If you’re looking to add a versatile barbell to your home gym, Rogue offers two solid choices in the Ohio and the Echo 2.0. When choosing a barbell, these are two great options since they can be used for CrossFit and Olympic-style lifts, as well as powerlifting. While the Ohio Bar may get a lot of attention as far as Rogue products go, the Echo Bar 2.0 is also a fierce contender.
While they aren’t identical, they do share a lot of the same qualities that will make either one of these a great addition to your existing home gym equipment. Both bars feature the same Volcano-style knurling pattern, which provides a moderate yet grippy feel, and the bronze bushings in the loading sleeves are what allow you to successfully perform almost any exercise in your routine. All of that being said, there are a few differences that jumped out at us — mainly the price and the materials used during the manufacturing process. But let’s take a closer look at both of these solid barbells from Rogue.
Rogue Ohio Bar Highlights
A true stud in the weight room, the Ohio Bar is similar to a Swiss army knife in that it allows you to hit nearly any workout imaginable. While it does come in a few different options, the version we will be discussing is stainless steel. Stainless steel is the best material you could ask for in terms of fighting off corrosion, especially if you live in a humid area. The other options you can choose from are coated in black zinc, black oxide, cerakote, or an e-coat. You can also select the custom bar and land on the color of your choosing, among other customizations.
The Rogue Ohio Bar is 28mm in diameter, has a sleeve length of 16.4 inches, and features two knurling marks for optimal hand placement. It's made of stainless steel, and comes with a lifetime warranty.
If you are interested in spending time doing movements like power cleans or the snatch, you will appreciate that the Ohio Bar does not have a center knurling. This will cause less irritation to the skin from repeated use. However, you may miss out on an extra grip for your back squats. The bronze bushings found in the loading sleeves also make those explosive movements possible by providing a solid rate of spin. But don’t worry, they don’t spin out of control, so you can still practice your powerlifts.
The grooves in the loading sleeves are designed to help keep your weight plates or bumper plates secured, but we still recommend using a pair of weight collars for your own safety. The Ohio bar also features a solid 200,000 PSI (190,000 PSI for the other coated options) tensile strength rating, meaning it can handle heavy weight from elite-level weightlifters.
- The Ohio Bar is available in stainless steel, providing the highest resistance to rust and corrosion.
- Since there is no center knurl, the chances of your skin becoming irritated during Olympic and CrossFit style lifts is significantly less than you would find from a bar with a center knurl.
- The stainless steel Ohio has a tensile strength of 200,000 PSI, which puts it in the higher tier of barbells since the max is around 230,000 PSI.
Rogue Echo 2.0 Highlights
Similar to the Ohio Bar, the Echo 2.0 is also a multi-purpose barbell that you can use for your powerlifting, Olympic lifting, or CrossFit-style lifts. Plus, it’s able to handle some pretty heavy weights. The loading sleeves on this bar also feature bronze bushings that provide the required spin for lifts like power cleans. And the grooves are designed to help keep your plates in place. The abrasiveness of the knurling is on the moderate side and features the same Volcano pattern as the Ohio. Although, the stainless steel Ohio may have a better feel in your hands since there isn’t an extra layer of material coating the bar.
The Echo 2.0 is one of Rogue's most affordable barbells. This multi-purpose bar offers high functionality and versatility, the utilization of bronze bushings create a controlled spin, and the lack of a center knurl makes it ideal for Olympic and CrossFit lifts.
Unlike the Ohio Bar, the Echo 2.0 only comes in a regular zinc finish — this is still going to provide resistance to corrosion, but you’ll need to clean it more frequently. The lack of a center knurling on this bar also makes it a good option for any movement where the bar comes in contact with your upper chest, but similar to the Ohio, you may miss out on the extra grip for your back squats. The 190,000 PSI tensile strength rating is less than the stainless steel Ohio, but is equal to the other Ohio options, and the Echo is available at a more reasonable price. Since this bar is able to compete with top-tier bars like the Ohio, it may actually be one of the biggest steals out there.
- The 190,000 PSI tensile strength rating of the Echo 2.0 means it can handle heavy weight in the gym — though Rogue doesn’t specifically say, most bars with this tensile strength can support up to about 1,000 pounds.
- The combination of bronze bushings and no center knurl make it a good choice for pretty much any barbell workout.
- The Volcano-style knurling is a medium grade, meaning it provides a solid grip without tearing up your hands.
Rogue Ohio Bar vs. Rogue Echo Bar Video Review
Our Reviews Writer, Jake, puts the Rogue Ohio and Rogue Echo bars to the test in his video comparison. See how these two popular barbells from Rogue match up.
What Are the Big Differences Between the Rogue Ohio Bar and the Rogue Echo 2.0?
While both of these all-around barbells from Rogue are fairly similar, there are a few differences. From the pricing to the finish and overall strength, here’s what separates the Ohio from the Echo 2.0.
Stainless Steel vs. Zinc
These two barbells look fairly similar but are crafted using different materials. While the Echo 2.0 only comes with a regular zinc finish, the Ohio is available in multiple finishes.
The Ohio bar we have is crafted with stainless steel. Stainless steel barbells provide the highest level of protection from rust and corrosion and don’t need to be cared for as much as a bar that features a coating. The stock version of the Ohio Bar features chrome sleeves, but you can also opt for them to be fully stainless steel. This is an extra fee of about $95, but it may be worth it for the added protection.
The Rogue Echo 2.0 that we got our hands on features a bright zinc coating that gives the bar a nice shine, and offers a decent amount of protection against corrosion. Just remember, zinc is inferior to stainless steel in this regard. So if you live in a humid environment, you may want to invest in a care kit for your barbell, so it can stay in prime condition. While the Echo 2.0 feels pretty “grippy” in your hands, we felt as if the Ohio Bar provided us with a better overall grip as our hands began to sweat.
There’s a Price Difference
The price difference between these two barbells is pretty significant. While the Echo 2.0 is priced at around $270, the Ohio Bar ranges from $305 to $375, depending on which coating you want.
Rogue Ohio Bar
The stainless steel Ohio that we tested is listed at $370 on the Rogue Fitness website. If you wanted the stainless steel sleeves, those are going to be an extra $95, and once you factor in shipping, you’re looking at spending over $500. $500 is a lot of money, but the overall caliber of this bar may make it worth the price tag. And while this is a pretty pricey barbell, there are actually some other options out there that are around $800.
If you’re interested in the other Ohio Bar options, the black zinc and e-coat bars are priced around $305, the black oxide will cost you about $320, while the cerakote and custom options are about $350. These prices aren’t too far off from the stainless steel bar, so it may be worth spending a little bit more money for that extra protection and tensile strength. It is worth mentioning that Rogue does allow you to purchase your barbell through PayLater from PayPal, and through Affirm — splitting your purchase up into four interest-free payments of around $130.
Rogue Echo 2.0
It doesn’t take long to realize that the Echo 2.0 is the way to go if you are on a tight budget. Priced at $270, shipping and taxes are going to put you right around $315 in total. Even compared to the cheaper versions of the Ohio Bar, you are still going to be saving money with this barbell. The utilization of PayLater and Affirm will put your four interest-free payments right around $80.
While you may need to clean this barbell more frequently to prevent corrosion, the overall quality and tensile strength rating make this barbell well worth $300 in our eyes. We do realize that is still a decent amount of money, but compared to a lot of barbells at that price, which are often made from lesser materials and may feature a tensile strength that is closer to 120,000 PSI — this may be an absolute steal.
Tensile strength is one of our determining factors when choosing a barbell. In short, this is how much weight and force a barbell can endure before it begins to bend or break. The Echo 2.0 has a tensile strength rating of 190,000 PSI. This number is identical to all of the Ohio options other than the stainless steel, which has a rating of 200,000 PSI.
Both of these barbells are relatively close to the max threshold of 230,000 PSI. Obviously, the stainless steel Ohio is rated higher, but 10,000 PSI may not be enough for some people to spend significantly more money. Oftentimes, you’ll find that barbells with a price tag similar to the Echo 2.0, are made from cheaper materials, and may even feature a much lower tensile strength. Both the Echo 2.0, and the Ohio are good options for beginners to grow with, but they’re also able to support the needs of an experienced lifter.
The utilization of bronze bushings in the loading sleeves of both of these barbells allows them to spin and contributes to their ability to be used in a multitude of ways. Bronze bushings may not spin at the same rate as bearings, but they degrade slower and are also cheaper.
In our time with both of these Rogue barbells, the sleeves spun at the same rate — despite one on the Echo 2.0 that kept going like a runaway freight train. We aren’t sure why that was the case, and it may be in only our specific bar, but it’s something worth mentioning.
The overall knurling on both of these barbells was extremely similar. They’re both on the moderate side, which is ideal for barbells you’re using for varying styles of lifts. They also both feature a Volcano-style grip. Each marking on the knurling dips in like a volcano does, offering four points of contact for your hand at each marking. This may be the best grip you could ask for — especially when you compare it to a mountain grip knurling that only offers one point of contact for each marking.
However, in our time with these two barbells, it was hard to ignore the fact that the Ohio Bar seemed to have a better overall feel in our hands. While the Echo 2.0 does have a solid grip, as our hands began to sweat, our grip felt a tad bit more compromised than it did with the Ohio. It’s not that the Ohio is cut deeper, but rather, it is most likely due to the fact that the Echo 2.0 has that extra layer on the bar from the zinc coating. The coated options of the Ohio may be similar to the Echo 2.0 in how they perform during workouts, though — we just weren’t able to test this theory firsthand.
Another feature that jumped out right away is that the Echo 2.0 does not have a set of IWF (International Weightlifting Federation) and IPF (International Powerlifting Federation) knurl markings as the Ohio Bar does. Having both of these markings is pretty common in barbells like these since they allow you to accurately achieve identical hand placement for your lifts. While those dedicated powerlifters may find it annoying that there are only a set of IWF markings, this likely isn’t a make-or-break situation for all athletes.
While the weight capacity of these barbells is not listed on the Rogue website, it’s safe to say that the stainless steel Ohio can hold more weight due to its higher tensile strength rating. Based on their tensile strength, the Echo 2.0, and the coated options of the Ohio will most likely cap out at around 1,000 pounds. But since the stainless steel Ohio has a tensile strength rating of 200,000 PSI, you’re looking at a max weight closer to 1,200 pounds. This may not affect all athletes, but elite lifters may want to consider that when choosing between these two bars.
We were a bit surprised to find that the Echo 2.0 features a one-year warranty instead of a lifetime warranty like the Ohio Bar. This is most likely due to the lower tensile strength, and its zinc coating. The combination of the two may have you looking for a new barbell sooner than you would with the Ohio.
Which Barbell is the Better Option?
Neither of these Rogue barbells is perfect — since they both have their pros and cons, you should make your decision based on personal preference. Some questions you may want to ask yourself could be about cost, materials used, and overall strength. Whichever is a priority to you should be your driving factor.
While the stainless steel Ohio Bar is the most expensive option, it’s also going to accommodate more for those of elite strength. Plus, it will potentially last you longer since it can fight off corrosion at a higher rate. But if you’re interested in saving money, the Echo 2.0 is going to be your best bet. Priced around $270, you’re going to be saving around $200 compared to the fully stainless steel Ohio, and it’s also cheaper than the coated Ohio options. That extra money can go into filling out your home gym with some weight plates, a power rack, a squat rack, or maybe even a new set of dumbbells.
With a tensile strength rating that isn’t too far off from the Ohio Bar, it makes a whole lot of sense to snag the Echo 2.0 since you will most likely get the same usage out of it. But since it’s coated in zinc, it won’t give you the same level of protection as the stainless steel Ohio can. So you will need to clean it more often to keep it in good condition, or else you may be in the market for a new barbell sooner than you’d hoped.
The best part about these barbells is that they offer the ability to perform a wide variety of workouts. The bronze bushings make it easy to practice your clean and jerk or snatch, but since they don’t spin out of control, you can still load up the bar for a heavy bench press. At the end of the day, these two barbells are fairly similar, so you need to focus on which of these features is best for your goals and your pockets, and that will help you find the “best” option for you.
Is Stainless Steel That Much Better Than Zinc?
Yes, stainless steel is the absolute king when it comes to fighting off rust and corrosion. A regular zinc finish is still going to provide some protection, but not as much as stainless steel can. With any expensive product, the goal is to have it last as long as possible, right? With the stainless steel Ohio, you are going to have a higher chance of keeping your barbell in your hands and providing that pump for over a decade.
Stainless steel is the optimal choice for those who are living in a humid environment specifically. When it comes to the regular zinc — as you’ll find in the Echo — you’ll need to perform more upkeep in order to keep the finish looking pretty, which is why the stainless steel Ohio Bar takes the W for us here.
Can the Ohio Bar Do Anything the Echo 2.0 Can’t?
Despite the higher tensile strength rating, both of these barbells offer you the ability to hit the same workouts. They both have moderate knurling and bronze bushings on the sleeves, meaning they can easily handle all of your exercises. The only real difference is how much weight they can hold. While the Echo 2.0 likely has the same max loadable weight as the coated Ohio options, the stainless steel Ohio can handle the most weight due to its higher tensile strength.
Before you make a decision on one of these Rogue barbells, you need to weigh the pros and cons of each. If you are working with a large budget, and are loading on some pretty hefty weights, you may find the stainless steel Ohio Bar is the one for you. However, if you are on a tighter budget, the Echo 2.0 may be your best bet as it can handle the same style of workouts as the Ohio, while also holding a decent amount of weight itself — but it’ll save you a couple of hundred dollars. Just remember, you’ll need to clean it more frequently to keep it in top-tier shape.
The beauty of both of these barbells is that they can truly service those who are just beginning their weightlifting journey, as well as seasoned vets. They’re both as versatile as barbells come, and can serve as the only bar you need in your home gym. Whether you want to squat some eye-popping weight or perfect your clean & jerk, these barbells have your back. As long as you focus on what features are important to you specifically, we don’t think you can go wrong with either one of these options.
Are there any limitations with the Rogue Ohio and the Rogue Echo 2.0?
Without the center knurling, these bars aren’t ideal for suitcase grip lifts or back squats. In addition, the stainless steel Ohio has a higher tensile strength than the Echo or the coated versions of the Ohio. While the gap is relatively small, it’s still something that you may want to consider if you’re an elite lifter.
Why is there such a price gap between the Rogue Ohio and the Rogue Echo 2.0?
The price difference between these two barbells is mostly due to construction and overall strength. The stainless steel Ohio has a higher tensile strength rating, and it should fight off corrosion at a higher rate — this means it will likely last longer than the Echo, which has a zinc coating.
What makes the Rogue Ohio and Rogue Echo 2.0 all-purpose barbells?
The construction of a barbell can vary pretty drastically. Powerbars tend to have a thicker diameter, a deeper cut knurling, and little to no spin in the sleeves, while Olympic barbells tend to be a bit thinner, have a knurling that isn’t abrasive, and include bearings that provide a lot of spin.
With barbells like these two, the knurling and diameter is similar to that of an Olympic bar, plus the utilization of bronze bearings will allow the sleeves to spin, but not at the same rate as bearings will. This makes it easy to focus on powerlifting moves since the sleeves are a bit more stationary when needed, but can still easily adapt to accommodate your Olympic or CrossFit since they do still spin at a controlled rate.