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Affordable Olympic Barbell (Flybird Fitness)

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So you’ve decided to build yourself a home gym. You’ve got a list of essentials you are going to need to turn your space into your own iron paradise. 

You might be looking to keep it simple with dumbbells, a pull-up bar and an adjustable bench. 

Or you might have bigger ideas and plan to hook your space up with a squat rack, barbell and some plates.

If that’s your plan, then stay here for a little while and let me introduce you to a great barbell option that’s out there on the market. 

The Flybird Fitness Olympic Weightlifting Bar.

In this article I’m going to cover the specs of the barbell as well as my own thoughts and experiences from having owned this piece of equipment for about 3 months at the time of this writing. 

Let me also quickly mention, since you may still be looking for a full setup, this is the bench, barbell and plates combo that I’m currently using right now at the time of this writing. 

If you decide to purchase a product using any of the links in this article, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Key Takeaways
Great for those on a budget
Brass bushing/needle bearing hybrid combination
Diamond knurling
Powerlifting marks (rings) only

Specs & Dimensions

A standard Olympic Barbell weighs 45 pounds (20.5 kg) and is 7 feet (220 cm) in length. 

The Flybird barbell checks both of those boxes weighing in at 45 pounds (20.5 kg) and measuring at 86.6 inches (7 feet, 220 cm) in length. 

And in case you are wondering, I did weigh it myself by standing on a scale while holding the barbell and deducting the total weight from my body weight. 

The loadable sleeve length (the area on each side of the barbell that holds the plates) is 16.3 inches (41.4 cm), and the sleeve diameter is 1.98 inches (5.02 cm) and fits Olympic style plates. 

Each sleeve has slight ribbing which allows for better grip for plates on the sleeves. 

The shaft diameter is 1.1 in (2.8 cm) which for me is a comfortable thickness and allows me to get a good grip and hand-wrap around the bar. 

Some barbells come with both Olympic and Powerlifting marks (rings around the shaft) to ensure that you have even placement with both hands when you grip the bar. 

This particular barbell has only Powerlifting marks.

Flybird states that this barbell is constructed of high-quality alloy steel with a black phosphate coating. 

I do find the black very visually appealing and sleek which is another reason I chose this particular barbell for my gym. 

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And so far, after a few months of consistent use at the time of this writing, and weathering very low temperatures in my garage I can say that this barbell is holding up well with a just a few minor scuffs from what I would consider normal wear and tear. 

You might also be wondering, “Is it ok to drop this barbell if I’m Olympic lifting?”.

Since it doesn’t specify anywhere on the website as far as I could tell, I reached out to Flybird to find out.

I was told that it is fine to drop the barbell from the normal height of Olympic Weightlifting, which is lifted above the head and then dropped to the floor.

Keep in mind, I do not and don’t plan to use this barbell for that purpose so I can’t personally attest to that information, I am simply passing it on. They also did not specify whether or not there is a max weight or max height of user in which it is acceptable to drop this barbell.

Flybird also states that this particular barbell can handle up to 1700 pounds (771.1 kg) of weight. 

I personally come nowhere near using that amount of weight when using this barbell so I can not personally attest to the accuracy of that limit. 

Bushings & Bearings

This Flybird barbell is built using a hybrid format of both brass bushings and 15 needle bearings

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Brass Bushing

The purpose of both bearings and bushings is to allow each sleeve to rotate. 

Bearings will typically allow greater and smoother rotation when compared to bushings, which is important to consider if your training consists of Olympic-style movements as to allow the sleeves to spin and take strain off of your wrists. 

I personally don’t include any Olympic-style lifts into my training and use this barbell primarily for the powerlifting movements of bench and deadlift. 

For these movements, the rate of spin on the sleeves isn’t quite as important.

I still find that each sleeve rotates well when testing each side spinning it by hand, but can not personally attest to how they would feel while Olympic liting. 


The knurling on this barbell is a diamond-shaped, mountain-style knurling. Diamond knurling is a style that allows for very good grip, which comes in very handy (no pun intended) for a lift like deadlifts. 

Diamond knurling consists of many points, or peaks like the mountain name suggests, designed to sink into the hand and help keep the bar from slipping. 

In my opinion, the knurling doesn’t feel super aggressive at all. It doesn’t dig noticeably into my hands or leave marks afterward, however, it does feel comfortable and has done a fine job in assisting with grip on deadlifts and helping to keep the bar in my hands. 

There is also a section of knurling in the center of the barbell. This is very useful when back squatting as it provides added grip on your clothing to help keep the bar in place. 

Price Point

Flybird currently has this listed for $271.41 at the time of this writing. 

I would consider this a lower to mid-range-priced bar. I have seen a few cheaper barbells on the market, but many more expensive ones on the market as well. 

Keep in mind, typically bearing bars are more expensive than bushing bars, and with this barbell, you are getting a hybrid combo of both. 

If you are on a budget, just getting into lifting, or both, this could be a great starter barbell for you to grow with until you feel the need to upgrade for whatever reason that might be. 

My Experience

I have been using this barbell for roughly 3 months at the time of publishing

I have been using it regularly, about 3 times per week and it has definitely met my expectations so far.

It’s given me that commercial gym feel in the convenience and comfort of my own garage gym. 

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It’s held up to the elements thus far from being kept in a cold garage and only has minor scuffing on the shaft around the area where it sits in the cups of the barbell stand on my rack. 

The plates slide on and off very easily, and you can in fact feel the ribbing  grabbing onto the plates just slightly as slip them on and take them off the sleeves. 

The most I’ve loaded onto this barbell so far is 295lbs (133.8 kg) for deadlifts, and it felt strong and sturdy. I’m looking forward to getting stronger and seeing how this bar feels as the load increases. 

I find the knurling to be comfortable yet effective in helping me grip the bar. 

Even when I’m deeper into a set of stiff-legged deadlifts and my grip starts to give out, I can feel the bar slowly sliding from my hands yet I am still able to grip the bar near my fingertips to squeeze out another rep or two thanks to the knurling. 

Overall I am very happy that I chose this bar for my gym. I don’t see myself outgrowing this one for a while and expect it to be a mainstay even as I put more mileage on it going forward.

Disclaimer: None of the information in this article is intended to be medical or health advice. Always consult with a qualified physician before taking part in any exercise or fitness regimen, and always train responsibly.

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