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Urethane plates are making waves in the fitness industry. They have been around since the 1980s, but the urethane bumper plates from those times were not viable for the average Joe because of their high price and questionable build quality. Until now.
American Barbell Urethane Bumper Plates are often regarded as the best urethane bumper plates on the market right now. American Barbell makes its bumper plates from German urethane, which is widely considered as the best type of urethane for weights. However, they still command a fairly steep price.
And this begs the question: are American Barbell urethane Bumper Plates worth it? This is what we’re trying to work out in this review, so stay tuned.
Urethane Bumper Plates – What Are They?
But first, let’s uncover the mystery that is urethane bumper plates. Not many regular gym-goers might be aware that there is a material out there for bumper plates other than rubber.
One of them is urethane. While it would take us too much time to try and explain the chemical formula of urethane (because, science), you need to know that urethane is slightly different from rubber.
How are urethane bumper plates different from rubber plates, though?
- They are more durable. Rubber is not resistant to cuts and bruises that can come with heavy use, and it is also not resistant to weather, as they can get melted in case of extreme heat. Urethane is much more durable. It’s resistant to sunlight and the elements, and it’s also resistant to cuts which, is an advantage over the regular rubber plates.
- They look nicer. If you’ve seen a urethane bumper plate live, you might have noticed they look much brighter. That’s because they are dyed, unlike rubber which cannot be dyed. Rubber is dyed with the help of clay filler, while urethane can be dyed with colors easily, which means that branding and coloring is made easier.
- They don’t bounce. An important thing to keep in mind, this. If you perform power moves, then you sometimes have to drop the barbell from a height, resulting in a small earthquake in the gym (don’t do that in a commercial gym, though). Rubber plates will bounce, while urethane plates will still bounce but to a much lesser extent.
While urethane plates might be more expensive, they bring more quality to the table. Read on to find out more about the American Barbell Urethane Bumper Plates.
Review of the American Barbell Urethane Bumper Plates
The American Barbell urethane bumper plates are one of the first top-quality urethane plates on the market that are also viable for the average consumer. Previously, they were made inaccessible by higher prices.
Today though, you can easily get them through companies like American Barbell. These produce urethane bumper plates from German urethane, which is believed to be of better quality than other types of urethane.
Here are some key and basic specifications of these urethane bumper plates:
Weights: From 25lbs to 55lbs
Plate widths: 1.5” (29mm) for the 25lb plate, to 2.27” (58mm) for the 55lb plate
Center hub: hard chrome
Colors: green, yellow, red, blue
Firstly, we think that you’ll immediately notice the difference between rubber plates and the American Barbell urethane plates. These just look so nice! They have almost flashy colors, and they are certainly brighter than rubber plates.
The colors also signify the weight of the bumper plate; the green color signifies the 25lb bumper plate, while the red color represents the 55lb bumper plate.
While the urethane construction brings a lot of quality to the table, the design of the plates is also great. It’s designed as a solid one-piece construction with the hard chrome center hub, which makes it easier for you to insert the plate onto a bar.
It prevents scratching that would normally happen with urethane, although the metal in the center might still scratch the bar when you take it off the bar, and it’s also loud!
Urethane is a slick material, so it might be tougher to lift them off the ground. Fortunately, American Barbell urethane plates have a pebble-like pattern on their body, which makes it easier to pick them up.
We were also impressed by the fact that urethane bumper plates don’t bounce around as rubber plates do. This is especially true for the American Barbell plates. But, the downside of this is that they can be loud when you drop them.
What We Liked
So let’s get into the stuff that we really liked about these bumper plates.
Firstly, they are just so high-quality that you can definitely feel the difference between these plates and low-quality plates. They will last you an eternity, and you won’t have to worry about scratching.
Secondly, they look nice. They look different than rubber plates but in a good way. They have better colors and they’re so much brighter, which makes it easier for brands to make them unique.
They don’t bounce around when you drop them to the floor as rubber plates do sometimes.
They last much longer than most other plates. That’s mainly thanks to urethane, which makes them resistant to corrosion, weather, and scratches that come with heavy use.
Are There Any Downsides?
There aren’t many big downsides to these plates.
They can be more expensive than most plates. You’re looking at a steeper price, but if you’re just after durability and quality, you can’t go wrong with these.
It can be difficult to pick them up straight from the ground. Now, this is only a minor niggle, but once you get used to putting a finger underneath the plate before you pick them up, it’s good.
They can make a lot of noise when you drop them. Again, it’s only a small issue but there’s not that much difference between these and rubber plates. They do reduce the bounce somewhat, though.
So if you’re looking to get American Barbell urethane bumper plates but you’re not sure about the price, we’d say yes, they are definitely worth it.
These are some of the best bumper plates you can get right now, and probably the best urethane bumper plates out there overall. If you’re after durable, high-quality bumper plates, then it’s going to be hard to find better plates than the American Barbell urethane plates.