N-Fab Predator Pro Step Bars
An All Aluminum Hoop Step Bar for the Toughest Conditions
When you are in the market for the true, patented hoop step, then N-Fab is the only way to go--literally. Being the first and only company to have mastered this style of nerf step bar, N-Fab excels at all things hoop step. These innovative Predator Pro Steps are just the newest iteration in a long line of winning step bars. Let’s breakdown what makes N-Fab the industry leader in this review of their new hoop step.
But First: Some Nerf History--Grandpa Style
It is hard to know exactly where to begin. When selecting a step bar, you need to consider everything from looks to nerfs. Maybe we start there: with a bit of history. What is the difference between a step bar and a nerf bar? Turns out, these two are pretty much interchangeable. The first iteration of nerf bars came from the old school racing scene.
I remember my grandfather used to tell me tails (probably tall ones, now that I think about it) about racing down at the speedway. He said, way before my time not only were wrecks quite common, they often involved small nerfs that escalated into serious airborne disasters. So after I asked him to explain what “escalated” means (I was young--give me a break), he’d explain what a nerf was.
Nerf is a racing term meaning a small bump while passing or nudging another racer’s vehicle. No biggie, right? This immediately made me think of Nerf guns back in the day, and how sometimes those suckers hurt. Am I right? Back on track though, turns out that these nerfs did often leads to wrecks. Sometimes it was just a lap leader being nudged into a spin-out. But the worst wrecks involved two tires bumping each other.
Imagine one tire climbing another race car’s tire, and you’ll get the jest of it. Sometimes one or both race cars when kick up into the air before gravity reclaimed them, smashing them into the ground. An invention was created to try to prevent just this kind of collusion or nerf from happening. And that invention was the Nerf bar. While today these are still used in some forms of racing, they’ve made their way into the aftermarket truck and Jeep industry.
Nerf bars in the wild today are partially about protecting your vehicle against nerfs, partially about looking cool, and finally about giving you a step up into a lifted or just tall truck cab. All three are great uses of step nerf bars:
- Protect your Truck or Jeep from rocks and other accidental collisions
- Make your Truck or Jeep stand out in the crowd by adding on style and curb appeal
- An added step to help you get into and out of your Truck or Jeep
While you might not be racing your truck regularly, there are a number of nerf situations that you likely encounter every day. My greatest fear is that some little kid is going to slam the door of his mother’s Escalade into my sweet new Chevy Silverado. Well, Nerf bars tend to extend out a ways from your vehicle, often intercepting that damage, and preventing my paint job from being damaged--or worse.
Next there are a wide variety of step bars on the market these days. If you want something that is both functional and looks cool, you’re gonna want to look at a few different styles. While back in the day, the oval bar was about all grandpa had to choose from, these days we have all sorts of innovative designs and looks. Even just within the hoop step style from N-Fab, there are some serious variations. This new Predator Pro Step Bar is pretty dope. Personally, I like the tint of these babies, and those wide steps. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Finally, a Truck or Jeep step bar should help you get into and out of the vehicle easier. Especially if you’ve lifted your pickup, you may well need an extra step to get into the cab. And even if you don’t, cause your big and tall--me too, I get it--you gotta consider your friends and family. Could my little old gram gram get into my F-150 with ease? Probably not. Get yourself a step bar, for gram gram’s sake!
So now that you know all the great reasons you should be rocking a pair of nerf step bars, you’ve gotta consider why you should go with N-Fab’s Predator Pro. Let’s go through all the dets of this new hoop step.
N-Fab’s NEW Predator Pro Nerf Step Bar Review
So what sets N-Fab and these Predator Pros above the other options on today’s Nerf bar market? I’m glad you asked. Let’s break this review down into a point by point summation. Here’s the big differences that make the Predator the king of the Nerf jungle:
- Ultra Tight Fit: Snug Mount under your Cab
- Patented Hoop Drop-Down Step--Only N-Fab’s got ‘em!
- Wide Foot Access: Large Dimpled Step Pad Grips your Shoes
- All Aluminum Construction, Black Powder Coated Finish: No Rust & Superior Durability
- Easy DIY Install: One Piece, Fully Welded and Designed with Toughness in Mind
- Excellent 5 Year Finish Warranty: Limited Lifetime Workmanship Warranty Too
And if those six reasons aren’t enough to show you what N-Fab’s got going on in these new Predator Pro Steps, then we’ll throw in a few pics and a full analysis of each point.
The Tightest Fitting Step Bar on the Market
Look at that pic. It doesn’t get closer than that without welding the damn thing on yourself. Talk about a snug fit. This design is not only great for protecting the bottom of your doors, but also it prevents debris and dust from getting in between the bar and your door frame. This really can be a pain to clean out if a rock or dead bugs get lodged in there just right--or should I say just wrong.
Many of our customers are looking for a step bar that does more than perform a function. They want a sick look that accents there ride. And this tight fitting nerf bar is going to do both well. If you want to stand out from your buddies who have other styles or fits of step bars, these Predators will do all that and more.
A True Hoop Step, from the Patent Holders who First Created ‘em
Believe it or not, there was a time when the hoop step was not in existence. And N-Fab are the creators of the first Hoop Steps ever. Today they are still the master and patent holders of this particular style of step bar. The Predator Step Bar shows their years of mastery in spades.
If you’re gonna buy a product, why not get the best one from the masters, right? Couldn’t agree more. With years of innovation, this particular drop-down step bar is designed for strength, style, and use. With a clean look, and a textured black finish, we can see why they gave her the suffix “Pro.” And that large step area doesn’t hurt either. Speaking of…
Big Foot Compatible, Dimpled Step Pad that Grips your Shoe
Every time I’m testing out a new hoop step, or even a new step bar period, I always wear my big boy boots. And sometimes, let me tell you, sometimes, the boots just don’t fit. That’s always a red flag for me and a big test point.
While I like the tight fit of the step bar to the cab of the truck, I can tell you from personal experience that there is plenty of room on that step pad, both in width and depth. By this I mean that you can get a decent chunk of your boot onto the pad without any trouble.
Since the dimpled step pad is designed to create friction between your shoe and the step bar, this width is a must. I can say with confidence that this is one of the largest step areas I have encountered so far. Now I haven’t tested everything on the market yet, but what I have seen in person is likely more than most. So you can stick that in your tailpipe and smoke ‘em. Er… does that one work? Sure. Why wouldn’t it?
All Aluminum Body for Durability and Rust Protection
I know there is mucho debate about steel and aluminum these days, particularly when it comes to truck beds. And I get it, as a Chevy guy. Ford is totally wrong about steel. Just playin’. Tee-hee. So let me give you the true low down on aluminum vs. steel.
Steel is tougher. Done. I said it. However, aluminum is still extremely tough. And aluminum annihilates steel in two categories that I want to stress here--pun definitely intended:
- Aluminum will NEVER Rust!
- Aluminum is more lightweight.
Now I know what you’re thinkin’. Why should I care how light my new step bars are? Trust me, you’ll care when you’re going to install ‘em. Secondly, your overall weight of your pickup affects everything from your fuel economy to your load capacity, so don’t act like this isn’t a plus.
Oh, you were waiting for me to freak out about the rust thing. Here it comes: holy %$*&@! She doesn’t rust. What?! How?!
Yeah, purty much. So, here’s some science bombs. When steel oxidizes (which means reacts to the oxygen in the air) it rusts. This creates the reddish brown flakes you’re familiar with--the ones we all dread on our vehicles. So it isn’t that aluminum is magical or anything like that. Aluminum does oxidize. It is just when aluminum has this chemical reaction with oxygen it doesn’t create flaky rust. It creates aluminum oxide, a tough material that actually coats the metal and protects it from--get this--further oxidation. Fun times. Now, you’d still rather not have this happen to your aluminum, but it does mean that over time aluminum is more likely to last and keep a similar color and shape. When steel rusts it expands and flakes. Aluminum just grows a harder protective shell. Of course, aluminum oxide is not as tough as aluminum, which can lead to dulling the metal. So to protect your aluminum even further, you’ve got a bonus:
Bonus Round: Black Powder Coated Finish
Take one look at those Predator Pro Steps, and you’ll see that they aren’t the color of aluminum. They’re finished in a textured black. This finishing is a powder coat. Powder coating is a technique that involves sealing the entire piece in a thermoplastic skin.
This layer of second skin prevents the metal from ever being exposed to the air in the first place. While oxidizing aluminum isn’t that big of a deal, sealing the metal will ensure that it lasts even longer and never loses any durability at all. This really ups the toughness of the aluminum, making the Predator Pro an even better product.
One Piece, Fully Welded: Super Easy DIY Install
These Step Bars are shipped to you for free by Midwest Aftermarket. They arrive fully assembled. All you have to do is attach them to your truck or Jeep and you’re ready to roll. For most makes and models, you can use existing holes. For a few, you may have to do some minor drilling. Regardless, you should have all the tools and means to install these nerf bars right in the comfort of your own garage.
I don’t know about you, but for me, aftermarket parts and heck workin’ on your vehicle is a DIY thang. I prefer to do all of my truck maintenance myself. I even change my wife’s oil on her crappy SUV (though I always ask her why she didn’t just buy a truck). I am do-it-yourself to my core. So hearing that a product can be installed in my home garage by myself makes this a huge win. Furthermore, since these Predators are all aluminum, you really could probably handle the install solo. However, I always look at installing a new aftermarket part on my truck as a great excuse to call a buddy over and have a few beers. Always seems like those install times get exaggerated too, if you know what I mean. Let’s say these bars will take about 10-15 minutes to install, so you can tell your wife or girlfriend they’ll take 30 minutes at least each. J/k. J/k.
That Warranty: 5 Years on the Finish--Limited Lifetime on Workmanship
As if all that durability and toughness wasn’t enough, N-Fab backs their step bars up with a 5 year warranty on that powder coated finish. I don’t know about you, but I tend to upgrade vehicles every 5-6 years anyway. But that powder coat is likely to last for the life of the steps anyway, as long as no one cuts into the coating with a bowie knife. So avoid conversations with guys about what constitutes “a knife” and you should be golden.
Secondly, a Limited Lifetime Warranty on the Workmanship of the product itself gives me great peace of mind. While these Predator Pro Nerf Steps are built to last, these warranties give you the confidence that you’re buying from a great company that is willing to back up their product. You might say N-Fab stepped up to the plate and put their money where their months are. Yeah, something like that.
At the end of the day, if you’re looking to add on some sweet hoop steps to your pickup or Jeep, you will be hard pressed to find a superior product. These Predator Pro Hoop Steps are military grade, with a low profile mount, and a durable finish. I’m ready to upgrade to Pro today.