7 Best Bumper Plates (2021) | #1 For Garage & Home Gyms!

 

Brian Adams – Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS)
  • When it comes to buying Oly weights, you only have two options if you want the best quality—Titan Fitness and Rogue. Both companies are well-respected in the community and are consistently able to put out high-quality equipment.
  • The Titan Elite Olympic bumper set is the best training bumper choice for serious weightlifters who want a lifetime investment if you’re not afraid to spend a good amount of money for your equipment.
  • If you’re looking for a more affordable option without compromising on the longevity of your bumpers, the Rogue HI-Temp’s crumb rubber exterior make it ideal for dropping on rough surfaces like concrete.

9 Best Bumper Plates (List for 2021):

1

Titan

Titan Fitness Elite Olympic

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2

Hi - Temp

Rogue HI-Temp

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3

Rogue Echo

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4

REP Fitness Bumper Plates

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5

Vulcan

Vulcan

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6

Titan Fitness

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7

AB

American Barbell

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8

Fringe Sport

Fringe Sport 

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9

Papababe 2

PAPABABE with Solid Rubber

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One of the questions I get asked most often by my Oly lifting clients is what the best bumper plates I can invest in are? And I always respond with the same thing: it depends on what your needs, preferences, and budget are. 

Besides, there are too many products in the market to stick to any one recommendation. I’ve listed my top bumper plate recommendations below to help you choose the right set or pair for your home gym.

1. Titan Elite Olympic - Best Choice For Weightlifters

Titan

The Titan Olympic 340-lb set of Olympic Bumpers is ideal for any upstarting weightlifter. It’s Hi-quality and will maintain its shape despite heavy use thanks to its heavy-duty rubber molded over a sturdy steel core that will outlast your most intense workouts at home. It comes in pairs of weights varying from 10 to 55 pounds and is at least one inch thick for optimal longevity.

Take a look at its best qualities:

Sleek, Black Finish – the black rubber shell is not only made of thick, durable rubber for durability, but it also lends a sleek and more professional-looking aesthetic to your home gym. It’s still colour-coded with the weights on the rubber plates themselves, but it’s more discreet—and when loaded on your Olympic bar, it isn’t noticeable at all.

Durable IWF Standard – this set of ten oly black bumper plates follow the standard 17.75-inch International Weightlifting Federation standard diameter for weights. It also features a high-gauge steel core that keeps the bumpers in shape despite being loaded and u loaded excessively or constantly getting dropped on hard concrete.

PROS

  • The steel collar helps maintain the shape of the bumpers despite excessive use
  • The plate lip is raised, which makes it easier to pick up
  • It follows the standard IWF size requirement, which is 450mm in diameter
  • It comes with a total of 340 lbs of weight
  • The glossy black rubber coat looks visually stunning and sleek
  • It’s discreetly colour-coded for easy identification without looking tacky

CONS

  • It costs nearly $900, which sounds expensive but it is a really good price to pay for a set of 10 weights

Summary: The Titan Elite Olympic 340-lb Bumper set is an ideal purchase if you’re looking for a complete set of bumpers that are durable, top quality bumper plates rep, and follow IWF standards. They’re ideal for training in your home gym and will last you a long time even if you use them on a daily basis.

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2. Rogue HI-Temp - Most Durable Bumpers

Hi Temp Rogue

The Rogue Hi-Temp rubber bumper plates are designed for heavy-duty use and can withstand a daily session of getting slammed against concrete. 

The recycled rubber shell may not be the prettiest, but it’s environmentally-friendly and won’t fail you when it comes to durability. The brand is associated with high-quality, long-lasting equipment so it makes sense that their bumpers would reflect the same quality. 

Here’s why you’ll like it:

Designed for High-Rep, Outdoor Use – the crumb rubber outer shell of these fitness bumper plates are designed to bounce higher, which means you can use it on rough concrete with no issues. It will be able to maintain its shape and visual look even after countless sessions of dropping your weights on any surface imaginable. 

Odorless – what turns me off the most about most virgin rubber bumpers is the smell. Don’t get me wrong—they look very beautiful and sleek, but they won’t stay that way for long, and the smell is certainly better suited for the outdoors, which isn’t always convenient, especially if you plan on storing your equipment inside your home.

PROS

  • The rugged exterior of the bumpers are designed to maintain the way they look for a long time and can be used on a variety of surfaces
  • They do not smell strongly of processed rubber and are ideal for storing inside your home without exhuming an unpleasant smell
  • It’s covered by a one year warranty 
  • Its inset collar design reduces friction on your bar for easier loading
  • You can buy them in singles for as low as around $35 depending on the weight

CONS

  • It’s expensive—the lightest set of weights will cost you around $340 while the heaviest option costs nearly $1900

Summary: With quality comes price and the same can be said of the Rogue Fitness HI-temps. Although it may seem expensive, you can also try out their single bumper options to check if it’s the right one for you. However, keep in mind that although a set of these heavy-duty recycled rubber bumpers tend to lean on the more expensive side, they’re also built to last a lifetime.

Rogue logo

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3. Rogue Echo - Best For Crossfit Workouts

The Rogue Echo Bumpers are outfitted with a virgin rubber shell that is nearly free from imperfections. Its sleek exterior extends to its precise engineering that follows IWF standards of a 450mm diameter. It boasts a 1% target weight accuracy, which means you’re getting a nearly completely accurate weight rating for each disk you load onto your bar. 

Take a look at its best qualities:

ACFT Approved – these bumper plates are approved for use in the US Army’s Combat Fitness Test. This means it’s suitable for a variety of uses, including crossfit and hand-release push ups. 

Within 1% Weight Accuracy – although not competition-grade equipment, these bumpers follow IWF standards as closely as possible. Its weight accuracy means there’s very little—if any, discrepancy on the actual weight of each plate when you load them onto your Oly.

PROS

  • It’s thinner than the Rogue Hi-temps
  • It’s versatile and can be used for a number of activities like crossfit
  • It’s approved for use on the ACTF
  • You can purchase them in pairs from under $48
  • A set of 160-lb weights will cost you under $300, which is significantly cheaper than the Rogue Hi-Temps

CONS

  • There are only up to 260-lb weight sets to choose from
  • If you want to purchase them in pairs, they’re roughly nearly $10 more expensive compared to the previous Rogue model
  • Not as heavy-duty as the crumb rubber bumpers Rogue carries

Summary: The Rogue Echo bumpers are ideal if you want a more sleek-looking set of bumper weights. They’re nearly a hundred dollars cheaper compared to the previous Rogue bumpers on this list and are also considerably thinner. However, they’re not as heavy-duty and are only available in sets of up to 260-lb weight sets.

Rogue logo

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4. REP Weight Set - Best Affordable Competition Bumper Plates

The Rep Comp Weight Set not only follows IWF standards, but they’re also designed for competition use. This means they’re precisely weighed to follow competition regulations. The set comes in a complete weightlifting package with a barbell, spring clips, and a set of bumper plates of varying weights. 

Take a look at its best qualities:

The Gladiator Barbell – your purchase comes complete with a gladiator barbell you can fit your bumpers onto. You’ll have to choose between a 20kg or 15kg olympic barbell which means you can either load as much or as little weight as you want on it. 

Commercial Quality – this set of competition-grade equipment can be used in a variety of settings including commercial gyms. They’re durable, and more heavy-duty compared to training bumpers which means you it can be used excessively and you won’t have to worry about it getting deformed.

PROS

  • It is covered by a 5-year warranty on the plates and the barbell
  • It’s competition-grade equipment which means the weights are precise and are ideal for professional use
  • The plates are colour-coded for easy identification
  • It’s well-priced at under $800 for a set of Olympic lift competition equipment
  • The barbell is adequately knurled for optimal and comfortable grip

CONS

  • It comes with a barbell which may not be ideal if you’re only looking for a set of comp bumpers

Summary: The REP Fitness Comp Weight Set is a complete package of competition-grade Olympic lifting equipment that costs less than $800. 

It’s durable, high-quality, and is a convenient option if you’re looking for a complete set of equipment that follows competition standards.

REP Fitness

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5. Vulcan Bumper Plates - Most Durable Virgin Rubber Bumpers

Vulcan

The Vulcan Rubber bumpers feature innovative forged solid steel inserts that are anchored into place inside the harder and denser rubber shells that the brand introduced in 2011.

I’ve seen numerous other brands claim to offer the same quality but have inevitably waffled over time. Vulcan, however, claims that they’ve only replaced less than a dozen bumpers of the thousands they’ve sent out through the years. 

Here’s why we like it:

Low Bounce – the well-designed exterior and interior of the bumpers contribute to its low-bounce and quiet thud every time you drop it. The low bounce feature is ideal for safety reasons since you don’t want your barbell bouncing around like a ball after you lift it. 

Extensive Quality Testing – Vulcan bumpers have been drop tested up to 30k drops from a height of 9 feet without any deformation reported. This guarantees that you’re getting a highly durable set of bumpers to add to your home gym.

PROS

  • The plates are thinner, but are also more durable compared to other bumpers in the market
  • It’s covered in virgin rubber which looks aesthetically pleasing but is also functional and low-bounce
  • It costs less than $450 for a set of 260-lb

CONS

  • The virgin rubber is not as ideal for outdoor use as crumb rubber 
  • The brand tends to make a lot of outrageous claims that have yet to be proven concisely like their bumpers are quieter than their competition

Summary: The Vulcan bumpers are an ideal choice for you if you’re looking for a highly durable set of bumper plates for less than $500 that can withstand heavy use. Their innovative forged steel core anchored into the rubber shell means there are less chances of waffling and your plates of getting damaged despite heavy usage.

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6. Titan Olympic 260 LB Set - Good Beginner Set

The Titan Olympic 260 lb bumper set is a beginner piece of equipment that is good-quality but not meant for heavy-duty use. It’s great for perfecting your cleans and jerks, but won’t be able to withstand constantly being thrown onto your floors. 

Here’s why you’ll like it:

Affordable Complete Set – if you’re looking for a complete set of weights for under $500, this beginner package is ideal for you. It comes with 5 pairs of weights varying from 10 to 45 lbs with a total combined weight of 260 lbs.

Standard Color Coded – despite it not being competition quality, it’s colour-coded to follow comp standards. This makes your discs easier to identify and helps you familiarize the right color coding more quickly.

PROS

  • It’s affordable for a set of 10 weights, all in all. It costs just shy of $480 compared to others that would cost upwards of $500 at least
  • It’s colour-coded according to weight for easy identification
  • The solid steel interior helps it hold its shape
  • It’s also compatible with 2-inch barbells

CONS

  • It’s not meant for heavy-duty use and cannot stand up to consistently getting dropped on your floors

Summary: The Titan Olympic 260-lb bumper set is ideal if you’re looking for an affordable beginner set of weights to practice your Olympic forms.

 It costs under $480 and is color-coded to make for easy weight identification. Unfortunately, it’s not meant for heavy-duty use, which means it’s better for casual lifters.

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7. American Barbell BP Set - Best Competition Bumper Plates

AB

The American Barbell bumper set features a patented design utilizing urethane material instead of the traditional rubber for a more ergonomic bumper plate performance. It’s one of the most durable competition-grade bumpers I’ve come across—nearly beating Rogue when it comes to shell durability. You’ll enjoy its vibrant colors that remain so for a very long time despite abusive use. 

Take a look at its best qualities:

Urethane Shell – unlike others on this list, American Barbell decided to use a patented PUR shell that adds to its durability, low-bounce quality, and eye-catching vibrant colors. The improved pebble finish removes any chance of your plates slipping from your sweaty hands as you load them onto your bar. 

Scuff-free Discs – like many vibrantly-colored bumpers, it’s understandable that you might be worried about the longevity of its appearance. The discs are marketed as scuff-free and should maintain their vibrant color and new appearance even when used vigorously.

PROS

  • The bumpers are competition grade and are measured precisely to comply with IWF competing standards
  • The urethane shell is more durable and low-bounce compared to crumb rubber combined
  • It’s designed to resist scuffing despite heavy use
  • It ships for free within the US if you purchase them as a set and not pairs

CONS

  • The pairs are expensive and cost at least nearly $60

Summary: The American Barbell bumpers are an ideal choice if you’re looking for high-quality, competition-grade equipment that will last you a lifetime. 

Its vibrant colors are both aesthetically pleasing and functional since it follows IWF color-coding standards. Unfortunately, it is quite expensive, with some of the heavier pairs priced at nearly $350. Despite that, they are a good investment and will last you a lifetime of use.

American Barbell Logo

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8. Fringe Sport Bumper Plates - Best Variety

Fringe Sport

The Fringe Sport Bumper Plate Catalog features a wide array of options that vary from training discs to competition grade equipment. They even have a more whimsical donut and pizza design on a 10-lb bumper plate. 

Here’s why you’ll like them:

Unique Choices – Fringe Sport offers varying design options for their bumpers. You can choose between a pizza, donut, standard color-coded, sleek colour-coded, or all-black coating, among others. This is a good option if you’re wanting to customize the look and feel of your home gym.

Great Variety – from training to competition-grade equipment, Fringe Sport with cast iron core seems to carry it all. There are even bumper set options as well as weight pair selections to help you choose exactly what you need for your home gym or training sessions.

PROS

  • There are a wide variety of designs to choose from
  • They don’t stick to the traditional black and color-coded bumper aesthetics, although they also offer those
  • Their bumper discs ship for free
  • Some of their training competition plates are affordable and will only cost you under $200

CONS

  • You will have to spend a lot of money if you want a set of their more “unique” designs, which can cost upwards of $17,000

Summary: Fringe Sports offers a good variety of weight (kg or lbs), design, and package options. 

You can choose from pairs of training weights to sets of competing discs that are all of the good quality and are designed to handle the demands of Olympic lifting.

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9. PAPABABE with Solid Rubber - Cheap Bumper Plates

Papababe 2

PAPABABE bumpers are made of solid rubber and a stainless steel insert that helps it maintain its shape despite rigorous use. Its solid bumper shell is low-bounce, and it’s very affordable, costing you as little as under $100 for a pair of durable, well-made discs. 

Here’s why you’ll like it:

Proprietary Rubber Formulation – these bumpers are made to absorb impact with a low-bounce, minimal odor, and have racked in a 90 durometer rating attesting to its durability. 

Hooked Stainless Steel Insert – the SS insert is designed to not only help the bumper keep its shape, but also so it doesn’t slip or move around after being loaded on your bar sleeves.

PROS

  • It’s affordable and costs as little as nearly $100
  • The rubber bumper shell is highly durable, low-noise, low-bounce, and doesn’t smell strongly of obnoxious rubber
  • The stainless steel insert features a hooked design that keeps your weights in place during lifting

CONS

  • The heavier weights are quite expensive and can cost you upwards of $400 a pair

Summary: I recommend the PAPABABE bumpers if you’re looking for affordable lighter weight bumpers. They’re made of durable rubber and a stainless steel insert that helps it maintain its shape. Unfortunately, the heavier weights are very expensive and can cost you more than $400 for a pair. 

logo papababe

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What are Bumper Plates Good For?

Bumper plates are designed to allow athletes to drop Olympic bars from an overhead lift even if they’re loaded. The weight plates make sure your platform or your equipment is free from damage.

Think about it this way: if you’re performing a snatch, you don’t want to have to carefully lower your Oly bar loaded with 1,000-lb weights on the floor just so you’re sure you don’t cause damage to the floor you’re standing on, your plates, or your precious bar. 

Bumper plates are usually made with rubber and provide a cushioning or insulating effect when you drop your barbell from a height. They also allow your equipment to bounce after falling to lessen the impact on your Olympic bar or the platform. 

The only difference between bumpers and oly weights is the fact that they’re made of thick rubber. They still come in lbs or kg weight options and vary depending on the type of plates you purchase.

What Type of Bumper Plates Do You Need?

There are three types of bumper plates that you need to be aware of. And if you’re a newbie to bumper equipment, you want to make sure you’re getting the right kind, so you don’t overspend, underspend, or purchase one you don’t have much need for.  If you train using the Olympic lifts, and you routinely drop from overhead or waist level, bumper plates are the right choice.

Competition

Competition plates are the most expensive kind of bumper plates on the market. As the name suggests, these bumpers are designed for competition use, so they are expected to follow a certain standard

You should only consider purchasing this type of bumper if you are training for a competition. The measurements are precise and are thinner compared to other bumpers. They’ll also cost more compared to training bumpers. 

Unless you’re training for a competition or plan to use your bumpers on a competing level, you don’t need to spend the extra money on competition-grade bumpers. Instead, you could choose technique bumpers if you’re adamant about purchasing specialty equipment. Otherwise, training bumpers will work fine.

Training

Training plates are meant exactly for what they’re named after training. If you’re looking for a safe way to lift at home, these bumpers are a good compromise between technique and competition plates. 

There are competition discs that come in training varieties. The only difference is that they’re not calibrated to follow specific competing standards. But if you’re just using these at home, it shouldn’t really be an issue. 

Plus most of the time, the discrepancies in SHORE ratings are unnoticeable and won’t even matter while you’re using them. Because of this, they’re significantly cheaper compared to technique and competition bumpers. But that doesn’t mean they’re any less useful or any less effective for your workouts.

Technique

Technique plates

Technique plates are designed to help you perfect your form. They’re certainly not inexpensive, but you won’t need to break the bank to make the purchase since you’ll only need about two of them. 

Basically, what they do is help you practice your form with as little weight as possible. You’ll usually find them in 5, and 10-pound variants and they’re made of plastic instead of rubber.

They’re not a necessity in your home gym, but they’re a good investment if you’re just starting out on your Olympic weight journey and want to practice your form with little strain.

What Do Athletes Have to Say About Bumper Plates?

I’ve seen numerous home trainers make the mistake of investing in too many technique bumpers or overspending on competition-grade equipment. While there’s really no right or wrong in this particular regard, there is such a thing as wastefulness. 

Here are some tips I’ve collected from my colleagues, other athletes, and myself over the years that you should know about bumpers.

  • You do not need competition-grade bumper weights unless you’re a professional or are hosting an Olympic event. Training quality bumpers are more than good enough for home gyms. They cost less—and if bought from a reputable company, they will last you a very long time.
  • Technique plates are best suited for newbies. Unless you’re having trouble perfecting your form—which I have trouble believing if you’ve been doing this for a long time, then there’s really no need to buy technique plates. You won’t get much use out of them if you already know the right form for lifting.
  • Always buy from a reputable company. If you want your equipment to last long, and do what they’re supposed to do, make sure you run a background check on the company you’re buying from. You don’t want cheap rubber that will crumble within a few years.

When in doubt, ask a professional. If you’re not sure which bumper to purchase, or if you should be using a bumper, consult a professional. I’m always eager to help and there’s nothing wrong with asking for assistance to make the right decisions.

Are Bumper Plates Worth It?

Here’s what you need to know before you commit to purchasing a bumper plate, whether for your motorcycle or for your cargo bike: Most manufacturers sell bumper plates as one piece, meaning the frame, or the subframe (the metal part that sticks to the frame of the bike, usually the wheel hubs, and then carries the engine and other frame parts), and the olympic weightlifting bumpers are all welded together at one location, usually just behind the rear axle. The plates are held in place with their own welded plates, welded together through the primary high-density plate and supporting the other plates. So in total, the whole installation looks good and correct (assuming the mount is correct). The plates will typically stay in place through a few thousand miles of the typical American driver’s normal routine. If the plate fits, you’re good.

A few manufacturers make bumper plates that are sized specifically for one bike or one type of bike. This does make it a little more difficult to fix a bumper plate to a bike, but you are far more likely to have a problem if you try to put one on for a bike with a completely different design. What’s the price? As a rule of thumb, I’d start off at $100 for the bumper plates for most manufacturers, or maybe a little less for a European-specific bumper plate, and they will last quite a while. You should buy the plate closest to what you will be riding on (and that’s also the one that has the best warranty). Is a bumper plate worth it? An international weightlifting bumper plate is definitely worth the money. The extra bit of protection does a lot for the comfort of your passengers. On a big touring motorcycle (especially a Dakar truck bike) or one with a less “modern” body style.

Frequently Asked Questions About Bumper Plates

I’ve come across many clients who’ve either overspent on bumper plates or looked on helplessly trying to figure out what they’re meant for. And I’m not going to lie, and the issue is that there are many choices in the market. And to be honest, bumper plates may sound like a standard piece of equipment, but they’re really not. To help you make better decisions for your home gym, I answer some of the most frequently asked questions about bumpers below.

If you plan on practicing overhead Oly lifts, you should invest in bumper weights. On the other hand, iron weights are good if you don’t plan on performing cleans, snatches, and other lifts that require your loaded bar to be dropped from a high distance. The thing you need to remember is that bumpers will buffer the impact of your barbell and weights on your floor. This not only helps with the longevity of your equipment, but it’s also safer for everyone—and everything involved in your workouts. But if you don’t plan on dropping your equipment, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t invest in iron plates.

Yes, bumper plates are designed to be dropped on every surface imaginable without repercussions. Their rubber shell makes them ideal for dropping on any platform or floor without having to worry about damaging your equipment or your floors.

You do not need bumper plates to perform deadlifts. Generally, bumpers are only used for Olympic workouts that require lifts from the waist up. However, there are many benefits to using bumper weights for your Olympic form exercises, such as versatility in your workouts and protecting your flooring. And while it isn’t a necessity for deadlifts, you might need them to perform overhead forms. Plates are great to use in trap bars and deadlift bars.

Bumper weights are Olympic-sized plates with an outer rubber shell. They weigh the same as standard Oly weights with the exception of being used for overhead lifts to protect your flooring and equipment from damage that can occur from dropping a heavily loaded bar from the waist up.

The colors are a clear identifier of a bumper’s weight. Bumper plates usually come in four colors: red, blue, yellow, and green. They all signify a different weight, which makes it easier to identify your weights. Basically, they give you a clear, visual indicator of the weight of each bumper according to IWF standards.

Final Words. So, What Are the Best Bumper Plates on the Market?

If you’re looking for a solidly built complete set of bumper weights for your serious weightlifting sessions, the Titan Elite Olympic bumper set is an ideal choice for you.

This set of Oly bumpers follow IWF standards as closely as possible and are designed for heavy-duty use. The rubber shell makes it ideal for outdoor workouts such as those that you’ll perform on concrete. 

On the other hand, if you want a cheaper alternative but don’t want to compromise on quality, the Rogue Echo features a virgin rubber shell and is approved for use in the US Army’s CFT drills. A set of these weights will cost you less than $300.

Some of your choices for competition-grade discs include REP weight set which is an affordable package of comp-grade equipment, and the American Barbell BP set which are a bit more expensive with some of the pairs costing over $350.