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REP Fitness has been making a name for themselves for some time now. But when the home gym equipment company launched a new line of barbells in the summer of 2023, we were excited to see how they improved upon their predecessors.
After training with the Double Black Diamond Power Bar for several weeks, we can honestly say that it’s one of our favorite powerlifting barbells. We completed dozens of squats, bench presses, and deadlifts with it and even used it for lifts like overhead presses. In this REP Fitness Double Black Diamond Power Bar review, we’ll share our experiences and break down the cost, construction, knurling, and other details of this premium powerlifting barbell.
The Double Black Diamond Barbell retails for around $329.99 to around $449.99.
As this is a power bar, it features aggressive mountain-style knurling to help you get a secure grip for deadlifts.
The barbell is available in three options: a Cerakote shaft with Duracout sleeves, a stainless steel shaft with hard chrome sleeves, or a stainless steel shaft with stainless steel sleeves.
The Cerakote version of the barbell can be ideal for home gym owners who train in non-temperature-controlled basement or garage gyms. The coating can help prevent rust and corrosion from developing quickly.
The Double Black Diamond Power Bar comes with a limited lifetime warranty. You can rest assured that REP stands behind the bar’s quality and will rectify any issues that may arise. (For the record, though, we don’t think that’s likely.)
This Olympic barbell has a high tensile strength of 200,000 PSI. Even for the most elite powerlifters, it should be able to handle any weight you load on it.
The Double Black Diamond bar is a power bar with aggressive knurling and is not meant for dynamic lifts like snatches and power cleans. CrossFitters, Olympic weightlifters, and functional fitness athletes should consider a multi-purpose barbell instead.
All of REP’s barbells are made overseas, so lifters who prefer to buy American-made products may want to look at other brands.
The price of the Double Black Diamond Barbell is reasonable for the quality you get. But for athletes on a tight budget, a more affordable power bar like the Bells of Steel Powerlifting Bar 2.0 may be a better option.
Price$329.99 to $449.99Weight20 kilograms (44 pounds)Tensile strength200,000 PSIWeight capacity1,500 poundsLoadable sleeve length16.3 inchesShaft diameter29 millimetersKnurlingAggressive deep mountain knurling; IPF knurl ringsCoatingCerakote or stainless steel shaft; Duracoat, hard chrome, or stainless steel sleevesRotation systemBronze bushingsWarrantyLifetime warranty on the material, functionality, and workmanship
Our expert product testers, who include certified personal trainers, strength and conditioning coaches, CrossFitters, and competitive powerlifters, have tested over 80 barbells. After training with them for everything from squats to bench presses to CrossFit Workouts of the Day (WODs), we used a proprietary scorecard system to rank them. Categories that we scored the barbells on include price, tensile strength, knurling, and durability.
Here’s how the REP Double Black Diamond Power Bar scored.
FactorRating (out of 5)Price and Value4.5Delivery5Construction, Materials, and Coating4Knurling4.5Tensile Strength4.5Rotation System4Versatility3Durability5
The Double Black Diamond bar is a newcomer in REP’s barbell lineup. It replaces REP’s Deep Knurl Power Bar EX. The name pays homage to the state of Colorado, where REP’s headquarters are located, and the state’s strong winter sports culture. “Double black diamond” refers to the most challenging ski slopes and is also representative of this barbell’s intensity and toughness.
Unracking the REP Double Black Diamond Bar
Like its predecessor, the Double Black Diamond barbell is a power bar meant for the three powerlifts: squats, bench presses, and deadlifts. As such, it features aggressive mountain knurling and International Powerlifting Federation (IPF) knurl markings. You can choose from multiple finishes, which offer varying levels of durability. And like other reputable fitness equipment brands, REP offers a limited lifetime warranty on this top-tier barbell.
While we’ve loved lifting with the Double Black Diamond Power Bar, we realize that it may not be the best barbell for everyone. As mentioned, the aggressive knurling may not suit all styles of lifting, and it’s not the cheapest power bar available. Depending on which finish you get, it may not be completely resistant to rust or corrosion. But its high tensile strength means it can handle super heavy loads, and we think it’s still a good value considering its high-quality construction and how well it performs for powerlifting training.
The REP Fitness Double Black Diamond Barbell costs around $330 for the Cerakote options, around $400 for the stainless steel and hard chrome model, and around $450 for the all-stainless steel version. It’s not too far off in price from the Rogue Ohio Power Bar, which costs anywhere from about $275 to about $415, depending on the finish. However, the Double Black Diamond bar is more expensive than a solid budget barbell like the Bells of Steel Barenaked Powerlifting Bar 2.0, which costs around $220.
That said, REP Fitness offers free shipping on all orders as of this writing. Considering that shipping a barbell can cost $25 or more, the Double Black Diamond Bar can be a cost-efficient option. Plus, with the durability and excellent performance quality it offers, we think it’s a decent value. We rated it 4.5 out of 5 stars for the price.
I’ve bought close to two dozen pieces of home gym equipment over the years and have also received complimentary items due to my job as a fitness writer. Most products arrived perfectly packaged without any damage. However, I’ve received two barbells whose packaging was damaged upon delivery. The bars had knicks and chips on the sleeves and shaft before I even had a chance to use them.
I was happy to hear from our product testers that the delivery of the Double Black Diamond barbell to our warehouse in Springfield, MO, went much more smoothly. The barbell arrived in a cardboard tube with plastic end caps that had remained intact during shipping. The bar was also wrapped in foam and plastic to further protect it from dings and scratches. We scored the delivery process 5 out of 5 stars.
The Double Black Diamond Bar has a 29-millimeter shaft. This diameter is common in power bars. Some, like the Original Texas Power Bar, have a 28.5-millimeter diameter. But according to our product testers, 29 millimeters is the gold standard.
When ordering the Double Black Diamond Bar, you can choose from three finishes: Cerakote (which comes in black, blue, green, or red color options), stainless steel with chrome sleeves, or stainless steel with stainless steel sleeves. The Cerakote bars have Duracoat sleeves, which makes them harder, more corrosion-resistant, and less susceptible to scratches and scuff marks from plate inserts.
Regardless of which finish you choose, you’ll get a bar with smooth sleeves. I generally prefer barbells with ribbed sleeves because I don’t use collars often, and the ribbing helps keep my weight plates in place. But when I trained with the Double Black Diamond Bar at our testing facility in Springfield, MO, I did appreciate how easy it was to slide plates on and off it. I also loved how the end was beveled. The beveling made loading plates a breeze because I didn’t have to perfectly align the plate inserts with the end of the sleeve.
One thing I love about the Double Black Diamond Bar is the endcap design. The black endcap boasts raised silver lettering with the REP name and a double diamond outline. It’s a small but unique touch that gives the barbell a high-end aesthetic. Similarly, REP also added etching with its logo and the bar’s name to the inside of the collars. These characteristics may not seem like much, but the quality craftsmanship and attention to detail help this bar stand out from its competitors.
The endcap on the REP Fitness Double Black Diamond Bar
All in all, this barbell gets 4 out of 5 stars for its construction quality.
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As this is a power bar, the Double Black Diamond Bar features powerlifting knurl marks as specified by the IPF. This means it has single knurl rings and a small area of center knurling. The knurl rings act as a reference point for where to place your hands when bench pressing, while the center knurl helps keep the barbell on your back for back squats.
The knurling itself is very aggressive. It’s a mountain-style knurling, meaning it has a diamond-shaped pattern with sharp, pointy peaks. Mountain knurling is common in power bars because it offers a superior grip for deadlifts. However, power bars with mountain knurling aren’t the most comfortable to lift with, especially for new lifters, because of how aggressively they dig into the hands.
Getting ready to train with the Double Black Diamond Bar at our testing facility
On the other hand, if you’re already used to lifting weights and have calluses built up on your palms, the knurling on the Double Black Diamond Bar may not bother you as much. I have calluses on my hands from years of lifting weights and doing pull-up bar exercises in CrossFit WODs. When I trained with the Double Black Diamond Bar, I definitely noticed the stickiness and grippiness of the knurling, but I wasn’t in a ton of discomfort.
In addition, REP uses higher teeth per inch (TPI, the number of visible teeth per inch on the barbell) than other companies use on their power bars. The mountain pattern is also less pointy than what you’d find on other power bars. Essentially, you get a solid grip but don’t have to worry about tearing your skin during every deadlift workout. For these reasons, we rated the knurling 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Tensile strength refers to how much weight a barbell can hold before it fractures. It’s measured in pounds per square inch (PSI). A high tensile strength is important in a power bar, especially for lifters who can squat, bench press, and deadlift hundreds of pounds. In general, the higher the tensile strength, the more abuse a barbell can handle.
REP’s Double Black Diamond Bar has a tensile strength of 200,000 PSI. Other barbells we’ve tested and reviewed have higher tensile strengths. For instance, the Rogue Ohio Power Bar has a 205,000 PSI tensile strength. On the other hand, the tensile strength of the Double Black Diamond Bar is higher than more economical barbells, like the Performance Series Power Bar from Titan Fitness. Titan’s power bar only has a tensile strength of 165,000 PSI.
For these reasons, we rated the Double Black Diamond Bar 4.5 out of 5 stars for its tensile strength.
The rotation system refers to the mechanism a barbell uses for its sleeve rotation. Some barbells use bearings to rotate their sleeves, and others use bushings. Bushings are more common in powerlifting bars because they don’t spin as quickly or smoothly. For slower, more grindy lifts like the squat, bench press, and deadlift, slower rotation is beneficial because the barbell will feel more stable.
The Double Black Diamond Bar utilizes bronze bushings. The bushings offer some spin, but it’s not as significant as what you’d find on an Olympic weightlifting bar, like REP’s Alpine Weightlifting Bar. But since a low amount of spin is exactly what we’d hope for in a power bar, we scored the rotation system 4 out of 5 stars.
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As mentioned, the Double Black Diamond bar is a power bar. It’s not a multi-purpose bar like REP’s Colorado bar or Rogue’s regular Ohio bar. While it’s great for powerlifting, it wouldn’t be suitable for the dynamic movements you’d find in CrossFit. The aggressive knurling won’t be comfortable on your palms during movements where the barbell may rotate in your hands frequently, like thrusters or push presses.
Also, because the barbell only has single IPF knurl marks and does not conform to International Weightlifting Federation (IWF standards), it’s not ideal for Olympic weightlifting (snatches and clean and jerks). We only gave it 3 out of 5 stars for versatility since we don’t recommend using it for anything other than powerlifting. A high-quality, all-purpose bar with medium knurling and dual knurl marks may be more suitable for strength sports that utilize more explosive barbell movements.
We’ve only had the all-stainless steel Double Black Diamond Bar at our testing center for a couple of months. So far, it has held up well. But in our experience, REP’s stainless steel bars tend to rust quickly. We’ll have to let more time pass to see if the Double Black Diamond Bar starts to rust or if it continues to look pristine.
Even so, we rated the bar 5 out of 5 stars for durability. As mentioned, the barbell is also available with a Cerakote finish. Other Cerakote barbells we’ve tested, like Rogue’s Cerakote Barbell, have lasted for more than six months without rusting. This is despite daily use and being stored in non-temperature-controlled rooms. Plus, REP also offers a limited lifetime warranty on all of its barbells. A company wouldn’t offer this type of guarantee if it didn’t truly stand behind its products.
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In terms of specs, the REP Double Black Diamond Bar and the Rogue Ohio Power Bar are similar. They both have a 29-millimeter shaft diameter, a center knurl, and IPF knurl marks. Their total length and loadable sleeve length are nearly identical. The stainless steel versions of both bars boast a 200,000 PSI tensile strength, but some of the Ohio Power Bar versions have a 205,000 PSI tensile strength.
The Ohio Power Bar is slightly more affordable. The cheapest version starts at around $295, whereas the Double Black Diamond Power Bar starts at just under $330. REP offers free shipping on all purchases while Rogue does not, but depending on where you live, the Ohio Power Bar may still end up being cheaper.
Like REP’s power bar, Rogue’s Ohio Power Bar comes in multiple finishes. There’s a Cerakote shaft coating (which is available in black, blue, red, or green), black zinc, bare steel, stainless steel, or e-coat. In our experience, Rogue’s stainless steel doesn’t rust as quickly as REP’s. If you desire a stainless steel power bar, you may want to go with the Ohio Power Bar.
On the other hand, if knurling is more important to you, we’d recommend the Double Black Diamond Power Bar instead. One of our expert product testers, who’s tested hundreds of pieces of gym equipment, says he prefers the knurling on the Double Black Diamond Power Bar. For him to say that is a big deal. Up until recently, the Ohio Power Bar’s knurling was his favorite out of all the power bars he’s trained with.
Since the REP Fitness Double Black Diamond Bar was just released this past summer, there aren’t many reviews on it yet. The customers who have left reviews have been satisfied with the construction quality. Those who bought Cerakote versions of the bar noted how vibrant the colors look in person. Customers are also pleased with the knurling; many have said that it’s grippy and sharp but not overdone.
Buyers who chose the stainless steel barbell left comments about issues with corrosion. However, it appears that REP has fixed these issues and offered to replace those barbells.
All in all, we consider the Double Black Diamond Power Bar one of the top power bars on the market. If you’re a powerlifter who has some extra cash to spend and you’re looking for a top-notch barbell, this one could be for you. It’s made to IPF specifications and boasts IPF knurl marks and a 29-millimeter diameter. We loved the feeling of the knurling, as we found it sharp and grippy but not as uncomfortable as other power bars we’ve tested. That said, we still wouldn’t recommend it for CrossFit or Olympic weightlifting. For more of an all-purpose barbell that can handle more explosive and dynamic lifts, you’ll need to look elsewhere.
Power bars like the REP Fitness Double Black Diamond Bar are excellent for squats. They have a center knurl that helps keep the barbell on your back. Plus, their low whip (meaning they don’t bend or flex much under heavy loads) means they won’t wobble much as you come out of the hole when squatting.
REP Fitness’s Double Black Diamond Bar is a great barbell for bench presses. It has IPF knurl marks to act as a visual reference for where to place your hands. Because it uses bushings instead of bearings, the sleeves won’t rotate as much. The reduced spin can help the barbell feel more balanced during the bench press.
The Eleiko IPF Powerlifting Competition Bar is commonly used in powerlifting competitions. The IPF dictates the specifications for competition-grade powerlifting barbells.You likely won’t see the REP Double Black Diamond Power Bar at an international powerlifting meet because it’s not IPF-certified. However, it does conform to IPF standards. If you train with this barbell, it should feel similar to a barbell you’d use in a competition.