Bells of Steel Manticore Power Rack Review 2024

Gluck April 2024

BoS Manticore Rack

Bells of Steel’s Manticore is their new, top of the line power rack. It’s a 3"x3" squat rack with 1” holes and 1" hardware and keyholes  integrated into the sides of the uprights. This is the best power rack Bells has ever made and if those specs sound familiar it's intentional as Bells is trying to directly compete with Rogue Monster Rack with this one.There are however some important differences between the two racks.  The main difference being price (the Manticore is much cheaper) but there’s also many other subtle variations in the racks and huge difference in the attachments. In this review we'll break all those down and compare it to other popular 3x3 racks like the Rep PR-5000 and Titan Series power racks.

BoS Manticore Power Rack

Bells of Steel Manticore

The Manticore is Bells of Steel's premium power rack. It's highly customizable 3"x3" with a ton of different ways to build it. The Manticore has an impressive ecosystem of attachments & accessories meaning you'll be able to add on to it to your hearts content. This premium rack is also highly compatible with Rogue's Monster racks.   

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Bells Of Steel Manticore Power Rack Review

I'll go one step short of saying the Bells of Steel Manticore copies the measurements of Rogue's Monster racks (it's a near perfect clone) thus creating a more budget friendly imported variation of Rogue's rack. I mean they did... but Titan had already done something similar with their Titan Series racks and with Rogue falling behind in rack innovations, someone was going to move in. Well Bells of Steel has picked up the slack and launched their Manticore squat racks with a ton of different attachments and they're also developing a lot more. This is great for Rogue and Bells of Steel fans alike because these two racks are highly compatible and give us a lot more options when building out our racks. 

As long as you purchase a quality 3"x3" rack with 1" holes and hardware (see specs section for more details) they all pretty much do the same thing. They're sturdy, overbuilt, and modular which is actually their biggest selling point. This type of power rack is essentially future proof because of the ability to add onto them from any point and in any direction. No other style of power rack can compete with the versatility of a 3x3 1" rack.  

That means when picking a new rack your decision is probably going to come down to which ecosystem you want to be in. Since the Manticore and Monster racks are nearly identical, attachments and accessories can easily be swapped between. If you want to put a Rogue Rhino on a Manticore it won't be an issue. Ever wanted some flip down safeties for your Monster rack but noticed Rogue's price (wow) or the fact they don't make a 30" version for their rack? Well Bells solves both those issues with their Flip-Down Safeties that will work perfectly on your Monster rack.
That doesn't mean the Manticore is going to do everything or it's a no-brainer when deciding with squat rack to purchase. It has it's own issues and limitations that we'll discuss but it is a solid rack that opens up a lot of possibilities in a home gym. 

Bells of Steel Manticore rack

Versatility: Ways To Build The Manticore

Bells has done a great job giving you a ton of choices so you’re able to configure this rack to your space and situation. They offer 4 height options ranging from 72" to 108", three different rack depths (24", 30" and 43"), various pull-up bars, and the list goes on and on. Once again, Bells is trying to match Rogue's measurement and options so that many of the components are compatible but they also offer some unique choices like a 72" tall upright which allows you to build a shorter rack. Not only that but between folding racks, squat stands, collegiate, half racks, and quite a few others variations they already compete and might actually be ahead of Rogue on build options. Where Bells falls short is with finishes. They currently only have 1 choice, a black powder coat, which is cleanly applied and durable but they’re nowhere near Rogue’s 12 finishes. Here's a few example Manticore builds but there almost limitless ways to configure a 3x3 rack.

Manticore 4 Post Rack

Bells of Steel Manticore 3x3 Four Post

Manticore Squat Stands

Bells of Steel Manticore 3x3 Squat Stand

Manticore Folding Half Rack

Bells of Steel Manticore 3x3 Half Rack Folding

Manticore Rack Attachments

Although the Manticore is very similar to Rogue’s Monster, this is not the case when it comes to the rack attachments. Those are in completely different leagues in both price and quality. A lot of the appeal of this rack are because of it's cost savings and compatibility with the Monster. If you want to put Rogue Sandwich J-Cups on your Manticore or Manticore 30"  Strap Safeties on your Monster rack they'll work perfectly fine. That means you can save a lot of money by swapping components between and those savings really added up if you're buying Bells accessories. Bells has also done a great job of launching their rack with a large and diverse ecosystem of attachments and we own and have tested all of them. As a generalization most of Bell's add-ons are very well done but unfortunately not every attachment Bells of Steel makes for the Manticore is. So as we break them all down this is a going to be a bit of a good, bad, and the ugly situation. 

Manticore J-Cups

Rogue and Bells of Steel make several variations of J-Cups for their power racks and this may be the easiest area to see the price and quality differences between the two. If you're looking for classic overbuilt American quality, it's hard to argue with Rogue but Bells also offers similar functionaility (at times) for half the price.

Manticore Standard J-Cups

I prefer the Manticore J-Cups over Rogue's because they're less than half the price and have more UHMW on them to protect both your barbell and rack. Bells cups have UHMW on all contact points of the barbell which keeps your barbell from making metal on metal contact. They've also added UHMW to the surfaces that touch your rack so that the cups don't beat up your finish when using or moving them.

Manticore Standard J-Cups

Bells of Steel Manticore Standard CupsFind Out More

Monster Standard J-Cups

Rogue Standard cupsFind Out More

Manticore Sandwich J-Cups

If you're looking for a higher quality j-cup for your power rack then stepping it up sandwich cups is great option. It's also a good example of the quality difference between Rogue and Bells. Although Rogue's Sandwich cups are twice as expensive as Bells they're clearly on a different quality level and are exactly what you'd expect when you're looking for that classic American made Rogue overbuilt quality. Bells of Steel's sandwich cups are decent and are very well priced but as we stated in our Hydra Power Rack review I think they should've extended the UHMW another 1/4" below the j-cup to provide barbell protection on all sides.

Manticore Sandwich J-Cups

Bells Manticore Sandwich cupsFind Out More

Monster Sandwich J-Cups

Rogue Sandwich cupsFind Out More

Strap & Flip Down Safeties

Another area where I think Bells of Steel has outdone Rogue is with their strap and flip down safeties. Both of these are worth serious consideration because they're well done budget alternatives to Rogue options. They're also better than Rogue's in a few ways.

Manticore Strap Safeties
I actually prefer the Manticore strap safties over the Rogue's version for a few reasons. Admittedly I dislike how Rogue's Monster Safety Strap System 2.0 adjusts. The process of moving them is clunky and slow and without modifying them (an absurd thought for something that cost almost $300 shipped) you have to move each side individually and no more than 3 holes (6") at a time. I often debate ignoring the straps all together because they can be such a hassle to adjust. On the other hand Bells strap safeties won't wow you with their build quality and they fit a little loosely on the rack but when it comes down to it they just work. They're quick and easy to adjust, are significantly less expensive, and you even have 5 different strap color options to choose from giving you a little customizability.

Manticore Flip Down Safeties
Bells of Steel's Manticore flip-down safeties are fantastic not only because of the build quality and them being half the price of Rogue's but after years of waiting Rogue still doesn't make a 30" version for their power rack. Bells option is rock solid and probably rival Bell's Seal Row Pad as our favorite attachment on the Manticore which is impressive since we basically own all of them. My biggest criticism of the flip downs, which was true of other Manticore acccessories as well, was they were using a glossy UHMW on them. This meant that scratches and scuffs really constrasted and stood out against the shiny gloss surface. I've been told Bells has addressed this and changed to a textured/matte UHMW like everyone else uses making these my clear (even if only) choice for a Rogue or Bells rack.

Manticore Strap Safeties

Bells of Steel Manticore Strap SafetyFind Out More

Manticore Flip-Down Safeties

Bells of Steel Manticore Flip Down SafetyFind Out More

Manticore Spotter Arms

The Manticore starts having issues with it's attachments when you start looking at the accessories where Bells of Steel didn't utilize the advantage that 1" racks have over smaller pin size power racks. With a 1" rack that massive pin is able to support a lot more weight so the attachments don't require as large of mounts like you'd find on a 5/8" rack for example. On a 1" rack those mounts are uneccessary and can be problematic because they can take up a lot unnecessary space on the rack.

Bells of Steel's Manticore spotter arms are a good example of this. If we put them up against the Surplus Strength Stealth Spotter Arms (below) you'll be able to see what I mean. Bell's Spotters take up  12" of space while the Stealth spotters use half that. 

spotter arms, BoS vs Surplus strength.png__PID:60ecf6e1-a092-4006-a0b0-3fab31987911

Manticore Leg Rollers (The Bad)

The same mount size issue can be seen with their leg rollers. The problem here is whereas the spotter arms size might have taken up too much space and limited how low you could place them for exercises like rack pulls, with the rollers it's a bigger problem. The big Manticore leg roller mount isn't needed. It's heavier and larger than it needs to be which also makes it more expensive. Bells clearly did some "research" when designing this rack so why didn't they look at Rep Fitness, Surplus Strength, or even Rogue's leg rollers when designing these?  I'd also rank it behind all of those in quality and yet it's not the cheapest one. That honor belongs to Rep's rollers. 

Bells of Steel Manticore Leg Roller

Manticore Landmine (The Ugly)

The Manticore landmine is where the uncessearily large mount becomes a big problem. This is the same mount that's found on the leg rollers but it was managable there, here's it's a disaster. The mount size limits where it can be placed and affects orientitation which forces the landmine either too high in the air or on a crossmember where can't rotate properly.

Bells of Steel Manticore Landmine Attachment

Manticore Rack Specifications

The Manticore is a 3"x3" rack with 1" holes and hardware and equal 4 way 2" hole spacing along the uprights and crossmembers. These specs are important because they helps us to compare it to similar power racks. 3x3 racks typically have 1" or 5/8" holes with 1" racks being a companies premium offering whereas 5/8" will cost less but also have some tradeoffs. Even though the Manticore is an imported rack (which is where the cost savings come from) it's made to American Specs and is a true 3"x3" rack rath than a metric 3x3 which ends up 2.85". While that may sound like a small detail it's actually why the Manticore line of racks compare so well to Rogue's Monster racks. Bells of Steel is matching Rogue's measurements resulting in the two racks being highly compatible. This chart breaks down the similarities and differences between some of the most popular and well reviewed power racks there are. 

Power Rack SpecsBells of Steel ManticoreRogue Monster RackRep PR-5000
Height Options72", 84", 90", 108"90", 100", 108"80", 93"
Depth Options24", 30" ,43"
24", 30" ,43"16", 30", 41"
Weight Capacity1,000 lbs
1,000 lbs1,000 lbs
Uprights & Crossmembers11 gauge steel, 3"x3" (true)11 gauge steel, 3"x3" (true)11 gauge steel, 3"x3" (metric)
Hole & Hardware Size1" holes & hardware, 2" spacing1" holes & hardware, 2" spacing1" holes & hardware, 2" spacing (metric)
Width49" exterior, 43" interior49" exterior, 43" interior47" exterior, 41" interior
Finish Options1 option, black powder coat12 options6 options
Manticore 3x3 Power Rack, Bells of Steel

Final Thoughts

With Bells of Steel using robots to cut and weld the components, the Manticore is a very well done rack. Its incredible stable because they're using 11 gauge steel which gives it a 1,000 lb weight capacity making it more rack than any home gym truly needs. With a well fleshed out ecosystem of rack attachments and a ton of different ways to configure the Manticore you should be able to create a build that fits your space. As an imported rack the Manticore also costs less than it's closest competitor, the American made Rogue Monster power rack. Bells of Steel Manticore doesn't have all the bells and whistles of Rogue's rack (like flush mounted crossmembers) but not everyone wants or needs all of that either. This is a rack that we're happy to recommend as we we feel that overall Bells of Steel has done a good job with it. 

Manticore Power Rack

Bells of Steel Manticore

The Manticore is Bells of Steel's premium power rack. It's highly customizable 3"x3" with a ton of different ways to build it. The Manticore has an impressive ecosystem of attachments & accessories meaning you'll be able to add on to it to your hearts content. This premium rack is also highly compatible with Rogue's Monster racks.

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Must Add Rack Comparisons
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Manticore vs PR-5000, etcVs MonsterVs Titan Series?Vs PR-5000

Bells of Steel Manticore Video Review