Door-mounted pull-up bars have been around longer than most other home gym equipment. They are versatile, inexpensive, and easy to use. They also haven’t been updated in years!
Enter the new CrossGrips from JayFlex. On paper, this new take on a door-mounted pull-up bar looks like a huge step forward. They looked so interesting that I ordered a pair. Maybe I could get rid of my very old, large, and unsightly door-mounted bar and replace it with these!
Well, that was about four months ago, and I’m ready to report back on whether or not the JayFlex CrossGrips live up to their marketing material.
Table of Contents
JayFlex CrossGrips Review, The Short Version
Instead of a single, bulky bar mounted across the entire top of your door, the JayFlex CrossGrips are two individual handles that take up far less room.
They mount in a completely different manner than traditional door-mounted pull-up bars that, according to JayFlex, “will not damage your doorway” as traditional versions do.
The CrossGrips fold flat and pack down to a size that’s easy to take with you when traveling. This is probably their most useful feature.
I like their low profile and how they mount on a doorway. I also like the ability to move them independently, allowing you to set them at a perfect distance for your body type. Combined with the capacity to use both a traditional and a neutral grip, this sets them apart from standard pull-up bars of all varieties.
At 6’6″, I also love that they don’t take up room at the top of the doorway. I can’t tell you how many times I hit my head on my old pull-up bar. With the CrossGrips, that’s not an issue.
All that said, I probably wouldn’t buy these again. They won’t fit on all doors. The diameter of the grips is too small, and they are hard to hold on to because they have virtually no grip (it’s bare metal). They are challenging to move around once installed. And, honestly, they are too expensive if you are only going to use them at home.
Does that mean they aren’t right for you? Nope. I can see these being ideal for some people. I’m just not one of them. To see if you are, read on!
Specs & Technical Overview
There aren’t a lot of specs for these, as they are fairly straightforward devices. Here are the important points:
- Handle material – powder-coated metal
- Handle design – Neutral and straight grips
- Handle diameter – 7/8″
- Dimensions when collapsed – 10″ x 7″ x 3″
- Weight – 5 lbs
- Weight capacity – 125 lbs each
- Door trim required (height) – 2″-4″
- Door trim required (width) – 4.5″-7.5″
A Word On How The CrossGrips Mount To Your Door
I want to start by saying that I am not a product designer, engineer, or otherwise qualified to make technical declarations about these. What I can say is that it seems (to me) that it’s a terrible idea.
The molding around most doors is 1/4″ thick on average. It’s held on by trim nails, which are very thin and bend easily. I weigh 230 lbs. If you were to say to me that I should hang by two pieces of 1/4″ molding and a few thin nails, I would laugh at you.
These pull-up devices do exactly that. During use, I can hear the molding creaking under my weight. That doesn’t inspire confidence.
Now, have I had the molding break during the last four months of use? No. But that doesn’t mean it’ll work forever!
Pros & Cons
Perfect for travel
Neutral and standard hand positions
Can be used for push-ups
Only fit about 75% of doorways
Handle diameter too small
Handles get slippery easily
Difficult to move once installed
Things I Like About The JayFlex CrossGrips
JayFlex CrossGrips are a unique item. That’s kind of what JayFlex does. They make things you don’t see anywhere else. Because of that, there are a few unique features that I really like.
My favorite characteristic of the CrossGrips is their profile. I’ve had a door-mounted pull-up bar in my home office doorway for well over ten years. In that time, I’ve cracked my head on it more times than I care to count.
Sure, I could take it down, but then I wouldn’t use it. It defeats the purpose if you have to set up your pull-up bar whenever you want to use it!
With the CrossGrips, my doorway is not blocked at the top, and I can walk through upright without endangering my somewhat large head. They also look nicer than the big and bulky one I used previously.
Perfect For Travel
When I travel, I bring three things if a gym will not be available to me: A pull-up bar, a suspension trainer, and a set of resistance bands. With those three things, I can effectively train every day I’m out of town.
So far, the problem with that setup has been bringing the pull-up bar with me… That is, until now!
The CrossGrips fold down flat to a 10″ x 7″ x 3″ size. They fit perfectly in my suitcase and are no bigger than my suspension trainer or my set of bands when packed.
In my opinion, this is the single best feature of the CrossGrips!
Neutral and Standard Grips
While I train both pull-ups (overhand grip) and chin-ups (underhand grip), my preferred grip is neutral (palms facing each other). Neutral grip pull-ups are easier on my elbows and the variation I do the most.
The CrossGrips have two handles at 90 degrees to each other so that you can do any of the three pull-up variations listed above.
They Can Be Used For Push-Ups
One of my favorite push-up variations is block push-ups. Basically, I place my hands on two yoga blocks when doing push-ups so I can go deeper than if I use the floor alone.
The CrossGrips allow you to set them on the floor and use the built-in handles for the same purpose. When I first ordered them, I didn’t think anything about it. But when traveling, this came in clutch.
While I won’t take them down from my door at home to do this, I do when I’m traveling.
Things I Wish Were Different About The JayFlex CrossGrips
On paper, the CrossGrips look to have almost no flaws. In practice, that didn’t turn out to be the case. Over the last four months of use, I’ve found several things that don’t work as I wish they would.
They Do Not Fit Some Doorways
The first big issue with the CrossGrips is that they do NOT fit on “most” doors as is listed on the JayFlex site. Your doorway must have the following:
- 1.4″ or thicker molding on both sides of the door.
- Door trim height of more than 2″
- Door trim height no more than 4″
- Door frame thickness, including molding, of no less than 4.5″
- Door frame thickness, including molding, of no more than 7.5″
These are very restrictive measurements. Even my house, a straightforward, recently built townhome, has two doorways that the CrossGrips will not fit in.
A very informal survey of family and friends tells me that these don’t work on about 25% of the doorways out there. So while I guess that 75% counts as “most,” it’s still a deceiving word to use.
If you do decide to order, triple-check the measurements of your doorway to ensure proper fit!
The Handles Are Small And Hard To Hold On To
The standard diameter of a pull-up bar is 1.5″, with thicker versions often going up to 2″ or more. The diameter of the handles on the CrossGrips is 7/8″. This is a huge difference!
While this is fine for a temporary solution (i.e., when traveling), it’s not ideal for your full-time pull-up bar.
To make matters worse, the handles are powder-coated metal. Even though the JayFlex website touts this as “don’t slip when wet,” that’s not the case at all!
In fact, these slip a lot when wet! If your hands are sweaty, they are almost unusable. Not a problem if you only use the CrossGrips intermittently (as I do, occasionally doing a few pull-ups as I walk through the door), but not fun otherwise.
My original solution was to wrap the handles in cork handlebar tape. While that worked great to add diameter and lots of grip, it also meant that the CrossGrips no longer folded down flat for travel.
They Are A Pain to Move Once Installed
One of the benefits of having two individual handles is the ability to change their width on the fly. When I ordered the JayFlex CrossGrips, I envisioned switching from a narrow to a wide grip and back during one session.
While you can do that, it’s a total pain in the ass. Pulling the mounting mechanism apart to slide them back and forth is frustrating. You have to remove them and then reinstall them instead.
I will admit, it’s not that big a deal. But it is a big enough deal that I won’t do it. It’s so much easier to have a full-width bar and just change your grip position!
They Are Too Expensive
With an MSRP of $139.00, the CrossGrips are way too expensive. Even at their regular sale price of $119.00 (you can check current pricing here on JayFlex and also here on Amazon), they are overpriced.
I would have no problem paying that price if the above issues didn’t exist, but they do. Until they are corrected, I don’t think $139 or $119 is reasonable.
Who Are The JayFlex CrossGrips Best Suited For?
If you travel and want an easy-to-pack pull-up solution, the JayFlex CrossGrips are an excellent solution! These have gone with me on every trip I’ve taken in the last four months, and that won’t change anytime soon.
If you, or someone in your home, doesn’t like the look of a big, bulky traditional door-mounted pull-up bar, the CrossGrips are a huge improvement.
Alternatives To The JayFlex CrossGrips
The obvious alternative here is also made by JayFlex. The JayFlex RyzeUps are another door-mounted pull-up system. You can read my full review of them here.
I’ll save you the time of reading that review, though. Do NOT buy the RyzeUps. If you want to see why, check the review. But in the end, they are a total waste of money and responsible for some giant bruises on my leg.
The best alternative is the good old-fashioned door-mounted bar we’ve all come to know and love. Yep, it’s cheap, durable, versatile, and does everything you need it to.
I would not buy the JayFlex CrossGrips again. Sure, I use them when I travel. And yes, they are still mounted in my home office doorway. But that’s because I already have them. And to be very honest, every time I hear my molding creak, I get closer to taking them down.
I’d be perfectly happy to continue using the old pull-up bar. When I traveled before, I simply took my suspension trainer to a local playground and did pull-ups there (weather permitting). I could easily do that again.
But as I have said hundreds of times here on GymCrafter, my needs are not yours. The CrossGrips are well-made and do most of what they say they’ll do. If they meet your needs, head over to JayFlex to pick up a set! Otherwise, take a pass.
Can these be used on a closet door with no molding?
No. The CrossGrips hang on the molding itself, so without it, they will not mount.
The JayFlex site says these will not damage my doorway, is that true?
After removing mine, there are marks on the top of the molding as well as on the wall. It looks like they will clean off, but there are marks. I have also noticed some small stress cracks in the paint on top of the molding. I don’t know if those extend to the molding itself, but the cracks are visible.
Can you use Fat Gripz to make the handles a larger diameter?
No. The handles aren’t large enough to allow the Fat Gripz to attach and stay put. The only thing I’ve found that helps with the handle texture and size is tape. Handlebar or bat tape seems to work best.
The JayFlex CrossGrips are a unique, door-mounted pull-up solution. With a low profile, they take up less space and pack down flat for travel. Unfortunately, some aspects of their design make them hard to use. Great idea, mediocre execution.
Product Brand: JayFlex
- Slim profile
- Perfect for travel
- Aesthetically pleasing
- Neutral and standard hand positions
- Can be used for push-ups
- Only fit about 75% of doorways
- Handle diameter too small
- Handles get slippery easily
- Difficult to move once installed