If you're in the CrossFit or Olympic weightlifting crowd, you already know how important bumper plates are for any fitness program. But are all bumper plates made the same? Like anything, quality varies by brand, and we'll be looking at one brand in particular in this Vulcan Strength Alpha bumper plate review.
Vulcan bumper plates are weight-lifting discs made from a durable rubber material. They look like they have a thick—and usually colorful—rubber casing all around them.
But how did they hold up when we reviewed these plates? If you're looking to invest in bumper plates, keep reading this Vulcan Strength Alpha bumper plate review to see if this brand is right for you.
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What are Bumper Plates?
Bumper plates are designed to be dropped from overhead during Olympic lifts, and they help protect your flooring from being damaged by heavy weights or bars being dropped.
Using bumper plates helps with safety, performance, and overall technique, making them ideal equipment for beginners. They also help reduce noise and protect equipment from impact damage.
A Quick Look at Vulcan Strength Alpha Bumper Plates
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- Durability: High durability
- Plate Width Options: 6
- Bounce: Low bounce regardless of weight
- Noise: Make approximately 25% less noise when dropped from a height of 9'
Any brand can take a weight plate and wrap it in a colorful coating, but not every bumper plate uses a unique rubber compound that has been shown to reduce bounce and noise.
As we'll discuss more below, Vulcan Strength Alpha bumper plates use a specialized rubber compound for their plates that doesn't just make for a quieter and safer workout, but also a less stinky one. Newer bumper plates, especially ones made from crumb rubber and recycled rubber bumper plates, can stink up your home gym with a distinctive chemical smell. Alpha bumper plates produce less of an unpleasant smell than these plates so you can focus on your workout, not what's in the air.
What We Like
- Unique rubber compound that reduces noise and bounce
- Very loyal customers and great reviews
- Cool design on the plates; camouflage-like pattern
What We Don't Like
- While it is mild, we're not fans of the smell of the bumper plates. With that said, this is unavoidable with new fitness equipment, especially weight plates. Use them in an open-air environment until the smell goes away.
- Vulcan Strength only offers a one-year warranty on the 15-pound and 10-pound bumper plates while the higher weights have a longer warranty
Plate Width Options
Alpha bumper plates have a lower profile when compared to other bumper plates, especially if they are made from crumb rubber or recycled rubber.
Here's a breakdown of all the plate width options along with the corresponding plate color:
- 10 lbs. - 1.17": Grey Fleck
- 15 lbs. - 1.38": Orange Fleck
- 25 lbs. - 1.81": Green Fleck
- 35 lbs. - 2.55": Yellow Fleck
- 45 lbs. - 2.95": Blue Fleck
- 55 lbs. - 3.34": Red Fleck
Vulcan Strength bumper plates aren't your ordinary plates. Your average, run-of-the-mill bumper plates are made to be dropped on rubber flooring or wood platforms only. What do you think will happen if you use regular bumper plates on concrete or asphalt? You'll probably be buying new plates.
Thanks to a patented process and rubber compound that is used exclusively to make Alpha bumper plates, you can drop them outside without having to worry about ruining the rubber.
Vulcan Strength Alpha Bumper Plates are made with a specialized rubber compound that you won't find in other bumper plates. Thanks to the specialized rubber compound they use, the bumper plates offer a low bounce on any surface. So, you shouldn’t have to worry about these plates bouncing dangerously high or skipping away from you.
In addition, the way these bumper plates are designed ensures a snugger fit than crumb rubber or recycled rubber bumper plates. This results in less vibration and wobbling.
If you know that your family, roommates, or neighbors aren't going to like the noise from bumper plates, you can rest assured that they won't even notice while you're training. Based on testing with a decibel meter, the Alpha bumper plates were found to make approximately 25% less noise when dropped from a height of nine feet!
Vulcan Alpha Bumpers vs. Fringe Sport Savage Bumper Plates
When taking a quick look at these two plates, you might mistake one for the other at first glance. And the more you learn about the plates, the more you realize they are competing blow-for-blow.
Both brands have a unique flecked camouflaged look to them, offer a stainless-steel center ring, and are designed to fit tighter than most other plates out there.
The reason that we would suggest going with Vulcan over Fringe is that the former uses an exclusive rubber compound, allowing it to be used inside and outside. Not only can you drop Vulcan plates on concrete but if one were to break, it's most likely going to be covered by their warranty program.
Vulcan Alpha Bumpers vs. Rogue Fleck Bumper Plates
Much like the Fringe Sport bumper plates, you could easily get these two brands of plates confused if you didn't see the brand name across the top.
Rogue makes some incredible equipment, but there are two reasons that we would recommend Vulcan Strength over Rogue:
- First, as mentioned above, Vulcan uses a specialized rubber compound that is unique to their brand, with skyrocketing quality, and durability.
- Second, we're big fans of when a product is made in the United States. You don't have to go far on Amazon to find dozens of fitness products made in China that fall apart within a few weeks of use.
Vulcan Strength bumper plates are one of our favorite brands of bumper plates because we feel like these would be an excellent choice for any lifter—beginner or advanced—who wants to make a smart long-term fitness investment.
Vulcan Strength uses a tough-as-nails rubber compound allowing you to take your workouts inside or outside. And with a generous 48-month warranty, these plates are well-suited for both home and gym use.
FAQs About Vulcan Alpha Bumper Plates
Are Vulcan alpha plates made in the USA?
Yes, all Vulcan bumper plates are made in the USA using a specialized rubber compound.
Are bumper plates good for powerlifting?
Absolutely! Bumper plates that have a low bounce rate, little vibration, and less noise are ideal for powerliftingand Olympic lifting.
Vulcan Strength bumper plates have a low bounce rate and little vibration, but they also come in color-coded weights which makes it easy to identify them during your workout.
How long do bumper plates last?
This is one of those questions that is going to have a different answer depending on who you ask. With proper care and maintenance, bumper platesshould last for many years. Obviously the more you use them and how you use them can influence this a lot.
Some bumper plates might break after a few years while others last a couple of decades. It depends on the brand you buy and how you use them.
Vulcan bumper plates have been designed and tested to last for many years. The company is so confident in their product, they offer a warranty of up to 48 months.
They feature a unique, speckled design, claim to be quieter and more durable than competitors, and are available at a great price. Although I don't think they're that much quieter than competitors, I do think they're great bumper plates with a fantastic warranty, can be used outside, and look great.Who makes the best urethane bumper plates? ›
Best Urethane Bumper Plates: Titan Fitness Urethane KG Bumper. Best Bumper Plates for CrossFit: Force USA PRO Grade Bumper Plates. Best Thin Bumper Plates: Fringe Sport Black Bumpers. Best Rubber Bumper Plates: Synergee Black Bumper Plates.Are bumper plates worth the money? ›
Bumper plates are far superior for olympic weightlifting movements as well as workouts where barbells are repeatedly picked up and dropped (such as CrossFit). Their high-density rubber exteriors helps reduce noise, protect floors, and better ensure the plates themselves won't suffer damage.How thick are Vulcan bumper plates? ›
Bumper Plate Specifications:
25lb (Green) – 35 mm thickness. 35lb (Yellow) – 43 mm thickness.
Generally, urethane is harder than rubber. The engraving capabilities and higher resistance to degradation make urethane superior. On the other hand, rubber has more elastic memory and resilience on impact. Due to this reason most bumper plates are constructed with rubber.Is Vulcan Made in USA? ›
Vulcan Strength Training Systems is a 100% Veteran owned company, and we are proud to offer products manufactured both abroad, and here in the USA.What bumper plates are made in the USA? ›
Rogue Fitness, Fringe Sport, Wright's, and Sorinex (to name but a few) all offer their own branded, USA-made bumper plates.Are urethane bumper plates worth it? ›
Urethane Bumper Plates Summary
It looks great, it works great, and they perform exceptionally well. If you are looking for a bumper plate that looks good, durable, and smell-free, The Bells of Steel Urethane Bumper Plates are definitely your best bet.
So far, EPP foam has proven to be the best material for bumper padding. This material combines high mechanical strength with high elasticity to effectively dampen impact energy while being the most pedestrian friendly.How long should bumper plates last? ›
If you go for some cheaper plates, there's a higher chance of the rubber cracking and the plates bending from being dropped repeatedly. But if you buy a high-quality set of bumpers, they're likely to last you a solid 10 years.
55 lb (equivalent to 25 kg) are red, 45 lb(similar to 20 kg) are blue, 35 lb (similar to 15 kg) are yellow, 25 lb (similar to 10 kg) are green, and 10 lb are grey. Add great aesthetics to your gym or facility while making it easier for your members or trainees to identify Olympic weight plates by designated colors.How do I choose a bumper plate? ›
The first thing to figure out is what type of training you'll be doing: powerlifting, weightlifting or Olympic lifting. This will help determine what type of plates you use. Steel plates are commonly used for general strength training.Why do bumper plates feel heavier? ›
Bumper plates bend the bar more
The higher the amount of force applied or the longer the moment arm, the greater the moment. For bumper plates, there's a greater moment around the axis of rotation, even though the force is similar, because of the longer moment arm caused by the bumpers being thicker.
Bumper plates are commonly available in 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25 kg, or 10, 15, 25, 35, 45, and 55 lb in pound-denominated sets.How thick is a 25LB bumper plate? ›
Includes two 25 LB bumper plates. Bumper plates are the ideal tools for any lift from a standing position. Designed to impact the ground without creating damage to the floor, these new plates are thinner for those who wish to lift larger loads. Each plate is 18" tall and 2" thick.How long do urethane plates last? ›
Urethane weight plates, when used and maintained properly, can last for many years. Since they are more durable than rubber weight plates, they will retain their shape, durability, and performance for much longer periods of time than your typical bumper plates.What are the best rubber bumper plates? ›
- Best Bumper Plates Overall: REP Black Bumper Plates.
- Best Budget Bumper Plates: Fringe Sport Milspec Bumper Plates.
- Best Bumper Plates for CrossFit: Rogue Echo Bumper Plates.
- Best Standard Bumper Plates: Vulcan Alpha Bumper Plates.
- Best Competition Bumper Plates: Rogue KG Black Training.
So what are the differences between bumper plates, metal plates, and rubber plates? Bumper plates are made out of thick rubber or urethane and can be dropped from overhead. Metal plates are made out of cast iron, steel, or chrome and cannot be dropped. Rubber plates are metal plates that have a thin rubber coating.Who owns Vulcan? ›
|Formerly called||Vulcan Northwest ; Vulcan Inc.|
Vulcan is red-hot and ready to blow after automaker Stellantis buys in for a cool $76 million.
Vulcan Materials Co (NYSE:VMC)
Institutional investors hold a majority ownership of VMC through the 92.43% of the outstanding shares that they control. This interest is also higher than at almost any other company in the Construction Materials industry.
- Again / Faster Evo Color Plates. ...
- REP Fitness Black Bumper Plates. ...
- Again Faster Crumb Bumper Plates. ...
- Rogue Color KG Training Plates. ...
- REP Fitness Black Bumper Plates. ...
- Rogue Calibrated KG Steel Plates. ...
- Rogue 12-Sided Urethane Grip Plates. ...
- Pinroyal Bumper Plates.
The Vulcan Standard - Bearing
As with all bars that bear the Vulcan Standard moniker these bars are made in the USA from high quality materials by craftsmen of the trade.
Plates are available in a range of weights. Standard (25mm center hole) plates are commonly available in 1.25, 2.5, 5, 10, 15, and 20 kg, or 2.5, 5, 10, 25, 35 and 50 lb where pound denominated plates are used. Less commonly seen are plates of 0.5, 7.5, and 25 kg, or 1.25, 7.5, 12.5, 20, and 100 lbs.What type of plate is the most durable? ›
Bone china is lightweight and thin, but it is considered the most durable ceramic dinnerware. It is also the most expensive material. Not all bone china is dishwasher- and microwave-safe, so check the care instructions before you buy.Do calibrated plates feel heavier? ›
Calibrated plates, by design, offer a higher weight accuracy compared to Olympic Plates so may feel heavier. This is for one of two reasons. Firstly your calibrated plates are actually heavier than standard plates.What's the difference between bumper plates and weight plates? ›
Unlike standard weight plates, where each unique weight is also a different diameter, bumper plates are all the same diameter. Instead of varying in physical size (45 lbs. being the largest and then working down from there), they vary in thickness and construction.What plates do gyms use? ›
- Standard-sized cast iron plates.
- Standard-sized cast iron grip plates.
- Rubber bumper plates.
- Crumb bumper plates.
- Technique bumper plates.
- Competition bumper plates.
- Urethane bumper plates.
- Rubber grip plates.
If you just need something quick, easy or temporary, foam mats may be the way to go. However, if a hardy, professional, gym floor is what you're looking for, rubber flooring is your best bet.