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Old 11-08-2007, 08:37 PM   #1
Ahmik Jones
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Pendlay Elite Bars

The new Pendlay Elite Bars are available. Here are a few specs from Glenn.

It is made from custom steel. There are 5 needle bearings per sleeve. There is a 2nd snap ring in each sleeve for redundency. It is coated with automotive grade chrome. It has the same knurling as a Pendlay Weightlifting Bar.

I will post a review when mine arrives.
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Old 11-09-2007, 07:27 AM   #2
Paul Findley
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Re: Pendlay Elite Bars

I am shopping for bars at the moment. How much is this one?
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Old 11-09-2007, 10:56 AM   #3
Ahmik Jones
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Re: Pendlay Elite Bars

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Originally Posted by Paul Findley View Post
I am shopping for bars at the moment. How much is this one?
He is offering them at an
introductory price of $559. The normal price is $599.
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Old 11-09-2007, 05:46 PM   #4
Glenn Pendlay
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Re: Pendlay Elite Bars

A few points about the new bar, which will eventually be available in both Mens and Womens versions. I think the regular Pendlay bar is plenty good for just about anyone. I dont know if anyone actually NEEDS a Pendlay Elite. But here is why I developed this bar.

It has always kind of annoyed me that the bars that are generally considered to be the absolute best in the world are made in Japan, Sweden, Finland, Germany, etc., and not made in the USA. I have nothing against those countries but am a fairly patriotic person and enjoy it when an American made procuct is considered the best available. My Pendlay Mens and Womens bars are nice bars, but they were developed with the goal in mind of being the best bar we could make for under $400, a bar that would be suitable for ANY level athlete right up to an Olympic hopeful to train on yet still relatively affordable, at least compared to bars like the $900 Eleiko. They were not concieved or designed as the "cost is no object" best bar that we could offer, and there are obviously things you cannot do when your goal is to stay below $400.

Anyone who makes or sells anything, from shoes to watches to a car company, probably wants to make at least one product that it can point to and say "that is the best I could do". That would apply to me, with the added desire to add a bar to the Pendlay line that I could honestly and in good conscience say is an American made product that takes a back seat to nothing made anywhere else in the world.

When I was testing the first Pendlay Elite prototype about a year ago, I had no idea what the final product would cost. Nothing from $500 to $1000 would have surprised me. I wasnt all that worried about it, because I really didnt think I would sell hundreds of them or get rich off of selling them. What I wanted was to do things the best way, and do the best bar we could do, and worry about what we had to charge for them later.

We put a lot of thought into the details, details concerning safety, durability, and usability. One safety measure that I believe we are the first to introduce a dual snap ring design. Snap rings very rarely fail even under extreme types of use, that is why virtually all the top bars use them. It can happen though, I personally know 3 or 4 cases where very high quality bars had a snap ring failure. On the Pendlay elite, we use two snap rings. One holds the sleeve on, and about a quarter inch further down the shaft is another that does absolutely nothing except provide a fail-safe in case the first one breaks. On this bar, if you DO have a snap ring failure, the sleeve still wont come off, but you will develop about a quarter of an inch play in one sleeve to alert you that something is wrong and the bar needs fixing. I hope that the extra expense of using this second snap ring is totally wasted, and that it is NEVER used. But just in case, it is there.

This is a bar we designed to be used for decades, not years. I know from using 30 and 40 year old bars in my gym that no matter how maintanence free you design a bar to be, put a few decades of use on it and it will need to be cleaned and oiled. We went the extra step on the Pendlay Elite of using an end cap that is held in place with a snap ring. On most bars, even top quality bars, the end cap is pressed in or at the very least requires special tools to remove. Often if it is taken out once, it will never fit tight again and will continually pop out. We used a snap ring secured end cap so that in 10 or 20 or 30 years, if your Pendlay Elite does need to be disassembled and cleaned and oiled, you can completely disassemble the whole bar with one tool, a pair of snap ring pliers, and you can put it back together again good as new, with no worries about pieces that wont fit tight after being taken out once. For this same reason we secure the bearings under the collar with a snap ring instead of pressing them in. There is a another thread about a bearing bar for sale that has a bad bearing that could only be removed by a machinist. If the Pendlay Elite bar ever needs all the bearings taken out for any reason, it can be done with one simple tool that you can buy for about $12 at Sears, or $20 at Lowes. There is quite a bit of extra machining cost involved in doing things like this, and the majority of users of the bar will probably never need these features. But if they are needed, they are there, and I think anyone spending nearly $600 on a bar will appreciate that.

There are many, many other details about this bar that represent out desire to do things the best way possible. For instance our spacing washers between the interior and exterior snap rings and between the bearings and the snap rings inside the collars are hand machined and hand polished. Even Eleiko, which is I think about the most expensive bar in the world, uses stamped spacing washers. I dont know if this gives our bar any better performance than if we used cheaper stamped spacers, but I do know that imperfections in moving parts usually get worse over time, not better, and we wanted to eliminate as many possible sources of bar failure or performance deterioration as we could.

I cant in good conscience recommend this bar to 99 out of 100 people... for the vast majority, the extra $200 or $250 cost of this bar verses the regular Pendlay Mens and Womens bar is just money wasted. There are some people who will, however, get the same pleasure in in owning a truly top of the line American manufactured bar as I get from producing it. Getting this bar from the idea stage to the production stage has been expensive and difficult but also a lot of fun, and I am more proud of the finished product than words can describe.

FYI, I am going to be donating one of these new bars as a prize in the '08 Crossfit Games, so train hard for the event if you want one for free!!

Ahmik has them on the CF So Cal website right now, and they will be on my website soon. We might have short delays in shipping over the next month or so, there have been enough word-of-mouth pre-orders before they were actually available that we are having a very hard time catching up.

Glenn
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Old 11-09-2007, 06:05 PM   #5
Tim Davis
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Re: Pendlay Elite Bars

Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Pendlay View Post
It has always kind of annoyed me that the bars that are generally considered to be the absolute best in the world are made in Japan, Sweden, Finland, Germany, etc., and not made in the USA. I have nothing against those countries but I am a fairly patriotic person and enjoy it when an American made product is considered the best available.

...

Anyone who makes or sells anything, from shoes to watches to a car company, probably wants to make at least one product that it can point to and say "that is the best I could do". That would apply to me, with the added desire to add a bar to the Pendlay line that I could honestly and in good conscience say is an American made product that takes a back seat to nothing made anywhere else in the world.

...

There are many, many other details about this bar that represent out desire to do things the best way possible.

...

There are some people who will, however, get the same pleasure in owning a truly top of the line American manufactured bar as I get from producing it.

Glenn
Glenn, those few lines are all you had to say. That alone will move the Eleiko from the top spot on my Wish List to your Elite. Thank you.
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Old 11-09-2007, 06:05 PM   #6
Paul Findley
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Re: Pendlay Elite Bars

Thanks for the overview Glenn. Its give a good perspective on what is for sale. I am in the 99% of those that don't need it, but I remain intrigued. It still seems like you hit a great price point for a quality needle bearing bar, albeit not stainless steel.

Would you describe the "automotive chrome"? How does this compare to York's "Satin Chrome"? What makes automotive chrome better?
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Old 11-09-2007, 08:59 PM   #7
Kurt Holm
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Re: Pendlay Elite Bars

pics please
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Old 11-09-2007, 09:06 PM   #8
Ahmik Jones
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Re: Pendlay Elite Bars

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Findley View Post
Thanks for the overview Glenn. Its give a good perspective on what is for sale. I am in the 99% of those that don't need it, but I remain intrigued. It still seems like you hit a great price point for a quality needle bearing bar, albeit not stainless steel.

Would you describe the "automotive chrome"? How does this compare to York's "Satin Chrome"? What makes automotive chrome better?
I will attempt to field this.

Glenn went with automotive grade chrome plating for durability. Like he said above, he designed this bar to last decades not years. The chrome on a cars bumper can last years or even decades exposed to the elements without rusting. A stresses a bar undertakes in a gym are not that severe, so a bar with automotive grade chrome will last for a long time without rusting.

Satin chrome will not last as long without rusting. That is not to say that a bar made with satin chrome is bad. I have two York Olympic training bars and they are very nice bars.
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Old 11-09-2007, 09:07 PM   #9
Ahmik Jones
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Re: Pendlay Elite Bars

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Originally Posted by Kurt Holm View Post
pics please
As soon as mine comes I will get pictures up. Glenn may have some already that he can post.
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Old 11-13-2007, 11:18 AM   #10
Glenn Pendlay
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Re: Pendlay Elite Bars

I will be the first to admit I am no expert on chrome or zinc coatings. We use chrome on the sleeves of the Pendlay bar because chrome has better wear characteristics when plates are sliding back and forth over it. No doubt about that. We used a zinc coating on the shaft, because it is a less "slick" coating, and just plain feels better in the hands.

I have had a lot of people worry about the rust inhibition of the black zinc vs. chrome. About 9-10 months ago I took one of my Pendlay mens bars and a satin chrome finish bar out to my backyard, where they have been sitting in the grass in both rain and sunshine ever since. Just to be fair, these bars sell in the same price range, I did not compare my bar to a cheap $100 bar that I suppose could be expected to have inferior coating. Every once in a while when the urge took me I have lightly used one or the other for some cleans and presses, but have then left them back in the grass. We had a rainy spring and summer here in Wichita, and in truth no bar should be expected to survive laying in the mud for almost a year, but here is a picutre of both bars after I put them on my patio this morning to pose for the pics.

As you can see, there is rust on both bars. Looking at them in detail, it seems to me that the black zinc coating performed quite well, there is really no rust on any surface it coated. The chrome on the sleeves of the Pendlay bar have some light rust. What you are seeing is the sleeve that I did not alter, on the other sleeve I tried to get it off, and was successfull in getting the chrome back to an almost new condition with some oil and a cloth. As you can see the other bar is quite rusted.

We used chrome on the bar shaft of the Pendlay Elite bar because on a bar this quality we wanted to be sure the looks of the bar lasted as long as possible. The top layer of a black zinc coating tends to fade over time and use. Also, our "market research", a term i use loosely to describe talking on the phone to strength coaches, lifters, etc about what they preferred, indicated to me that on a $600 bar, people wanted shiny chrome.

I think the take home thought here is that any bar can rust, but with a little care you dont have much to worry about. I would discourage anyone to buy my bar, or any other, on the basis of superior rust protection. If you are really worried about rust, you are probably going to take care of your bar and not leave it laying out in the rain, and probably wont have any problems.

Also, please no one take this picture as a slam on the other bar. That was a good quality bar that was subjected to conditions that no bar should be expected to survive. The one thing I learned from this is that a satin chrome finish is not neccessarily superior to zinc or regular chrome. I did not say the bar in question was inferior, I am just comparing 3 different types of coating.
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