My friends, we’ll do our best to avoid the obvious cliché about buying cheap items, but honestly, it’s difficult. There is a time and place to take the cheapest route, but when it comes to safety, most of the time in for money. Hell, we haven’t even gone past the first paragraph. Well we have tried.
To make this live for you, Donut Media has a rather revealing video on roll bars. We are not talking about off-road bars, but rather functional convertible bars. To be precise, this clip focuses on the Mazda MX-5 Miata – a small roadster that often leaves the driver’s and passenger’s heads at the same level as the windshield or even above. If an accident causes the car to tip over, it is no bueno.
Enter the candidates for this comparison. In the cheap corner we have a silver roll bar that would have been bought online for $ 65. It looks pretty sleek, but with four small mounting points on a single horizontal axis, it probably won’t offer much protection. In fact, the bar just flexes with a little human muscle pulling on one end. The other bar is black and triangulated, and although it costs $ 600, it’s considerably heavier and doesn’t offer a hint of movement.
Before we continue, we have no idea if the $ 65 roll bar was actually marketed as a working roll bar. Often times, these elements are seen as styling improvements, but regardless, this video shows why such a design should never be relied on to serve as a true protective device. That’s because the video shows a destroyed MX-5 with the inexpensive roll bar installed literally fallen onto its roof.
How did the summary bar hold up? Technically speaking, the bar itself did not bend and none of its four attachment points came loose. However, the location of these mounting points allowed the bar to flex forward on impact, actually hitting the collision. mannequin skeleton in the head. In the absence of other reinforcement points apart from the single horizontal axis, the bar was effectively unnecessary.
So what’s the moral of this story. In short, you get what you pay for … yes, we’ve covered that before. Um, don’t drop a Miata onto its roof with a cheap roll cage unless you’re already a skeleton? Of course, it works.