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  1. #1
    Registered User DrForce's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Review: Ivanko OBXS-20kg-29mm Stainless Steel Powerbar

    In September 2012, I purchased an Ivanko OBXS-20kg-29mm stainless steel barbell, and after using it for awhile, I wanted to provide some initial impressions about the use and performance of the bar. I had started my home gym with the Ivanko OB-20kg which is excellent; however the non-standard knurl pattern made it difficult to deadlift without scraping my shins due to the narrow smooth area of the bar. Plus I liked the idea of having a stainless steel bar for the longevity and rust resistance. I live in Florida, so humidity is high for most of the year.

    Buying: Ordering was straightforward. I purchased it online from Gtechfitness which was painless and hassle free.

    Arrival: It arrived from Gtechfitness (actually they drop ship from Ivanko directly) in 8 calendar days (Figure 1). The ends of the container were a little smashed in (Figure 2) which had me initially worried, but when I opened the package there were no problems with the barbell sleeves. The only thing I was not happy about where some small scuff marks on the smooth portion of the bar itself (Figure 3). Initially I had thought about sending it back, but then realized it probably doesn't matter except cosmetically, and it will probably get more scuffed over it's lifetime of hard use. I doubt this was a shipping issue as there was no damage to the package in the middle.

    Build Quality: As you would expect for an Ivanko product, the build quality is exceptional. The entire bar is stainless steel except for the bronze bushings that attach the bar to the sleeve (Figure 4). The sleeves turn very smooth and there is there is even a hole at the ends of each sleeve where you can apply oil if the sleeve no longer turns smoothly (Figure 5).

    Use: I love using this bar. It feels solid in the hand and the knurl has a great feel. Compared to the black oxide OB-20kg, I have 2 comments: 1) When I first picked up the OBXS-20kg-29mm, I noticed that the knurling was sharper than the OB-20kg. This may be because this is a power bar and not an olympic bar like the OB-20kg. I've never felt the knurl on the OBX-20kg so I can't say whether there is any difference between knurls on the black oxide bars, but I thought this was worth mentioning. 2) The knurl placement is a big improvement for me over the OB-20kg, as the OBXS-20kg-29mm has a much wider unknurled part of the bar excluding the center knurl (Figure 6). I can deadlift without scraping my shins and the inside edges of the knurl pattern mark the right place to put my index fingers when doing overhead presses. I often see posts criticizing Ivanko barbells for their non-standard knurl pattern. I think this is mainly is because most people have only used or read about their black oxide bars and have never looked into the stainless steel bars. It's nice to know that Ivanko offers the standard knurl pattern if you are looking for it, albeit at a high cost.

    Conclusion: What's not to love?: Quality product, stainless steel construction, 218,000 PSI tensile strength steel, excellent knurl. I love this bar and would buy it again. It feels and works great and I'm sure it will outlast me given its stainless steel construction.

    Figure 1. Arrival - still in the package


    Figure 2. Closeup of the package ends showing the smashed down edges


    Figure 3. Closeup of the scuff marks on the smooth part of the barbell


    Figure 4. The Bronze Bushing


    Figure 5. The Sleeve End


    Figure 6. Comparing the knurling between the Ivanko OB-20kg (top) and the OBXS-20kg-29mm (bottom)
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  2. #2
    is extrapolatin' BloodType3R's Avatar
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    That's some sexy shet, right there.
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  3. #3
    Registered User f0rbidden's Avatar
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    Damn I didn't know anyone owned one of these, has been on my radar for a long time! That bar looks truly awesome, thank you for the review!

    Are they still using the 3 ring knurl marks, or does this only have the standard powerlifting knurl markings? Any chance of a full bar shot?
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  4. #4
    Registered User GarageIron's Avatar
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    That is a beautiful bar. Thanks for the review.
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  5. #5
    Registered User LimitStrength's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by GarageIron View Post
    That is a beautiful bar. Thanks for the review.
    That's a serious piece of steel. I hope one day to have a bar like that sitting in my garage
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  6. #6
    Registered User DrForce's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by f0rbidden View Post
    Are they still using the 3 ring knurl marks, or does this only have the standard powerlifting knurl markings? Any chance of a full bar shot?
    This bar only has the standard 32" powerlifting markings. No 3 ring knurl.
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  7. #7
    Registered User GarageIron's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by DrForce View Post
    This bar only has the standard 32" powerlifting markings. No 3 ring knurl.
    I've never understood the 3 ring pattern. Does anyone know why they do this?

    The closest explaination I've seen was in an 'ask Tom" article.

    He never really answered. He just attacked the guy that 'asked Tom' and tap danced around the question. That said, the guy asking was clearly asking a loaded question.

    http://www.ivankobarbell.com/press/a...nko_part_4.pdf
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  8. #8
    Registered User f0rbidden's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by GarageIron View Post
    I've never understood the 3 ring pattern. Does anyone know why they do this?
    To confuse the **** out of people and have people at powerlifting competitions accidentally bench with about a 6" grip offset and make an easy attempt go horribly awful.

    See my buddy Alex here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n09in...tailpage#t=48s
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  9. #9
    Registered User GarageIron's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by f0rbidden View Post
    To confuse the **** out of people and have people at powerlifting competitions accidentally bench with about a 6" grip offset and make an easy attempt go horribly awful.

    See my buddy Alex here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n09in...tailpage#t=48s
    Lol. He won't make that mistake ever again.
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  10. #10
    Registered User DrForce's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by GarageIron View Post
    I've never understood the 3 ring pattern. Does anyone know why they do this?

    The closest explaination I've seen was in an 'ask Tom" article.

    He never really answered. He just attacked the guy that 'asked Tom' and tap danced around the question. That said, the guy asking was clearly asking a loaded question.

    http://www.ivankobarbell.com/press/a...nko_part_4.pdf
    I tried asking that very question on this thread but never got a good answer. Someone in this thread provided the same reference you did.

    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showth...7725453&page=1
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  11. #11
    6100+ posts Accutron's Avatar
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    Wow, thats an awesome bar...Man I wish I had that bar, full stainless just beautiful looking.

    But its a $1,000 bar so I dont think I will be getting one anytime soon.

    Congrats, enjoy!
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  12. #12
    Registered User Detrus's Avatar
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    Nice, can you do a macro shot of the knurl?
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  13. #13
    Registered User davidoff1974's Avatar
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    Nice shots! what kind of camera and lens did you use on the close up shots?
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  14. #14
    Home gym 'til I die. ProtienandIron's Avatar
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    What a nice bar that is. The engineering on it looks flawless as always.

    Don't worry about the scratch marks, they are just character. At least the damage is on an area thats going to get scratches and dings on it anyway.
    My training log:
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    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=153596291&p=1062453741#post1062453741

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  15. #15
    no really, i lift thejosef's Avatar
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    wow. just wow. dream bar right there. congrats for buying it and thanks for getting some real world shots of it. I didn't know of anyone who owned that bar. Shoot up some full length shots for us if you get a chance. I was actually looking into their OBS-20KG (their stainless olympic bar with multiple hand placement markings, narrower center smooth section, and no center knurl), but I love that they finally widened the section for deadlifts with this powerbar. It's my goal in life to own both of these one day. ha.

    Edit: I really hope Ivanko makes a Black Oxide version of this powerlifting bar to have these same specs.. 29mm, single powerlifting hand placement marking, center knurl, with wider spacing in center for deads.. seems like it would sell well.. (if it were around the $500 range)
    Last edited by thejosef; 01-27-2013 at 07:14 PM.
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  16. #16
    Registered User DrForce's Avatar
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    Wow, I'm glad everyone found this review helpful. I have 2 more pics that everyone has been asking for: a full length shot of the bar and a closeup of the knurling. I had to zoom so far out to get the whole bar in the picture that you can't see much detail, but hopefully between all the picts you can get all the info that you need. Oh, someone asked about the camera that I used-It is a Nikon D700. Let me know if you guys have any more questions.

    Full length bar shot


    Knurling closeup around one of the powerlifting markings
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  17. #17
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    Dat knuurl

    Knurl looks like it would feel just perfect. Hampton 7' bars have knurl that looks very similar and it feels great.
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  18. #18
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    Hard to tell from the picture, are knurling tips rolled down at all or left pointy like on TPB?
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  19. #19
    Registered User MEDPILOT's Avatar
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    Thanks for the review.
    Currently in the process of building a home gym. Equipment so far:
    Iron Grip urethane dumbbells 5-100lbs
    Hoist three tier dumbbell rack
    Rae Crowher power half rack
    Life Fitness Standing Arm Bench
    Cybex 0-80 Bench
    Cybex Squat Press
    Cybex 45 Leg Press
    1130lbs of Ivanko plates (OUEZ)
    Ivanko stainless powerlifting and curl bar
    Texas Power Bar (Buddy Capps)
    Iron Grip Olympic Bar
    Tuff Stuff Cal Gym CG-7504 Lat/Mid Row

    On the lookout for more
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    Originally Posted by Andrew_WOT View Post
    Hard to tell from the picture, are knurling tips rolled down at all or left pointy like on TPB?
    I've never handled a TPB, but the knurl doesn't look rolled down at all to me. It looks and feels sharp.
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    Registered User CBeast38's Avatar
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    Is the OBXS-20KG-29MM that you got a "RAW" stainless steel bar?

    Would the raw stainless steel be more maintenance (as in cleaning it, because I read somewhere that it could tarnish d/t being raw), than a stainless steel bar that has been polished/finished?

    I guess what I'm asking is, is it better to get a stainless steel bar that is polished/finished rather than a raw stainless steel bar?

    •OBXS-20KG-29MM 29mm Stainless Power Lifting Bar (USA)
    "A raw finish means that the stainless bar has not been polished. Polishing a bar (post-knurl) knocks the points (i.e. the “peak”) off the knurl. The fact that it remains unpolished lends to it a more aggressive feel." -IVANKO

    I'm stuck from choosing 1 of the 3 IVANKO stainless steel bars. I would be mainly Bench Pressing, but then also, squats and deadlifts etc.. I won't be doing any snatch and clean & jerk exercises. I want to get w/e would be the best choice for me and would be the less maintenance and most versatile among these 3. Unless Ivanko has something else better that I didn't see.
    •OBS-20KG 28mm Stainless Olympic Bar (USA)
    •OBSNB Stainless Olympic Bar, Needle Bearing (USA)
    •OBXS-20KG-29MM 29mm Stainless Power Lifting Bar (USA)

    How did you like the 3 ring knurling on your ob-20kg? Was it only a problem with deadlifts?
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    Originally Posted by CBeast38 View Post
    Is the OBXS-20KG-29MM that you got a "RAW" stainless steel bar?

    Would the raw stainless steel be more maintenance (as in cleaning it, because I read somewhere that it could tarnish d/t being raw), than a stainless steel bar that has been polished/finished?

    I guess what I'm asking is, is it better to get a stainless steel bar that is polished/finished rather than a raw stainless steel bar?

    •OBXS-20KG-29MM 29mm Stainless Power Lifting Bar (USA)
    "A raw finish means that the stainless bar has not been polished. Polishing a bar (post-knurl) knocks the points (i.e. the “peak”) off the knurl. The fact that it remains unpolished lends to it a more aggressive feel." -IVANKO

    I'm stuck from choosing 1 of the 3 IVANKO stainless steel bars. I would be mainly Bench Pressing, but then also, squats and deadlifts etc.. I won't be doing any snatch and clean & jerk exercises. I want to get w/e would be the best choice for me and would be the less maintenance and most versatile among these 3. Unless Ivanko has something else better that I didn't see.
    •OBS-20KG 28mm Stainless Olympic Bar (USA)
    •OBSNB Stainless Olympic Bar, Needle Bearing (USA)
    •OBXS-20KG-29MM 29mm Stainless Power Lifting Bar (USA)

    How did you like the 3 ring knurling on your ob-20kg? Was it only a problem with deadlifts?
    I think this thread probably predates the run of "raw" stainless bars. His bar is polished, not "raw". You should be able to tell from the photos--the bar is shiny.

    From what I understand, the raw bars use the same stainless steel as the polished bars. The unpolished finish should be less slick. It might matter to some people that it's not as shiny. In general, people seem to be attracted to shiny things like moths to a light. One might argue that a polished bar will be less likely to rust (stainless can rust. it just rusts less.) since the surface is smoothed... a rough surface will increase surface area and may also trap moisture. The polished smooth surfaces may resist rust better but, of course, the knurled area will still be a rough surface even if it's polished.

    Personally, I'd buy the raw stainless bar if I had the money. My bars aren't stainless and they were bought used from Craigslist but my Ivanko bars are my favorite bars.
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    Registered User Terpgym's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by CBeast38 View Post
    Is the OBXS-20KG-29MM that you got a "RAW" stainless steel bar?

    Would the raw stainless steel be more maintenance (as in cleaning it, because I read somewhere that it could tarnish d/t being raw), than a stainless steel bar that has been polished/finished?

    I guess what I'm asking is, is it better to get a stainless steel bar that is polished/finished rather than a raw stainless steel bar?

    •OBXS-20KG-29MM 29mm Stainless Power Lifting Bar (USA)
    "A raw finish means that the stainless bar has not been polished. Polishing a bar (post-knurl) knocks the points (i.e. the “peak”) off the knurl. The fact that it remains unpolished lends to it a more aggressive feel." -IVANKO

    I'm stuck from choosing 1 of the 3 IVANKO stainless steel bars. I would be mainly Bench Pressing, but then also, squats and deadlifts etc.. I won't be doing any snatch and clean & jerk exercises. I want to get w/e would be the best choice for me and would be the less maintenance and most versatile among these 3. Unless Ivanko has something else better that I didn't see.
    •OBS-20KG 28mm Stainless Olympic Bar (USA)
    •OBSNB Stainless Olympic Bar, Needle Bearing (USA)
    •OBXS-20KG-29MM 29mm Stainless Power Lifting Bar (USA)

    How did you like the 3 ring knurling on your ob-20kg? Was it only a problem with deadlifts?

    The raw bar finish sounds and looks really cool. Check out Texas Strength systems, where this bar is $999 shipped.
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    Registered User DrForce's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by CBeast38 View Post
    Is the OBXS-20KG-29MM that you got a "RAW" stainless steel bar?

    Would the raw stainless steel be more maintenance (as in cleaning it, because I read somewhere that it could tarnish d/t being raw), than a stainless steel bar that has been polished/finished?

    I guess what I'm asking is, is it better to get a stainless steel bar that is polished/finished rather than a raw stainless steel bar?

    •OBXS-20KG-29MM 29mm Stainless Power Lifting Bar (USA)
    "A raw finish means that the stainless bar has not been polished. Polishing a bar (post-knurl) knocks the points (i.e. the “peak”) off the knurl. The fact that it remains unpolished lends to it a more aggressive feel." -IVANKO

    I'm stuck from choosing 1 of the 3 IVANKO stainless steel bars. I would be mainly Bench Pressing, but then also, squats and deadlifts etc.. I won't be doing any snatch and clean & jerk exercises. I want to get w/e would be the best choice for me and would be the less maintenance and most versatile among these 3. Unless Ivanko has something else better that I didn't see.
    •OBS-20KG 28mm Stainless Olympic Bar (USA)
    •OBSNB Stainless Olympic Bar, Needle Bearing (USA)
    •OBXS-20KG-29MM 29mm Stainless Power Lifting Bar (USA)

    How did you like the 3 ring knurling on your ob-20kg? Was it only a problem with deadlifts?
    I think morebarbell is correct, the bar is polished stainless steel. I've never tried a raw bar, but I'm very happy with the polished feel.

    I did like the 3 ring knurl on the OB-20kg, especially when doing the bench press as I could use the three rings to get more precise hand position. I didn't like it for deadlifts and yes, that was the only lift where I found it to be a problem.
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    Just a heads up, Jeff at BWProducts.com offered to beat the Texas Strength Systems price of $999.

    His price is $950 shipped. That would be for the current version of this bar, with the raw, heat treated knurling. Since he is a longtime Ivanko dealer, I think he can beat any price out there on the Internet.

    http://www.ivankobarbell.com/products/obxs20kg29mm/

    http://bwproducts.com/fitness/weights/bars/index.html
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    OBXS 29 mm stainless steel "RAW" power bar

    Sorry, been away for a bit, life/work has been quite hectic. However, hard work does pay off in the end and helps con’t to contribute to my sickness that I seem to have of wanting to get more workout equipment, even though I don’t really need to upgrade.
    I finally broke down and got the Ivanko stainless steel 29 mm powerlifting bar (OBXS) “raw” version.
    I saw Dr. Forces review on it and that was helpful since there are not many reviews on this bar (probably due to the price). The “raw” version is what really enticed me on this bar since a lot of people seems to like uncoated bars, but shy away from it due to more tendency to rust and needing more upkeep.
    I figured, stainless steel will less likely rust (although I know it can rust), so it should be all good. I was debating between this bar and the eleiko powerlifting bar. I think the push to the ivanko was due to the fact that I have ivanko ROEZH plates and this was a “raw” bar.
    I haven’t used it a lot since I just got it less than a week ago, but here are my first impressions:
    1. The knurling is surprisingly finer and smoother than I expected (Dr. Forces review was on the polished version of this bar and thought it was sharper. Ivanko does say this raw bar has a finer knurl, but due to being unpolished, the knurling tips are not knocked off). I wish I had a polished one to feel the difference. I know knurling is different in everyone’s hands, but here is the best way I can compare how it feels to me.
    - I have a rogue westside power bar (WPB) and the knurling on that is definitely rougher and sharper to the hand than the ivanko. I have never used a TPB, but I think the WPB is probably similar in feel. I can say from my limited use, the WBP center knurl does seem to grip my back for squats alittle more than the ivanko.
    - The original rogue bar I have knurling is smoother than the ivanko. There is a difference, but it is not a large difference.

    OBXS knurling.jpg


    WPB knurling.jpg


    rogue bar knurling.jpg


    bar comparison.jpg
    Rogue bar on top
    WPB in the middle
    OBXS on the bottom

    closer bar comparison.jpg

    OBXS on the top
    WPB in the middle
    Rogue bar on bottom



    2. Spin of the ivanko sleeves seem similar to the spin on my WPB. Does not seem to be any smoother per se. no significant binding appreciated.
    3. Ivanko Bar shipped in an intact tube with no breaks in the cardboard tube (unlike my other 2 rogue bars).
    4. The ivanko bar unfortunately did have a small nick/scratch on one of the sleeves. Can feel the nick if you run your finger nail over it. Not a big deal since it will not affect the bar, but sucks that such an expensive bar was not flawless per se.
    5. I got the bar from BW products and Jeff there is great to work with and can was able to get a good deal in this bar.
    6. I placed some pic’s on the bar, sorry not savvy enough to embed them.

    I am overall happy with the bar. It looks awesome and so far at least for some squats and benching it feels good (haven’t tried DL with them). The knurling I think will take alittle getting used to since I am more used to the roughness of the WPB. I guess time will tell whether I prefer one of the other since I have not used the ivanko enough to give it fair justice yet.
    I preferred to get this bar and not the OBX bar because I prefer 29 mm bars (IPF bars in competition are 29 mm). it is surprising that ivanko made their OBX powerlifting bar 28 mm. not sure why.
    Also, this bar only has one set of powerlifting marks, no 3 marks like their other bar.



    OBXS end cap.jpg
    Last edited by CYMlift; 11-01-2014 at 06:28 PM.
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    OBXS 29 mm stainless steel "RAW" power bar con't

    Sorry, first post was too long. here is the pic of the unfortunate nick in the sleeve.

    nick in sleeve.jpg

    Here is the bronze bushing

    OBXS bronze bushin.jpg


    pic of IVANKO bar with ROEZH

    ivanko porn.jpg
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    Registered User jtaliani's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by CYMlift View Post
    Sorry, first post was too long. here is the pic of the unfortunate nick in the sleeve.

    Attachment 7373881

    Here is the bronze bushing

    Attachment 7373891


    pic of IVANKO bar with ROEZH

    Attachment 7373901
    All pics look good, but that last combo pic is something special. Their plates and bars mate together so amazingly.
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    Originally Posted by jtaliani View Post
    All pics look good, but that last combo pic is something special. Their plates and bars mate together so amazingly.
    Thanks. I agree how they bar and plates are made for each other =).
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    Thanks for the review and congrats! This raw bar and the polished version of the bar are at the top of my wanted list.

    It's somewhat surprising to me that they went with a finer knurl on this power bar instead of the others. The knurl on my black oxide bars is fairly aggressive. My bars were bought used and I'm not sure of their age or how they compare to the new bars. The Ivanko bars that I've used at commercial gyms were probably pretty old also.

    I looked closely at the photos on Ivanko's facebook but would still like to get a better look. Ivanko's photos were at an angle and a bit out of focus because of the depth. Do you have a point-and-shoot or digital SLR camera that has a macro button (flower icon) and a flash? If so, could take a close up shot straight on with a flash and the macro button enabled?

    something like this: http://www.garage-gyms.com/wp-conten...c-wl-knurl.jpg

    I can crop and edit the photo if you post up the raw image.
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