Hint: It’s not just about looks. ...But that helps.
Top 5 reasons to customize your off-road vehicle with matching front and rear bumpers:
ICYMI: On October 31, at The 2023 SEMA Show, we revealed our latest American-made, Baja-proven product with the unveiling of Austin Berendes’ upgraded 2021 Ford Bronco Wildtrak.
Our new BAJA FORGED Ford Bronco rear bumper will fit all full-size 2-door and 4-door Broncos from 2020-2023, is contoured to seamlessly flow with your body lines, has a high clearance for maximum departure angles and is just wide enough for a cold beverage and a snack in between adventures.
So why should you consider swapping out the front and rear of your off-road rig for some super clean, black satin powder-coated aftermarket bumpers?
The answer far exceeds aesthetics, but we’re still keeping that on the list – and for good reason.
Our custom off-road parts are meant to keep your daily driver looking sleek on the streets while making it more off-road capable, so it can perform at its best on the trails, in the dirt, over some boulders, or wherever you may roam… (queue the Metallica song, stuck in your head now for the rest of the day).
And since we design all of our products based on our own off-roading experience through the Johnson Valley proving grounds and beyond, we know that the sturdy recovery points offered by our discreet but powerful built-in front winch and rear D-ring could quite possibly save your a$!* too!
Truth is, having matching front and rear custom off-road bumpers means more durability, safety, and style for your vehicle. It also increases control and enhances functionality while providing a more well-rounded and enjoyable off-road experience.
Here are the top 5 reasons to customize your off-road vehicle with matching front and rear bumpers:
1. Balanced Protection, Symmetry and Weight Distribution
You already know that the flimsy factory bumpers are simply not meant for the kind of abuse you’ll be putting your ride through. The type of debris found on the road or the hazards presented in that environment are completely different than what you’ll be traversing.
But although a solid front bumper with a skid plate may be one of the first, most obvious upgrades, having a rear bumper that complements the adjustments you’re making to the front can greatly increase your traction and maneuverability, and ensure a more robust, overall protection that matches the level of safety you’re getting up front.
Made from a .090 and .120 wall with 1.25”- 1.75” CRS tubing and 3/16” steel plate construction with heavy-duty steel mounting plates designed to incorporate factory mount points, both our front and rear bumpers are made from formidable, high-quality materials that fit seamlessly into factory bodylines.
CRS (cold-rolled steel) allows for increased strength, tighter tolerances and better concentricity so the finish is smoother and has fewer imperfections. Our compound rolls and bends are more complex in our designs than similar styles that have straight tubes so you know you’re getting solid yet contoured edges that will fully surround your vehicle in strength and minimalism.
Whether you encounter obstacles while approaching or retreating, your matching custom off-road bumpers will shield vulnerable, critical components so that they and your other parts last a whole lot longer with no droop or bulky, excess material.
2. Optimal Approach and Departure Angles
Most experts agree that some thick, deep-tread off-road tires should be your first “upgrade” when turning your everyday 4x4 into a trail-decimating beast. So it makes perfect sense that your next best bet would be to ensure that those wider and beefier tires have some extra clearance to reduce friction and improve approach and departure angles.
The approach angle is the degree at which your tire meets the ground and the lowest part of your vehicle’s overhang. If your bumper sits low, the angle gets lower too, increasing the chances of scraping or dragging when you're tackling an incline or getting stuck on something as you ride over it.
High-clearance bumpers have short overhangs and are tucked higher on the vehicle ideal for conquering steep slopes, big rocks, and hill-climbing like a pro, all without any unwanted bumps along the way.
A good approach angle for an off-road vehicle typically ranges from 30 to 45 degrees or more, depending on the vehicle's design and purpose. This angle matters because it determines the vehicle's ability to navigate obstacles and steep terrain without scraping or damaging the front bumper. It also directly impacts your safety, as a vehicle with a higher approach angle is less likely to get stuck or experience abrupt impacts.
For comparison, the approach angle of a 2-door Ford Expedition is 23.4 degrees and the departure angle is 22.2 degrees, while a Ford Bronco 2-door has an approach angle of 43.2 degrees and a departure angle of 37.2 degrees.
Our Ford Expedition front bumper allows for approach angles of up to 38 degrees – a difference of almost fifteen degrees from factory. With our Ford Bronco front and rear bumpers, you get an approach angle of 48 degrees and a departure angle of 47 degrees – that’s almost five degrees extra up front and close to ten whole degrees in the rear for an already capable off-roading machine!
The proof is in the protractor, but if you’re not into numbers, we’ll just say this: what makes aftermarket bumpers like ours one of the best off-road customizations is a sleek design, and minimalist, upwards-sloping corners away from the wheelbase and tires so no matter what the incline or decline, you know it’s your tires that will be taking the brunt, not you.
3. Improved Towing and Recovery Options
While the casual weekend warrior may be able to blaze trails at high speeds with no problems, most off-road aficionados will tell you that if you’re venturing off onto the terrain-less-traveled, you’re bound to get stuck a time or two where AAA cannot find you and friends will not want to be stranded past dark.
When such is the case, nothing will delight you and your passengers more than the day you decided to invest in matching front and rear custom off-road bumpers with winch capabilities, push bars and D-rings for enhanced recovery without the hours-long wait times and inflated roaming fees.
A winch is a mechanical device commonly used on off-road vehicles, such as trucks and SUVs, for self-recovery and assisting other vehicles in challenging situations like pulling the vehicle out of mud, sand, snow, or other obstacles. It consists of a drum that winds a strong cable or synthetic rope and a motor or hand-crank mechanism to reel in the cable.
A push bar, also known as a grille guard or bull bar, is an accessory designed to protect the vehicle's front end, especially the grille and headlights, from damage in case of collisions with animals, trees, or other obstacles. They can also serve as a mounting point for auxiliary lights, such as fog lights or off-road lights, providing additional visibility during off-road adventures.
D-rings, also called tow or recovery D-rings, are attachment points or shackles that feature round holes designed for heavy-duty D-rings found on the end of tow straps, chains, or cables. These D-shaped metal rings are typically made of steel or other strong materials and are designed to withstand heavy loads and stress.
Every vehicle is equipped with certain recovery points, but having a rugged and intuitive, high-clearance custom bumper on both the front and back of your off-road vehicle can significantly simplify the process of towing your rig to safety when you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place.
On our Ford Bronco BAJA FORGED rear bumper, we added a D-ring to the rear passenger side but kept it clean on the driver’s side so it’s easy access to get in and out of the back of your vehicle while ensuring there’s enough clearance to keep your trailer hitch as well.
Our front Ford Bronco off-road bumpers with added push bar and D-rings can discreetly house a winch up to 21.5" wide x 6.5” tall x 7.5” deep (we recommend WARN VR EVO 10S and 12S, which fits seamlessly) and offer an add-on winch control pack relocator bracket (read on to point #4 to see why this is crucial).
In addition to easily removing you from spontaneously sticky but totally worth-it situations, our front bumper can also be used to easily get you where you want to go.
By placing an adjustable tow bar through our strategically placed D-rings, you can easily tow your Bronco behind another vehicle like that cushy RV or another truck without the need for a rickety trailer. ‘Cause why trailer when you can tow?
4. Compatibility with Accessories
Besides bumpers (and in addition to tires and lift kits), skid plates, fender flares, winches, and off-road lights are among the most popular customizations for off-road vehicles.
Investing in front and rear bumpers that are compatible with those essential items on everyone’s wish lists keeps your options open, standards high and costs low.
At BAJA FORGED, we offer several optional add-ons that integrate perfectly with our front and rear Ford Bronco off-road bumpers including a Winch Control Pack Relocator Bracket (for added protection from dirt, mud, water, and debris, and improved accessibility for maintenance), Adaptive Cruise Control “ACC” Relocator (to ensure regulatory compliance and protect functionality), Sensor Mounts (for parking, proximity, and precision) Pod Light Mounts (for added versatility and visibility) and our signature Skid Plate and Diff Skid Plate (which attach and detach via the front bumper’s mounting tabs for easy removal and maintenance).
Face it, if you’re going off-roading, you’re eventually going rock-crawling, whether you intended to or not. So why not adopt the Boy Scout motto (ironically adopted in 1908, right around the time the first off-road vehicle was manufactured) and “Be Prepared” for whatever Mother Nature might (literally) throw at you.
Save yourself time, money, and effort by getting it right the first time around with matching front and rear bumpers you can safely, easily and legally accessorize to your heart’s content.
5. Re-Sale Value and All-Around Style
We told you we were keeping this one on the list, and here’s why:
A vehicle with matching front and rear bumpers often has better resale value, as it indicates a well-maintained, purpose-built off-road vehicle with a cohesive look and optimal protection.
And although the Ford Bronco has an excellent resale value as is (ranked fourth overall by Kelly Blue Book behind the Tundra, Tacoma and Tesla Model X for Best 5-year Resale Value), aftermarket bumpers can further slow that depreciation rate for avid off-roaders who actually use their vehicles as God intended.
Because bumpers deflect debris and prevent other hazards from damaging the more vulnerable parts of your vehicle, using bumpers compatible with the type of driving you do can extend the life and look of your vehicle.
Aftermarket off-road bumpers can either be powder-coated or painted. Powder-coated finishes are more durable and come in a variety of textures. They can also withstand scratching and chipping better than paint, making them ideal for desert environments or where rust and corrosion are likely to occur.
Our matching black satin powder coat finish provides maximum durability and complements the factory look to provide a polished, uniform aesthetic that can enhance the overall appearance and make your vehicle more appealing.
With matching bumpers, you have the opportunity to customize your off-road vehicle with a consistent design and style that reflects your taste and preferences, melding creativity and capability, personalization and performance.
For balanced protection, optimal angles, improved recovery, seamless compatibility and increased resale value… isn’t it time you upgraded your off-road ride?
Give us a call today and let’s get you those matching front and rear bumpers for your full-size 2-door or 4-door Ford Bronco.
Have another design in mind? We also do custom work and would love to work with you.