl
  • Finish: black zinc shaft + bright zinc sleeves
  • Made in USA

Measured lengths

  • Bar: 66.38″
  • Shaft: 51.5″
  • Loadable sleeve: 6.68″

Unlike most of the other bars in this review, the Rogue Junior Bar is intentionally designed for the novice lifter rather than try to be a shorter version of a full spec Olympic barbell.

Allow me to elaborate.

First, the shaft diameter. With a 25mm shaft diameter, this is a great bar for people with small-to-medium sized hands. More on this later.

Second, the weight. At 10kg (22lbs), this is one of the lightest bar of the test group. Most of the other rackable short bars I’ve tested so far weighed between 30-35lbs.

This oddball weight totally throws off my plate math, but it’s so light that it makes the bar very accessible for young people and adults that may have limited weight lifting experience.

Third, the knurling. The knurling on the Junior Bar is good, but no one would ever call it aggressive. It’s just enough to provide grip without being too rough on hands that have yet to develop thick calluses.

Rogue Boneyard Bar Reviews - Rogue Junior Bar Review - Knurling

Rogue Junior Bar knurling

The Junior Bar is also the only bar in the test group with a black zinc finish. Zinc provides better corrosion resistance than hard chrome, but not as good as Cerakote or stainless steel.

I’m not a fan of black zinc as a barbell finish because it doesn’t tend to hold up well over time. More often than not, it will often rub off or fade to green with use.

The grip that black zinc provides is also sub-par. When I use this bar I find myself having to use chalk when my hands get sweaty, and most of you will know by now I prefer not to use chalk if I can avoid it.

I initially thought the 25mm diameter would be too small for me to use, but I was pleasantly surprised. For context, I’m about 5’8″ tall and 180lbs, and my hands are sized proportionally to my weight and height.

Translation – I don’t have large hands.

The narrower shaft made the bar easier to hold in the front rack position, which makes the Junior Bar easier to use for training cleans and jerks than any of the other 28-28.5mm diameter bars I tested for this article.

I also found the narrower diameter to be good for deadlifting, since I’m able to get a better grip on the bar and hold on to it longer. Bonus! 

Best Short Barbells for Home Use - Rogue Junior Bar Review - Best Short Barbells for Home Use - Rogue Junior Bar Review - Collar and Sleeve

The sleeves are ribbed, and bumpers slide on and off with a fairly loud zipping noise. The sleeves have decent spin, but not great spin.

Maybe the shorter sleeves impact the number of bushings used, maybe not, but the spin on this bar is not as good as what I saw with the Rogue Bella Bar, or even the Rogue Training Bar.

The bar tends to transfer some inertia to the sleeves during cleans, which makes the weights spin a little at the end of the lift.

Best Short Barbells for Home Use - Rogue Junior Bar Review - Loaded Sleeves

Sleeve loaded with 55kg and a spring clip collar

Speaking of sleeve length, there’s only 6.68″ of loadable sleeve length on the Junior bar. Although the Junior Bar has a tensile strength strong enough to hold at least 300lbs, you’ll never get there unless you use steel plates.

I was only able to fit 55kg of competition bumpers per sleeve, leaving just enough room for a spring clip. Including the weight of the bar, this adds up to a grand total of 120kg (264lbs) with no room to spare.

Regular all-rubber bumper plates are thicker than competition plates, so the total weight using regular bumper plates would be significantly less.

Bottom line, this is a great bar for entry level lifting, workouts in tight spaces, or as a secondary bar for accessory lifts.

Best use

The Rogue Junior Bar is a surprisingly versatile bar considering how small it is. The 10kg weight makes it an excellent choice for anyone new to weightlifting and the compact size is perfect for working out in tight spaces. 

The Junior Bar is great for CrossFit-style WoDs and MetCons, occasional Olympic lifts, and also good for pressing lifts like squats, bench press, and overhead press.

This bar can also be used for pulling lifts and high-rep sets, as long as you’re okay with using some chalk for adding grip to the light knurling and zinc finish.  

 Buy The Rogue Junior Bar

American Barbell 10KG Performance Training Bar Review

The American Barbell 10KG Performance Training Bar is the second 25mm bar I’ve owned and trained with, after the Rogue Junior Bar.

Rehashing some of my impressions of the Rogue Junior Bar, the Performance Training Bar looks like a toy when placed next to a full size 20kg barbell. However, the Performance Training Bar is also most definitely not a toy.

Everything about this bar feel well made and thoughtfully designed.

Best Short Barbells for Home Use - American Barbell Performance Training Bar Review - Size Comparison

American Barbell Performance Training Bar size comparison to a 20kg Olympic bar

Specs

  • 180K tensile strength steel
  • Diameter: 25MM
  • Weight: 10kg
  • Overall length: 66.65”
  • Loadable sleeve length: 6.175”
  • Precision welded sleeves
  • Bushing system
  • Dual knurl marks w/ no center knurl
  • Finish: hard chrome shaft and sleeves
  • Made in USA

Measured lengths

  • Bar: 66.75″
  • Shaft: 51.5″
  • Loadable sleeve: 6.75″

This bar is very similar in specs to the Rogue Junior Bar, so many of the same things apply and therefore I’m going to indulge in some copypasta…

<copypasta>

The American Barbell 10KG Performance Training Bar is designed from the ground up for the novice lifter rather than try to be a shorter version of a full spec Olympic barbell. 

Allow me to elaborate.

First, the shaft diameter. With a 25mm shaft diameter, this is a great bar for people with small-to-medium sized hands. More on this later.

Second, the weight. At 10kg (22lbs), this is one of the lightest bars of the test group. Most of the other rackable short bars I’ve tested so far weighed between 30-35lbs.

This oddball weight totally throws off my plate math, but it’s so light that it makes the bar very accessible for young people and adults that may have limited weight lifting experience.

</copypasta>

The knurling on the Performance Training Bar is by far the best of all the bars in my test group. Even though the finish is hard chrome, the knurl provides plenty of grip with a feel closer to stainless steel than chrome.

I was pleased to see it’s the same knurl pattern as my American Barbell Cerakote Training Bar, which is one of the best barbells I’ve ever tested and one of the few I plan to keep till it falls apart or I depart from this earth, whichever comes first.

I do still occasionally have to use chalk with the Performance Training Bar, but it still offers the best grip out of the entire test group.

Best Short Barbells for Home Use - American Barbell Performance Training Bar Review - Knurl, Collar, and Sleeve

I’ve said it before but it’s worth repeating – I initially thought a 25mm diameter barbell would be too narrow for me to use comfortably, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised. For context, I’m about 5’8″ tall and 180lbs, and my hands are sized proportionally to my weight and height.

The narrower shaft of the American Barbell 10KG Performance Training Bar makes the bar easier to hold in the front rack position than a full size barbell, which makes the Performance Training Bar easier to use for cleans and jerks than any other bar in the test group aside from the Rogue Junior Bar.

The narrower diameter is also great for deadlifting, since I’m able to get a better grip on the bar and hold on to it longer.

Best Short Barbells for Home Use - American Barbell Performance Training Bar Review - Recessed Welded Sleeves

Recessed welded sleeves

In my opinion, the American Barbell 10KG Performance Training Bar has three features that really set it apart from the rest of the test group. The first is the awesome knurling, which I already mentioned.

The second is the use of recessed welded sleeves. As far as I’m aware, American Barbell is the only company that does this type of precision welding, and this is almost certainly the only rackable shorty bar with recessed welding on the market.

The welds are recessed to avoid interference with plates resting flush against the collar. It might be overkill for a bar aimed at novice lifters, but I like it.

Third, the sleeve spin is the best of all the short barbells I’ve tested. The spin is buttery smooth and consistent, especially considering this bar uses bushings instead of bearings.

The sleeves also spin very quietly, which is unusual for a bushing bar. All the other bars in this test group produce at least some noise due to the friction of the shaft spinning inside the bushing.

Does the quiet matter? Probably not, although I think it does indicate a well constructed collar and sleeve assembly.

What does matter is the Performance Training Bar is a true training bar, meaning it’s possible to train the Olympic lifts with this bar up to the limits of your ability (or to the limits of weight loaded on the shorter sleeves).

Best Short Barbells for Home Use - American Barbell Performance Training Bar Review - Loaded Sleeves

Sleeve loaded with 60kg and a spring clip collar

Speaking of shorter sleeves, there’s only about 6.75″ of loadable sleeve length on the Performance Training Bar. Even though the bar has a tensile strength strong enough to hold at least 300lbs, you’ll need to use steel plates to get there.

I was only able to fit 60kg of Titan Fitness urethane competition bumpers per sleeve, leaving just enough room for a spring clip. Including the weight of the bar, this adds up to a grand total of 130kg (286.6lbs) with no room to spare.

Black rubber bumper plates are thicker than competition plates, so the total weight using regular bumper plates would be significantly less.

Bottom line, the American Barbell 10KG Performance Training Bar is the best short barbell I’ve tested for Olympic-style lifting, workouts in tight spaces, or as a secondary bar for accessory lifts.

The only thing truly “beginner” about this bar is the 10kg weight. Everything else is on par in quality with the rest of American Barbell’s Performance Training line of bars.

Best use

The American Barbell 10KG Performance Training Bar proves that great things can come in small packages. The 10kg weight makes it an excellent choice for anyone new to weightlifting and the compact size is perfect for working out in tight spaces. 

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned lifter, the Performance Training Bar can be used to crush CrossFit-style WoDs, MetCons, Olympic lifts, and pressing lifts like squats, bench press, and overhead press.

The dense knurl pattern provides plenty of grip for pulling lifts, but is still light enough to make the bar useful for high-rep work without tearing up your hands.

 Buy The American Barbell 10KG Performance Training Bar

Rogue C-60B Bar Review

The Rogue C-60B Bar is built to the same specs as the Rogue Cerakote Ohio Bar, but in a smaller package.

The C-60B is similar to the Ohio bar in every way except for the length of the shaft and sleeves. Even though it doesn’t have enough space between collars to fit on a rack, it’s the only shorty bar I’ve been able to find that is finished in Cerakote.

I’m a big fan of Cerakote as a barbell finish, so I decided to make an exception for this bar.

It’s definitely worth it.

Best Compact Barbells - Rogue C-60B Bar - Size Comparison

Rogue C-60B Bar size comparison with a 20kg Olympic barbell

The Rogue C-60B bar has an interesting history. It was originally only offered as part of a bar and bumper plate set, which meant you had to spend a minimum of 500 bucks just to get your hands on it, regardless of whether or not you needed the bumpers.

Recently, Rogue has started offering it separately and I was able to snag one during a brief window of availability before it sold out like everything else right now.

Specs

  • 59.198″ bar length
  • 28.5mm bar diameter
  • 25lb weight
  • 300+ lb weight rating
  • 190K PSI tensile strength
  • Composite bushings
  • Medium knurl
  • Dual markings
  • Cerakote shaft finish
  • Chrome sleeves

Measured lengths

  • Bar: 59.25″
  • Shaft: 44.125
  • Loadable sleeve: 6.75″

Unlike the Rogue Junior bar covered earlier which is geared towards youths and beginners, the Rogue C-60B is a true shorty replacement for a full size barbell.

As long as you don’t need a rack, you can do any lift with this bar that you can do with a full size Ohio bar. The one caveat is that snatching with the C-60B will be difficult if you use a very wide grip.

A full size barbell has about 7.5″ inches of space between the edge of the outer knurl mark and the sleeve collar, while the C-60B only has about 4″.

So if you typically grip the bar just outside the outer knurl mark when you snatch, you’re good! Any wider and this bar isn’t going to work for you.

Best Compact Barbells - Rogue C-60B Bar - Knurling and Sleeves

I would describe the knurling on the Rogue C-60B as medium – it’s not passive or super aggressive, in my opinion it’s just right. A very dense cross-hatch pattern with dulled peaks provide excellent traction, and the Cerakote adds an extra amount of grip.

The sleeves are ribbed, and bumpers slide on and off with a fairly loud zipping noise. The sleeve spin is decent, better than the Junior Bar and on par with other full size barbells from Rogue.

As for sleeve space, there’s roughly 6.75″ of loadable sleeve length on the C-60B bar, which will limit how much weight you can throw on it. Even though the bar has a tensile strength strong enough to hold 300+ lbs, you’ll need to use steel plates to get there.

Best Compact Barbells - Rogue C-60B Bar - Loaded Sleeves

Sleeves loaded with 60kg each and spring clips

I was only able to fit 60kg of Titan Fitness urethane competition bumpers per sleeve, leaving just enough room for a spring clip. Including the weight of the bar, this adds up to a grand total of 289.6lbs with absolutely no room to spare.

The urethane plates I’m using are slightly thinner than rubber competition plates, and regular black rubber bumper plates are even thicker than competition plates, so the total weight using rubber bumper plates would be significantly less. Not a deal breaker, just something to be aware of.

Bottom line, I really like the Rogue C-60B bar. I can use it for 90% of the things I ordinarily like to do, with the exception of back squats and heavy bench press since it can’t be racked in a standard squat rack.

With a length just under 5 feet, this bar is great for use in my small spare bedroom gym. It looks and feels like Rogue’s flagship Ohio bar, just shorter and lighter.

It’s easily one of the best short barbells I’ve tested for Olympic-style lifting, workouts in tight spaces, or as a secondary bar for accessory lifts.

Best use

The Rogue C-60B Bar is essentially a shorty Ohio bar, and because it’s finished in Cerakote it’s one of the best compact barbells that Rogue Fitness makes. The 25lb weight makes it an excellent choice for anyone new to weightlifting and the compact size is perfect for working out in tight spaces. The biggest drawbacks are that it isn’t rackable and may be too short for snatches if you use an extra wide grip.  

The C-60B Bar is great for CrossFit-style WoDs and MetCons, Olympic lifts, and also good for pressing lifts like front squats and overhead press.

This bar can also be used for pulling lifts and high-rep sets, just keep in mind that the short sleeve length is going to limit the amount of weight you can load.  

Buy The Rogue C-60B Bar

Eleiko XF Short Bar Review

Although perhaps not as well known in the American home gym market as other brands, Eleiko has a 50+ year history of producing high quality barbells targeted for competitive weightlifting. Eleiko has provided the barbells for several Olympic games as well as the majority of IWF competitions in the United States and Europe.

In recent years Eleiko has made a push into the commercial gym and home gym markets, introducing new bars such as the XF Bar designed for functional fitness.

The Eleiko XF Short Bar is built to the same specs as the full size Eleiko XF Bar but in a smaller package. Given that this is an Eleiko bar, the build quality is top notch. In fact, the XF Short Bar is so good it has taken the title from the American Barbell 10kg Performance Training Bar as The Bar With the Best Build Quality™

The XF Short bar is a true 15kg bar, which makes plate math easier for those of you lifting in kilos instead of pounds.

Best Compact Barbells for Home Use - Eleiko XF Short Bar Review - Size Comparison 800px

Eleiko XF Short Bar size comparison with a 20kg Olympic bar

Specs

  • 69.61″ total length
  • 28mm bar diameter
  • 15kg weight
  • 3300+ lb weight rating
  • Tensile strength: 233K PSI
  • Needle bearings and bushings
  • Passive knurl
  • Dual markings
  • Chrome shaft finish
  • Chrome sleeves

Measured lengths

  • Bar: 69.5″
  • Shaft: 44
  • Loadable sleeve: 12.25″

With only 44″ of space between collars, the Eleiko XF Short Bar will not fit on a standard full size rack. This is a drawback, but the XF Short Bar has the most sleeve length of any short barbell I’ve tested and therefore can hold the most weight of all the compact bars included in this review.

As long as you don’t need to use a full size rack, you can do any lift with this bar that you can do with a full size Olympic bar. The one caveat is that snatching with the XF Short Bar will be difficult if you use a very wide grip.

A full size barbell has about 7.5″ inches of space between the edge of the outer knurl mark and the sleeve collar, while the XF Short Bar has just under 4″.

So if you typically grip the bar just outside the outer knurl mark when you snatch, the XF Short Bar will work for you. Any wider and you’ll need to go with one of the other short bar options covered in this review.

Best Compact Barbells for Home Use - Eleiko XF Short Bar Review - Collar and Sleeve 800px

Eleiko describes the knurling on the XF Short Bar as being their ‘least aggressive’, and after working with the bar I would describe it as passive – you can definitely feel the knurling cross hatch, but it doesn’t have much in the way of a bite.

This knurling is clearly designed for the type of high rep work typical in CrossFit-style functional fitness workouts.

The XF Short Bar is finished entirely in chrome, which I personally do not like in a bar designed for functional fitness. High reps mean sweaty hands, and chrome is hard to keep hold of with sweaty hands. I prefer not to use chalk in my spare bedroom home gym due to the mess that comes with it, but there’s no getting around the need for chalk when using the XF Short Bar.

The sleeves have a very mild ribbing, and bumpers slide on and off easily. There is no wobble whatsoever in the sleeves, nor is there any slack that allows me to move the sleeves even a millimeter up or down on the bar. The XF Short Bar was clearly constructed using very precise machining tolerances.

The combination of needle bearings and bushings in the sleeves produce a spin that is smooth and consistent but not overly loose. It’s a good balance for the typical mix of Olympic lifts and Powerlifting in CrossFit-style workouts.

Best Compact Barbells for Home Use - Eleiko XF Short Bar Review - Loaded Sleeves 800px

Full 150kg weight stack loaded on the bar with room to spare!

The standout feature on the Eleiko XF Short Bar is the amount of sleeve length it has. With 12.25″ of loadable sleeve length, the XF Short Bar will hold the most weight of any short barbell I’ve tested so far.

In fact, it’s the only bar in the test group that will hold my full 150kg set of Titan Fitness Urethane Bumper Plates (full review) with room to spare! This is just over 330lbs for those of you who’d rather not do the kilogram-to-pound conversion.

Even fully loaded with a collar, there’s still room left over for a change plate if I need it <img role=

No review of an Eleiko product would be complete without covering the biggest sticking point for most people….the cost. Eleiko makes premium products, offered at a premium price. At the time of this writing, an XF Short Bar will set you back $475.

That’s a steep price, considering that there are many high quality full size barbells available for much less.

The build quality of the XF Short Bar is certainly reflective of the price though, but I do wish this bar was finished in stainless steel rather than chrome.

However, my motto is Buy Nice or Buy Twice, so buying a high quality barbell like the Eleiko XF Short Bar that will last you for many years is a worthy investment.

Best use

The Eleiko XF Short Bar is designed specifically for functional fitness and offers the most loadable sleeve length of all the short bars I’ve tested. The 15kg weight makes it a great choice for anyone new to weightlifting and the compact size is perfect for workouts in tight spaces. The biggest drawbacks are that it isn’t rackable on a standard full size rack and may be too short for snatches if you use an extra wide grip.  

The Eleiko XF Short Bar is great for CrossFit-style WoDs and MetCons, Olympic lifts, and also good for Powerlifting as long as you use a compatible rack or squat stands. 

Yes, the asking price is on the high side but it has the build quality to match. You can find a good compact barbell for less money, but you will not find a better compact barbell for less money.   

Buy The Eleiko XF Short Bar

Rogue C-70S Bar Review

The Rogue Fitness C-70S Bar is a new product in the Rogue stable of barbells, built to the same specs as the Rogue Cerakote Ohio Bar in a smaller package.

This is the shorty bar I’ve been waiting for.  I mean that literally… I submitted a product request for this exact barbell two years ago!

I obviously can’t claim responsibility for Rogue deciding to make it, but I did ask for it and I’m glad they’ve finally made it!

Best Short Barbells - Rogue C70S Bar - Size Comparison

Size comparison against a 15kg “women’s” bar, which is shorter than a full size 20kg barbell

I’m a big fan of Cerakote as a barbell finish and Rogue is currently the only company offering shorty bars with this finish.

Before the introduction of the C-70S, the C-60B was the only short barbell on the market finished in Cerakote.

I own that bar as well and I love it, but the fact that it doesn’t fit on a standard rack limits its usefulness.

The C-70S solves that problem!

Specs

  • 72″ bar length (14.75” shorter than the Ohio Bar)
  • 28.5mm bar diameter
  • 15KG (with collars)
  • 190K PSI tensile strength
  • 8.875″ loadable sleeve length
  • Composite bushings
  • Medium knurl
  • Dual markings
  • Cerakote shaft finish
  • Chrome sleeves

Measured lengths

  • Measured lengths match spec’d lengths!
  • Bar: 72″
  • 52” sleeve length
  • Loadable sleeve: 8.875″

The Rogue Fitness C-70S Bar weighs in at just under 15kg, and Rogue is careful to note that it only weighs a full 15kg with collars included. I don’t think the weight difference is substantial enough to matter to the average home gym lifter, but Rogue mentions it so I’m mentioning it as well.

The C-70S is similar to the Rogue C-60B covered earlier in this article, but with more loadable sleeve length and enough width between collars to fit on a standard sized rack.

You can do any lift with this bar that you can do with a full size Ohio bar. Powerlifting, Olympic lifts, Metcons, you name it!

The build quality of the C-70S good, but not as high as the Eleiko XF Short Bar or even the American Barbell 10KG Performance Training Bar.

However, the Cerakote finish and the bar’s ability to fit on a standard rack more than make up for it.

The C-70S Bar is easily the best compact replacement for a full size barbell I’ve used up to this point.

The knurling on the Rogue C-70S is the same as the Ohio Bar, which I would describe as medium depth.  It’s a very dense cross-hatch pattern with dulled peaks provide excellent traction, and the Cerakote finish adds an extra amount of grip.

It’s not passive or super aggressive, in my opinion it’s just right.

The sleeves are ribbed, and bumpers slide on and off with a fairly loud zipping noise.

The sleeve spin is decent, although not as good as other bars in this review.

Rogue is never going to win awards for having the best sleeve spin in their bushing bars, but the spin on the C-70S is good enough for doing Olympic lifts without risking injury.

As for sleeve space, there’s exactly 8.875″ of loadable sleeve length on the Rogue Fitness C-70S Bar.

That may not sound like much but it’s enough to load a hefty amount of weight on the bar. I was able to fit 70kg of Titan Fitness urethane competition bumpers per sleeve, leaving just enough room for a spring clip.

Including the weight of the bar, this adds up to a grand total of 341.71lbs. Not bad for a shorty barbell!

The Rogue Fitness C-70S Bar is the perfect barbell for use in a cramped garage gym, or even as a replacement for a full size barbell. The shorter overall length (72” vs the 86.75” of a full-length Ohio Bar) coupled with a full 52″ between collars allows for full Olympic lift movements and proper hand placement on the snatch grip while saving almost fifteen inches of space compared to a full size barbell.

With a length of just 6 feet, this bar is perfect for use in my small basement home gym. It works exactly like Rogue’s flagship Ohio bar, just shorter and lighter.

The C-70S is hands down the best barbell to buy if you are short on space and want the fewest compromises in a compact barbell.

Best use

The Rogue Fitness C-70S Bar is the shorty bar I’ve been waiting for. A compact version of the Ohio bar finished in Cerakote makes it the best shorty barbell I’ve found so far. The C-70S can be used for any style of training and is the best replacement for a full size barbell. It’s perfect for a small home gym and will even work as most people’s main barbell.  

The C-70S Bar is great for Powerlifting, CrossFit-style WoDs and MetCons, Olympic lifts, or anything else you want to do with it. If you’re looking for a good all around compact barbell, this is the bar you want.

Buy The Rogue C-70S Bar

Other bars considered

The list below documents other bars I considered for inclusion, but ultimately rejected for not meeting the criteria I defined in the Requirements section. 

Rogue C-70 Bar

The Rogue C-70 Bar only measures 43″ between sleeves, meaning it can’t be used with a rack. Like the recently released C-70S bar covered above, the C-70 is a cut-down version of Rogue’s flagship Ohio bar. Unlike the C-70S, the C-70 is finished in black zinc instead of Cerakote, so I’m giving it a pass since black zinc is a sub-par barbell finish. Get a C-70S instead. 

CAP Barbell Olympic 2-Inch Solid Chrome Bar

The CAP Solid Chrome Bar is a sibling of the OB-UL73 bar included in the review, but rated up to 300lbs and finished with hard chrome. However, it only measures 36 1/2″ between sleeves, meaning it can’t be used with a rack.

Hampton 6′ International Bar

The Hampton 6′ International Bar has only 48″ of space between sleeves, so it won’t fit on most standard power racks like those sold by Rogue Fitness and Fringe Sport. The 30mm bar diameter is also outside the sweet spot range of 28-28.5mm.

York 6′ Strength Training Bar

York makes a line of basic strength training bars finished in either hard chrome or black oxide. I couldn’t find a definitive spec for how much length the 6′ bar has between sleeves, but at 30mm the bar diameter is outside the sweet spot of 28-28.5mm.

Wrap up

All of the bars reviewed pack a lot of punch into a small package, and which one you go with will obviously depend on your needs, budget, and the compromises you’re willing to live with. 

Do you have any questions I didn’t cover or suggestions for other bars I may have overlooked? Drop me a line in the comments below!

About the Author Mario

I'm a software engineer with a full-time job, family, and a desire to stay strong, mobile, and fit. I separate fact from fiction to find the most effective and affordable options for home fitness. If you'd like to build your own home gym, start here.

  • steph says:

    Thankyou for this excellent article. Would you recommend the Fringe shorty over the GetRxd bar? Considering the Fringe Bar is $350 vs $155 ( $200 with shipping) for the GetRxD and they seem to be quite similar in spec?

    • Mario says:

      Hi Steph, great question. The Fringe Sport bar is definitely nicer, but not $200 nicer. Between the two the GetRXd bar is the better value.

  • Greg says:

    Thanks! What are your thoughts on the Eleiko one?

    • Mario says:

      I assume you mean the Eleiko XF Short Bar? It looks like a beautiful bar and it’s likely to be extremely well made, but it would need to be head and shoulders above other similar offerings to justify the price point ($475 when I last checked). I’ve reached out to Eleiko to see if they’d be willing to send me one to review and include in this writeup, keep your fingers crossed!

    • Mario says:

      Hi Greg, Elieko was kind enough to send me an XF Short Bar to evaluate, and my review has been posted!

  • John V says:

    Thanks so much ; very helpful – have you tested/ used the eleiko short 28 mm bar yet?

    • Mario says:

      I assume you mean the Eleiko XF Short Bar? Someone else asked about that bar just a few days ago. It looks like a beautiful bar and it’s likely to be extremely well made, but I think it’s hard to justify at the current price point ($475 when I last checked). However, I’ll reach out to Eleiko and see if they’re interested in sending me one to review.

    • Mario says:

      Hi John, Elieko was kind enough to send me an XF Short Bar to evaluate, and my review has been posted!

  • Chris Byers says:

    Love this! Thank you for sharing!

  • Chris says:

    Hey Mario, have you I have a chance to test out rogue C-70S yet? Curious how it compares to the Fringesport Shorty

    • Mario says:

      Not yet! I’m just waiting on the C-70S to come back in stock so I can snag one to review.

      • Chris says:

        Very cool. I was lucky enough to find one recently in Rogue’s Boneyard, but it hasn’t been delivered yet. Given the narrow dimensions of my gym,
        I already have the Shorty models from FringeSport and GetRXd.

        Value wise you can’t beat GetRx’s shorty, but the feel of the Fringesport Knurl and build quality is top notch. I use both daily for different weightlifting and power lifting movements, as well as throwing in a landmine, etc.

        I wasn’t in the market for the Rogue C-70S, mainly because it’s NEVER available, but I really like Rogue’s Cerakote finish. Will likey sell the odd man out after deciding which 2 will be used the most.

        THANKS AGAIN FOR ALL YOUR CONTENT. Your site has been an awesome resource on equipment as I’ve sold and traded up.

        • Mario says:

          Hey, you’re very welcome, I’m happy my content has helped you! I can’t wait to get a hold of a C-70S bar and put it to the test. If it’s basically a rackable version of the C-60B I’ve already reviewed then it’s bound to be a winner.

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