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Old 06-21-2013, 09:12 AM   #41
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Curious if any of you guys have tried or have opinions on the dual density (aka "dual durometer") roll bar padding, discussed on Roll Bar Padding: SFI vs. non-SFI: Grassroots Motorsports forum: Grassroots Motorsports Magazine and recommended by Keith Tanner (Flyin' Miata) in his "How to Build a High-Performance Mazda Miata MX-5." Apparently it is what he uses.

As far as I can tell, it is only made by BSCI but available through a number of dealers:

Safe Drives -

Dual Durometer Rollbar Padding, SFI rollbar padding

https://www.pegasusautoracing.com/gr...roupID=ROLLPAD

and many others. Oddly, Flyin' Miata (and the other usual Miata parts dealers) don't seem to carry it.

With this, the inner layer (next to the bar) is SFI rated for maximum protection, while the outer layer is softer but still pretty firm. The idea is that SFI padding is intended for use with helmets and can be pretty hard on an unhelmeted head (or other body parts when used on door bars, etc), so the (removable) outer softer layer acts as a cushion to the inner SFI layer. For cars used on both street & track the softer outer layer can be removed when the car is on the track (and the driver is wearing a helmet) but put in place when the car is on the street.

The downsides seems to be that this padding is bulkier than usual and is somewhat more expensive. I also have not seen any covers that will fit this, but that seems a pretty minor concern.

If this works as advertised, it may go a long way to answering the problem of smacking your unhelmeted head on the roll bar (bad with SFI padding, worse without), especially if/when rearended (which just happened to me a few weeks ago, luckily at a fairly low speed).

Bill
The dual-density foam is still incredibly stiff. Regardless of the foam, I would still only drive with a roll bar if the car also had fixed-back seats and harnesses.

To me, these three safety items are an all or none proposition. I'm coming it at from an open track/HPDE view point (but I do still occasionally drive my car on the street), so the Auto-X guys may view it differently.

I've also been banged up on track before (granted on two wheels, but it still wasn't fun), so safety is something I take very seriously. In fact, I've decided to skip this season to prep the car for TT and buy a HANS.
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Old 06-21-2013, 09:22 AM   #42
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The dual-density foam is still incredibly stiff. Regardless of the foam, I would still only drive with a roll bar if the car also had fixed-back seats and harnesses.

To me, these three safety items are an all or none proposition. I'm coming it at from an open track/HPDE view point (but I do still occasionally drive my car on the street), so the Auto-X guys may view it differently.

I've also been banged up on track before (granted on two wheels, but it still wasn't fun), so safety is something I take very seriously. In fact, I've decided to skip this season to prep the car for TT and buy a HANS.
These are good points. At the very least a roll bar should be accompanied by a fixed back seat. And the 5 or 6 point harness makes sense to go with it since having a roll bar allows you to safely run a harness.

And on the other safety. If I ever got pulled into HPDE/TT/something something on a track, an ISSAC Link would be my first purchase, unless I could afford a classic ISSAC.
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Old 06-22-2013, 02:13 AM   #43
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Good points, but in reality they are unlikely to be followed by very many Miata drivers. Even so, there are still good arguments for having a (proper) roll bar in a street car even without a fixed seatback/harness, not least that Miatas are sometimes driven in a manner and place -- think "spirited" driving on twisty roads -- that increases the probability of their rolling or flipping.

Given that improved roll over protection comes at the cost of increased risk of head bonking (a technical term that refers to the range between glancing blow and bone crushing impact, inclusive), and the available choices of roll bar padding (starting with "none"), how does the dual density padding compare to the less expensive alternatives (including SFI padding with a noodle or other softer padding over it)? Should the dual density padding get a third layer of yet softer padding (think how bulky that would be )?

Since it is essentially impossible to eliminate all risk, safety is often a matter of trying to balance the probable effects of various risks that reasonably may come into play against the costs of the means to protect against them.

Bill
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Old 06-23-2013, 02:30 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by NW Bill View Post
Good points, but in reality they are unlikely to be followed by very many Miata drivers. Even so, there are still good arguments for having a (proper) roll bar in a street car even without a fixed seatback/harness, not least that Miatas are sometimes driven in a manner and place -- think "spirited" driving on twisty roads -- that increases the probability of their rolling or flipping.

Given that improved roll over protection comes at the cost of increased risk of head bonking (a technical term that refers to the range between glancing blow and bone crushing impact, inclusive), and the available choices of roll bar padding (starting with "none"), how does the dual density padding compare to the less expensive alternatives (including SFI padding with a noodle or other softer padding over it)? Should the dual density padding get a third layer of yet softer padding (think how bulky that would be )?

Since it is essentially impossible to eliminate all risk, safety is often a matter of trying to balance the probable effects of various risks that reasonably may come into play against the costs of the means to protect against them.

Bill
the lower duro stuff doesn't look thick enough. If you think about it, its like a 1/2 of thickness vs 1.5"-2" on a noodle or the sort. The idea is to get something soft with plenty of compression available before the hard stuff.

This is a purely speculative view point from the pictures. I would try to google about it and see if there is any test data available (or data from a wreck even).
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Old 06-24-2013, 04:15 AM   #45
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I think the "softer" layer of the dual durometer padding is not very soft -- only softer than the SFI layer. So it may make up in density what it lacks in thickness. The usual claim for it is that while hitting body parts on standard SFI padding (like the inner layer) may cause bruising, hitting them on the "softer" outer layer is unlikely to.

Here is another alternative -- "Orange+Aid" (see: Orange Aid SFI Approved Roll Cage Padding ). It is supposed to be softer than the dual durometer padding, but still SFI certified. A lot of people seem to be using it for cages and say it is easier to bend than any of the more common SFI padding sticks (which often break when bent). It seem to be be less bulky than the dual durometer padding. Unfortunately, it only comes in orange (large amounts can be special ordered in black) and is priced about double the dual durometer cost (so about $60 per 3-ft stick). But it does seem to fit under the usual padding covers, so the color can be hidden.

I've been unable to find any comparison between the dual durometer padding and the Orange+Aid padding, other than some comments about the Orange+Aid being softer (when pressed, not in an accident) than the dual durometer padding (and any regular SFI padding) and easier to install because it is more flexible.

There is also some SFI padding from USI which is suppsed to be softer, but I can find very little information about it except from the manufacturer (see: Polyurethane Roll Bar Pads Orange County | Rollbar Padding Los Angeles ). Unlike the other two, which seem to be widely used and recommended, there seems to be very little discussion about using this padding.

Bill
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Old 06-24-2013, 10:46 PM   #46
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I didn't see what SFI certification it got on the website, which is really suspicious (not imply anything, just sayin'). SFI certifications apply to many aspects of racing and safety. Seat belts have a different certifications than roll bar padding. Different certifications are also available for padding, so "SFI certified" is vague here.

Anyways, you need to check with your track/club. The majority of clubs don't require SFI certified padding for the most part (although, its highly recommended). My experience says NASA doesn't require SFI certified for DE and TT (I don't know about racing and thats as of 2011 rules in the Southeast). This forum thread corroborates that.

Personally, I would steer away from dual stuff. Seems like a lot of expensive, for not much more function. Get a pool noodle or equivalent if you drive in the car without a helmet.
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Old 06-26-2013, 09:36 AM   #47
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I didn't see what SFI certification it got on the website, which is really suspicious (not imply anything, just sayin'). SFI certifications apply to many aspects of racing and safety. Seat belts have a different certifications than roll bar padding. Different certifications are also available for padding, so "SFI certified" is vague here.
It's 45.1 - they don't say it, but if you read the specs you can see that is matches what is defined here: http://www.sfifoundation.com/Spec_45.1_081105.pdf
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Old 06-26-2013, 02:50 PM   #48
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In the photos of the product on the website, you can see the "SFI 45.1" marking molded into the surface of the padding. I believe this is an SFI requirement to make it easy to identify compliant padding, but maybe not.

I know in the past there has been discussion of some vendors selling the common "black" SFI 45.1 padding also selling what was said to be "the same padding" but without the SFI 45.1 markings at lower cost (I guess the lower cost was due to not having to have the padding certified?).

I am more and more leaning towards the Orange+Aid. It is expensive, but I won't need all that much (2 sticks max, maybe only 1 stick) so the actual cost will be acceptable. Of course, I need to figure in the cost of covering up all that orange! Or maybe the color will grow on me.

Bill
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