Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Received the new barre today

My barre arrived from Vita Vibe. The name of the company makes me think of something that would be sold only late night on some obscure TV channel, but the product appears to be well engineered. It was well packed, with everything nicely padded without a lot of waste. Once I had it unpacked, setup took all of 5 minutes.

Vita Vibe Prodigy Series Double Barre
Clearly this is not me in the photo. Not only do I not have that sort of extension, I'm probably close to a foot taller and double her weight. Oh, and I'm a guy, just in case you weren't following closely. No, I swiped the photo from the Vita Vibe web site. Clicking on the photo will take you to their sales page. I bought the DBNB5 model, which is nothing more than the BD60 model double barre bundled with a BAG60 carry bag.

Basically the kit consists of three pairs of painted aluminum tubes of varying lengths and six composite clamps. The tubes that form the feet are already assembled. To complete the assembly, the vertical tubes fit into the clamps on the feet. The clamps for the horizontal tubes slide down over the vertical tubes, and then the ends of the horizontal tubes fit into them. Hand-tighten all the clamps and you're done. There are no sharp edges and no tools are required.

To disassemble, loosen the clamps at the ends of the horizontal tubes and pull the horizontal tubes free. Loosen the clamps at the bottom of the vertical tubes and pull the vertical tubes free. Put the six pieces in the carry bag and you're done. Since you don't have to move the attachment clamps on the vertical bars, you won't lose your height settings.

It's light. Really light. The only difficulty in taking the thing to class would be the length of the longest bars -- in my case, 5 ft long -- which would make it somewhat unwieldy. If you're a 5ft-nothing woman, get the 4ft, single bar model.

As some on-line reviewers noted, there are no height adjustment marks on the vertical tubes. It'd be nice if they'd include markings markings in their paint scheme, but it's easy enough mark it yourself with a Sharpie or paint pen. Or just use a measuring tape. As a personal barre, you probably won't be changing the height very often.

The Prodigy Series is advertised as a light-weight, personal, ballet barre, and for that I think it will work well. If you're looking for something for classroom use, go for their Professional Series, which has heavier gauge tubes and metal clamps. Fitness types who may want to hang from it or put a lot of sideways stress on it should look at models with short horizontal tubes and side braces for the vertical tubes.

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