You want to add bumper plates to your home gym setup but want to learn more about the difference between crumb and regular bumper plates before buying. Bumper plates are great for a variety of workouts. If you're unsure whether to choose crumb bumper plates vs. regular bumper plates - this guide will tell you everything you need to know!
Table of Contents
- Crumb Versus Regular Bumper Plates: Which Is Better?
- Crumb Bumper Plates (Overview + Pros & Cons)
- Regular Bumper Plates (Overview + Pros & Cons)
- Frequently Asked Weight Plates Questions
Crumb Versus Regular Bumper Plates: Which Is Better?
Performance & Durability
When looking at the performance and durability of each type, they’re similar in many ways. Bumper plates, in general, are designed for high-intensity workouts where you’ll likely be dropping the bar. Since they’re predominantly made of rubber, they’re also far less likely to rust (sometimes the inner ring can rust if it's made from very cheap metal).
Regular bumper plates are better suited for indoor use and should always be protected from the weather to avoid cracking. Crumb bumper plates, on the other hand, are suited for both indoor as well as outdoor applications and can be used on a variety of surfaces, including grass and asphalt.
Since crumb bumper plates are made using melted/recycled pieces of rubber, they tend to bounce more than regular plates do. This means they are slightly less likely to 'taco.' If you're unfamiliar with this term, it's when a bumper plate bends or warps and looks similar to a tortilla taco. This is most commonly seen in 10-pound and 15-pound bumper plates.
Related Article - How To Clean Weight Plates
Safety For Lifters
When it comes to safety, the invention of bumper plates meant that weightlifters could lift without the need for a spotter or weight rack. As a result, this allowed weightlifters to lift safely - since they can just drop the bar down (without hesitation) if needed.
While both regular and crumb bumper plates provide this benefit, they do have different bounce rates. This is significant in terms of safety. Why? A plate with a high bounce rate means that it can bounce up and whack you in the face. Additionally, imagine a 45-pound weight slowly rolling over onto your foot.
Sure, it’s heavy, but it’s unlikely to break your toe in this scenario. Now imagine the same weight dropping from a height directly onto your foot. It’s likely to injure you. A bumper plate that bounces a lot when dropped can bounce over onto your foot. Since many lifters lift either barefoot or with canvas-type shoes, it’s a real danger.
To sum it up, a crumb bumper plate (that bounces more) can be more of a safety risk to the lifter compared with a regular bumper plate when dropped from a height.
Read Also - Bumper Plates Vs Iron Plates
For Different Types Of Workouts
When looking at different types of workouts, regular bumper plates are better suited for CrossFit, Olympic lifting, or any overhead lifts. This is because crumb bumper plates will bounce more than regular plates, particularly when dropped from a higher height.
Additionally, if your workout area is very small, then you don't really want to have your barbell bouncing around excessively. Since crumb bumper plates are cheaper, if this added bounce isn't an issue for you, but you are on a budget, then you can still use crumb for these types of workouts.
If you chat to an experienced lifter, they will probably say that lifting with crumb bumpers feels lighter when lifting with regular bumpers of the same weight, especially when lifting heavy. This is the same theory behind why bumper plates feel lighter than iron plates.
Since crumb bumper plates are wider and take up more space on the bar, this allows the bar to flex and whip more compared to regular bumper plates. In doing so, it tends to feel lighter.
The downside to powerlifting with crumb bumper plates, however, is that you aren’t able to load the bar with as much weight since crumb bumpers are wider than regular bumpers.
If your workout area will be outdoors on grass or asphalt, you'll want to stick to crumb bumpers regardless of the type of workout. Crumb bumpers are designed to withstand the elements and will hold up longer compared with regular bumper plates.
See Also - How Many Weight Plates Do I Need?
In terms of their weight range, you’ll generally find both crumb and regular bumper plates available in the same variety of weight options. Additionally, each bumper type has size variations within its weight range.
For example, a 10-pound regular bumper weight plate is significantly thinner than a 45-pound regular bumper weight plate. The same can be said for a 10-pound crumb bumper plate vs a 45-pound crumb bumper plate.
When comparing crumb bumper plates vs. regular bumper plates (weight for weight), crumb bumper plates will be thicker. Here is a table comparing Rogue crumb vs regular bumper plates in terms of width thickness:
Regular Bumper Plate Width
Crumb Bumper Plate Width
We mentioned before that crumb bumper plates are cheaper, but by how much? Well, when looking at crumb bumper plates vs. regular bumpers of the same brand, you can expect to pay around $15 more (per plate) for regular 45-pound plates.
For lighter weights, it can cost as much as $25 more per plate for a 10-pound regular bumper plate compared to a 10-pound crumb bumper plate.
It’s important to note that you should always compare apples with apples when comparing quality and price. This means that if you're still deciding between crumb vs. regular bumper plates, you should compare each bumper type from the same brand.
Buying a cheaply made regular bumper plate for a low price is not necessarily going to have the same quality as a premium-made crumb bumper plate.
Related Article - Why Are Weight Plates So Expensive?
Crumb Bumper Plates (Overview + Pros & Cons)
A crumb bumper plate is similar to a regular bumper plate in design, except it is made out of recycled rubber crumbs (usually from tires) rather than virgin rubber. This gives them a rougher texture compared to regular bumper plates.
Crumb bumper plates provide the benefit of being suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, as well as a variety of surfaces from grass to asphalt. Since they’re usually cheaper than regular bumper plates, crumb bumpers are perfect for people on a budget.
Additionally, crumb bumper plates bounce more than regular bumpers, but they are quieter when dropped. This makes them better suited for environments where noise may be an issue.
Since they’re more durable (and quieter) than regular bumper plates, crumb bumper plates are great for high-impact workouts like CrossFit, but they're suitable for powerlifting too. It should be noted that crumb bumpers are slightly wider than regular bumper plates, which may restrict the amount of weight you can stack on the barbell.
What We Like
Things We Don’t
Regular Bumper Plates (Overview + Pros & Cons)
A regular bumper plate is sometimes referred to as a "training plate." As mentioned, this type of bumper plate is usually made of 100% virgin rubber. Unlike crumb bumpers, regular bumper plates should only be used indoors and are more prone to cracking if not cared for correctly.
Regular bumper plates don't bounce as much as crumb bumpers, but they produce a louder thud when dropped. This makes them better suited for overhead workouts but can still be used for low-height exercises or when noise is not an issue.
Regular bumper plates tend to cost more than crumb bumpers; however, cheap crumb bumpers often have a tendency for pieces of the crumb rubber to chip off over time. Regular bumper plates simply don't have this issue.
What We Like
Things We Don’t
Frequently Asked Weight Plates Questions
How are regular rubber plates made?
Sheets of rubber are stamped out to form the disc shape of a bumper plate. From there, multiple rubber discs are stacked onto one another and weighed accordingly.
Next, the discs are placed into a machine that heat-presses the rubber discs together to form the weight plate. Any rough edges are then trimmed off the weight plate to create a smooth surface. Lastly, the steel inner ring is added.
How are crumb rubber plates made?
A layer of recycled rubber flakes or “crumbs” is poured into a mold, with solid rubber discs added on top for stability. Then, another layer of rubber crumbs is poured on top of the solid discs.
The rubber is then heat-pressed to form a crumb bumper plate. From there, the rough edges are trimmed and smoothed. Then, the steel inner ring is added to the bumper plate.
How long do regular bumper plates last?
If cared for correctly, used only indoors, and kept away from direct weather - you can expect your regular bumper plate to last around 5 years. Laying rubber mats down instead of lifting them on concrete floors will also extend the lifespan of your bumper plates.
How long do crumb bumper plates last?
Since crumb bumper plates are suitable for both indoor and outdoor use and on a variety of surfaces, you're more likely to use them more harshly than you would a regular bumper plate.
Even though crumb bumper plates are more durable, they will likely last you around the same lifespan of 5 years. If used more conservatively, you can get a longer life out of them.
What’s the general consensus on Reddit about crumb vs regular bumper plates?
The consensus is that it depends on your budget, as well as what lifts you want to do and where you want to use them. Crumb bumpers are cheaper and better suited for outdoor use. They're also quieter when dropped. However, they are thicker than regular bumpers, which might hinder your deadlifts.
That wraps up our complete comparison guide between crumb bumper plates vs. regular bumper plates. Now that you know which type is best for each application, the differences between them, how they compare, and which one to choose for your specific needs, you can add bumper plates to your home gym setup and reach your weightlifting goals!
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