If one was to peel back the cosmetic covers on the sport cage, as I have done, you would be truly appalled. Thin, small diameter, low-quality metal that is bolted together. Really sad.
Actually, the tubing on the factory cage, at least on the door headers, is the same diameter and wall thickness as the Poison Spyder trail cage -- 1-3/4"x 0.120" wall, and it appears to be DOM. And most of the aftermarket solutions bolt together as well. Bolts are not inherently weak. Your whole JK is, for the most part, just "bolted together."
So Rock Hard's marketing is absolute 100% BS?
I'm not calling BS on RockHard, but I'd sure like to see their source information for that claim.
Those pictures Terrahawk posted speak volumes. The main benefit to an add-in cage IMO is in the A-pillar hoop, however that's accomplished. In every one of those pictures, to one degree or another, the windshield frame collapsed in on the occupants. Forget the B-pillar, that A-pillar is like tinfoil. They're actually using the windshield frame as a stressed member of the occupant pod, but it's far from up to that task (as those pictures show). By adding in an A-pillar hoop, the buffer zone around the front seat occupants increases dramatically. That's why I have one.
I also find it really hard to understand why the current design of the OEM cage uses bent tubes in the rear sections without any supporting diagonal bracing. That's really a no-brainer, and standard practice for virtually any mechanical structure. Diagonal bracing adds strength. And in cage design, every bend and every joint needs a brace. Poison Spyder's add-in C-pillar (for the Unlimited) addresses that design flaw, is a fairly easy thing to install, and IMO is well worth the effort.
I think another point that should be raised in this discussion is the intended design purpose of the add-in cages. I think you'll be hard pressed to find any of them claiming to give any significant high speed protection. That's not their purpose. That's why most of them are marketed by some name like "trail cage" or similar. They're designed for LOW speed rollovers, and for that purpose they do a great job. No, they're not going to give you the protection of a full tube chassis, but they will almost certainly keep a bad day from becoming a tragedy in many trail rollover scenarios.
And about the "convertible" thing . . . really? Is there really anyone that didn't already know their Jeep is a convertible? That's kind of the nature of the removable top -- it's CONVERT-able. It used to be that a top was an option
on a Jeep. Any
top. As in, the base price did not include a top
! And for a lot of those years, it also didn't include any rollover protection whatsoever. So it's actually kind of funny that we're sitting around nitpicking the strength of the B-pillar
hoop of the OEM rollover protection system.