Anyone who is new to weightlifting, and is looking for a solid barbell to handle their lifting needs may want to take a long, hard look at the Force USA Ranger Barbell. The moderate knurling won’t tear up your hands, the lack of a center knurl means less irritation on your skin, and the whip is not out of control — so you can keep your form while hitting your Olympic lifts (such as a power clean). This bar’s bronze bushings and two needle bearings in both of the sleeves make it a great bar for powerlifting, as well, since the sleeves won’t spin out of control.
Multi-purpose barbells like this are great to add to your home gym since they can handle a wide variety of workouts. While they may not be “the best” at one specific thing, they are in fact able to accommodate most lifts — meaning you only need to purchase one bar instead of multiple. The Ranger has a tensile strength of 170,000 PSI, and a weight limit of 1,500 pounds, so any beginner to intermediate lifters won’t be outgrowing this bar anytime soon. Due to the versatility, and the fact that a lot of newcomers can grow with this bar, we think it’s a solid option to consider for beginning and intermediate recreational athletes.
- The Ranger has a tensile strength of 170,000 PSI, and a weight limit of 1,500 pounds, which means beginners can grow with this barbell.
- The moderate knurling on this bar should decrease the chances of tearing up your hands while lifting.
- The whip found in the Ranger while lifting is not out of control, so you can keep solid form.
The Ranger barbell from Force USA is built to IPF and IWF positioning, is rated for up to 1,500 pounds, and comes in at a great price point for a quality barbell.
Force USA Ranger Barbell Highlights
The great thing about multi-purpose barbells like the Ranger is that they are highly versatile, allowing you to conquer a variety of exercises, including powerlifts like a bench press, and Olympic lifts, such as a power clean. Since the knurling on this bar is not as aggressive as some of the other bars on the market, beginners should appreciate that their hands likely won’t get torn up as they’re lifting. Anyone looking to hit a super heavy deadlift may want to invest in some lifting chalk, straps, or gloves to get the optimal grip they’re looking for though.
The tensile strength rating of a barbell is what determines the overall strength of the bar, and how much punishment it can take. The tensile strength of a barbell typically ranges from 120,000 PSI up to around 235,000 PSI, so while 170,000 PSI may be plenty for a lot of beginning to intermediate lifters, anyone who is lifting some super heavy weight may want to be careful with the Ranger since you can find much higher tensile strength ratings out there.The Force USA Ranger Barbell features a black zinc finish on the shaft, with a bright zinc coating on the sleeves, which offers some protection from corrosion — but it may not offer enough if your home gym is in a humid garage.
Since our equipment is in fact in a garage, we will need to provide some extra care to keep the Ranger in good condition, which is something you wouldn’t have to worry about as much if it was fully stainless steel. A lot of versatile barbells like the Ranger tend to lack a center knurling, which makes it ideal for CrossFitters and Olympic lifters. But since you do lose out on some extra grip, it might not be ideal for everyone, especially low-bar squatters.
Bronze bushings are used in both of the sleeves, with two needle bearings in each — which helps to create a smoother spin than a barbell with just bushings (needle bearings are also superior to ball bearings and thrust bearings). While the sleeves do in fact spin, they don’t spin as freely as some other barbells we’ve reviewed. They may not provide optimal spin for some people during their snatch, but that slower rate of spin will likely come in handy when powerlifting.
One of the biggest things we noticed with the Ranger is that the grooved pattern on the sleeves is cut deeper than some other barbells we’ve tested. The grooves are designed to keep your weight plates or bumper plates in their original position when lifting, and reduce the need for weight collars. However, for your own safety, we recommend still using a pair as you can never be too careful.
Who Should Buy the Force USA Ranger Barbell
- Those who are new to weightlifting will likely appreciate that the knurling on this bar is not going to be too abrasive in your hands.
- Anyone looking for a barbell to hit their Olympic and CrossFit style lifts, but also work in some powerlifting will like how versatile the Ranger is.
- Since you can load up to 1,500 pounds onto the Ranger, more intermediate athletes can focus on heavy lifting.
Who Shouldn’t Buy the Force USA Ranger Barbell
- Since this is technically more of an Olympic barbell, anyone who has a strong emphasis in powerlifting may not be too crazy about the passive knurling, and will likely want to consider getting an actual power bar.
- While the 170,000 PSI tensile strength rating might be fine for the recreational or intermediate lifter, anyone who is of elite strength and throwing some heavy weight around may want to consider a barbell with a higher rating.
- Customers looking for a 15 kilogram or 10 kilogram barbell will need to look elsewhere since the Ranger is only available in 20 kilograms.
One of the most important factors when purchasing workout equipment will inevitably be the price. The Force USA Ranger Barbell is listed right around $300, and that includes shipping. This is a bit pricey compared to some other barbells of similar quality and tensile strength. So this may be better suited for a beginner, but if that feels like too much money for you to spend up front, Force USA allows you to finance your purchase through Affirm, where you can make monthly payments that start at $20 — but your payments could be higher depending on your credit score.
This barbell’s big advantage is that it’s highly versatile, and will allow you to focus on an array of workouts. If you are on a tight budget though, you might want to consider a bar that features a lower price tag so that you can fill out your gym with some more equipment — such as a power rack or squat rack. Though you may end up with a bar that has an even lower tensile strength rating in that price range.
Overall Build and Quality
The Force USA Ranger Barbell is an multi-purpose barbell that features a coating with a combination of black and bright zinc, a tensile strength rating of 170,000 PSI, and a pairing of bronze bushings and two needle bearings in the grooved sleeves (which provide a controlled spin). Bronze bushings may be cheaper than bearings, but they tend to degrade at a slower rate. That means this bar is manufactured to last longer than a comparable one with only bearings.
The knurling on this barbell is pretty passive, which may be a cause for concern for anyone with rough hands, or for powerlifters conquering a heavy deadlift or bench press. However, a large portion of beginners might enjoy that it’s not too abrasive, and it may also be ideal for Crossfitters and Olympic lifters — ever had knurling so sharp it tore your shins apart on the first rep?
The Ranger shares the same dimensions found in an Olympic barbell. It’s 86.6 inches in length, has 16-inch loading sleeves, and a diameter of 28 millimeters. Since this is the only size available for this barbell, you will need to keep searching if you’re in the market for a 15 kilogram, or 10 kilogram barbell.
The black zinc finish on the shaft of this barbell, paired with the bright zinc on the sleeves gives it a nice aesthetic, and will offer some protection against corrosion (though not as much as a cerakote or stainless steel bar offers). The knurling is not very abrasive, so your hands shouldn’t experience too much irritation — but if you tend to have sweaty palms while lifting, you may need to find a way to assist your grip.
The Ranger does feature double knurl markings, which are going to allow you to attain identical hand placement on the bar for your wide-grip lifts — plus, these markings meet the regulation standards set by the International Powerlifting and International Weightlifting Federations. We also found that the grooved pattern in the sleeves is cut deeper than some other popular barbells out there, which should provide optimal assistance in reducing the amount of movement your weight plates experience while lifting.
Force USA took a more passive approach with their knurling on the Ranger to accommodate for athletes during their high rep exercises, which we enjoyed during our time power cleaning, but when it came to our deadlifts and bench presses, we didn’t achieve that solid grip we desired. Since this is not a power bar, the knurling isn’t cut deep (this is pretty common in barbells like this), so if you are going to be primarily focusing on powerlifting, you might want to just buy yourself a power bar.
The double knurl markings on this barbell are also pretty common in multi-purpose barbells. These markings are set by the IPF and the IWF, and are going to help you get identical hand placement when you’re setting up for a wide grip. Since there is no center knurling on the Ranger, some people may have a little bit of trouble keeping the bar on their back during back squats, or sticking the bar to their chest during a power clean Though others may be just fine without that extra grip.
A lot of customers might not think about the design of the loading sleeves on a barbell and whether or not they play a factor — spoiler alert, they do. In fact, they can play a significant role in the performance of a barbell. The design tends to vary from bar to bar, and we found that to be the case with the Ranger.
When a barbell features a grooved pattern on the sleeves, you will have more success in keeping your plates in their original placement during your lifts, and since these are cut deeper than some others we’ve used, we experienced less slide while lifting. We recommend you still throw on some weight collars though for your safety, and to reduce the slide even more.
The bronze bushings in the loading sleeves of the Ranger, paired with two needle bearings in each sleeve are going to provide a solid spin to incorporate your Olympic lifts. While there are some others we’ve used in the past that spin more freely, this may be a good thing in terms of powerlifting since they shouldn’t spin on their own too much.
The Ranger features a black zinc finish on the shaft, and a bright zinc finish on the loading sleeves. This might give it a sleek look in your gym, but it likely won’t provide the highest level of protection to corrosion if you are in a humid environment.
This coating is going to require you to clean your bar more often than if it had a stainless steel finish, but cleaning a barbell doesn’t take very long. Stainless steel bars also tend to be a little bit more expensive, so cleaning this bar a few times a month might be worth it since you’ll be saving some money.
While the Ranger Barbell may not feature a tensile strength rating that will suit elite-level lifters, it may be just fine for the majority of recreational lifters. 170,000 PSI is going to be great for a beginner, and since you can load up to 1,500 pounds on this bar, you can definitely grow with it. Plus, if you are a CrossFit or Olympic lifting competitor, you’ll enjoy that the dimensions are nearly identical to that of a men’s Olympic barbell, so you can properly practice at home.
The tensile strength of a barbell is a very important factor to consider when choosing which barbell is best for you. Since the Ranger is closer to the lower end of the spectrum with a rating of 170,000 PSI, it might be more suited for a beginner or intermediate lifter. The stronger you are, and the more weight you are lifting in the gym, the higher the rating you’re going to want for your bar.
The materials used for a barbell play a factor in the overall caliber of the bar, as well as the price. Since the Ranger features black zinc on the shaft and a bright zinc coating on the sleeves, it most likely is going to be better suited for those who have their home gym in a climate controlled environment. If you’re in a humid garage like we are, you will want to consider a cerakote or stainless steel bar since those offer the most protection. However, if you clean this bar periodically, we think you’ll be just fine either way.
The bronze bushings and dual needle bearings found in the sleeves are going to provide you a smooth, controlled spin for your lifts. While they don’t spin as freely as a full set of bearings will, they are a bit cheaper, and may even last you longer.
One of the great things about the Ranger barbell is that it can handle up to 1,500 pounds. While the tensile strength may not be ideal for anyone power cleaning some super heavy weight, powerlifters will find that they can easily pack on the weight for their one rep max with this barbell.
Dimensions and Weight
The dimensions of the Ranger are 86.6 inches in length, with 16 inch loading sleeves, and a diameter of 28 millimeters. This is about the same size as a men’s Olympic barbell, so if you’re a competitor, you can absolutely use this bar for practice while saving your hands from other Olympic bars that have more aggressive knurling. However, if you’re looking for a 10- or 15-kilogram option, you won’t find that here.
Force USA includes a lifetime warranty for the Ranger Barbell. This warranty covers the structural integrity of the bar, and any errors during manufacturing. It does not cover surface rust or negligent use — such as storing it improperly, or using damaged bumper plates.
Places to Buy
You can purchase this barbell directly through the Force USA website.
Force USA was founded in 2000, with the vision of creating affordable gym equipment for home gym owners. Their belief is that everyone deserves to lead a strong, happy, and healthy lifestyle. They’re now owned and operated by Net Media Group, LLC — and operate in over 25 countries across the globe.
If you want to find out more about their operations, you can contact their USA operations team at (385) 557-2554, their Canada team at (778) 800-950, or you can fill out a request form to have someone from their team email you.
The Force USA Ranger Barbell is a multi-purpose bar that is able to handle essentially any lift you may throw its way. The tensile strength rating of 170,000 PSI is likely more suited for beginning and intermediate recreational lifters, but the overall weight rating of 1,500 pounds will allow powerlifters to find some solid usage for their bench presses, and accessory work.
While the knurling is more on the passive side, it may cause some issues in terms of your overall grip if you tend to have sweaty hands. If you’re a beginner though, this knurling may be ideal since it likely won’t tear up your hands, and should mix well with chalk if you ever feel the need to use some. The lack of a center knurling may also make it ideal for any lift where the bar tends to rub against your skin, creating less irritation over time.
The Force USA Ranger Barbell can go toe to toe in terms of performance with a lot of prominent barbells on the market. While you may run into the issue of corrosion resistance when compared to a stainless steel barbell, if you clean it periodically you should be just fine. The tensile strength rating is more suited for beginner and intermediate weightlifters, so if you find yourself in that category, we believe this could be a great option to consider adding to your home gym.
What purpose do the grooves in the loading sleeves of the Ranger serve?
A grooved pattern on a pair of loading sleeves is designed to assist you when it comes to keeping your weight plates in place while lifting. Some barbells have smooth sleeves, while others, like the Ranger, feature a grooved pattern. However, we felt as if the grooves found with the Ranger were cut deeper than some other bars we’ve used, so you may have more success with this bar in terms of keeping your plates in place.
Does the Ranger provide a solid grip while lifting?
During our time with this barbell, we felt as if the knurling didn’t provide enough grip by itself. This was just our individual experience, and that may not be the case with you. If you have rough hands or sweat a lot, we would recommend investing in some lifting gloves, or chalk to assist your grip.
Is the zinc coating on the Ranger going to prevent corrosion from forming?
While zinc on a barbell might provide some protection from corrosion on your barbell, it’s not the optimal choice. So if you are storing your equipment in a humid environment, you will want to clean this barbell once or twice a month to keep it in good shape. Stainless steel will be the best option in a humid environment, but a stainless steel bar is going to cost you more — and the alternative of cleaning your bar really doesn’t take very long.