Bumper Plate Blowout

Bushing so loose, it comes outThe rubber bumper plates at CFF are starting to have some problems with the metal bushings that slide onto the barbell ends. High intensity and heavy use in the gym is taking its toll on them. The weights are frequently dropped from overhead, which in time, loosens up the center bushing on the plate and the bumpers are becoming floppy and frustrating to use.

Welds have broken on bushingWith all the heavy impacts from hitting the floor, the steel retainers that are welded onto the bushing and imbedded into the rubber are breaking off at the weld. Or, if the plate has a flanged bushing, the rubber is wearing next to the bushing and they are loosening up. Some of the bumper plates have bushings that have fallen out completely.

Bushing has become completely detachedA month or so ago, Lisa pulled a few of the bumpers from the stack to go into the trash, so I offered to come up with a repair to keep her from having to buy a bunch of new ones. The solution, which seems to be working well, is a metal plate screwed to both sides of the bumper to hold in the loose bushing. There is enough of a chance this could be useful in other gyms so I’ve decided to develop the idea into a commercial product. I’ll soon have some samples available if you want to test this idea in your gym. Stay tuned.

Here are some pictures of the repairs at CFF:

Testing new repair kit

A repair kit being tested in the gym

Damaged bumper back in use

Damaged bumper plate back in use with repair kit installed