Camilla Schough - EVO under Lupp_Eleiko HQ_2020-01-15_5.jpg

Creating Evo Dumbbells

Eleiko Content Team·3 min read·Design

A Q&A with Evo's lead engineer Camilla

Equipment is a significant contributor in creating great impressions for clubs. How it performs, how it holds up over time and the experience members have when training all play an important role in distinguishing a facility.

In creating Evo we applied our six decades of expertise in barbell and bumper plate design and paid particular attention to all the details we know can help set a facility apart and address operator concerns.

We sat down with Camilla Schough, Eleiko’s lead designer of the Evo Dumbbell Collection, to dive deeper into some of the details and demonstrate how they come together to create a dumbbell that is outstanding to use and hassle-free to own.

Why did you opt for polyurethane to protect the dumbbell heads?

Polyurethane is widely used in dumbbells. It can be extremely durable and scratch-resistant, but it can also be very soft and fast wearing. The trick is to find the perfect balance. We wanted to achieve the feeling of rubber, i.e. great grip and nice to the touch while keeping it very hard-wearing.

How long did it take to find that perfect balance?

We have tested many different iterations before we were happy with the perfect blend. You need to be really nerdy about these things to get it absolutely right and the whole team of engineers at Eleiko were engaged. I’m very proud of the performance of the recipe we achieved. The surface feels great and the wear and tear resistance is bar none. Overall the Evo Dumbbell will perform in a busy gym, day after day, year after year, and we know that will make a difference for our customers.

How do you find the perfect bearing for a rotating dumbbell?

The goal was to create a smooth and effortless lifting experience for the user, regardless of the weight used. We started with an open mind and tested a host of different bearings like bronze or nylon slide bearings. We quickly found that ball bearings would work best so we tested several types. We then needed to find a perfect balance between a free rotating handle and optimal protection from dust and moisture from getting in. A low-friction rubber sealed bearing, very similar to the ones we use in our barbell, is perfect for that.

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Why did you opt for a rotating handle inside the bearing?

It is a unique feature that allows for a much smaller handle diameter. The challenge we faced was the fact that for our handles we could not readily find the quality ball bearing we wanted. So, we collaborated with a Swedish partner to have a custom bearing design made to fit our uniquely small handle.

Why did you choose to go for the relatively small handle diameter across the range?

Normally a ball bearing design only allows for fairly large handle diameters which makes them less than ideal for smaller athletes. Thanks to the unique patent-pending design, we can use 38mm and 42mm handles across the Evo rotating range. It is perfect for athletes with both smaller and larger hands making this dumbbell accessible to all users in the gym.

How do you determine the perfect width for a dumbbell handle?

The key consideration again was the usability of the dumbbell and making it appropriate for as many people as possible. I did anthropometric research regarding the human hand. We considered all dumbbell handle sizes from 125mm to 150 mm wide. In the end, a 130mm wide handle proved to be the sweet spot.

What made you go for the knurling we see today on the Evo Dumbbell?

The two key considerations regarding knurling are the spacing between the small diamond shapes you see in the knurling and the depth of cut. We tested several different types of knurling and the end result we can proudly call the ‘Eleiko Dumbbell Knurling’ you see today. This knurling offers a secure grip but still allows for intense use and high repetition sets.

Evo Dumbbells

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