Fox produced some of our favourite riding kit of last year so when Fox Europe's Rob Sheratt offered us a sneak preview of the new range we jumped at the chance. Based on the samples we saw, it looks like they'll again be supplying some of our go-to gear in 2012.
The key to the range is continuity and the Fox ‘look’ of every product. This means you mix and match jerseys with shorts and so on, making it easy to get the full pro look, whatever the weather and whatever kit you want to be seen in. Here’s our pick of the 2012 range…
The Flux helmet has been a massive success for Fox over the past couple of years, with loads of coverage and a super-comfy fit that’s easy to adjust with the simple Detox system. With 20 air vents, it definitely does the job of keeping your bonce fresh. It simply gains some more colourways for 2012, keeping with the bright hues and interesting patterns. RRP is £70.
The Striker was new in 2011 and it too has some updated colours for 2012, including the silver/red shown here and a white/green combination that we can’t wait to get our hands on. It’s a lighter weight lid than the Flux and has reduced coverage at the rear – although still more than most lightweight cross-country helmets – and is aimed more at the trail market rather than the hardcore all-mountain guys. The Detox 2 retention system on the Striker is a bit sleeker than the original but works in the same way. RRP is £90.
Fox have a massive part of the sub-£100 full-face market cornered with the venerable Rampage, and we can only see this growing for 2012. The new colourways look awesome, with some amazing designs to give some kit continuity too if you want to rep' the Fox look head to toe. The Transition pisspot remains unchanged, with the hard shell version coming in at just £30. Bargain.
The big news for 2012 on the clothing front is a new bike-specific Push pant. Fox have taken their motorcross trousers, removed the big leather patch designed to protect your leg from exhaust heat and added pedalling-friendly features like a chain rub wear patch on the lower right leg, mesh zones for venting, lighter weight material in non-key areas and a cut that's designed for downhill riding.
They look like they'll be ideal for racing/freeride duties and they come in at just £100, so they're super-competitive price wise. Our only gripe is that they’re still without a pocket, but that’s set to change for next year. The white/orange old-school kit looks awesome – we can’t wait to be seen in it. Keeping with the old-school theme, the matching top is a special ¾-length-sleeve Covert jersey (£45).
The Push pants have traditionally been matched with the 360 jersey (£36), and that's still in the line-up for 2012. There are sleeveless and short-sleeve mountain bike versions, plus a long-sleeve version that crosses over from Fox's moto range. The 360 jersey is designed to go with the Demo shorts (£74), and does so in style. These are highly vented and feature zip pockets too, with enough space for your car keys should you need it.
Gravity enduro racing is going to be massive this year, and the Ultimatum shorts (£100) are bang-on the money. The two-way-stretch outer material gives good freedom of movement without the shorts having too loose a cut, and zipped thigh and leg pockets mean you can carry the essentials. We like the clear lift-pass pocket too. The long-sleeve Freeride jersey (£45) matches perfectly for the 'factory' look and features mesh panelling and a high wicking fabric, as well as a glasses wipe.
Moving on to the all-mountain kit that was some of our favourite clobber last year, the Attack jersey (£44) is now available with short sleeves only and has been slightly modified, with venting in slightly different places. It still keeps some of our favourite bits from before though, including the hidden inside pocket and glasses wipe. There are some grip panels on the top of the shoulder too, to help stop your hydration pack from bumping around too much. The Altitude (£75) and Ventilator (£84) shorts both tie in nicely with the brighter colour choices, while the Combine (£64) shorts offer a more stealthy look.
Fox have brought in a new designer for their Diva women's range and this really shows on her first two items, the Flygirl and Homerun jerseys. The Flygirl (£40, pictured below) takes a casual look and adds some typical Fox style, but it's made from four-way-stretch material so it should deal with longer, harder rides than its look suggests. The Homerun (£32) is a well styled women's jersey, with all the technical materials and quality of the men's kit.
Fox's Dirt Shirt range combines the styling and cut of a T-shirt with a technical, sweat wicking fabric that's claimed to dry four times faster than cotton. The shirts feel great too – really soft to the touch and no nasty stitching. They look like a winner for keeping things casual, whether you’re ripping on the downhill bike, boosting dirt jumps or just hanging out after a quick spin at the trail centre. RRP is £25. Seen below is the Speed Freak.
Moving on to goggles, the range is unchanged for 2012 other than some updated graphics. Made by Oakley for Fox, the Main (seen here) and Main Pro have been some of our favourites since their conception. They're well priced, too – from £30 for the Main and £50 for the Pro.
Gloves for 2012 tie in nicely with all the kit too, with our favourites being the Sidewinder (£30, shown with the Covert kit above), the Push (£25, pictured below), designed with the downhill race kit in mind, and the Attack (£28). The Push has a slightly thicker palm, with a layer of extra protection where it might be needed, and a secure Velcro closure. The Attack really stood out for us though, with an elasticated cuff – so no Velcro – and a single-layer palm, to give maximum feel through the handlebar.
Fox have also updated their hydration pack range for 2012. They definitely look the part and are designed with hard-charging riders in mind. All use the Hydrapak reservoir system. The Low Pro (£52) sports a low profile and minimal design, but has enough room for essential kit and two litres of liquid. The Oasis (£62) has a 3L bladder and a whole load more room for kit, while the Portage (£72) holds the fort with the big bags, with almost enough room to head off on holiday, and the same 3L bladder as the Oasis.