Confused about which barbell to buy? Watch our barbell buying guide!
Canada’s Best Collection of Barbells
If you’re looking for the absolute best place in Canada to buy your next Olympic barbell, power bar, or specialty bar; or all of the above; you’ve come to the right place. Bells of Steel offers a unique selection of bars and other implements to meet the needs of all athletes, regardless of your barbell sport of choice. Whether you fancy yourself an Olympic weightlifter, powerlifter, Strongman, CrossFitter, or just a weekend warrior looking to stay in great health and good shape, we have a bar for you.
There are, to be perfectly honest, an unreasonable amount of barbell sizes and weights, finishes, knurling patterns and other options. It can be downright overwhelming to make a decision. So that’s why we stock a simple four types of straight barbells, and only a handful of specialty barbells, to make your choice easy.
For you beginner to intermediate CrossFitters, weekend warriors, and home gym and garage gym owners out there, the extremely versatile and incredibly affordable B.o.S.Utility Multipurpose Bar has you covered. Our Utility Bar is a dual-marked (IWF and IPF hash marks), 28.5 mm, 190k PSI tensile strength bushing bar that’s perfect for going from the platform to the rack without needing to change bars. That’s right, go from the snatch to the squat to the bench press without needing to switch (and own) multiple bars. The B.o.S. Utility Bar is the best garage gym barbell that money can buy!
For the Olympic weightlifters and aspiring CrossFitters among you, the highly-reviewed, flawlessly-rated, B.o.S. Bar 2.0 is designed specifically for the snatch and the clean and jerk. Our super elastic 28 mm shaft, solid knurl, and 10-total needle bearings come together to forge the perfect bar for these two explosive Oly lifts.
At barely over $300 delivered, you’re not going to find a finer bearing bar. The B.o.S. Bar 2.0 has an exceptionally high 250,000 PSI tensile strength, machined grooved sleeves, and a hard chrome finish from sleeve to shining sleeve. Whether you’re doing a high-rep WOD or a 1RM PR attempt, the B.o.S. Bar 2.0 will deliver the performance you need time and time again.
The Barenaked Power Bar 2.0, with over 50 5-star reviews and counting, is hands down the absolute best power bar you can get your hands on for under $300. This 29 mm, super rigid, aggressively knurled, raw beast of a barbell can handle anything you can throw at it. Get under 200 kilos on the bench or 400 kilos in the squat; doesn’t matter; this bar will stay stiff, stay straight, and never cease to impress you.
The $269, 210k PSI, Barenaked Bar meets all IPF specifications, and it’ll be the last power bar you’ll ever have to buy. We stand behind that claim.
The Women’s B.o.S. Bar 2.0 is just like the original B.o.S. Bar in terms of function, quality, and overall design, only it’s 15 kg in weight versus 20 kg, 25 mm in diameter versus 28 mm, and a little bit shorter; all in order to meet IWF specifications for female lifters. Just like the men’s version, the Women’s B.o.S. Bar 2.0 will handle anything from a high-rep WOD to a series of max-effort. single-rep pulls.
Strongman athletes, you have not been forgotten. Bells of Steel has a multitude of specialty and other types of barbells & implements to help with your training as well.
We believe that everybody who programs deadlifts should own a trap bar (also known as a hex bar), and you won’t find a better trap bar at a more competitive price than the B.o.S. Trap Bar 2.0. Our very popular, highly-rated trap bar features dual handles with aggressive knurling, rotating sleeves, a resilient zinc finish. It is packed in a reinforced package to eliminate transit damage to your door. We challenge you to find a more exceptional trap bar at a better price.
In addition to our infamous trap bar, we also offer the most affordable, competitively-spec’d buffalo bar currently on the market, the StrongArm Sport Buffalo Bar 2.0. The buffalo bar is a very popular implement. The gentle curve of this squat bar’s shaft allows you to train heavy squats without any shoulder and trap discomfort, and it does so without altering the lift to such an extent that it feels like you’re squatting with a squat safety bar or a fully cambered barbell. The buffalo bar is a fantastic accessory bar. It belongs in the arsenal of every powerlifter, and probably even every Strongman too.
Speaking of the safety squat bar (SSB), we also offer the B.o.S. Safety Squat Bar 2.0, a 700-lb max-capacity, zinc-finished, and very highly-rated option for those with pre-existing shoulder or elbow issues that prevent them from getting under a straight bar when squatting. Not just for those with injuries, the SSB is a fantastic accessory bar for squat fans because the SSB puts the load in-between the front squat and back squat, giving you an entirely new way to train the lift. The SSB is hands-down one of the most commonly found accessory bars; perhaps second only to the EZ curl bar (and we sell those too!)
Speaking of Strongmen and powerlifters, Bells of Steel offers two deadlift bars; the StrongArm Sport Sumo Deadlift Bar and StrongArm Sport Conventional Deadlift Bar. These long, narrow, appropriately-named specialty bars are designed exclusively for heavy deadlifts. The 27 mm shaft combined with the longer total bar length makes for a more whippy bar that allows you to take on the full load of the bar gradually, whereas stiff 29 mm power bars force you to go from 0-100 the moment you start your pull. Choose the version that matches your pull style (conventional or sumo.)
We also offer the B.o.S. Swiss Bar; commonly referred to as a football bar; that’s a great bench press alternative to the standard power bar for those lifters with pre-existing shoulder issues or just those who like to mix up their press with a neutral grip. Many lifters swear by the Swiss bar, claiming it’s the key to those chest gains.
High tensile strength machined steel
For prevention of bending and warping over time.
Federation compliant barbell knurl marks
So if you compete, you will be lifting with familiar barbell knurling dimensions and will not go over the barbell grip width limits when bench pressing.
Reliable and consistent barbell knurling
For a superior grip for setting new personal bests and preventing hand tears.
Unique ribbed weight plate sleeves
To prevent plates from falling off your barbell sleeve while working out.
Over 1,000 lbs max weight on all our bars
These are just a few reasons why our bars are the perfect fit for your gym. Our apocalypse surviving barbells are ready to handle the most massive workouts you can throw their way. You’ll be delighted with the quality and astonished with the price. We stand behind our products 100% and all barbells come with our 30-day money-back guarantee and industry-leading warranty.
Barbell Basics – Understanding Specifications and Features
Not sure what we mean by tensile strength, or what the difference between a bushing and a bearing is, or why you’d want bar whip? Read on!
The sleeves of Olympic bars have sleeves that rotate around the bar shaft. This feature exists to eliminate the transfer of momentum from rotating plates to the lifter’s wrists. There are currently two primary components used in barbell construction that allow for this free rotation of the sleeves; bushings and bearings.
Bushings are the most common by far. Usually made of bronze or brass, bushings are both extremely effective and extremely cost-effective. They provide more than adequate sleeve rotation for all barbell sports and nearly all skill levels. Very few athletes will require anything more than a bushing bar.
Needle bearings are used almost exclusively in high-end Olympic weightlifting bars, like the B.o.S Bar 2.0. Bearings offer not only a smoother, more reliable sleeve rotation, but continue to spin freely under much higher loads than a bushing will. This makes them a great choice for more experienced Oly lifters.
Bar Whip (Elasticity)
The term whip is used to describe elasticity in a bar shaft; or to put that another way, how flexible the bar shaft is. Experienced Olympic weightlifters prefer to pull a whippy bar, hence why Oly bars are 28 mm in diameter rather than being 29 mm. All other lifters prefer a more rigid implement, as one does not typically want to feel any flex or have to deal with any bounce in a slower power movement (bench press, squat, etc.)
There is one exception to this rule, and that’s with deadlift bars. Deadlift bars are even narrower than an Olympic weightlifting bar at 27 mm, and longer too. Heavy deadlifters are able to pull the weight off the floor more gradually with a deadlift bar and are therefore generally able to pull 10-20 pounds more than they could with a power bar.
Barbells almost always have a tensile strength rating in their list of specifications. This number is given in pounds per square inch and is a more technical rating that tells you the strength of the steel used for the bar shaft. The higher this number is, the stronger the steel is.
A rating of 165,000 PSI is a good minimum rating for a barbell. A bar made with 165k PSI steel will flex and return to straight day after day and year after year. You are unlikely to ever bend a bar with this rating during normal usage.
The minimum rating steel we use on our barbells is 190,000 PSI, with a couple going as high as 250,000 PSI. In other words, your Bells of Steel barbell will always remain as straight as the day you got it.
The knurl is the pattern of angled crosslines cut into the shaft of the bar. Knurling takes the otherwise smooth and featureless surface of a bar shaft and makes it easier to get and maintain a good grip on so that the bar isn’t constantly slipping out of the hands during sets.
When discussing knurl, it is usually defined as being anywhere from mild to aggressive (or anything in between); with mild offering a modest amount of grip assistance but being easy on the hands, and aggressive offering the most secure grip but feeling sharp or coarse in the hands.
CrossFit athletes and bodybuilders; who both tend to do longer and lighter sets; usually prefer a mild to moderate knurl pattern, while powerlifters and Strongmen; who move heavier weights for shorter sets; tend to prefer a moderately aggressive to totally aggressive knurl pattern. Because of this, multi-purpose bars tend to be mild to moderate while power bars tend to be aggressive.
While having nothing to do with the cut or depth of a knurl, bars are additionally described as being either IWF-knurled or IPF-knurled. This designation tells you where the hash marks (the smooth, un-knurled rings) are located. The IWF (International Weightlifting Federation) and the IPF (International Powerlifting Federation) have their own unique placement of these marks. On dual-marked bars, both of these marks are present.
When talking about the finish, we’re talking about the protective coating applied to the bar’s shaft and sleeves. Employed first and foremost as a wall of defense against oxidation, the bar’s finish is also considered decorative; playing a big part in the overall aesthetics of the bar.
There are many finish options available, including black oxide, black and bright zinc, and of course, chrome. There are even some circumstances where no finish at all is preferred. These finishes (or lack thereof) all offer varying levels of rust resistance, and they all are different aesthetically.
Leaving a bar unfinished (bare steel) obviously does nothing to protect the barbell from rust, but some bars are still offered this way because bare steel bars offer a favorable grip; it’s a naturally tactile surface unrivaled by most other finishes. Bare steel bars require a moderate amount of maintenance to keep oxidation at bay, but there is no shortage of lifters willing to trade a little bit of maintenance for a superior grip.
Bars treated in the zincs (black zinc and bright zinc) offer a reasonable amount of oxidation protection for very little cost, and is one of the most common finishes for barbells. Black zinc is favored to black oxide in most cases because black zinc is more vibrant and attractive when cared for, whereas black oxide is dull and tends to oxidize fairly quickly; especially in areas with high levels of humidity.
Chrome; specifically hard chrome; offers more resistance than black zinc, bright zinc, and black oxide. Chrome is considered to be more attractive than these other finishes as well while tending to stay that way as the bar ages. Hard chrome is the ideal finish for those who prefer not to have to worry about bar maintenance, as it requires virtually no upkeep and always looks great.
For an even more detailed guide to understanding barbells, check this article out.