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  1. #1
    God of Slowdown Synthetickiller's Avatar
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    [REVIEW] Duffalo Bar

    The Duffalo Bar



    I’m back with another bar review. This is one of the longer reviews you’ll see on the forum. If you are not in the mood or just hate reading, turn back now. You've been warned.


    Shipping:
    Both domestic & international shipping is offered.
    Since the bar ships from Seattle, rates will change depending on where in America or the world you are. For me shipping was $96.28 back when the bar was ordered through UPS from Seattle to NOLA.

    Price:
    The Bar currently retails for $529. 00
    There is a Black Friday code for 10% off (BLKFRIDAY), bringing the current price down to $476.10. I paid $495 before the price increased.

    There’s also a combo deal on the Shoulderk & the Duffalo Bar.

    Customer Service:
    Upon ordering the bar, I forgot to input the promo code.
    I immediately messaged Kabuki Strength & they made an exception for me & took off the $100 or so what the promo code would have removed. I was told they made an exception, but the fact that they went along with it made me feel better. They easily could have to me “no.”

    I have nothing bad to say. So far, so good. They seem to give a damn about their customers & that goes a long way.

    Packaging:
    The bar comes in a very long, obtuse triangular box. The bar itself is zip-tied to a piece of wood using cardboard “mounts” that have holes to thread the zip ties through. The ends are secured of the box by stapling the flaps to a triangular piece of wood.

    This is slightly unorthodox for shipping a bar, but the shape prohibits any use of a mailing tube.
    That said, the bar came in without any flaws. Not bad for a 2,600 mile trip.

    I didn’t take any pictures of the packaging, but let’s just say it does the job.

    Specs:

    According to Kabuki Strength's website, here's a list of the specs/reasons to buy.
    Heat Treated & Cold Worked High Strength Alloy Steel (30mm) - No bending or premature knurl wear - 195psi Tensile Strength!!!
    FITS BACK LIKE A GLOVE!!! With our proprietary multiple radius bend (low or high bar)
    Larger Radius also improves the hand positioning for eliminate shoulder pain on BENCH PRESS and grooving the correct patterns repeatedly with maximal scap and lat engagement.
    Longer sleeves for stacking weights - 19.5" and 96" total length
    Oil Impregnated Bronze Bushings
    Upturned ends - No collars needed and rebalances weight towards bar center (similar groove as straight bar)
    57 lbs bar weight
    2000 lb Load Capacity

    Ring to ring distance is 32" measured from the center of the ring.
    The inner collar’s length is just under 2.5".

    Finish:
    The bar is raw. It appears to be chrome plated, but it’s not. Kabuki Strength actually specify that in the description. I hadn’t noticed this at the time of receiving the bar & was tricked into thinking it was the best chrome finish ever. EVER. Joke’s on me.
    I do have some rust accumulating due to the high humidity in my area. Minor applications of WD40 on the sleeves wipes away any rusting. Maintenance seems to be minimal. I was expecting the whole bar to rust by now, but it’s held up well.
    Kabuki Strength offers an Electroless Nickle plating for $39.00. GET THIS if you live in a humid area or are concerned about rust in general. Unfortunately, this option wasn’t offered while taking pre-orders. I’m still extremely happy with the bar, but I want people to be aware.

    I do have some rust accumulating due to the high humidity in my area. Minor applications of WD40 on the sleeves wipes away any rusting. Maintenance seems to be minimal. I was expecting the whole bar to rust by now, but it’s held up well.

    Kabuki Strength offers an Electroless Nickle plating for $39.00. GET THIS if you live in a humid area or are concerned about rust in general. Unfortunately, this option wasn’t offered while taking pre-orders. I’m still extremely happy with the bar, but I want people to be aware.
    Crews: Ivanko Barbell Crew #52, York Barbell Club #95, Equipment Crew #59
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  2. #2
    God of Slowdown Synthetickiller's Avatar
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    Knurling:
    My experience with knurling is limited compared to many on the forum. The only bars I can really compare the knurling on the Duffalo bar to are the following (in order of knurling aggressiveness): CFF Fat Bar, Ivanko OBX-20kg, Iron Wolfe Prototype Squat Bar.

    On a scale of 1 to 10 I would rank the bars as follows:
    CFF Fat Bar: 2.0
    OBX-20KG: 6.0
    Irone Wolfe: 10.0

    The Duffalo bar sits around an 8.5. To put this in perspective, the CFF Fat Bar has very passive knurling. The Ivanko bar, while being a power bar, is aggressive enough for low bar squats & deadlifts, but causes no pain to the lifter. The Iron Wolfe Bar, in my experience, usually needs a 2 shirt set up, or your back will end up burning from the knurling at heavier weights. The bar will basically tear your back up if you squat heavily enough. I tried pressing 165 lb with the bar my hands literally burned due to the knurling. Im not sure if theres a more aggressive bar on the market. Im also not sure why anyone would need a bar that aggressive. Talk about overkill!

    For my everyones (including my own) edification, the scale is almost arbitrary. I do not have a quantifiable method for rating knurling. I dont have a method to measure depth or sharpness. I can only go by my how one bar feels relative to others. Luckily, my bars run the gamut of knurling aggressiveness, so I feel theres almost a quantifiable upper & lower limit in that regard.

    So the Duffalo sits at 8.5. I just want to stress that its knurling is closer to the Iron Wolfe than it is the Ivanko. Does this mean that the Duffalo Bar will cause you pain or force the lifter to wear two shirts? The answer is a resounding, No! The bar is grippy. I do not have experience with it, but it seems like is have more of a deeper knurling that is closer to an olympic weightlifting bar than a power bar. Ill expand on that. The Iron Wolfe feels like a cheese grater. The knurl is softer & finer compared to it, while still retaining the grip the Wolfe provides. Relative to the Ivanko, its in no way softer or finer. Its just a more aggressive knurl that, in no way, is uncomfortable.

    The knurl prevents any movements on the back. Unlike either my Ivanko or Iron Wolfe, the Duffalo bar makes far more contact with the lifters back. It basically locks it in & will never shift. Never. I cannot stress that enough; this bar will never move on your back, period.

    As for grip, how the bar feels in the hand, thats a two part discussion.
    First, in the squat, I have no issues holding onto the bar. Its not uncomfortable & my hands stay put. I use an open grip while pressing to relieve shoulder pain, but if I choose to squat with a thumb-over grip, its still comfy. My hands will not shift during the lift.

    As for bench, yes this bar can be used to press with, it does not hurt. I was concerned I would have the same experience as the Iron Wolfe bar. This thought was entirely unfounded. The bar sits nicely in the hand & wont slide. Whether you take a false grip or thumb-over grip, you really arent going to lose the bar, especially with chalk. It stays put without hurting your hands by the end of a benching session. Not once did I have pain.

    Types of Knurling:
    In all my years of lifting, this is the first bar Ive come across with two types of knurling intentionally machined onto the surface.

    Both sides of the center knurling are the typical diamond style.
    The inside portion of the outer knurling is a single line of knurl that has slight cris cross nicks to provide grip. The outside portion of the outer knurling is the same diamond style.

    Both are very grippy & do a great job holding the bar to the lifter. I really dont know why two styles were chosen. I dont feel or notice the difference. Only upon visual inspect was I even made aware of this little detail. Its just a cool & unique style that separates the bar from others, but functionally, I dont know why this was done..

    I plan on messaging Duffin or someone in his crew & ask whats up w/ the dual knurling. Its not mentioned anywhere, for some reason, unbeknownst to us.

    Here are some pics of the knurling for a visual comparison between all 3 bars mentioned & the differences in the types of knurling on the Duffalo bar itself:

    Here are the center knurlings of my Duffalo Bar, Iron Wolfe Squat Bar & Ivanko OBX-20KG, respectively:




    As you can see, the knurling in the center is the typical diamond patter. The differences by the grip rings is clearly different, as see from the following pics.
    Left Ring:


    Right Ring:


    Shot of the mono directional knurling:
    Crews: Ivanko Barbell Crew #52, York Barbell Club #95, Equipment Crew #59
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  3. #3
    God of Slowdown Synthetickiller's Avatar
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    Functionality:
    Heres the meat & potatoes of the review. Since its post-Thanksgiving/Black Friday, the turkey & stuffing.

    I originally bought this bar to help fix/cure a minor shoulder impingement due to less than ideal hand placement during low bar squats. For anyone who read my review on the Shoulderok, I bought tool that to fix the problem as well. While its helped, for my case, it was treating a symptom instead of the cause. I originally bought my Iron Wolfe bar to help with the hand positioning, but found I was having issues with back tightness if I were to grip outside of the j-cups. I am not investing in off centered j-cups for my current rack, so this seems to be the last viable option.

    Squatting with the Duffalo Bar:
    First, let me address how the bar sits in the rack & how unracking it works.

    Unless your rack has drop in j-cups (Legend, Power Lift, Rae Crowther, etc), the standard single pin to hole-in-front-of-post j-cup will ultimately tilt in or out depending on how they are mounted to the rack. The curved portion of the bar sits flush into my J-cups & almost always forces them to turn. Ive gotten over this with a lot of practice, but if youre not careful when re-racking weights, theyll move. Many of you are familiar with my rack & while the j-cup is a strange 2.25" wide, this shifting will occur with 2" & 3" wide racks. The only way to get around this is to either use a real mono-lift, get custom built j-cups or even just drill a hole & use a removable pin to stop the j-cup from moving. Also, those with bar catches that are basically round wont have issues, although the bar will still shift & most likely grind down whatever surface its touching.

    Is this an issue?
    Well, at first, it annoyed the hell out of me & I felt it was just something Id deal with till I bought a better set of j-cups. After some fiddling, I figured out the sweet spot to place the bar & I dont really have the issue of the moving j-cups anymore. The bar is removing paint from my rack faster than termites through wood though. If you dont have UHMW, get some.

    As for unracking in the squat, unless you have a monlift, you have to make sure the bar is where you want it to be. Its going to somewhat lean against the j-cups. It can fall forward. When the bar is empty, it will turn entirely upside down. When loaded with at least 135 (but probably more), it will tilt 90 & stay there, due to the slightly upward sleeve design. So long as you make sure that some of the knurling is hitting the j-cup, the bar isnt going to flip over. It just takes 30 seconds extra to get the bar situated when preparing for squat day.

    Once you get under the bar & position it on your back, its smooth sailing form there. Just find your proper hand placement (no need for a wide grip, depending on your issues) & walk out it out like a normal squat with a conventional power bar. The design forces the bar to make contact with the lifter across his/her entire back. There are not small points of contact. This further enforces the stability aspect of the bar. Its noticeable in a good way.

    So far, so good. Walk the bar out & set up. Heres where I found my first gripe. There is the slack in the sleeves. Compared to my Ivanko or Iron Wolfe, theres a ton of slop. By a ton, I mean I can really feel the sleeves shift as I shift from one leg to another while setting up for a squat. My Ivanko basically has none and the Wolfe barely has any. While its a slight annoyance, its not a deal breaker by any means. Once you are set up, the slip isnt noticeable & the sleeves stay put. For those with bars that have slop, its another day at the office. For those without, it will catch you off guard a little at first, but wont change the way you squat.

    I feel I have to state this so theres no question, but squatting with the bar itself is really no different than a normal bar. Although theres a bow in the bar, it does not act like a cambered squat bar. Its not going to swing while on your back. If this was anyones concern, well, dont be.

    Hand Placement:
    Preface:
    The focus of this portion of the review is only for low bar squats. If youre experiencing shoulder impingement while using a high bar position, you have other mobility issues at hand & should try to address those.

    This is what makes the bar shine & why you will want the bar.

    When gripping the bar, as a low bar squatter, you wont have to take a very wide grip. Due to the curve, your hands will sit far lower than with a normal bar. Were talking inches (somewhere in the ballpark of 3 to 4). This doesnt sound like much, but it makes a world of difference. The grip will force your shoulders back into the socket, not unlike an elbows in bench press. This causes two other parts the set up to change. Your elbows will drop down & in, instead of back. This position feels natural & theres no pain involved. Your chest will lift & push out into the proper position. Its hard to actually allow your upper back & chest to drop, unlike with a normal bar. Even if a lifter grips the bar out to the collars, the position is still lower & will relieve stress on the shoulder, despite the lack of bend at that position on the bar.

    As a note to everyone, I do not wrap my thumb around the bar (or any bar) when squatting, unless its high bar. This also relieves a lot of stress on the shoulder. If you do wrap your thumb, you will still get all the benefits I mentioned above.

    Benching with the Duffalo Bar:
    Yes, I press with this bar as well.

    The set up is the same as for the squat. All issues I had with placing the bar correctly on J-cups plagues the bench set up too. Once you have enough weight on the bar, it really wont move though.

    Unracking the bar is different. You cannot roll it forward into an ideal position. Instead, the bar must be balanced and unracked from the rear of the j-cup. This will force anyone to build even greater stabilization strength because the bar will wobble a hair until its balanced in your hands. Its not a downside, but a noticeable change in how the bar is held & how aware the lifter must be when using it.

    Ive only used a thumb-over grip on heavy sets, but I see no issues using a false grip if thats your preference. Ive used false grip on sets below 80% of my max & it felt wonderful.

    Hand Placement:
    Like in the squat, the bar forces the lifter into a similar a similar position. Youll find that setting up for an elbows in style of pressing to be effortless. Your shoulders will find the rear of the shoulder socket much more easily & stay put. The elbows will track inwards & down naturally. The angle is easier on the wrists, but not by a lot. If you have wrist problems, youll still want to use wraps.

    While pressing, the elbows will track correctly. It will require some mental focus to actually force them to flair. The shoulders will stay put & the feeling of having solid form will stay with the lifter throughout the lift. Its a great groove to be in for anyone who presses for strength. The groove is also effortless. Theres really no time investment to learn the groove beyond warming up normally.

    Effects of the bars camber on pressing:
    Uniquely, the bar acts like a cambered bar. The range of motion increases. My first thought when trying this is that my shoulder will become aggravated because the increased ROM, directly.

    This notion is wrong.

    The slight angle really does positively effect the shoulder & mostly keeps it out of a destructive position/ range of motion. I was doing heavier work sets with 290 & found I was struggling with the weight. This was my work set @ 80% with a straight bar. While I was taking the weight down further, I felt absolutely no pain while pressing, even at the bottom of the press.

    A secondary effect of the Duffalo bar is pectoral engagement. I didnt feel much of it during the pressing itself, but afterwards, I felt like I did some dumbbell work followed by some pec flys. Ive never experienced pec activation during bench press. The way this bar changes the muscle engagement has made me start re-analyzing what the following supplementary work will be since its eliminated the need for one or two of the previous movements I was doing. All this, while still providing a great compound movement for my main movement of the training session, was nothing to scoff at.

    This bar should improve my off-the-chest pressing power, but I havent had the bar long enough to evaluate it.
    Crews: Ivanko Barbell Crew #52, York Barbell Club #95, Equipment Crew #59
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  4. #4
    God of Slowdown Synthetickiller's Avatar
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    Sleeves:
    The sleeves are tilted slightly upward. According to the website & Duffin himself, this forces the plates to find their way back down towards the inner collar while lifting. In other words, collars aren’t necessary.

    Is this true?

    I had a pair of 25kg plates on the bar & while setting up to squat, the plates shifted far out to about the middle of the sleeve. I was able to complete the rep & rack the bar. I ended up putting on either a COC-2.kg or Hampton Bulldog collar, depending on the weight for the set. I didn’t feel comfortable using the bar without collars. Just use collars with the bar.

    Any collar you have is going to fit, unlike many speciality bars. The sleeve is a hair over 50mm in diameter. I’m so glad this wasn’t overlooked & a 1.9" (48mm) tube was used instead.

    The sleeves are visibly ribbed & you will hear plates go on & come off the sleeve. If pulled at the exact right (or wrong) angle, the noise will make you deaf. It’s piercing. Once you find what angle causes this, you will avoid it at all costs.It isn’t a problem. Loading this bar is not a silent affair by any means & should be treated that way. Sorry for all of those people with kids out there!

    I want to mention that the sleeves are pinned. Each has 2 pins, all the way through. Of the 4 total pins, one has been popping out during heavy squats & heavy presses. I believe it pops out when racking the bar, not during the lift. I don’t see it as much of an issue, but it’s a small quality control issue. If anything, I could probably get them to ship me a pin & I could just tap out & replace the lose one. I can’t really knock them for this, but it’s something to know exists. I expect that if this is a larger problem, it’ll be corrected in future iterations.

    Sleeve spin is something many people focus on, but I won’t in this review. The sleeves are tilted up & that changes the way the bar spins. Even with quality bushings, spinning on an angle won’t make for an amazing, smooth spin without expensive engineering. There’s no need for that with this bar. The sleeves rotate enough that heavy squats (1000lb +) are not going to rotate the bar off your back.

    Here's some pics since we all love pics!






    As I said before, the sleeves are intentionally tilted.
    I took a picture of the sleeve angle next to my Iron Wolfe bar.
    The angle of the sleeve is clearly different.



    Extra Functionality:
    The inner collar has a threaded slot allowing for a band/chain attachment to be mounted.
    It costs $89, but qualifies for 10% off on Black Friday.
    I’ve never seen anything like this before.
    For those who’ve never trained with chains or bands, in my experience I had to be slightly creative when using either. Bands had to be placed on the sleeve first, then the plate, then collar. Plates wobble a good bit because of this & the bands can shift if not tensions properly. Changing bands was a pain & time consuming. I usually mount chains with a collar on the outside of the plates so the chains do not hit my rack or band pegs.

    Using the attachment should make swapping out bands a piece of cake. On the topic of chains, the jury is still out if there’s enough clearance not to damage the paint on a rack. That’s really a pet peeve of mind, but I figured some might want to know.

    I’m more impressed that the mounting method it’s not made in a proprietary way. Anyone who can fabricate or simply hook something up to a bolt will be able to add anything they want to the collar.


    Here's a picture of the threading in the collar:
    Before anyone asks, no, I don't know the size bolt that fits. I'll eventually get this info, but I don't know at this time.



    Her are some pics of the attachment from Kabuki Strength. I don't own these pictures.

    Last edited by Synthetickiller; 11-27-2015 at 12:09 PM.
    Crews: Ivanko Barbell Crew #52, York Barbell Club #95, Equipment Crew #59
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  5. #5
    God of Slowdown Synthetickiller's Avatar
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    Scoring:
    Scoring is still a work in progress for my reviews. Im trying to update the scoring from the last review to better reflect what lifters want to know about the equipment & if its applicable to their needs.

    Build Quality: (40%)
    Where do I start?
    The knurling is on fleek. Theres just nothing to criticize. Its uniform, comfortable & grippy, but not too coarse or painful. The bar being 30mm feels great in my hands. As some of you know, I dont have the longest fingers (its physically impossible for me to effectively hook grip a 28mm bar), but the bar feels amazing in the hands, thumb-over or false grip. At first, I thought the bar was chromed, but later discovered its a raw bar. While I would knock half a point off, theres an option to plate the bar, so no points lost. The only downside is the slop in the bar. I know some bars have this. Its not horrible & is something I became used to while using it. The slop is noticeable during a squat session only & not pressing. Also, one of the four pins popping out is a minor annoyance. Ill deduce 0.25 points each, so 0.5 points total. I cant find anything else wrong with the bar. In terms of quality, Duffin absolutely nailed it. 9.5

    Overall Functionality: (15%)
    You cant really use the bar for deadlifting, not that anyone would want to. Arguably, that makes this a less functional bar than a typical power bar youd use for everything if you could only afford one bar. Realistically, its a speciality bar, so there will be limitations. The fact that this bar will allow those with shoulder issues to perform both the squat & bench press pain free is monumental. If anything, most specialty bars will typically add stress in some form. The safety squat bar or cambered squat bar will put stress on the lower back or quads & can cause injury if the lifter isnt careful. They are focused on improving strength & not allowing someone to really lift in a non-compromised way. While both bars allow for great hand placement, theres too much specificity, where as this bar will not hammer the lower back or quads specifically. Instead, it literally allows the lifter to use it as a main bar for 2 of the 3 power lifts year round during training without annihilating the shoulders in the process. 10

    Specific Functionality: (15%)
    I dont really know how I can expand on its function as a squat bar specifically. It has all positives with no negatives. Theres not much more to say.

    The fact that you can bench with this bar, to me, is mind blowing. I didnt really buy it to press with, but figured Id try it.I believe thisll help add strength off the chest (I usually fail about 2 or 3 inches off the chest) & I can still train using progressive overloading methods. I cannot wait to use bands & chains with this bar.

    Throw in a mounting position for add ons & this bar has reclaimed what its lost since you cant use it to deadlift. Many lifters dont deadlift anyways, so its not a huge deal for those outside of powerlifting. 10

    Value: (30%)
    Make no qualms about it, this is an expensive bar. Off sale, its currently $530.
    This is by no means my most expensive bar. That honor still goes to my Ivanko OBX-20kg. Every other bar is less expensive than this one. But, every other bar has a specific use, be it my cambered squat bar, fat bar, safety squat bar, Swiss bar, Iron Wolfe Bar (far worse value in comparison) or any of my other bars (curl bars & a technique bar) that are even more specific. I cant use any of them for squat and benching. While its arguable that I could, I dont because those bars do not provide that type of effective functionality. If anything, my cambered squat bar gets the most use out of any specific bar (good mornings, zercher squats, regular squats, so 3 movements). At least that was the case before the Duffalo bar.

    This bar will be used for the main 2 lifts from now on.
    Yes, I am replacing my OBX-20KG with this bar for my main training except when maxing. Ill be making a 6 month update at that point to see just how effective this is. Thats how much I like this bar & how much of a positive effect its had on my training in the month Ive used it. I never imagined a speciality bar could replace a power bar for main movements without creating too much specificity in a lift.

    So how does that effect value?
    Having a secondary bar that allows anyone who has a history of shoulder problems to perform 2 huge compound movements pain free or nearly pain free, to me, is invaluable. It covers so many bases. Its hard for me to not say 10 right of the bat. Its really become my favorite bar for training.

    Within the context of a $500 to $600 bar, Id say to give this one a 9.5 if the person is looking at moving from say, the OBX-20KG to something similar in price & build quality, like an Elieko.
    Within the context of a bar that fixes pain caused by form issues, no bar comes close, so thats a 10.

    For what its worth, no bar simply offers what this one does. Ill split the difference & give it a 9.75

    Heres why.
    Specifically, if you can afford this bar & have shoulder issues or want to use a bar that will prevent shoulder issues, the buck stops here. Theres no compromise on quality & the functionality bolsters the asking price.

    All other Buffalo bars on the market are a joke in comparison.

    Build Quality: 9.5
    Overall functionality: 10
    Specific functionality: 10
    Value: 9.75
    Total Score: 9.725


    Summary:
    This bar lives up to the hype.
    All short comings have either been addressed or are minor. The more I worked with the bar, the more I noticed immediately improvements in both lessening of pain & benefits to my bench press. I cannot name another bar that will do both or can really work as a dedicated squat & bench bar.

    At the same time, if you dont have shoulder problems, dont have issues building your chest, & arent really concerned with taking stress off your shoulders or you squat high bar only, then this bar will probably not rank as a worthwhile bar. Obviously, this is a justified point of view. I cant argue with it. This is simply a bar for a more experienced lifter that either needs to take care of their joints or already has issues or wants to prevent issues.

    For what the bar was designed to do, it nailed every aspect, precisely.
    If you have the money & can justify buying the bar, take Shia Labeoufs advice and just do it!



    Thanks for reading the review.
    Hopefully, this helped someone decide if they wanted to invest about $600+ into this specialty bar.
    If you have any questions, please ask.
    Crews: Ivanko Barbell Crew #52, York Barbell Club #95, Equipment Crew #59
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  6. #6
    Always Learning dieselmike's Avatar
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    Subscribing. Haven't read it all yet. But very interested to get through this epic.
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    Registered User Mechanon84's Avatar
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    Dude, such a good review.

    It would bother me that it doesn't really rack perfectly. And the whole thing about the slight upward bend keeping the plates in place seems sounds a lot like "It's not a bug, it's a feature."

    Thanks for the review.
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    Solid review as always. Thank God I don't have space for this thing, otherwise I'd be spending some money.

    Guys like Synnie and reviews like this are the whole reason I participate instead of lurk on this forum.
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    Fantastic review. Would love something like this but the shipping cost and current exchange rate is crushing.
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    Registered User jtaliani's Avatar
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    Great review SK! I really wish I had been able to take advantage of the release promo, but unfortunately I was a day late. Still may end up picking it up. In the interim, I've been having much better results using the Hookers grips that Stasher recommended. I'd be curious to see how this bar compares to a standard power bar with the Hookers grips for shoulder relief and keeping a tight good position. Had I known about the bench application at the time, I would have just ordered this bar instead.
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  11. #11
    Registered User Arex99's Avatar
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    Great review....I didn't even know this thing existed till yesterday. This review clears up any questions I have.
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  12. #12
    Registered User stonecold123's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Arex99 View Post
    Great review....I didn't even know this thing existed till yesterday. This review clears up any questions I have.
    Holy crap thats a lotta rust for a brand new bar


    My mistake its the knurling. Gives a wierd sheen
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  13. #13
    Registered User themaddemon's Avatar
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    Great review man! Thanks!

    I can't wait for my Duffalo Bar!
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  14. #14
    Always Learning dieselmike's Avatar
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    SK - This is tremendous. As you know I have been following you for a while. I have seen your many posts about shoulder pain, Bicep tendon pain, etc as a result of poor mobility that is required in shoulders for low bar squat. It interests me greatly because I have the same issues. (Maybe not quite as bad, because somehow I still get through it). So I know you have tried wide grip, contemplated off set J-cups, cambered bar, purchase of your Shouldrok, and probably more. I am very happy you found a very viable solution in this Duffalo Bar.

    As usual, what a great and thorough review. I think you missed one aspect? How is it to curl in the rack?
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  15. #15
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    Great review SK. That is all helpful info on this bar. I am waiting for mine right now. The 12 week delay sucks but understandable since Chris D is a small company. Btw, he is in Oregon and not Seattle. I'm in Seattle and wish he was here even though Oregon is not that far away lol. You gave an awesome review. Reps to you.
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  16. #16
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    Hope the mods make a barbell sticky.

    We will all appreciate it.

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  17. #17
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    Thanks for the great review.

    Just what I was looking for.

    I will now definitely get one. Hopefully soon.
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  18. #18
    God of Slowdown Synthetickiller's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jtaliani View Post
    Great review SK! I really wish I had been able to take advantage of the release promo, but unfortunately I was a day late. Still may end up picking it up. In the interim, I've been having much better results using the Hookers grips that Stasher recommended. I'd be curious to see how this bar compares to a standard power bar with the Hookers grips for shoulder relief and keeping a tight good position. Had I known about the bench application at the time, I would have just ordered this bar instead.
    As I stated in the review, drop another $40 & pay for the nickle plating. I would have if the chose was offered. It's a no brainer.
    If you do (and you better!), please post some pics of the finish.

    Originally Posted by stonecold123 View Post
    Holy crap thats a lotta rust for a brand new bar


    My mistake its the knurling. Gives a wierd sheen
    Well, there is some rust. I'm using WD-40 now & again to cut through the rust accumulation on the sleeves. I have some on the knurling on the left side. I'll have to see how to clean out the knurling w/o scratching it up using a steel brush. Maybe brass would be the best or is that too soft?
    I soaked it in WD-40 in a paper towel, but the towel becomes shredded on the knurling.

    Originally Posted by themaddemon View Post
    Great review man! Thanks!

    I can't wait for my Duffalo Bar!
    When you compare it to your Buffalo bar/Bow bar, you'll be in for a huge surprise at the difference in quality.

    Originally Posted by dieselmike View Post
    SK - This is tremendous. As you know I have been following you for a while. I have seen your many posts about shoulder pain, Bicep tendon pain, etc as a result of poor mobility that is required in shoulders for low bar squat. It interests me greatly because I have the same issues. (Maybe not quite as bad, because somehow I still get through it). So I know you have tried wide grip, contemplated off set J-cups, cambered bar, purchase of your Shouldrok, and probably more. I am very happy you found a very viable solution in this Duffalo Bar.

    As usual, what a great and thorough review. I think you missed one aspect? How is it to curl in the rack?
    I just tried this. I thought, what the hell, why not?!
    This is interesting. The knurling is really too aggressive to do this with. It started to tear my hands up. You won't get this when benching, because the bar isn't trying to rotate in your hands. Because of the bow, it'll try to balance. I'm getting huge stress in the rear of my forearms from this. I love it! I might use this as a grip training/arm movement at least in the immediate future, just to test it out. I just need a way to overcome the knurling issue. I don't have gloves. I might use a thin towel or something.

    Let's see how this pans out.

    Originally Posted by CYMlift View Post
    Great review SK. That is all helpful info on this bar. I am waiting for mine right now. The 12 week delay sucks but understandable since Chris D is a small company. Btw, he is in Oregon and not Seattle. I'm in Seattle and wish he was here even though Oregon is not that far away lol. You gave an awesome review. Reps to you.
    The delay does suck, but...
    According to Duffin, the metal picked out for the job was picked out directly from whatever steel mill he's working with as a supplier.
    I have absolutely no clue if this is a boon & he can have the standard of the bar set as high as he feels it's necessary or it's just marketing & nothing is custom.
    I know Duffin has a lot of fabrication experience & he's a hands on kinda guy. It sounds like these bars are built in house.
    We wait 6 to 8 weeks for racks, at times, another month isn't a killer. At least it's not a 24 week wait.

    He discusses the steel issue at 7min:



    I mentioned Seattle because that's where the package originated from.
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  19. #19
    Spoon Pic Connoisseur adamsz's Avatar
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    10/10 review from you once again. Awesome write-up.

    I'm lucky that I get to train at Duffins gym so I get to use these products first hand as well. You pointed out some things I haven't noticed at all because of your attention to detail.
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  20. #20
    God of Slowdown Synthetickiller's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by adamsz View Post
    10/10 review from you once again. Awesome write-up.

    I'm lucky that I get to train at Duffins gym so I get to use these products first hand as well. You pointed out some things I haven't noticed at all because of your attention to detail.
    Any insights into using the bar? Anything I've missed? Having the bar only 4 weeks is not the best for a write up, but it's all I had to work with.
    Oh, what's your take on the attachments for bands & chains? They're still on sale, but $80 on-sale/ $90 off-sale, plus shipping hurts right in the wallet!

    Feel free to add anything you like to the discussion.
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  21. #21
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    Good review.

    Maybe what you are seeing in the knurling is just distortion from the bar being bent after it was knurled. I know of no way the bar could have been knurled after it was bent.

    Edit: Looking at your pics blown up it does sort of look like the reverse pass with the knurling tool was light. You can see the start of points so they did come back across with the cutter. The knurling looks pretty bad overall. This is a production issue.

    Sleeves are attached the same way as the Texas Power Bar. Not good for spin but in reality why would a bar like this need for the sleeves to spin. The bar should not be generating any rotational force on the plates.

    It is pretty much just a bent Texas Squat Bar.
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  22. #22
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    Great review, on spread.

    I've been contemplating picking up that narrow football bar from Edge Fitness, mostly to relieve pressure on my shoulders when benching. Would you recommend this bar over that one for benching?

    In reality, the Duffalo is just more than I can afford, I would likely be looking at a Bow Bar.
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  23. #23
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    What kind of bar? Oh. . . . NVRMND.

    You need a good rack, a bench, and a 300-lb Olympic weight set. Now, what was your question?

    My home gym: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=652376&p=1465291461&viewfull=1#post1465291461.

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  24. #24
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    i like the bar only thing i noticed is its a deeper curve then other buffalo bars
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  25. #25
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    The journey with this bar never ends.
    I got ahold of Micheal Lopushok over at Kabuki Strength & asked him about the two types of knurling on the bar. Here's what he said.
    Originally Posted by "Micheal Lopushok
    I loved the review and I like your format so i will give away a little secret. The variant knurling you observed is a cosmetic defect caused by chips getting into the chuck and causing the bar to ride akimbo in the lathe. The tiny variation in the width of one set of diagonal lines over the other makes the knurls appear to be a swirl instead of a grid. The next batch will not have this problem. In theory knurling for hand grips should always be a series of diamond shaped lands with v grooves in between. The Iron Wolf bar knurling is (as grandpa taught me) actually functionally defective, there is no land at the top and the v grooves touch to form a nail point which cuts into the skin rather than gripping it.

    Properly pitched knurling for grip actually interlocks with the ridge patterns in the friction skin on your hand, which is why ours feels so grippy without actually being painful.

    Michael Lopushok
    Director of Operations
    Kabuki Strength
    He also stated that the un-plated versions will turn brown, just like old bars that lack a finish.

    Seems like the two types of knurling was a small mistake. It still doesn't bother me in the slightest. New owners need no fear this "issue" as it's already corrected.
    Hope this clears up any confusing you guys have with the bar. It certainly did for me.
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  26. #26
    God of Slowdown Synthetickiller's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by rlundregan View Post
    Great review, on spread.

    I've been contemplating picking up that narrow football bar from Edge Fitness, mostly to relieve pressure on my shoulders when benching. Would you recommend this bar over that one for benching?

    In reality, the Duffalo is just more than I can afford, I would likely be looking at a Bow Bar.
    Sorry for not seeing the question. I blame atty & his pic. Boobs are distracting...

    To answer your question...
    When you say football bar, I'm assuming the models with the 45 degree (or so) grips. Not the neutral grips like my EliteFTS swiss bar.

    The main difference is while the Duffalo bar has a bow, the football bar actually angles your hands horizontally. You get more tricep recruitment, but not extra ROM. At the same time, it will not seat your shoulders to the rear of the shoulder socket. Just from mimicking the motion, it seems to be closer to a dumbbell press w/ more stability than anything else. I don't have a football bar, but I'm hoping the Swiss is close enough for an accurate comparison.

    With the duffalo, your hands will angle vertically, as if you're attempting to give a thumbs up, but slightly. ROM increases, but the shoulders seat properly in the socket due to the curve. Just act like you're gripping an arc & you'll feel the shoulders retract into the socket & the elbows "magically" pull in. Instead of triceps recruitment, you're now incorporating the pectorals in the movement. It's noticeable to the point that you'll be sore if you don't do a lot of pec work.

    If you're trying to train a competition style press or simply trying to improve your pressing overall, it will depend on where you fail. If you fail at lockout all the time, the football bar might help. If you don't have shoulder issues w/ a neutral grip, the Swiss might be an even better option as it almost focuses on lockout strength, especially if you combine chains with it

    If you're failing from the bottom to mid press, get the Duffalo bar, no questions asked. You'll start from a lower position, but not in pain. Moving back to a straight bar feels like cheating. Hell, I tried pressing with a fat bar & I could basically do the same weight because of the "lack" of ROM. Your off the chest strength is going to increase. I will bet you that much.

    The Football bar is a cumbersome bar. If it's anything like the Swiss bar, it doesn't sit well on the chest. It's not difficult to control, but I feel it doesn't translate as well as another straight bar. I look to those bars to take pressure off of something like the wrists, possibly shoulders, but firstly & foremostly to focus more on triceps/lockout strength.

    I feel a football/swiss bar cannot replace a normal pressing bar for those looking to increase their overall bench press. The Duffalo bar can & does a damn good job of it with no downsides, especially when moving back to a straight bar for testing/competitive
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  27. #27
    Registered User rlundregan's Avatar
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    Wow....that is a ringing endorsement of the Duffalo Bar!

    I had been on the fence between a bow bar and a football bar, now I'm thinking a bow bar is the way to go.

    Thanks for coming back to this!
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  28. #28
    God of Slowdown Synthetickiller's Avatar
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    Keep in mind there's a major difference in the bow of both bars.
    I can't really explain the difference, since I don't have the bow bar, but they are night and day from what I've seen.
    Themaddemon can do a side by side when he gets his duffalo bar.
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  29. #29
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    Originally Posted by Synthetickiller View Post


    This bar lives up to the hype.

    ...

    For what the bar was designed to do, it nailed every aspect, precisely.

    If you have the money & can justify buying the bar, take Shia Labeouf’s advice and just do it!

    Hopefully, this helped someone decide if they wanted to invest about $600+ into this specialty bar.

    If you have any questions, please ask.

    Just wondering whether you had an update or not.

    I've ordered one for myself, and hopefully it will be here soon.
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  30. #30
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    I'm also looking to take the plunge. Does anyone know if their is a coupon code available?
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