powerblock urethan vs elite

Powerblock Urethane vs Elite

In this article, we review two models of Powerblock Dumbbells. This is the Elite Sport Series against the Urethane Series

PowerBlock are makers of the most incredible adjustable dumbbells in the market today. Their exceptional qualities make them a favorite brand for gym enthusiasts. 

The most basic difference between the two dumbbells is that the PowerBlock Elite Sport series has a pair of adjustable weights made of metal, while the PowerBlock Urethane series features weight plates made of urethane. 

But if you are wondering whether to go for the Elite Sport Series or the Urethane, then you are in the right place.

Here we break down what makes each dumbbell unique, whether it’s for your home gym or your gym business.

Adjustable Dumbbells: Buying Guide

adjustable dumbbells

When buying dumbbells, you should take care of certain considerations, to ensure you find the best equipment for your home gym.


Adjustability is the first important consideration when buying adjustable weights. 

After all, the main reason for going for adjustable dumbbells and not just ordinary dumbbells is for their adjustability.

Check the adjustment mechanism of the dumbbells you intend to buy, and how quickly you can make adjustments to the weights. 

Quality and Durability

Gym equipment is not something that you wish to buy every other day. 

It will be important therefore that the adjustable weights will last you for at least a couple of years, and still look new.

You should check the brand to determine the quality and durability to see if these expensive dumbbells are worth it.

Additional Features

While adjustable weights may simply be looked at as weights for exercising, some brands have additional features that make them more than just simple weight lifts. 

Check out for these additional features that you may like as well, and see what brands come with features that you will be happy with. 

In-Depth Powerblock Adjustable Dumbbells Comparison:
Urethane vs Elite

PowerBlock describes themselves as the World’s Best Dumbbell brand. They are a company from Owatonna, Minnesota, in the United States of America. 

Founded in 1993 by Carl Towley, their vision was to revolutionize dumbbells by making them adjustable and to help gyms across the United States to declutter from using multiple traditional dumbbells.

Besides dumbbells, they also manufacture expansions, kettlebells, and accessories for their range of products.


When it comes to price, the Powerblock Elite dumbbells come with a better price than the Urethanes. 

Probably due to the scarcity of Urethanes, as the model was discontinued by Powerblock, and are no longer in production.

Design and Style

Powerblock Urethane

Powerblock Elite

The Elite dumbbells are made from welded steel, with powder coated paint. 

The cylindrical handle is padded for more comfort, and it enables quick weight-change using a magnetic pin. The side rails are color-coded for easy weight identification.

This set also has a square shape which makes them unique, and eases storage, as they can easily be stacked into a corner.

The Urethane model comes with an innovative cage design, with the adjustable metal plates stacking up on the inside. 

The weight plates are made from Urethane, hence their name. 

The Urethanes generally are more durable than metal and can withstand rust or rot, and will continue to look new for a long time to come.

The Urethane model also comes in a square design, just like the Elite model.

Quality and Durability

Both Powerblock models are known for their quality and durability. 

The Powerblock Urethane model is however more durable than the Elite model, as the Urethane model is made from Urethane which is more durable than the metal that is used for the Elite model. 

The Urethane also beats the Elite when it comes to quality, with its build that is more robust and sturdy.


The Elite model has straight cylindrical grips, with comfortable padding, and is the same with the Urethane series set. 

The grip is inside the cage-like design, which may be uncomfortable for some people, as it touches the wrist.

Adjustment System

The PowerBlock Elite Dumbbells use a secure magnetic polypropylene pull-pin system, which makes it simple to change weights from 5 pounds to 70-pound weights. 

The Elite set is color-coded for easier selection of weights.

The Urethane models also use pull-pin technology to adjust weights. The weight pins have flex technology, to help in the absorption of weight. 

The weight plates are also color-coded making it easier to change weights.


Because of the Urethane coating, the Urethane series is bigger than the Elite model. 

The Urethane set of dumbbells is 20.5 inches long, which can make it uncomfortable for certain users that may prefer something more compact, such as the Elite.

Weight Ranges & Distribution

The weight range of the Elite dumbbells is 90 pounds, against the maximum weight for the Urethane sets which can be upgraded to 130 pounds.

As the urethane model is bigger than the Elite model, the weight distribution is more for Urethanes as compared to Elites.

Staggered Resistance

This feature allows a user to place more weights on one side than the other. These two models of dumbbells do not come with the option of staggered resistance.

Other Special Features

The Powerblock Elite Sport provides weight adjustments with additions at 2.5 and 5 pounds, from 5 pounds to 50 pounds. 

It’s possible to do extensions for up to 90 pounds. The Urethane similarly comes with adjustable plates extensions of up to 130 pounds.

The Urethane series also comes with a ten-year warranty.

We have found some great sites below that will tell you more about the features of the Powerblock Elite and the Powerblock Urethane series.

Powerblock Urethane vs Elite Sport - What Do People Say?

Amazon Reviews

The Powerblock Elite Sport has an Amazon rating of 4.7 out of 5, from ratings by 1,404 users.This is what John Pratt, an Amazon Verified purchaser of the Elite Sport Series had to say:

This set of Powerblock weights are very stable, with easy to adjust weights. I like the rubber-coated handle that gives an easy grip. I bought this as a no-brainer and have no regrets for purchasing this model

Amazon Buyer

The Powerblock elite dumbbells to be one of the highest-rated and best-selling dumbbells of all time, made from only premium quality materials. The design is smart and economical, and are extremely tough to withstand what he terms as ‘regular gym abuse’

Youtube Reviewer

In a review of the Powerblock Urethane dumbbells on his YouTube channel, Simon King PPT describes this product as pretty straightforward in its working mechanism.

Jason Diebold also reviews the Powerblock U90 Urethane Dumbbells and goes to show how the weight extensions of the Urethane are fitted, and how to do adjustments to the weights of these dumbbells.

Powerblock Urethane vs Elite Sport Round-Up -Which Is Better?

Buy the Powerblock Elite Sport Series if you are on a budget, as they come cheaper than the Urethane model. 

If you also prefer a dumbbell that is small and compact, then the Elite Sport will be a better choice than the Urethane, which is slightly bulkier even at the same weight range. 

Buy the Powerblock Urethane if you want more adjustable weights since the maximum of Urethane is at 130 pounds, as opposed to 90 pounds for the Elite Series. 

You should also get this, if you have a longer-term view, and prefer a more durable dumbbell that will last you for decades.

Remember, the Urethane even comes with a 10-year warranty. That’s how confident the guys at Powerblock are about how long these weights will take you.

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Article by:

Daniel DeMoss

I’m a personal trainer based in Denver (Matrix Gym) and a true fitness nerd. If I’m not training clients or working out at my home gym, I’m probably skiing, cycling or hiking with my dog Rufus.