Alpina might not be the best-known brand, but has a decent following in its native Germany.
The Pheox is definitely an XC lid, with a low profile and airy interior with 20 vents that are chamfered to draw in more air are backed up with deep internal channels that easily move air over the head towards the exhaust vents at the back. Up front, the stubby visor is low, and only just pokes into your peripheral vision.
Inside, pads run the length of your head, as well as across the brow, giving a comfortable feel without any pressure points. The brow pad does have a gap right in the middle, which helps keep the forehead feeling cooler.
The retention system starts in front of the ears, and holds the helmet securely. The cradle is large and flexible, aiding comfort and hold, but the materials feel cheap. That said, there’s a wide range of adjustment, and the rear third of the system pivots to aid fit.
The straps are secured with a ratchet, which although functional, isn’t anywhere near class-leading. We’d rather see a traditional clip.
Save for the retention system, the Pheox is a well-put together helmet. Rather than being fully in-moulded though, the EPS protecting shell doesn’t wrap all around the base of the foam, instead some sections are left bare, while the front has an extra panel moulded in.
This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine.