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Check your door frame construction before purchasing
on 24 August 2014
I've been on the look-out for a pull-up/chin-up bar for some time. I don't have room for a free-standing chin-up frame so have been looking for doorway designs. For the most part, the designs available require some sort of mounting on the inside of a door frame and I didn't want to cause such damage. So when I saw the Powerbar 2 I thought it would be just the job - no mounting required and I could in principle use it in any doorway I fancied.
It arrived promptly via DPD and I set about trying it out. It doesn't require construction and is ready to go out of the box. My first problem, though, is that most of my internal doorways are 84-85cm across, which is a tad too wide for the Powerbar 2, but then the Amazon page for the item does say "Fits most doorways 680mm - 800mm" so I should have done some basic research beforehand. I do have one doorway that's only 77cm (my loo!) so that was fine to try it out. That's when I realised I had a second problem. Fitting the Powerbar 2 to the door frame as per the enclosed instructions, I gradually increased the weight on the top bar by hanging from it with both hands. Then I heard a CRACK! The top of the door frame on the other side (from where the Powerbar 2 hangs) came away from the rest of the door frame (which got me into a lot of trouble, I can tell you!). My door frames have separate sides and top with a wooden block at each corner. Therefore, when a downward force is applied to the top of the frame there's nothing to support it and it pulls way from the wall.
So, there it is. The Powerbar 2 cannot be used on any door frame in my house and so is useless to me. :-(
If you want to purchase this for yourself, please check two things first:
1. That you have a doorway in your house that is within the stated range 68cm to 80cm.
2. That the top of your door frame is part of the whole frame or sits over the door frame sides (see the pictures of the man demonstrating it in the Amazon page to see what I mean) such that a downward force applied to it will be supported by the side frames.
I thought about returning the item and asking for my money back, but actually it's not the Powerbar 2 that's at fault. Regarding the door frame size, it's stated clearly and I should have thought about that. Regarding the door frame construction, it could be argued that there should be some mention of this on the Powerbar 2's Amazon page. Then again, it could be argued that I should have thought about the physics of it (being a physicist!) and realised the high risk of the purchase.
So, before you spend £30 for the item and its postage, make sure you consider all of the above.