Bells Of Steel Competition Bumper Plates Review
Bells Of Steel Competition Bumper Plates Review
The Bells of Steel Competition Bumper Plates are the perfect addition to any home gym, and they’ll also stand the test of time in a commercial gym setting. With a fabulous design, excellent build factor, and a low bounce, you can’t go wrong with these premium bumper plates.
- +/- 0.1% Tolerance.
- Galvanized center hub with its co-molded steel collar.
- Very low bounce (for bumper plates).
- Surprisingly great price for competition bumpers.
- Virgin Rubber
- Excellent Thickness.
- Not IWF approved (only because they are in pounds).
The Bells of Steel Competition Bumper Plates are among my favorite on the market. In terms of their overall design, they absolutely top my list. Of course, the look of a product in the gym often doesn’t speak to its overall quality.
Thankfully, I’m happy to report that these bumper plates look amazing and are well built, decently priced, and offer a strong overall build factor that will take your powerlifting or CrossFit training to a new level.
Bells of Steel Competition Bumper Plates Design And Specs
Offered in 25, 35, 45, and 55-pound pairs with a +/- 0.1% tolerance, the plates guarantee a proper training session with a very accurate weight promise. In my testing the 55-pound plates were spot on when placed on two different digital scales, although your mileage may vary just slightly.
The plates feature a virgin rubber that keeps bouncing at a minimum which is great for safety purposes. I couldn’t find a durometer rating, but when dropping my 55-pound weights from my waist, chest, and above my head, there was an almost unnoticeable amount of bounce on my 3/4-inch rubber flooring. There’s nothing worse than lifting heavy or dropping a weight from over your head and having it bounce back, and that shouldn’t be an issue with these competition-based bumper plates.
Sliding the weights onto my Rogue Ohio Cerakote bar proved to be quite the task, but that’s a good attribute. The 1.99″ diameter of the collar is very snug on a standard IWF-approved barbell. By not allowing for any shifting, the bumper plates are less prone to stress breaks and provide a more smooth lift during training.
Bells of Steel is so confident in the precision of its center hole that the company has placed a warning on its website:
These competition bumper plates have a precision-cut 50.5mm center hole, so the sleeves of non-Olympic barbells might not fit if they’re out of spec.
The collar on the Bells of Steel competition bumper plates isn’t just snug; it’s also really well made. The company chose a galvanized center hub with a co-molded steel collar that doesn’t spin at all. It’s also designed to hold snugly to the plate’s rubber with a proprietary bolt system that appears to be top-notch.
As an added bonus, the center of these plates features a raised edge which keeps multiple plate collars from smacking into each other. Without any metal-on-metal contact, the plates are likely to last longer than plates that make regular collar contact.
And if the overall design of the Bells of Steel Competition Bumper Plates doesn’t convince you to give them a try, maybe the company’s limited lifetime warranty will push you in the right direction.
Quick note: These bumper plates are not IWF approved because they are featured in pounds instead of kilograms. Bells of Steel competition bumper plates in kilograms are also available. Outside of that requirement, they are 450mm in diameter and offer the right color coding by weight to qualify for basic IWF standards.
Bells of Steel Competition Bumper Plates Pricing (Pairs And Sets)
At the time of writing this Bells of Steel competition bumper plates review, a pair of 25-pound weights is $199.99, which is honestly a steal for competition-level weights. The 55-pound pair that I reviewed costs $384.99. On top of those excellent prices, Bells of Steel offers free shipping which presents massive cost savings.
Putting those prices into perspective, competition bumpers from Rogue Fitness start at $213 for a 25-pound pair and $408 for a 55-pound option. When I put the 55-pound option in my cart, Rogue wanted to charge me $99.33. That makes the Bells of Steel bumper plates more than $100 cheaper.
If you’re looking for an entire weight set, you can save some money with the 320-pound set for $1,159.99 or a massive 650-pound set for $2229.99. Several other bumper plate sets are also available.
Bells of Steel Competition Bumper Plates Sizing
Bumper plates are always thicker than metal plates which mean less weight can be loaded on a barbell. The Bells of Steel Competition Bumper plates provide a relatively low thickness which makes them suitable for competition training. The 25-pound plates start at just 1.2 inches, while the 55-pound plates are 2.6 inches in thickness.
My barbell features a fairly standard 15.5″ loadable length which allows for five 55-pound plates to be loaded on each side along with a collar clamp. That’s a total of 550 pounds. If you want to up your weight total, you can fit 12 of the 25-pound weights on each side of a standard bar, allowing for 600 total pounds.
If you’re trying to stack weights while maximizing weight totals, here’s each plate weight and thickness.
- 25-pound bumper plates: 1.2 inches
- 35-pound bumper plates: 1.6 inches
- 45-pound bumper plates: 2.1 inches
- 55-pound bumper plates: 2.6 inches
Just remember to leave some loadable sleeve length for your collar clamps.
As already mentioned, they are also all 450mm to follow along with IWF requirements.
Have I mentioned how great these bumper plates look? I want to leave them on my rack all day long to stare at them every time I walk by my equipment.
Between their amazing-looking design, very low bounce, and a center hub and collar design that is among the best I’ve used, the Bells of Steel Competition Bumper plates are an excellent option with a very decent price for the quality they offer.
You can learn more about these bumper plates HERE.