Hoopless Bull Bars; are they any good?
There’s a big shift towards people installing hoopless bull bars on their 4WD’s, and today we’re taking a look at why, what the pro’s and con’s are, and whether you should fit one. I’ll also share our Bull Bar buying guide, that covers a heap of other factors in depth.
What is a hoopless bull bar?
Put simply, it’s a Bull Bar with no hoops on it. A traditional bull bar has three hoops when you look at it from the front, with some having just one in the middle and many today having none at all; hence the term hoopless bull bar.
Why would you want a hoopless bull bar?
The primary reason for people fitting hoopless bull bars is aesthetics. They still function in terms of a place to mount things to, some might come with recovery points (although many don’t), and they look far more similar to the traditional stock vehicle. In some cases, you really have to look hard to see that there’s even a bull bar fitted, as they are made to fit in so well that its hard to tell.
What’s the disadvantages of a hoopless bar?
The main disadvantage of a hoopless bar is its inability to protect the headlights, and upper radiator/intercooler area in the event of an animal strike. In Australia, the biggest threat to vehicles on the road in terms of animals are Kangaroos, followed by Emu’s, and then stray cattle.
If you hit a big Kangaroo with a hoopless bar, its going to do serious damage to the bonnet, and potentially your radiator, which is almost immediately a game over situation.
With hoops to protect these, they tend to be kept in a far better condition, and hopefully will allow you to drive into town for a repair to take place.
Hoopless bars are inherently weaker in terms of overall strength, as the hoops provide a fair amount of rigidity to the bar overall. That said, this is very much dependent on the actual bar manufacturing, and will vary from brand to brand.
Are there any benefits of a hoopless bar?
These would certainly be lighter, and they are probably marginally more aerodynamic. Some would argue that they look a lot nicer (and they probably do!), but there’s not too many other benefits.
Who makes Hoopless Bull Bars?
There’s a crazy number of companies making Hoopless Bull Bars. They won’t be available for every make and model, but some of the more common manufacturers include Xrox, Ocam, Predator, Offroad animal, PSR, Piak, AFN, Drivetech, Rhino, Ironman and the list goes on.
Would we run a hoopless bar?
Honestly, I don’t see any good reason to. I don’t really care about how it looks, and want maximum protection for my 4WD. We’re fairly happy with our AFN bull bar, and can’t see any need, or significant benefit for us to run a hoopless bull bar on this 4WD, or anything that we get in the future.
That said, you can weigh the risk of animal strikes against aesthetics, and what you really need, and make a choice that suits yourself.
The beauty of modifying your own 4WD though, is you get to choose what is important and what isn’t, and our needs are not the same as yours, so get what suits you the best.