First launched in 2012, the REP Fitness Excalibur bar has undergone a lot of modifications and improvements. The latest version now has a 28.5mm shaft, which is thicker and meant for powerlifting.
The original one was intended for Olympic lifting and had a 28mm shaft diameter. It also had a lot of whip but REP Fitness quickly realized that these features neither make it a fully Olympic lifting barbell nor something that is exclusively for powerlifting. So, it modified the Excalibur bar to make it work like a multipurpose bar. You can use the latest version for both Olympic as well as Powerlifting moves.
But, if you are totally into Olympic training, we wouldn’t recommend the Excalibur bar to you because it neither has the thickness nor the whip and spin that is needed in Olympic moves. You should go with the REP Fitness Gladiator bar instead, which we have featured in our list of best mid-range barbells. Or, maybe you can check out the Rogue Echo bar, which is also a dedicated Olympic barbell featuring IWF standard Olympic knurl marks.
The REP Fitness Excalibur bar, however, is a good choice for fitness enthusiasts like us who need something basic to keep themselves fit. The shaft thickness, whip, and spin; everything is OK for us because we aren’t training for competitions.
In this article, we will provide you with a detailed review of the Excalibur bar from REP Fitness. We will also share a brief comparison between it and other similar products, so you can decide which is the most suitable option for you.
Quick Review Summary
The recent version of the REP Fitness Excalibur bar features a 28.5mm shaft with dual knurl marks. It doesn’t come with central knurling but you most likely won’t miss this feature because the shaft anyways has a grippy Chrome finish.
As expected from a barbell in this price range, the whip and spin are just average. If you are into powerlifting moves this shouldn’t be a problem but if you are more into Olympic lifting, you might want to buy the Gladiator barbell from REP Fitness. Being a well-built barbell, the REP Fitness Excalibur bar can be used by almost anyone.
- Comes with dual knurl marks for powerlifting as well as Olympic lifting
- Has minimum amount of whip which helps provide added stability during powerlifting moves
- Women’s Olympic barbell weighing 15kg is also available
- Lifetime warranty on the stainless steel bar
- Not everyone would like its aggressive knurl marks
- The spin could have been better
We are giving this a rating of 4.5 out of 5.0.
Now on to our full review.
Features and specifications of the REP Fitness Excalibur Barbell
- Available in 20kg and 15 kg weight. The lighter one is meant for women.
- Available in steel alloy with hard chrome finish as well as stainless steel coating. If you are training in hot and humid conditions, we would recommend the stainless steel bar because it is rust-proof.
- Total length- 86.6” for the 20kg one and 79.1” for the 15 kg one
- Shaft diameter- 28.5mm and 25mm respectively
- Has a tensile strength of 190000 PSI
- Has a weight-bearing capacity of 1500lbs
- Features a unique combination of bearing and bushing sleeves
- Has dual knurl marks
- The sleeves feature a ribbed pattern finishing, which helps prevent the plates from rattling. However, we strongly recommend that you should use barbell collars to keep the plates secured on the sleeves during your training.
- The REP Fitness Excalibur stainless steel barbell comes with limited lifetime warranty whereas the chrome coated ones are covered for 5 years.
The knurling is much more aggressive than the Ohio bar
Knurling is one of the most important features that you should consider while buying a barbell. And, knurl marks are very subjective. Some people like passive knurling, something that you won’t even feel while using the barbell. Many others love deep, aggressive knurling that digs deep into your hands.
Finding a balance between the two has been a major challenge ever since the barbell was invented. Not many manufacturers have been able to come up with a design that caters to the preferences of most people. Rogue Pyrros bar, one of the best high-end barbells, is probably one of the few products that have been successful in this area.
But, we don’t really want to spend $500+ on a barbell. This is why we do have to struggle a bit to find a bar that provides the type of knurling that we love.
Personally, we found Excalibur’s knurling to be a bit aggressive but, if you are training heavy, you would anyways need that. Look at the above image. The diamond-shaped marks look deep and intense. Now, look at the image below. It shows the knurl marks of the Rogue Ohio 2.0S bar that we recently reviewed. We hope you can figure out how much different they are in terms of depth and aggressiveness.
REP Fitness Excalibur bar doesn’t come with central knurling
That’s something that could possibly be a deal-breaker but many economy range bars these days do not have knurl marks at the center. If you are a squat lover, you might want to go with the Titan Fitness regular multipurpose barbell.
Talking about our first-hand experience, we have been using it for a couple of weeks now and we never ever felt that the bar could slide off the neck, causing disbalance or injury. In fact, we never felt the need for central knurling but, if we have to suggest one improvement to REP Fitness, we would ask it to add them.
The spin of the barbell is just average
Honestly, we had expected a better spin but it works fine.
The main reason why the spin isn’t that great is because the REP Fitness Excalibur bab uses bronze bushings, which are the cheapest types and often used in economy barbells. The manufacturer claims that the sleeve rotation is a combination of bearings and bushing but, even then, the spin is not as smooth as we had expected.
The mid-priced ones such as the Rogue Ohio use composite bushings, which provide a smoother performance than the conventional bronze bushings. Some mid-priced products even use needle bearings, which are the smoothest of all.
Wondering if the spin of a barbell really matters?
Yes, it does. If you are a beginner or a casual trainer, you might not feel the impact of the jerky movement of a loaded barbell. But, if you are training with a decent amount of weight, the rough movement can put a significant amount of strain on your wrists, knees, back, etc.
So, if you are lifting above 350lbs, we would suggest you go with a better quality barbell.
We aren’t a team of bodybuilders. We are fitness enthusiasts like you who want to look great and stay in shape from the comfort of our home. So, the Excalibur bar works fine for us.
REP Excalibur Barbell is rather stiff
This is a good thing unless you need a bar for Olympic-style weight training.
The more the whip, the easier it is for an Olympic lifter to perform some moves such as clean and jerk. But, if you want to use the same barbell for squats, you could end up losing your balance. Stiffer barbells are better for most of the exercises we do at our home gym to keep ourselves in shape.
We are giving this a rating of 4.5 out of 5.0.
REP Fitness Excalibur bar has its own flaws but it is still a fantastic piece of equipment for home gym owners like us who need a good-quality barbell for practicing standard weight training exercises that help lose excess fat and build muscles.
If you are looking for a good quality power rack or squat cage so you can train safely and comfortably, we suggest you go through some of the top-rated products that we have reviewed such as The Ultimate Rep Fitness PR-1100 Squat Rack, TDS Power Rack, Fitness Reality 810XLT Power Rack, Sunny Health & Fitness SF-XF9931 Squat Cage, and Titan T-2 Series Power Rack. For small homes, we recommend squat stands that are not connected structures like squat racks, and can be stored in a corner of a room when not in use.
We hope this blog helps you make the right buying decision for your home gym. If you have any query, do get in touch with us.