Fox Striker helmet - First look

Plus 'Apocalypse Now' style dirt lid and soft armour for trail riding

Fox's first cross-country helmet, the Flux, swiftly became a favourite among trail riders due to its extended rear coverage and unique look, with a rear spoiler that proved a love/hate affair.

Now Fox have taken the best bits of the Flux, shaved some weight (around 100g) and improved the fit and ventilation, and the end result is the new Striker. Flux fans needn't worry, as that lid will still be available in 2011, but the new helmet looks like it'll win plenty of converts.

From the outside, the Striker looks similar to its predecessor, with a dropped rear and sculpted 'wings' on top of the shell that recall the Flux's spoiler (but should prove less divisive thanks to their more cleanly integrated appearance).

It's inside where the big changes have happened, though. The Striker has two more vents than the Flux, and improved channelling should keep cooling air flowing over your bonce. The internal shape of the helmet has been revised, the straps have been moved inboard and the fit system is now padded, all of which should mean improved comfort. The Striker is expected to hit shops in May. UK RRP will be £90 – £20 more than the 2011 Flux.

The Striker takes design cues from the popular Flux but has a more organic shape

Transition Hard Shell

The Transition is Fox's take on the pisspot dirt jump helmet, and it's significantly lighter – thanks to its in-mould construction, where a hard outer shell is moulded to an EPS liner – and better vented than most lids of this type. The lightweight construction means it's more prone to dings and dents, though.

For those who want a bit more protection, Fox are releasing a Hard Shell version for 2011. This gains a tough ABS outer shell and is available in this slightly bonkers US Army style version, complete with Ace of Spades playing card. RRP is £30.

The horror... Justin Loretz models the new Fox Transition Hard Shell

Ballistic armour

An increasing number of riders seem to be hitting the trails wearing leg and arm armour. Much of this has been designed for downhill racing, so it's not ideal for long days in the saddle. And while the latest generation of knee pads with high-tech d3o type padding have their place, they won't protect your shins against pedal strikes or debris spat up from the trail.

That's where Fox's new Ballistic armour comes in. Available in leg and elbow versions, it's essentially a Lycra sleeve held up with silicone grippers – so there are no straps to chafe your legs on longer rides – with a mesh-covered layer of PORON XRD on the front. This is a new impact-absorbing foam that's extremely light and flexible but is said to provide a surprising amount of protection.

Fox's new Ballistic armour is aimed at trail centre warriors

The Ballistic armour isn't designed for downhill or freeride use, but it could be just the ticket for technical trail riding. RRP for the leg armour is £60, and £45 for the elbow pads. Most of Fox's 2011 gear should be available from March. For more information about Fox products, visit www.foxhead.com or www.foxeurope.com.

Note: All of the products seen on this page are prototypes; that's why the helmets have no straps

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