The Rogue Echo Bar 2.0 Review
When I first started powerlifting, I was content with many of the budget-friendly floor models found at my local sporting goods store. As I grew stronger and started to hit plateaus, I started looking at upgrading my equipment. When confronted with Rogues lineup of bars, I was a little shocked at the steep price points of their lineup, which is why I opted for the Rogue Echo Bar 2.0. It offers lifters the same level of strength and performance, with a price tag that is far more affordable.
The Echo Bar 2.0 is a great entry point for lifters looking to upgrade their gear to something that is stronger and more durable. If you are anything like me, the Echo Bar will be your first Rogue upgrade, but it certainly won’t be your last!
Modest knurling won’t dig into your hands
Perfect for bench presses, squats, and deadlifts
Deep 16-inch loading sleeve
Bright Zinc finish
More affordable than other Rogue bars
No central knurling
Knurling isn’t as aggressive as other bars
Slightly wider than other Rogue bars
Rogue has a reputation for using some pretty aggressive knurling that really digs into your palms. For some, this aggressive knurling really helps to lock your paws around the bar for secure lifts, but others feel that it makes the bar too uncomfortable. The Rogue Echo Bar 2.0 drops the aggressive knurling for something that is more modest as well as shallow.
It’s also important to note that this design doesn’t include a central knurl, which may not be ideal for some lifts. If your main jam is simple bench presses or deadlifts, the absence of a central knurled grip will not be an issue. However, I personally love a central knurl grip that helps grip my back when squatting, or for close-grip bench presses.
The size of this bar runs about in the middle of the road in terms of overall size. It meets the requirements of competition lifting and is very similar to standard budget-friendly bars that come included with floor model benches. It measures to be 86.75 inches long and boasts a width of 28.5 mm. If you have smaller hands, this bar may prove to be just a little too wide to really grip your hands around. If you want something that is narrow, the Bella Bar is a great choice for smaller hands.
Users love that it has a deep loadable sleeve that measures to be just over 16 inches long, which gives you plenty of room to really load it up with a variety of weights!
This bar may look like your standard budget-friendly bar, but it certainly doesn’t behave like one! This design is able to accommodate up to 190,000 PSI, which is considered to be commercial-grade. It is the bar that you will find in most commercial gyms or competition settings. It is able to withstand a high level of weight without warping or breaking over years of continued use. The overall strength of this bar is likely the last bar you will ever need to buy!
All barbells are rated on something called the F-scale. This scale indicated the overall strength of a bar when dropped from overhead, and ranges from F1 (less resistant) through F8 (most resistant). The strong construction of this bar earns it the F-8 rating as one of the toughest bars out there on the market.
When I talk about the whip, I’m talking about the amount that the bar bends while under tension. This bar offers a higher level of the whip when compared to some of the stiffer options in the Rogue lineup. A bar that offers ample whip actually helps you gain momentum when engaging in super heavy lifts and snaps back in place once you rack the bar. Even though this bar offers a good whip, it always snaps back into place and doesn’t warp over years of continued use.
Compared to other bars from Rogue, the Echo Bar 2.0 offers a much higher whip, which makes this bar perfect not only for bench presses but deadlifts and squats as well!
Shipping is something worth talking about since most Rogue products do not ship for free. If you spend over a certain dollar amount at the Rogue online store, they will toss in shipping for free. However, if you are just buying a bar, be aware that shipping a heavy and cumbersome bar doesn’t come cheap!
Rogue takes great care in constructing their workout gear and takes just as much care packaging their gear before they send it out for delivery. This bar arrives in a heavy cardboard tube that prevents damage and dents during the shipping process, but also makes it near-impossible to open once it arrives! Be prepared to have your box cutters ready!
This bar is finished with a Zinc finish that helps the overall strength as well as durability of the bar. What makes this bar stand out from the pack is the inclusion of the updated snap ring construction. In previous Echo bars, this construction detail was omitted completely and recently added to the 2.0 series.
The snap ring construction basically means that the plate sleeves move independently from the bar. As the plates move when engaging in a lift, so do the sleeves. This ensures that the bar in your hands stays put, even as the plates shift around as you struggle under a difficult lift. This feature was primarily reserved for many of the higher-end Rogue bars, which makes the Echo 2.0 (compared to the previous interactions of this bar) such as excellent value.
This bar can be used for all basic powerlifting exercises, which include squats, deadlifts, and bench presses. The high weight capacity and the ample whip really help you push yourself to your limits. However, there is one key feature that makes this bar less than ideal for squats
The absence of a central knurling grip makes this bar a little tricky for squats. I like a grippy central point to grip my back for added stability as well as peace of mind. Using a bar with a slick central bar feels a little less secure. Of course, you can always invest in a squat pad for extra comfort and control if you wanted to use this bar for squats as well.
Comparison to Previous Versions
The biggest change made in the 2.0 version is the inclusion of the snap ring construction, which allows the plates to move independently of the central bar. This feature was only found in some of the more expensive bars, such as the Ohio Bar, and has recently been added to the Echo Bar 2.0 without raising the price tag!
The Echo Bar was my very Rogue Bar that I added to my home gym, but it wasn't my last. I love the overall feel and grip of this bar and later purchased the Ohio Bar. I primarily use the Echo Bar 2.0 for deadlifts (due to the lack of central knurling) and use the Ohio Bar for squats and deadlifts because it gets a slight stability boost from that central knurling. These two bars are often reviewed back-to-back, with the Ohio Bar earning a slight edge due to the more aggressive knurling.
If money is tight but you still want to invest in the best of the best, the Echo Bar 2.0 is certainly worth checking out!