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  1. #1
    Registered User hockeyplayer45's Avatar
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    Powerblock Question

    For the experienced Powerblock users....if you have to choose between the Elite or Urethane series, which is the better choice?

    On Powerblock's website, it shows the Elite series as "Made in USA" while their is no country of origin listed for the Urethane series.

    These will see home gym use only.
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    Originally Posted by hockeyplayer45 View Post
    For the experienced Powerblock users....if you have to choose between the Elite or Urethane series, which is the better choice?

    On Powerblock's website, it shows the Elite series as "Made in USA" while their is no country of origin listed for the Urethane series.

    These will see home gym use only.
    I have the Elite but if I could go back in time I'd get the Urethane. I chose the Elite because I didn't want a contoured handle but the Uretahes are more durable and fit better (the elites get scrapping between the plates and the plates can bend - not likely if you don't abuse them but it can happen). If I find a good deal on used Urethanes I may buy them and sell my elites. The only bummer is that the warranty doesn't carry over and PB was good to work with when one of my plates got bent - they sent a replcament no questions asked.

    What happened was two plates stuck together, I set it for 70 but got 80, the 80 fell off and bent a little.
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    temporary illusion supramax's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by hockeyplayer45 View Post
    For the experienced Powerblock users....if you have to choose between the Elite or Urethane series, which is the better choice?

    On Powerblock's website, it shows the Elite series as "Made in USA" while their is no country of origin listed for the Urethane series.

    These will see home gym use only.
    The others are made in China. PowerBlock has top notch quality control, though. I've been checking out PBs since the early 90s', but I didn't like them for various reasons until the Sport EXPs' came out. My major dislike for the Urethane model was the restrictive closed handle design. So, I wouldn't choose either the Elite or Urethane series. Also, there's a new 'PRO SERIES' that has a hand space opening like the Sport EXPs, but with the same construction as the Urethane model. I have the Sport EXPs and I love them. I prefer a weld for lateral connections rather than a screw.

    PB site: http://powerblock.com/index.php
    It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.

    It's easy to not be afraid of tigers when you're sitting in your living room watching a television program about tigers. When you're in the jungle where the tigers are, it's quite a different story.
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    Registered User boxer_for_life's Avatar
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    I upgraded to urethane 5-125's from 5-50 Classic Personal Trainer's which are not expandable like the Elite's are. I upgraded for two reasons:

    -I outgrew the 5-50's
    -Coating durability

    While looking for my first set I found a few sets with chipped coating and rust buildup. I only had the 5-50's for a few months and took extra care to not chip any of the powdercoat during use and storage. It's great not having to worry about banging the urethane set around during workouts and while reracking them.

    The handles for the urethane set have 'Made in China' stickers.
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    Originally Posted by boxer_for_life View Post
    I upgraded to urethane 5-125's from 5-50 Classic Personal Trainer's which are not expandable like the Elite's are. I upgraded for two reasons:

    -I outgrew the 5-50's
    -Coating durability

    While looking for my first set I found a few sets with chipped coating and rust buildup. I only had the 5-50's for a few months and took extra care to not chip any of the powdercoat during use and storage. It's great not having to worry about banging the urethane set around during workouts and while reracking them.

    The handles for the urethane set have 'Made in China' stickers.
    I opted for loadable kettlebell handles for anything over 90lbs. The PowerBlock weight jumps are crazy after 90lbs.

    I've had these guys up to 175 each: and I can choose any increments I want.
    It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.

    It's easy to not be afraid of tigers when you're sitting in your living room watching a television program about tigers. When you're in the jungle where the tigers are, it's quite a different story.
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    I had the Urethane XXL set, that I think are no longer available, and I've had 2 sets of elites. I believe the handles are exactly the same for my XXL's as those on the current urethane series. I hated, hated the contour handle. I have smaller hands, so it became difficult to use them for heavy pulling movements. For instance, on the elites, I can do one arm rows, 90lb x10, no problem. With the contour grips, I could only do 6 or 7 before my hand would start slipping off the handle.
    Last edited by Paulie_G; 10-29-2018 at 10:15 AM.
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    barbell junkie thejosef's Avatar
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    I've got a set of urethane U-90s. They are excellent. Quiet, nice handle, well made, durable, compact enough, & nice warranty. Only thing that would make them better is if they were made in the U.S.A. Oh well.

    Initially, I did not like the contoured handle, but I actually grew to really like it as it centers very nicely in the hand.
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    ^Same regarding the handle preference. I had a 70lb and a 80lb pair of Cemco pro-style rubber dumbbells that I've since sold to fund other equipment purchases and I feel the urethane PB's are more stable during pressing.
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    Has Powerblock done away with the 'Urethane' series and replaced it with the Pro EXP? U90's were the nicest made PB's I have used, second best were the Pro Rexan (currently own), and the Elite's/Sport bring up the rear as my least favorite from Powerblock up to 90lbs.
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    Registered User ampire's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by supramax View Post
    I opted for loadable kettlebell handles for anything over 90lbs. The PowerBlock weight jumps are crazy after 90lbs.

    I've had these guys up to 175 each: and I can choose any increments I want.
    Are you using those 175 monsters for presses? What is the brand? I have a lot of pancake plates sitting right now that need a purpose.
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    Originally Posted by ampire View Post
    Are you using those 175 monsters for presses? What is the brand? I have a lot of pancake plates sitting right now that need a purpose.
    Presses? No ****ing way!
    These are the ones I use, but there are many different kinds.
    https://www.fitnessdepot.ca/J11QMO30...l#.W9iWQ5NRdzU
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    Originally Posted by urbanlifter View Post
    Has Powerblock done away with the 'Urethane' series and replaced it with the Pro EXP? U90's were the nicest made PB's I have used, second best were the Pro Rexan (currently own), and the Elite's/Sport bring up the rear as my least favorite from Powerblock up to 90lbs.
    Ugh. It sure looks like it. I might need to call them and buy the expansion kits soon before they go away forever.
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    Thanks for the replies so far.

    In terms of used market, what general price range would make these a good buy?

    Powerblock lists the U90 (5-90 lbs) at $657 + $89 shipping = $746 new
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    Originally Posted by urbanlifter View Post
    Has Powerblock done away with the 'Urethane' series and replaced it with the Pro EXP? U90's were the nicest made PB's I have used, second best were the Pro Rexan (currently own), and the Elite's/Sport bring up the rear as my least favorite from Powerblock up to 90lbs.
    The 'Urethane' urethanes have been replaced, yes. The new ones seem to be the best of both worlds, because the EXPs' (which I assume you've never handled), have superior balance to all the other models.
    It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.

    It's easy to not be afraid of tigers when you're sitting in your living room watching a television program about tigers. When you're in the jungle where the tigers are, it's quite a different story.
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    Originally Posted by hockeyplayer45 View Post
    Thanks for the replies so far.

    In terms of used market, what general price range would make these a good buy?

    Powerblock lists the U90 at $657 + $89 shipping = $746 new
    Plus tax.
    Canadas' Fitness Depot (considering exchange rate) has the best prices in North America.
    https://www.fitnessdepot.ca/J11QMO30...nufacturer=363

    I've had three deals on used ones fall through, so I bought new.
    It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.

    It's easy to not be afraid of tigers when you're sitting in your living room watching a television program about tigers. When you're in the jungle where the tigers are, it's quite a different story.
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    Originally Posted by hockeyplayer45 View Post
    Thanks for the replies so far.

    In terms of used market, what general price range would make these a good buy?

    Powerblock lists the U90 (5-90 lbs) at $657 + $89 shipping = $746 new
    I'm in Southern California. Not sure about your market but I found my urethane 5-125lb set for $450, without a stand unfortunately.

    A couple of days ago I saw a craigslist listing where a fitness store was clearing out their floor models. Their prices seemed reasonable.. $500 for a U90 set with stand IIRC.

    edit: just checked and someone listed their U90 set with the commercial stand for $450. Sort of regretting my purchase here lol
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    Originally Posted by supramax View Post
    have superior balance to all the other models.
    We know, you have banana hands and the EXP's don't have front columns obstructing your grip. But better balance? Did they move the handle or something, most of the ones I have used had the handles in the center of the weight.

    Edit: BTW, yes I have handled (but not owned) the EXP's.
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    Originally Posted by urbanlifter View Post
    We know, you have banana hands and the EXP's don't have front columns obstructing your grip. But better balance? Did they move the handle or something, most of the ones I have used had the handles in the center of the weight.

    Edit: BTW, yes I have handled (but not owned) the EXP's.
    My fingers don't at all look like bananas! Many ladies have actually commented that I have beautiful hands.
    The EXPs are streamlined rocket ships compared to the bread-boxlike Urethane model and they are better balanced because of that fact.
    It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.

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    Originally Posted by supramax View Post
    My fingers don't at all look like bananas! Many ladies have actually commented that I have beautiful hands.
    The EXPs are streamlined rocket ships compared to the bread-boxlike Urethane model and they are better balanced because of that fact.
    Gotcha, so it's not really a matter of being able to 'Balance' them in hand, as opposed to just having a slimmer profile. The Classic 'The Block' was the same way compared to the Urethane series, that was another one of my all-time favorites for light arm/shoulder work. The tradeoff with the urethane design is the Flex technology, tight fitting plates, and low noise during use. That's probably the only thing I dislike about my Pro-Rexan set, the plates themselves are some of the nicest Powerblock ever made but the metal/metal contact and jiggle is sometimes annoying.
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    Originally Posted by urbanlifter View Post
    That's probably the only thing I dislike about my Pro-Rexan set, the plates themselves are some of the nicest Powerblock ever made but the metal/metal contact and jiggle is sometimes annoying.
    If you are training hard...you don't hear anything!
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    Originally Posted by C123C View Post
    If you are training hard...you don't hear anything!
    Well, you hear it, but it's not a distraction.
    It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.

    It's easy to not be afraid of tigers when you're sitting in your living room watching a television program about tigers. When you're in the jungle where the tigers are, it's quite a different story.
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    temporary illusion supramax's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by urbanlifter View Post
    Gotcha, so it's not really a matter of being able to 'Balance' them in hand, as opposed to just having a slimmer profile. The Classic 'The Block' was the same way compared to the Urethane series, that was another one of my all-time favorites for light arm/shoulder work. The tradeoff with the urethane design is the Flex technology, tight fitting plates, and low noise during use. That's probably the only thing I dislike about my Pro-Rexan set, the plates themselves are some of the nicest Powerblock ever made but the metal/metal contact and jiggle is sometimes annoying.
    A crude example would be controlling a dumbbell with one hand as opposed to controlling a barbell with one hand.
    It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.

    It's easy to not be afraid of tigers when you're sitting in your living room watching a television program about tigers. When you're in the jungle where the tigers are, it's quite a different story.
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    Originally Posted by supramax View Post
    A crude example would be controlling a dumbbell with one hand as opposed to controlling a barbell with one hand.
    A bit of a stretch there, but I understand what you are trying to say. I just looked at the Sport EXP dimensions and they are almost the exact same as my Pro-Rexan set (6.5x6.5x16), so they should feel nearly identical during use. When comparing the new Pro EXP (Urethane) they are only about 1/2"-3/4" wider/taller and 1" longer for the 90lb set. For that size difference I would still personally opt for the urethane coated design of the Pro EXP, I haven't noticed a significant functional difference between my Pro-Rexan and the U90's and those were apparently the same size as the new Pro EXP. Either way I like where Powerblock is going with their DB's, murdering them out with darker color combo's is more appealing to me as a consumer.
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    Lifting Vicariously Domicron's Avatar
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    For me i think the Powerblocks are the perfect example of function over form. they don't look great, but quickly you realize that doesn't really matter for most exercises (not ideal for goblet squats), the weight interval increases are kind of wonky, but you realize that for most of us that doesn't really matter.

    I don't know people who wouldn't rather have a full dumbbell set (and the space for it) but these are a great alternative.

    Originally Posted by thejosef View Post
    i love my u-90's. I have heard that the weight jumps after 90 are kind of a PITA, and microloading isn't ideal with the powerblocks (though not that terrible either).
    on paper it looks weird, but i'm curious for how many people it's actually a game breaker. i think these are perfect for accessory work for those who use a barbell for primary lifts.

    Originally Posted by hockeyplayer45 View Post
    Thanks for the replies so far.

    In terms of used market, what general price range would make these a good buy?

    Powerblock lists the U90 (5-90 lbs) at $657 + $89 shipping = $746 new
    i think if you could get a set in great condition for $500 that would be fair, anything else would be a great deal. they age well and they're supported by the company even after being resold. it obviously depends on your market.
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    There was a set of Pro Rexans locally with no adder weights for $225. No stand. Adders are like $40 shipped.

    I paid $250 for my Pro Rexan 5-85 (87.5lb says a scale) with adders and stand.

    I'd love to find the Elite 90 somewhere besides new. Love my Powerblock dumbbells!!!
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    Originally Posted by urbanlifter View Post
    A bit of a stretch there, but I understand what you are trying to say. I just looked at the Sport EXP dimensions and they are almost the exact same as my Pro-Rexan set (6.5x6.5x16), so they should feel nearly identical during use. When comparing the new Pro EXP (Urethane) they are only about 1/2"-3/4" wider/taller and 1" longer for the 90lb set. For that size difference I would still personally opt for the urethane coated design of the Pro EXP, I haven't noticed a significant functional difference between my Pro-Rexan and the U90's and those were apparently the same size as the new Pro EXP. Either way I like where Powerblock is going with their DB's, murdering them out with darker color combo's is more appealing to me as a consumer.
    It's not that size doesn't matter, but the streamlining has more to it than just outside dimensions.

    Like you once said, though; you can't go wrong with any of the PowerBlock models.
    It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.

    It's easy to not be afraid of tigers when you're sitting in your living room watching a television program about tigers. When you're in the jungle where the tigers are, it's quite a different story.
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    Has anyone done a comparison between the U-90 and Pro EXP? What are the differences? Looks like they're the same size-wise. Did they change anything other than aesthetics?
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    Big fan of my U90s. I've owned them for years, and my only complaint is the somewhat closed in handle. As previously mentioned, goblet squats with them are meh. It's workable but not great
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    I love the U90 club set no adder weights makes it super fast just swapping handles.
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