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  1. #31
    Registered User wgpa's Avatar
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    Great thread, some useful info. Something is be interested in is a maintenance guide. I've got a few rust spots emerging on a black oxide bar but I'm apprehensive about using oil on the grip surface.
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  2. #32
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    Originally Posted by wgpa View Post
    Great thread, some useful info. Something is be interested in is a maintenance guide. I've got a few rust spots emerging on a black oxide bar but I'm apprehensive about using oil on the grip surface.
    Maintenance is generally pretty simple, it's pretty much the same regardless of the finish on the bar. You want to use a nylon-bristled brush about once per week and brush out the dead skin and chalk, oil the bar, let it sit overnight, then wipe the oil off. You may want to wipe it off a couple of times if you are that concerned, but it will come off just fine.

    You don't necessarily need to oil the bar every week. Frequency will vary, depending on humidity levels, bar finish, how often the bar gets used, etc.

    I might use a Scotch Brite pad on the rust spots on your bar. You could use a little CLR diluted with water if need be. Be gentle, as you can remove additional black oxide if you aren't careful. Oil the bar afterward.

    I believe that Keetman's barbell thread gives some information about taking sleeves apart. I referenced that thread on the first page of this thread. There are lots of videos on Youtube as well.
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  3. #33
    Gandalf of the Gym cmarti063's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by urbanlifter View Post
    Those oil impregnated bushings didn't spin that great, would rather use the grease.
    The lubricant in grease is oil (meaning grease can't lubricate any better than plain oil...), but it's mixed with binders to hold the oil in place. This is important in applications where gravity works against the lubricant, but since barbells are rotated/spun, they don't have that issue. The binding compounds in the grease will coagulate over time, leading to decreased performance. Oil doesn't coagulate, and a couple drops periodically dripped down the sleeve of a barbell that isn't gunked up will keep it maintenance-free for a long time, while the greased barbell will require complete disassembly and cleaning when it starts dropping performance.

    I do agree that breaking down less expensive barbells for an initial cleaning/lube is a great idea. It isn't necessary with better barbells at all.
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  4. #34
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    Originally Posted by cmarti063 View Post
    The lubricant in grease is oil (meaning grease can't lubricate any better than plain oil...), but it's mixed with binders to hold the oil in place. This is important in applications where gravity works against the lubricant, but since barbells are rotated/spun, they don't have that issue. The binding compounds in the grease will coagulate over time, leading to decreased performance. Oil doesn't coagulate, and a couple drops periodically dripped down the sleeve of a barbell that isn't gunked up will keep it maintenance-free for a long time, while the greased barbell will require complete disassembly and cleaning when it starts dropping performance.
    I added 3in1 oil to the bushings before trying Red N Tacky, my wife threw my tube away so I had to wait to regrease, the additional oil did not seem to help the spin as suggested (based on times). But the average spin using a 45lb plate increased significantly using R&T over the existing oil impregnated bushings. Not sure if R&T is different, the description says "Technical Blend of lithium and polymers plus a heavy addition of" Anti-seize/wear" agents that set it apart from similair greases. Especially good for sliding surfaces".

    I don't mind breaking it down once every couple years for the better spin, with the new snap ring pliers this literally takes 2 minutes per each side. I'll check the spin times again in 6 months to see if they change at all.
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  5. #35
    Gandalf of the Gym cmarti063's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by urbanlifter View Post
    I added 3in1 oil to the bushings before trying Red N Tacky, my wife threw my tube away so I had to wait to regrease, the additional oil did not seem to help the spin as suggested (based on times). But the average spin using a 45lb plate increased significantly using R&T over the existing oil impregnated bushings. Not sure if R&T is different, the description says "Technical Blend of lithium and polymers plus a heavy addition of" Anti-seize/wear" agents that set it apart from similair greases. Especially good for sliding surfaces".

    I don't mind breaking it down once every couple years for the better spin, with the new snap ring pliers this literally takes 2 minutes per each side. I'll check the spin times again in 6 months to see if they change at all.
    I did an experiment a while ago with all kinds of lubricants (I wrote about it on the starting strength forum), and basically every lubricant worked similarly at first. Some had performance degradation within a couple of weeks and some took a few months, but soaking the bushings in 3-in-1 and applying a layer to the inner surfaces and letting the excess bleed out has had basically the same performance as day 1. I tried silicone, lithium, teflon, graphite, and oil lubricants.
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  6. #36
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    Was Red N Tacky one that you used during your experiment?
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  7. #37
    Gandalf of the Gym cmarti063's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by urbanlifter View Post
    Was Red N Tacky one that you used during your experiment?
    I tested a white lithium grease. Grease did not do well long term. (Red N Tacky uses lithium as its lubricant)
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  8. #38
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    Well that sucks to hear, I'll do some frequent tests to see what happens over the next few weeks. Just wasn't to encouraged by the spin results on oil alone, not very smooth. In all honesty it's probably a moot point for me anyway I guess, I don't do Olympic lifting, but I like knowing I'm getting the best performance possible out of my investment. One thing that confuses me on the GOB-1800 is that they took the finish all the way to the end of the barbell. Wouldnt you think bare steel would help it spin better than grippy zinc coating?
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  9. #39
    Gandalf of the Gym cmarti063's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by urbanlifter View Post
    Well that sucks to hear, I'll do some frequent tests to see what happens over the next few weeks. Just wasn't to encouraged by the spin results on oil alone, not very smooth. In all honesty it's probably a moot point for me anyway I guess, I don't do Olympic lifting, but I like knowing I'm getting the best performance possible out of my investment. One thing that confuses me on the GOB-1800 is that they took the finish all the way to the end of the barbell. Wouldnt you think bare steel would help it spin better than grippy zinc coating?
    You would think that indeed. Over time, the finish will wear where the bushing rides the shaft, and it will be shiny silver. My OB-86B is well worn there (I used it for the Olympic lifts until I sold my bumpers). I just took my TPB apart tonight and it still had plenty of finish where the bushings run.
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  10. #40
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    Originally Posted by cmarti063 View Post
    I tested a white lithium grease. Grease did not do well long term. (Red N Tacky uses lithium as its lubricant)
    How did the white lithium grease hold up compared to 3-in-1 in the long run? I have both, but used the white lithium when I broke down my Pendlay bar.
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  11. #41
    Gandalf of the Gym cmarti063's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by congore View Post
    How did the white lithium grease hold up compared to 3-in-1 in the long run? I have both, but used the white lithium when I broke down my Pendlay bar.
    Nothing stayed working like the day it was applied for too long except the oil. YMMV, but my experiment said oil is far and away the best lubricant for your bushing barbell.
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  12. #42
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    Originally Posted by cmarti063 View Post
    If you have OIL IMPREGNATED bushings, you should use OIL to lubricate, not GREASE.
    Like you suggestion!
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  14. #44
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    Bar Length

    This forum has some great information and perhaps you can help me in pursuit of an unusual size bar. My weight rack is somewhat wide and my bar has a fairly standard 52 inch length between the collars. The problem is the bar just barely clears the rack. I'm trying to find a decent bar with at least a 54 inch length on the inside of the collars. Any recommendations?
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  15. #45
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    Originally Posted by Ed64 View Post
    This forum has some great information and perhaps you can help me in pursuit of an unusual size bar. My weight rack is somewhat wide and my bar has a fairly standard 52 inch length between the collars. The problem is the bar just barely clears the rack. I'm trying to find a decent bar with at least a 54 inch length on the inside of the collars. Any recommendations?
    Squat bar.
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  16. #46
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    Bar Length

    Originally Posted by chadsalt View Post
    Squat bar.
    Thanks for the suggestion. I went ahead and checked straight squat bars but it seems the only real difference is the squat bar's center knurling.
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    Originally Posted by Ed64 View Post
    Thanks for the suggestion. I went ahead and checked straight squat bars but it seems the only real difference is the squat bar's center knurling.
    Texas squat bar is 57.5" between sleeves. Ironmind S cubed bar is 58.5". Dead lift bars will also be wider, but not really any good for other than dead lift.
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    Originally Posted by chadsalt View Post
    Texas squat bar is 57.5" between sleeves. Ironmind S cubed bar is 58.5". Dead lift bars will also be wider, but not really any good for other than dead lift.
    Thanks for the leads. I'll check them out.
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    Originally Posted by Ed64 View Post
    Thanks for the leads. I'll check them out.
    http://www.weightlifterswarehouse.com/powerlift.html

    http://www.ironmind-store.com/S-Cube...ductinfo/1223/

    Check the diameter too. TSB is 31 mm and ironmind is almost 35 mm
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    Originally Posted by Ed64 View Post
    This forum has some great information and perhaps you can help me in pursuit of an unusual size bar. My weight rack is somewhat wide and my bar has a fairly standard 52 inch length between the collars. The problem is the bar just barely clears the rack. I'm trying to find a decent bar with at least a 54 inch length on the inside of the collars. Any recommendations?
    Another potential option, which I just noticed in a different thread: offset J-cups.

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    Bar Length

    Thanks.
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    and no, im not putting any weights on it just a pvc pipe until im flexible enough in my shoulders
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  23. #53
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    Just to add a couple points:

    Greases undergo what's called shear thinning. This means that while they are thick when standing, when pressure is applied they assume the viscosity and lubricity of the lubricants in the grease. In other words, a grease acts just like an oil when actually under load.

    Also, greases come in many formulations. They are basically an oil (or combination of oils) mixed with an emulsifying agent, typically a stearate (aka, a soap) in better greases. Emulsifiers can vary widely from cheap low-duty ones (often simple clay) in products like your hardware store white lithium grease up to high quality emulsifiers like graphite or mica, used for long-lived applications and specialty applications like aircraft jet engines. There are also synthetic greases which skip the emulsifying agent and use long-chain lubricants that are themselves capable of lubricating. Any of these can have long lifetimes and there's no reason why any of them should dry out. Decent greases can last for years in much more compromised environments than the innards of a barbell.

    Combining the shear thinning and the ability of the grease to stay in place (oil can settle within a sleeve or largely drip out from a bar if stored on end), the recommendation of people who specialize in lubricants would be to use a high quality grease.

    As far as lubricating bushings, oil-filled bushings are made from sintered metal and are cheap to make in custom configurations, but they are also not made for high load applications. Sintered bushings would shatter when exposed to heavy lifts or to bar drops. I'd love to hear one of the manufacturers comment on this, but the bushings in all the decent bars I've opened up are solid metal, not sintered. That means there is no oil-filling going on. And of course there's no oil-filling going on in bearing bars. The surface of brass and bronze (both are mostly copper with small alloys) is lubricating of its own nature (think about dissimilar helicoids where one gear is brass and one is steel or aluminum), but oil doesn't get into a non-sintered bushing.

    I'm not surprised that white lithium grease, hardware store grade, might seem to dry out. It's going to collect dirt rather than actually dry, and it's the dirt that's the real problem. (That's dirt as in dust, chalk, skin scrapings, and whatever else comes along.) Oils can glaze or varnish if they're inexpensive, just like gasoline can mess up a traditional carburetor. Good greases, like good oils, won't have a problem.

    And when we talk about how well a bar spins, that same issue of shear thinning means that spinning an unloaded or lightly loaded bar doesn't really say anything about how well the lubricant works in a personal record snatch. Loaded by plates and adding the acceleration of the actual lift, the grease is going to displace and flow just like oil. Scientific fact. But it does mean that one may not actually be achieving the best bar rotation if the bar can spin endlessly unloaded in the J-hooks. Cyclists for a few years tried to remove all the grease from the hubs of racing wheels and simply squirt in some oil. Tests showed there was more resistance, not to mention more damage to the bearings, with oil compared to grease.
    Last edited by matchsprint; 01-27-2017 at 06:44 PM.
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    I bought a barbell, But I don't use it properly
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    Useful for a beginner. Thanks!
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    Originally Posted by matchsprint View Post
    Just to add a couple points:

    Greases undergo what's called shear thinning. This means that while they are thick when standing, when pressure is applied they assume the viscosity and lubricity of the lubricants in the grease. In other words, a grease acts just like an oil when actually under load.

    Also, greases come in many formulations. They are basically an oil (or combination of oils) mixed with an emulsifying agent, typically a stearate (aka, a soap) in better greases. Emulsifiers can vary widely from cheap low-duty ones (often simple clay) in products like your hardware store white lithium grease up to high quality emulsifiers like graphite or mica, used for long-lived applications and specialty applications like aircraft jet engines. There are also synthetic greases which skip the emulsifying agent and use long-chain lubricants that are themselves capable of lubricating. Any of these can have long lifetimes and there's no reason why any of them should dry out. Decent greases can last for years in much more compromised environments than the innards of a barbell.

    Combining the shear thinning and the ability of the grease to stay in place (oil can settle within a sleeve or largely drip out from a bar if stored on end), the recommendation of people who specialize in lubricants would be to use a high quality grease.

    As far as lubricating bushings, oil-filled bushings are made from sintered metal and are cheap to make in custom configurations, but they are also not made for high load applications. Sintered bushings would shatter when exposed to heavy lifts or to bar drops. I'd love to hear one of the manufacturers comment on this, but the bushings in all the decent bars I've opened up are solid metal, not sintered. That means there is no oil-filling going on. And of course there's no oil-filling going on in bearing bars. The surface of brass and bronze (both are mostly copper with small alloys) is lubricating of its own nature (think about dissimilar helicoids where one gear is brass and one is steel or aluminum), but oil doesn't get into a non-sintered bushing.

    I'm not surprised that white lithium grease, hardware store grade, might seem to dry out. It's going to collect dirt rather than actually dry, and it's the dirt that's the real problem. (That's dirt as in dust, chalk, skin scrapings, and whatever else comes along.) Oils can glaze or varnish if they're inexpensive, just like gasoline can mess up a traditional carburetor. Good greases, like good oils, won't have a problem.

    And when we talk about how well a bar spins, that same issue of shear thinning means that spinning an unloaded or lightly loaded bar doesn't really say anything about how well the lubricant works in a personal record snatch. Loaded by plates and adding the acceleration of the actual lift, the grease is going to displace and flow just like oil. Scientific fact. But it does mean that one may not actually be achieving the best bar rotation if the bar can spin endlessly unloaded in the J-hooks. Cyclists for a few years tried to remove all the grease from the hubs of racing wheels and simply squirt in some oil. Tests showed there was more resistance, not to mention more damage to the bearings, with oil compared to grease.

    Damn good insight and thanks for the education. So what type of readily available (you can get online, Home Depot, Ace...) grease would you recommend for barbell applications assuming at least a couple of plates on each side?
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    Here are a couple short articles on greases and how to pick the grease you need.

    http://www.machinerylubrication.com/.../grease-basics

    http://www.machinerylubrication.com/...ease-selection

    But the decision goes a bit farther than this. For example, for a barbell you'd just as soon have a grease that isn't toxic, so when it gets on your hands and then into your mouth or eyes, you don't have a problem. So a food-grade lubricant is good. Similarly, get one that resists water to a high degree, since you may be using a bare steel or marginally-coated steel bar or sleeve. That means they keep water off the bar so you get less rusting, plus they last longer as a film on the steel. Remember that if your bar is in a garage or basement where it goes through cold and warm cycles, there's a lot of condensation going on, including under the sleeve, that you want to keep away from the steel.

    Here's the description for a high-performance food-grade grease I like to use in varsity and pro environments where you do have to consider the health grade as well as extremely use and abuse: "Super Lube Grease is a patented synthetic NLGI grade 2 heavy-duty, multipurpose lubricant with PTFE. Synthetic base fluids and the addition of PTFE micro powders combine to form a premium lubricant that provides longer life protection against friction, wear, rust and corrosion. Machinery lasts longer, downtime is reduced, and productivity is increased. Super Lube is compatible with most other lubricants and will not run, drip, evaporate or form gummy deposits, and will not melt or separate. Super Lube is Food Grade, rated H-1 by the USDA and NSF for incidental food contact. It is an excellent Dielectric and operates over a temperature range from -45 to 450 F." A 3 ounce tube costs $5 on Amazon at

    https://www.amazon.com/Super-Lube-21...er-lube+grease

    There are hundreds of others, but this one is reasonably priced and readily available.
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    What nylon brush do you recommend to clean the bar? My Ohio Power bar has picked up some UHM from my J-Cups
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  29. #59
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    Just go to Home Depot to the cleaning department and you'll find all kinds of plastic-bristled brushes by Quickie and other brands. Those are all candidates for general cleaning.

    The drawback is that they may not get to the bottom of the knurling or may not be able to dig in enough. If you've seen knurling that has a line of rust at the bottom of each knurling impression, that's what happens when you don't clean to the bottom of the knurling. My go-to brush for bars is a brass brush. These are made for all kinds of applications but are common in gunsmithing (and you can get them from Amazon as "brass gunsmithing brushes"). They are usually 4-6 cm long, about a centimeter wide, with a plastic handle. They're cheap. They will leave the finish alone but clean off the metal better than anything else. Be sure to get brass and not steel or other kinds of bristles. And you can also get brass wool, by the way, just like steel wool but ... brass. It's great for cleaning bars and removing early-stage rust without hurting the actual finish of the bar.
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    Originally Posted by matchsprint View Post
    Just go to Home Depot to the cleaning department and you'll find all kinds of plastic-bristled brushes by Quickie and other brands. Those are all candidates for general cleaning.

    The drawback is that they may not get to the bottom of the knurling or may not be able to dig in enough. If you've seen knurling that has a line of rust at the bottom of each knurling impression, that's what happens when you don't clean to the bottom of the knurling. My go-to brush for bars is a brass brush. These are made for all kinds of applications but are common in gunsmithing (and you can get them from Amazon as "brass gunsmithing brushes"). They are usually 4-6 cm long, about a centimeter wide, with a plastic handle. They're cheap. They will leave the finish alone but clean off the metal better than anything else. Be sure to get brass and not steel or other kinds of bristles. And you can also get brass wool, by the way, just like steel wool but ... brass. It's great for cleaning bars and removing early-stage rust without hurting the actual finish of the bar.
    Perfect, thanks!
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