Tube bending image courtesy of Tube Bending Incorporated
When I think of roll bars I instantly think of the go-kart the protagonist in Heavy Weights so desperately wanted to race. These kinds of karts differ from the solo karts found in race tracks and one of the best Nintendo 64 games ever, Mario Kart. Although, since the racers in Mario Kart are constantly rolling over due to banana peels and turtle shells you’d think they would consider investing in a roll cage. Anyways, the go-karts that require roll bars usually have two seats allowing the driver to terrorize a passenger by speeding through the wilderness, hopefully without flipping over and testing the tube bending quality of the roll bars.
What comes to mind next is my friend’s jeep. The roll bar protects passengers from becoming human pancakes if the jeep were to ever flip over. When I was younger my family had a broken down jeep they used to drive around when they were teenagers. My cousin and I would hang off the roll bars or pretend we could drive. However, roll bars are not just a Jeep thing. I do understand that many other cars come equipped with them. A lot of convertibles actually have a small roll bar behind the head rest. Tubes are bent so they rest just higher than a passengers head. That still gives me little comfort if the car were to flip over. I’m still ducting toward the glove box if I’m ever in that situation.
I’ve seen roll bars in the interior of cars as well. Everyone always enters those cars General Lee style whenever that is the case. Other than stunt cars I’ve noticed this with race cars most often. Probably due to the risk of high speed crashes the innards are replaced with a roll cage. Cars are not even allowed to race if their roll cage is not up to standards. Chrome-molly steel tubing is most commonly used for the roll bars in a race car. These metal tubes are anchored to the frame and protect passengers in case of a rollover. Mild steel is more commonly used for non-racing applications. Anyone with the correct tools can make a roll cage, but since the purpose of this application is safety, it is suggested to have ample tube bending experience before considering custom making one.