Roll bars/Roll cages
Roll bars/Roll cages

Roll bars/Roll cages

November 24, 2022
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Roll Cages: Why You Should Care About What’s On Top

In 2021, The Consumer Product Safety Commission recorded 2,211 deaths from OHVs (off-highway vehicles)— ~600 of these deaths were on side by sides.

Yes, we all know UTVs and other motorsports are dangerous. And how many of these deaths could have been prevented by an aftermarket roll cage? It doesn’t take Elon Musk’s opinion to answer that one.

Since dabbling in the dunes myself (and been taken to the hospital from crashing), I’ve personally had a more careful outlook on how safety gear helps you from not getting messed up while having a good time.

In this UTV Trade article, we’re going to cover everything you need to know about roll cages to help you make the best decision on how to equip your side by side with bars that fit your style of driving—don’t be that idiot who gets hurt or hurts someone.

What Does A Roll Cage Do? Functionality Explained:

A roll cage is a welded structure made from mild steel or chrome moly/chromoly that acts as a protective shield in the event of a roll over.

Some roll cage sets have door bars that help qualify for racing and what not. In fact, roll cages come in all shapes and sizes. See below to learn more!

Are Roll Cages Worth It?

Is it worth having a high-quality protective shield that could potentially save you or a family member’s life? Absolutely.

Let’s face it, even in ‘normal’ driving conditions your UTV or other offroad vehicle is an accident waiting to happen. Why not reduce the risk a bit?

How Much Is A Roll Cage?

Plan on spending $2,000 minimum on a new roll cage, and don’t forget to account for labor hours if you plan on welding it up for yourself (which I don’t recommend unless you’re a pro welder).

At What Speed Is A Roll Cage Required?

According to the NHRA, roll cages are required on drag racing/race cars that travel at speeds faster than 135 MPH. See the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) for more details.

But what about for side by sides? I would argue that any type of offroad driving constitutes the addition of a roll cage for safety purposes.

What Are The Different Types Of Roll Cage/Roll Bars?

For you experienced welders, the type of roll cage all depends on how creative you feel that day. And if you search the web, you’ll find that there is a variety of information on roll cages and how they work.

Here are the different parts of a roll cage:

  • Main hoop

  • Gussets

  • Strut mounts

  • Roll bar padding

Between 4 and 15+ point roll bars are the typical, and again, the possibilities are endless when it comes to welding up the design. Do, your research, and do what works best! Here’s a quick overview of some different cage styles:

A Frame

A-frame roll bar is the simplest design in my opinion, and it consists of a 4 point roll cage that connects in a square/rectangular pattern across the length of the chassis.

Z-base

One method welders use to reinforce roll cages is a single welded tube that runs diagonally from the top left to the bottom right (or vice versa) of the cage structure.

Demountable/Bolt In Cage

Bolt on braces are a good quick solution, but they don’t offer the sturdiness that a quality custom welded cage would provide—just a heads up.

Weld-In Roll Cage

Welding the cage on is undoubtedly a better option, although there’s nothing wrong with bolting it on so long as you use something like spring washers to make sure the bolts don’t come loose, and it’s also very important that yo

u use as heavy-duty bolts as possible to avoid

 failure under load.

What’s The Best Roll Cage For A SxS/UTV?

Aside from crash testing and user ratings, I’d say the best roll cage is one specifically made for your UTV.

Whether that means hiring a professional frame welder for fitment or buying a kit online (or both), I recommend researching as much as possible about your specific UTV before making the right decision on which roll cage system to utilize.

See the best roll cage kits below:
Want to build a roll bar kit yourself? Well then you’d better buy roll cage tubing and a nice MIG welder. Here are some conversion kits you might want to check out:

[Roll cage full kits]

[Roll cage tubing]

 

[roll cage self-welded kit] —should include competition engineering, Allstar Performance, SFI rear seats, etc……

Should you buy a roll cage kit that requires assembly or one that’s already welded? In my case, I’m not the best welder, so I’ll go with the pre-welded kit for my specific vehicle. Now it’s time to checkout. Happy shredding racers!

 

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