Straight to the Bar

All Things Strength


How to Make Your Own Bumper Plates on a Budget
Bumper Plates

Bumper Plates.

You’ve been into strength training for some time. And now you’ve decided to incorporate Olympic lifts. You want to Power Clean. But the problem is: you don’t have bumper plates. You have normal rubber plates. What do you do?

Well you could buy a set of bumper plates. But this will cost you money. And you end up with twice the number of plates.
Better is to use 2 old tyres & wheels as bumper plates. Easy & cheap. Here’s how to make your own bumper plates.

Tyres & Wheels. Ask your local supplier for 2 old tyres & wheels. They’ll often give you these for free. Choose tyres & wheels with these properties:

  • Diameter: 7,5cm (2,9″) bigger than your plates.
  • Opening: 70mm (2,7″) assuming you have 50mm Olympic barbells.
Bumper Plates

Bumper Plates.

Next you’ll need two flanges to fix the wheels on your barbell. These are the only things that will cost you money.
Barbell is 50mm thick. Wheels have a 70mm opening. 70-50 = 20. Divide that by 2. Flanges should be 10mm (0,39inch) thick to fit between barbell & wheels.



You can buy flanges or you can mold them yourself. Don’t forget the 4 holes to attach them to your wheels.



If you’ve done the job right, the flanges will fit perfectly on your wheels.

Bumper Plates

Bumper Plates.

Attach the flanges to your wheels using bolts.

Bumper Plates

Bumper Plates.

You’re done.



Now you can put them on your barbell.



Outside collars to make sure they don’t move. And you’re ready to clean & snatch.



Images courtesy Marcus.

UPDATE : thanks for all the feedback on DIY bumper plates, this approach works extremely well. Love it.
I get a lot of questions regarding a DIY platform to go with it (much like the one pictured above). Kat ‘The Mighty Kat‘ Ricker has a great article on building one :
DIY: How to Build an Olympic Weightlifting Platform
Good stuff. Incidentally, if you end up building one of these, I’d love to hear (and see!) how it goes. Leave a comment below the post, or share the details in the Google+ Community. Cheers.

Over to you. Drop us a line on Twitter ( @scottbird ), or add a comment below.



NB : if you love talking about strength-training as much as I do, you might also like to check out the weekly newsletter. A regular dose of fitness-focussed discussions, absolutely free.

And if you'd like to check out any of the stuff mentioned above (or in the comments), swing by Amazon. Huge assortment of fitness gear.



  1. 70 of the Best : 7 Years of Straight to the Bar | Straight to the Bar - […] How to make your own bumper plates on a budget - Mehdi Hadim (Stronglifts) […]
  2. Monday, 13 Sep 2021 – Strength & Fitness Newsletter - […] Gem From The Vault : How to Make Your Own Bumper Plates on a BudgetMehdi Hadim (Stronglifts) | Follow…
  3. Monday, 28 Aug 2023 | Strength & Fitness Newsletter - […] Gem From The Vault : How to Make Your Own Bumper Plates on a BudgetScott Andrew BirdMake your own.…

Leave a Reply

What's This?

Straight to the Bar is the online home of fitness enthusiast Scott Bird, and looks at the many training approaches, essential techniques, uncommon exercises and superb equipment to help you become as strong as humanly possible. In short, this site is the home of all things strength.

images of strength


Want to see (and learn) more Feats of Strength like this? Dive in.

Just Joined Us? Try These.

There are some incredible writers on the team here. To give you an idea, check these out :

If you enjoyed these, check out the complete ‘Best Of Straight to the Bar‘ list. Fantastic.

setting up a home gym?

If you’re getting ready to put together a solid Home Gym (fantastic thing), here’s how.

For more, swing by the full guide. Absolutely free.

And of course, you’ll find everything you need over in the SttB Strength Store. Massive range.

Ever Tried Kettlebells?

If you’ve seen people using them but never taken the plunge yourself, here are the ones I use personally. You can also pick up a book/DVD/course if you want to learn how to put them to work.

Ready To Learn Even More?

I love learning new skills, and the many seminars & workshops available are a great way to do that. If you’re looking for a specific type of workshop nearby, check out the ones on Dragon Door. Great mix of kettlebell and calisthenics-based offerings.

The Precision Nutrition Certification Program

The Precision Nutrition Certification Program

The Precision Nutrition Certification Program.

If you’re a fitness professional and love the Precision Nutrition approach, check out their certification offering. To say it’s comprehensive is an understatement.

Wherever You Are, We Are.

In addition to the main site, you can share your strength-training passion with a like-minded community on :

Wherever you like to hang out, get your regular dose of strength. Straight to the Bar.

Mehdi Hadim is the author of, a blog helping you build muscle and lose fat through strength training.
Drawing of Scott Andrew Bird performing a deadlift. Artwork by Vince Palko.