Bumper plates are highly recommended products for home gyms because they do not create a lot of noise, unlike metal ones. They are coated with rubber, which helps minimize the impact they have on the floor. Also, bumper plates create the least possible vibration, which makes them an excellent option if you have your home gym upstairs or in any spare room of your house.
Quick Review Video
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Quick Review Summary
These are high-quality plates with anchored steel inserts. The inserts are designed to enhance the durability of the plates even when you drop them regularly. No major issues found. Highly recommended for home gyms.
- Have a very low bounce, which is known as dead bounce. This helps keep your barbell safe.
- Designed as per IWF standards.
- Rust and corrosion-resistant
- True to their weight
- No major issues found.
Now on to our full review.
In this article, we will be reviewing the Fringe Sport Black Bumper Plates. We have used them for 5 years before writing this review, which means we are going to share our first-hand experience with you. These are the black bumper plates but Fringe Sports manufactures a few other types such as the color-coded bumper plates and savage bumper plates.
OneFitWonder is now Fringe Sport
As you can see in our Fringe Sport black bumper plates review video above, the company used to be called OneFitWonder and it still sells some of its products on Amazon under its original brand name. Check out these OneFitWonder bumper plates on Amazon for example. They are the same plates that we have.
Features and specifications of Fringe Sport bumper plates
- Sold in pairs and sets of 10lbs, 15lbs, 25lbs, 35lbs, 45lbs, and 55lbs.
- Made of virgin rubber
- Available as color-coded and plain black plates. No matter which one you choose, the only difference is the color coating.
- Weight accuracy- the manufacturer claims that their plates are close to +/- 1% of their stated weight. If the variation is more than that, Fringe Sport will exchange them with the correct ones for free.
- The plates have a shore rating of 85-90 sHA. Shore rating represents the hardness i.e. the toughness of rubber. It is measured on a scale of 1 to 100 and the higher the rating, the harder the material is. This means the Fringe Sport bumper plates are made of highly durable, tough virgin rubber.
Image Source: Smooth-on
- Each plate has 2” anchored stainless steel inserts. We have discussed more about it below.
- Warranty- 3 years standard warranty on 25lbs to 55lbs plates. 1 year warranty on 10 and 15lbs plates.
They are made of virgin rubber
Virgin rubber is new rubber; nothing fancy about it.
Some time ago, bumper plates were made of crumb rubber i.e. recycled rubber, the same stuff that is used to make horse stall mats and numerous other rubber products around us.
Crumbed or recycled rubber plates used to stink. Plus, they tend to chip when dropped. They used to be cheaper though. You can still buy them but we would recommend virgin rubber plates like these Fringe Sports ones.
The three main reasons why we recommend them are:
- They do not stink as much as recycled rubber products like the horse stall mats do. Even if they do, just air them out for a day and they should be good.
- They are more durable than crumbed rubber plates. We have been using our set for 5 years now and they are still in pretty good condition even though we had left them outdoors for almost a year.
- They have a better finish and texture than recycled rubber plates.
Fringe Sport bumper plates have a very low bounce
That's because they are quite tough and dense. As mentioned above, they have a shore rating of 85-90 sHA.
For reference, a soft rubber ball usually has a shore rating of 5-10 and that's why it bounces too high. Crumbed rubber plates have a shore rating of 70 and that makes them bouncy enough to damage your barbell and barbell collars.
Fringe sports black bumper plates have minimum possible bounce, which is also known as dead bounce. These plates will land on your gym floor hard and in one go. This helps maximize the life of your barbell.
Fringe Sports bumper plates adhere to IWF specifications
From the overall width to center diameter and collar opening, etc. everything is as per IWF standards. If you need training plates, these are for you. If you need competition plates, you can still use these ones or buy the competition-specific bumper plates sold by the same manufacturer.
Since these plates are made as per IWF specs, they are compatible with IWF-specified barbells. Not really a big deal for home trainers but IWF adherence means it is designed for athletes, so you can trust them for their durability.
The plates have anchored/hooked steel inserts
The steel inserts help the plates slide on the barbell. Plus, they also help retain the shape of the plates.
As you can see in the image above, most bumper plates have basic circular steel inserts around the center. These inserts tend to become loose with use, causing ‘insert separation’.
See the image below. The loose insert has started to come out of the bumper plates. If you continue using them that way, the inserts might just pop out, making the plates useless.
This is how a good bumper plate with a properly positioned insert looks:
Image source: Two Rep Cave
Some manufacturers such as Fringe Sports have started using hooked inserts (also called anchored inserts) instead of the standard circular ones. Hooked inserts have a textured surface. Plus, they have hooks around which the rubber is molded, a design that does not let the inserts move around and loosen up when the plates are dropped. This helps enhance the durability of the bumper plates.
You can read Fringe Sports’ blog for more details.
We have used the Fringe Sports black bumper plates for 5 years now and we haven’t experienced insert separation so far. The plates are still in pretty good condition. That could also be because we haven’t been pretty abusive with them. But, even if you use them roughly, you can still expect the Fringe Sports bumper plates to last much beyond their warranty period.
Since they are made of virgin rubber, Fringe Sports bumper plates are slightly slippery
That’s a common issue with almost all virgin rubber weight plates. Thankfully, they are all corrosion-resistant. So you can wash them with water and soap a few times until their greasiness goes away.
You might have to air them out for a few days
Again, that's a common issue with all rubber products, including your yoga mat. The smell will go away after washing. But, you may leave them outside so they get off-gassed faster.
We are giving this a rating of 5.0 out of 5.0.
We are not the only ones who are 100% satisfied with the Fringe Sports bumper plates. More than 90% of the buyers have rated it 4-stars and above! They certainly deserve to be in the number one position in our list of best bumper plates for home gyms.
Looking for barbell collars to keep the plates secured on the bar? Check out our list of best barbell collars for reliable recommendations. If budget is not really an issue, you can check out Top Souls Quick Release Barbell Collars because they are made of steel with ABS coating and they are pretty easy to lock and unlock.
You might also want to check out our list of Best Fractional Weight Plates that you can use to slowly, gradually, and safely intensify your weight training workouts.
Keep reading our website for more such helpful information and reliable product recommendations.