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  1. #1
    Registered User VTLifts's Avatar
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    Anyone have thoughts/experience with Ivanko SDH-U adjustable dumbbell?

    I'm currently using some old 1" spinlock adjustable dumbbells. I wrapped some hockey tap around the grip to thicken it and eliminate the awful aggressive knurling.

    The DBs work fine and I like the security of the spinlock, but it is a bit time consuming to change weights/ I don't do rapid sets requiring quick change, but it'd be nice to go say 50-->60-->70 without too much issue.

    Plus sometimes when I tighten the star collars too much I have to use random gym pieces to hit the star collars to loosen them.

    I don't have the budget for powerblocks/ironmasters.

    So i'm wondering whether the Ivanko SDH-U could be a happy solution. ivankobarbell.com/products/sdhu/

    The site claims grip is 27mm, which is hopefully more comfortable than my current 25mm (before tape), though I'd prefer closer to 30mm. Not sure why this handle is skinnier than all the other SDH pro-style handles that Ivanko makes. Can anyone confirm this is the case?

    But more importantly than the slight improvement in handle and overall quality, I'm hoping the CL 1/4 compression sleeves dramatically improve the changing of weights while providing no risk of slippage.

    Any feedback on the Ivanko SDH-U is welcome.
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  2. #2
    Registered User radrd's Avatar
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    Probably work fine, but likely a little overpriced. Found this through some quick googling:

    https://www.fitnessfactory.com/item/...mbbell_handle/

    That's for a single handle and you'd need to add collars, but you can probably come in less than Ivanko.
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  3. #3
    Registered User VTLifts's Avatar
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    I agree they're a little expensive, so i'm hoping to buy used. But not exactly a common item.

    Appreciate the link. Worth considering, though hoping to get a little thicker handle to avoid wrapping in tape.
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  4. #4
    Registered User radrd's Avatar
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    4" loading area isn't a lot, especially with the thick Ivanko collars.
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    Registered User ampire's Avatar
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    You can buy similar handles without collars from Cap brand for $5 each on Walmart's website (part SDA-14), you would need two, $10.

    For collars, 1" single split shaft collars (1SC-100) are about $10 for 4 off eBay, and a Bondhus 15210 3/16" hex allen T handle for fast on off is about $8. Shaft collars clamp extremely tight, they only take up 1/2" length on the bar, they don't mar the bar, and they come off pretty fast, but the problem with them is the tiny socket head screws (1/4-28 x 3/16") eventually round out, especially if you are sloppy with the t handle, when that starts to happen you can order some replacements, and you'd want to have a T handle lying around so you can pop em on and off fast.

    14" handles won't give you too much space for plates, you'd have only 4" loading area as radrd mentions, and the shaft collars take up 1/2" per side.

    You can use longer SDH handles (SDH7+) and ignore the bolt on the end, might need a double split shaft collar 2SC-100.
    Last edited by ampire; 12-05-2019 at 09:31 AM.
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  6. #6
    Registered User VTLifts's Avatar
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    VTLifts is offline
    Originally Posted by ampire View Post
    You can buy similar handles without collars from Cap brand for $5 each on Walmart's website (part SDA-14), you would need two, $10.

    For collars, 1" single split shaft collars (1SC-100) are about $10 for 4 off eBay, and a Bondhus 15210 3/16" hex allen T handle for fast on off is about $8. Shaft collars clamp extremely tight, they only take up 1/2" length on the bar, they don't mar the bar, and they come off pretty fast, but the problem with them is the tiny socket head screws (1/4-28 x 3/16") eventually round out, especially if you are sloppy with the t handle, when that starts to happen you can order some replacements, and you'd want to have a T handle lying around so you can pop em on and off fast.

    14" handles won't give you too much space for plates, you'd have only 4" loading area as radrd mentions, and the shaft collars take up 1/2" per side.

    You can use longer SDH handles (SDH7+) and ignore the bolt on the end, might need a double split shaft collar 2SC-100.
    Really interesting idea. Have you used these shaft collars personally with heavy weights and never had issue? I've contemplated whether using a longer SDH handle and just forgoing the cap might be a good solution. Have you also done that?
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  7. #7
    Registered User ampire's Avatar
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    ampire is offline
    Originally Posted by VTLifts View Post
    Really interesting idea. Have you used these shaft collars personally with heavy weights and never had issue? I've contemplated whether using a longer SDH handle and just forgoing the cap might be a good solution. Have you also done that?
    Yep, it does work and reasonably well as far as staying tight, the change time is about the same as spinlocks, maybe faster maybe slower, it does stay tight though unlike spinlocks. If you rush it you might round the hex screw head. What is nice though is when its tight its tight, not gonna budge. I was able to stand on a plate to test it and it didn't slip or budge. Unlike spinlocks, you won't have to twist the weight stacks every set to retighten it.

    With SDH the diameter is possibly larger than 1". You may be able to stretch the 1" collar by putting a screw driver in the slot and bending it open a bit or go 1 1-16" (maybe too loose?) or use double split shaft which works on irregular shafts and oversized shafts but it can increase the nuisance. Or you could try the plastic lock jaw type, they take up more space on the loading bar and also don't get very tight. Or try the Ivanko style collar http://www.ivankobarbell.com/products/regcollars/

    Its worth noting the little set screw can get worn out after awhile especially if you use a cheap allen wrench. I recommend a quality T handle, looking at it now I use a Bondhus 13310. It would suck if the screw head rounded out, might be hard to remove them, maybe a big hammer or cut a slot and use a screw driver, not really looking to find out. You can buy a bag of little screws and replace periodically.

    I also made three pairs out of 1" cold rolled steel rod and knurled tube over it, the steel rod is fairly cheap at metalsupermarkets which has a distributor about 20 mins from my house, and I used two collars as inner collars.

    Another possibility is the ones sold by Sherman/Shermworks, those are similar to the ones I made.

    I have acquired a bunch of different handles, CFF 38mm SDH 1-5 handles, 1" steel rod with knurled tube, the smooth cap 14" style, spinlocks etc.

    If I did over again, I probably should have just gotten Ironmasters but I enjoy the variety I guess. I also got a lot of these 1" prostyle pancake plates for 25 to 50 cents a pound. I mostly just leave a lot of the dumbbells assembled with weight on them instead and progress more by increasing reps. For the SDH handles I pretty much have been just using the bolts and end caps as they are intended and rarely change the weights on them, instead I just progress with more reps.

    edit: pictures
    The CFF 38mm SDH-5 looking slightly oversize, maybe 1" single split collar and use a flat head screwdriver to widen it a bit and then hammer on. or a 1 1/16" single split collar but that might be too loose



    assembled sdh-4 70 lb vs homemade 12" dumbbell handle 58 lbs, this is the knurled tube over 1" steel.

    disassembled one end of the homemade 12", took about a second to take the plates off, to reassemble you want to put it on its end and push the collar down maybe with a change plate or another collar so it sits real tight and then tighten it. I have a rubber washer on the inner collar handle it really helps cut down on rattle, if I was doing it with an SDH handle I'd definitely put the same washer on it. Its a Danco 60094Z Union Washer Size 3/4" oversize 1 1/2 O.D. x 1" I.D.


    Like anything not powerblock, its a hassle to change plates, really not many ways around this other than having a bunch of handles, pursuing a repetition focused progression scheme rather than poundage progression, or using platemates.
    Last edited by ampire; 12-07-2019 at 09:46 AM.
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  8. #8
    Registered User NoobMulder's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by VTLifts View Post
    I'm currently using some old 1" spinlock adjustable dumbbells. I wrapped some hockey tap around the grip to thicken it and eliminate the awful aggressive knurling.

    The DBs work fine and I like the security of the spinlock, but it is a bit time consuming to change weights/ I don't do rapid sets requiring quick change, but it'd be nice to go say 50-->60-->70 without too much issue.

    Plus sometimes when I tighten the star collars too much I have to use random gym pieces to hit the star collars to loosen them.

    I don't have the budget for powerblocks/ironmasters.

    So i'm wondering whether the Ivanko SDH-U could be a happy solution. ivankobarbell.com/products/sdhu/

    The site claims grip is 27mm, which is hopefully more comfortable than my current 25mm (before tape), though I'd prefer closer to 30mm. Not sure why this handle is skinnier than all the other SDH pro-style handles that Ivanko makes. Can anyone confirm this is the case?

    But more importantly than the slight improvement in handle and overall quality, I'm hoping the CL 1/4 compression sleeves dramatically improve the changing of weights while providing no risk of slippage.

    Any feedback on the Ivanko SDH-U is welcome.
    I bought these at a thrift store for like $5 in new looking condition.
    They sit in a pile of other dumbell handles I dont use.
    I have waited all these years to talk about these Ivanko dumbells
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  9. #9
    Registered User VTLifts's Avatar
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    VTLifts is offline
    Originally Posted by NoobMulder View Post
    I bought these at a thrift store for like $5 in new looking condition.
    They sit in a pile of other dumbell handles I dont use.
    I have waited all these years to talk about these Ivanko dumbells
    Why don't you use them? What don't you like about them?

    Separately, after all of the feedback, I think i'm just going to stick with my old spinlocks until I can save up for powerblocks. And like ampire suggested, I think I'll focus my progression on a constant weight, but adding reps until I can move up in weight and then repeat.
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