The Khanh Trinh Pull-Up Bar is born out of necessity. When the Vietnamese boy Khanh Trinh started doing Pull-Up exercises at age 15, he initially used a tree branch as his Pull-Up Bar. But when a typhoon destroyed the tree, he got into some serious backyard DIY Calisthenics equipment and the result was the prototype of what we now know as the Khanh Trinh Pull Up Bar. Fastforward to today, and the Khanh Trinh Pull Up Bar is an internationally exported, highly versatile and respected piece of Calisthenics Equipment. Of the over 500 reviews on Amazon, the vast majority are a solid 5 stars. We are happy to test this Pull-Up Bar from the tiny, resourceful nation of Vietnam.
Our Expectations for the Khanh Trinh Pull Up Bar
After a preliminary look at the Khanh Trinh Pull Up Bar, the operational advantages and disadvantages of its A-frame design become immediately apparent. It looks very sturdy and even a rudimentary knowledge of physics (i.e., common sense) tells us that this must be a sturdy Free Standing Pull-Up Bar. It has gathered somewhat of a following already and Khanh Trinh has received numerous accolades from the Vietnamese authorities for innovation and best startup company. This made us decide to pull out all the stops and subject the Khanh Trinh Pull-Up Bar to our usual, stringent review criteria. How will it stack up to colossi like the Gravity Fitness Pull-Up Bar?
We’ll know it by using it. We’re going to be looking into stability as a core factor, along with comfort and of course its materials and fit and finish. After the outward inspection, we’ll subject the Pull-Up Bar to the following set of exercises:
- Australian Pull-Ups
- Front Levers
- Back Levers
- Leg raises
- Ring Exercises
For the Gymnastic Rings, we’ll use the ever-reliable Gornation Gymnastic rings.
Khanh Trinh Pull Up Bar Examined
- Bar Dimension (w x h): 39.4” x 76.7” to 100.4”
- Floor Dimensions (w x l): 51.7” x adjustable spread
- Weight: Ca. 64lbs
- Max Capacity: 770lbs
We received our Khanh Trinh Pull Up Bar 3 weeks after ordering. For the record, ours came from the United States (California) and had to be tossed over the pond. We tracked it and that journey took 2 weeks. If you order it from the contiguous United States, Canada or Mexico, yours might arrive in 1 to 2 weeks instead. It came in a sturdy 5ft box weighing just a little over the contents of the packet at ~70 pounds. Our first impression was: this is complicated. There are a lot of moving parts to the Khanh Trinh Pull Up Bar, which is by design since it needs to be mobile. However, undeterred, we laid out all the parts and read the manual.
Construction Material & Quality
Simplicity and mobility are keywords to the Khanh Trinh Pull Up Bar. You get a full-sized Free Standing Pull-Up Bar, but one that can be packed up to a very transportable size and weight. This means the legs need to come apart and that can cause weaknesses in the frame. This isn’t necessarily a problem; the Gravity Fitness Free Standing Pull-Up Bar also comes apart in the middle. However, where the force exerted by the user is directed parallel to the joint (e.g., straight down and into the socket), the Khanh Trinh Pull Up Bar has its joint two-thirds up the standing legs, which means some force is always directed diagonally, though not perpendicularly, against the side of the joint.
Khanh Trinh solves this problem two-fold. The first is by simply using a higher gauge steel. The Khanh Trinh Pull Up Bar comes in at 68 pounds, whereas most competitors with a similar build (in other words, not a Power Tower), only tip around 50 pounds. This additional material clearly goes into the beefy legs. The second solution is by moving the joint up toward the top of the bar. The weakest part of the legs is in the middle, due to tensile stress. By moving the joint up a bit, it now resides in an area with much less tensile stress.
Once you see the materials up close, you know Khanh Trinh wasn’t joking around. Everything looks heavy duty and built to last. The “high strength alloy steel” used is most likely a spring steel variant with good tensile and return characteristics. It is powder coated. We searched the U.S. Patent for it but found no mention of the exact type of steel used.
Everything is secured using nuts and bolts. This makes for a very strong design; however, we feel like in some places just a locking pin or retention pin would have been sufficient. These are easier to remove and don’t require a spanner if you tightened the nut too much.
Setting it Up
The first setup time was slow, as expected. There are many moving parts and they all must sort of fit together right at the same time for it to work. It took us half an hour for the initial setup; however, we feel we can do it much faster a second time around. There is a logic to it and once you know, it becomes very easy. Adjusting the height of the frame is done in two ways. The first is by adjusting the length of the “Distance Setting Bar” or DSB. These are the middle bars of the A’s and are what keep the legs from sliding apart. A narrow stance will gain your height at the expense of stability with a maximum height of 100.4”, while a wide stance will gain you stability at the expense of height.
The second adjustment method is by moving the upper part of the legs up or down. This can give you a lot more height. Of the two methods (and they do work in tandem, so you need to experiment a little to find the right settings for you), the Distance Setting Bar is the quickest and most accessible method. This also allows you to collapse the whole thing to a very flat package.
By lowering the legs to their shortest setting and opting for the widest stance, the Khanh Trinh Pull Up Bar becomes a Dip Bar. Collapsing it while at the shortest setting results in the smallest possible storage configuration of 51.7″x 2” x 76.7″ (LxWxH). Not tiny, but still out of the way if leaned against a wall or shoved behind a closet, cupboard, locker or other unused space.
Fit & Finish
Inspecting all the parts individually as well as when fully assembled, we found nothing objectionable. The powder coating is even and without any scratching. The fittings look whole and without scratches or excessive burs. The foam handles looked intact and flexible.
Stability & Doing Workouts
For a collapsible design, the stability of the Khanh Trinh Pull Up Bar is very impressive. It is a variable height design, so there is always a tradeoff in height and stability between different configurations. Overall, we were impressed with it and all the regular Pull-Ups went like a charm. For our Muscle-Ups we opted for a setting that left us with our feet just off the floor, maximizing stability for our body height. We feel that this is the most optimal height setting, with your feet about half a foot to a foot off the floor in a dead hang. Wobble was very minimal and felt almost as solid as if using a Wall-Mounted Pull-Up Bar.
For work closer to the floor, we had to use Gymnastic Rings. There is no setting that brings the top bar down far enough for Australian Pull-Ups, for example. Even if you’re doing Dips or Leg Raises, the minimum height still means you need to jump up onto the top bar if even by a little. This detracts from its versatility, especially for the Calisthenics Beginner. More advanced athletes may not be bothered by this at all.
Our only gripe was with doing ring exercises while in its higher settings. Doing slow Ring Pull-Ups is fine, but for Ring Muscle-Ups, it may feel a bit unstable. The highest setting is also not recommended for banded exercise or other exercise that puts a diagonal force on the top bar.
The foam grips were comfortable enough yet nothing to write home about either. They are on the stiffer side, opting for durability as opposed to squishiness (the squishy ones tend to get brittle with time). We prefer this type of foam handle if foam is used at all. They carried us well throughout multiple exercises, preventing undue discomfort to our hands. Overall, we believe that the foam handles are the weakest part of the whole and will deteriorate the soonest, even though the rest of the frame is rated to last 100 years with proper maintenance.
Conclusions & Final Thoughts About the Khanh Trinh Pull Up Bar
As the Netherlands is known as the Land of Giants (with an average height of 6ft 1⁄2in for men and 5ft 7in for women), it’s nice we have a tall yet stable Pull-Up Bar that won’t let us down. Fit and finish were good and the construction materials were fantastic. Structural integrity is not where the Khanh Trinh Pull Up Bar will let you down. Is it that much more portable than say the Gravity Fitness Pull-Up Bar? Maybe, yes, it depends if you have a pickup or not. Collapsed it does take up far less space and allows you to store it either against a wall or behind some other furniture. It’s out of the way then and that is much more easily done with the Khanh Trinh Pull Up Bar than any other Free Standing Pull-Up Bar we’ve used.
Coming back to stability, it really depends on your height setting. It’s a great thing for tall people to have a Pull-Up Bar they can use, but the highest settings do preclude almost all diagonal or perpendicular movement. You’re left with only doing straight Pull-Ups. But that’s for dudes who are approaching 6ft”5’. For most of us though, the great range variability makes for a stable setup with minimal movement and wobble.
The versatility of the Khanh Trinh Pull Up Bar is slightly held back by the highest minimum setting. This precludes beginners from hopping on and doing Dips. Of course, that’s not what a Free-Standing Pull-Up Bar is necessarily for so we won’t deduct it any points. But there are similar options which do have this versatility at the cost of a lower maximum weight capacity.
Put together, this Vietnamese design Pull-Up Bar is of excellent quality, has a very high weight capacity, offers very high stability in most circumstances and it folds up so you can get it out of the way when not in use. The Khanh Trinh Pull Up Bar is heavier than its competitors which means actual physical transportation outside of the room it’s situated in now isn’t that much easier. Do we recommend the Khanh Trinh Pull Up Bar and for who?
We can fully recommend getting the Khanh Trinh Pull Up Bar if you’re just looking for a Pull-Up Bar, are between 5 foot and 6 foot and 3 inches and you have the money to spend on a high-quality, premium product for a premium price. It will fit into your home gym along with the other Calisthenics Home Gym Equipment, giving you pretty much professional tier performance. If that home gym happens to be small and needed for other uses as well, the Khanh Trinh Pull Up Bar neatly folds up and out of the way.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Khanh Trinh Pull Up Bar
A few more questions we saw floating around the net about the Khanh Trinh Pull Up Bar.
The Khanh Trinh Pull Up Bar uses an A-frame design which lessens the perpendicular force experienced by the legs. The wider the stance of the A-frame, the more stable it becomes while sacrificing height and in theory total weight capacity. The higher the stance, the less stable it becomes but the higher the top bar will be and the higher the theoretical weight capacity will be. Together with the use of high gauge alloy steel, the Khanh Trinh Pull Up Bar is of a very safe design.
Khanh Trinh is from Vietnam where he started doing Pull-Ups at the age of 15. He used a tree to do his exercises at first. When a typhoon destroyed his tree, he went to design his own Pull-Up Bar. This became the prototype of today's Khanh Trinh Pull Up Bar.