There are several important factors to consider including steel material, tensile and yield strength, sleeve construction, coating, and more...
Steel selection: Gymway has been sourcing from one of the most reputable Taiwanese steel mills for decades. We insist on using Chromium Molybdenum alloy steel for our main barbell product line. This particular alloy steel has great tensile strength and provides extra corrosion resistance. Such steel is typically used in a wide variety of industries, including energy, automotive, construction, heavy equipment, and more. Over the years, the cost of steel has gone up significantly, but we've never switched to another steel mill or used cheaper steel (such as spring steel). We believe consistency is the key to outstanding quality.
Tensile strength: How much a barbell can hold before it breaks.
Yield strength: How much a barbell can be loaded until it becomes deformed (permanently bent).
With decades of manufacturing experience, Gymway has determined the ideal tensile strength for the barbell to be around 210,000 psi. At this level, we can produce quality barbells. Any barbell with tensile strength under 180,000 psi needs to be used only for lightweight technique practice and without dropping because it has a much greater risk of deforming. Our tensile strength and yield strength numbers are verified by an independent lab (see report below).
Sleeve construction: Gymway's barbell sleeve construction received multiple patents in the U.S. and worldwide. With decades of research and development, we abandoned the traditional snap ring approach and invented a brand new sleeve construction. The new patented design enables the sleeve to have a much smoother spin, tougher structure, and better reliability. With this unique upgrade, our bar can be slammed vertically without deforming or jamming the sleeve (under our testing environment), unlike the traditional snap ring system bar.
Copper Bushing: Best for Powerlifting, general training, heavy and slow lifts. Our unique self-lubricating bushing system allows the barbell to spin smoothly.
Needle Bearing: Best for Olympic weightlifting and high-level Crossfit style workout. The Gymway patented needle bearing system spins fast, but also in a controllable manner. A bearing system that spins too fast or non-stop could negatively alter the balance of a lifter, especially during Olympic weightlifting. We consulted with many world-class athletes and spent decades on R&D to fine-tune our needle bearing system. Result? One of the best-in-class competition weightlifting barbells that has featured in many international competitions.
Shaft Coating: Currently we have three options available: Chrome, Black Oxide, and Manganese Phosphate.
Chrome: Standard finish, exceptional against rust and corrosion. Recommended for Olympic weightlifting, Powerlifting, and competitive athletes.
Black Oxide: Glossy black color, better grip, little anti-rust protection, longer shaft life if properly maintained. Recommended for Crossfit and high-intensity workout.
Manganese Phosphate: Great against rust and corrosion with a matte dark green color. Recommended for Olympic weightlifting, Powerlifting, and general training.
25mm: Women's Bar
28mm: Good whip. Best for Olympic weightlifting.
28.5mm: Moderate whip. Best for general training and Crossfit workout.
29mm: Stiffer shaft. Best for Powerlifter, slow and heavy training.
**Note** The current barbell market is flooded with questionable products. For example, 220,000 psi tensile strength or stainless steel barbells for sale under $260 (or at a ridiculously low price). From our manufacturer's perspective, it's unlikely to produce a good barbell at such a price point. Simply ask these two questions when shopping for a barbell: Are the numbers verified by an independent lab? What steel do they use and is it verifiable?