Making the transition from gaudy ’90s-inspired motocross wear to stylish and thoughtful products has pushed Fox into the top-tier of consumer desirability in recent times.
Now it’s producing a host of products with a real range of prices, and its Speedframe Pro helmet sits atop the range of trail-specific, open face lids and is dripping in features.
Fox Speedframe Pro helmet details
Its shell is made from Fox’s dual-density Varizorb EPS, which is claimed to help provide improved protection from crashes by spreading the forces of impacts across a wider area. The Speedframe Pro also has MIPS protection.
The retention system is tuned using a Boa-style ratchet that adjusts the 360-degree cradle, with five points of vertical adjustment. The chin strap is fastened with Fidlock’s SNAP buckle that has a magnet to locate the male and female parts of the clip. The chin-strap splitters are vertically adjustable too.
The lid’s XT2 liner is anti-microbial and moisture-wicking, which Fox says should help to manage odour. The liner is also removable and washable.
A three-position adjustable peak means there’s space to park goggles on the front of the helmet and there are 19 vents in total. Internally, there are channels between the vents to help with air flow.
The Speedframe Pro MIPS was awarded five stars out of five in Virginia Tech’s helmet safety impact tests, scoring 10.8 where a lower score offers better protection.
Fox Speedframe Pro helmet performance
Thanks to the five points of vertical cradle adjustment, it’s easy to dial in the helmet’s fit. If you like a shallow feel, the Speedframe can be easily adjusted. If you want it to feel like a bucket sitting almost over your eyes that’s possible too.
Obviously, the middle ground is the best solution, but it’s nice to have such a wide range of adjustment available. It also means it’s more likely to fit your head, no matter its shape.
The indexed thumbwheel was easy to adjust on the move and the cradle tensioned evenly around my head.
There were no hot spots and the lid’s general shape was pretty neutral on my head, only feeling a little tighter either side of my crown if I pushed down hard on the top of it. Internally, this reduction in size lines up with where a ventilation channel’s depression rises to support the MIPS liner.
Some other testers also found it felt tighter at the sides and larger at the front and rear. I didn’t experience this, but it would be wise to try before you buy.
Despite the Speedframe’s headline weight putting it at the heavier end of the spectrum, it didn’t feel especially lardy on my head. That was probably helped by the cooling vents and under-peak channels that forced air into the front of my head for a light, airy feel.
It certainly felt stable over rough terrain and I didn’t find myself constantly readjusting the helmet after choppy descents.
The pads aren’t especially thick though, and while they don’t feel like the most luxurious out there, they aren’t uncomfortable and didn’t cause any irritation.
However, because they aren’t very thick, on very hot days sweat did drip off the helmet onto my eyes fairly quickly.
I found the chin strap to be comfortable and the FidLock system easy to use. However, another one of our testers commented that he thought the buckle sat closer to his neck than other helmets he’s tried, causing some irritation. I didn’t have the same issue with irritation, but did notice its proximity to my neck after this was pointed out to me.
I was impressed with the lid’s compatibility with glasses and I found they were most comfortable when their arms rested on the outside of cradle. Although the front of the lid came very close to contacting the upper frame of larger glasses, it never actually hit them.
The same can’t be said for goggles, unfortunately. I found that the frames of larger goggles pushed the lid back and up. This was disappointing considering the Speedframe is claimed to be goggle compatible. There is enough space to park goggles under the adjustable visor, though.
Fox Speedframe Pro helmet bottom line
The Speedframe Pro helmet is clearly going to be a big hit – it looks great, is fairly light and has plenty of safety features backed up by Virginia Tech’s independent tests.
For me, the only place it fails is with goggle compatibility. Modern trail lids need to work with goggles without compromising comfort. It’s also worth trying this helmet before you buy because it could be too narrow for your head’s shape.
|Price||AUD $270.00EUR €149.00GBP £139.00USD $160.00|
|Features||Sizes: S, M, L
Colours: Navy, Dark Purple, Pewter, White. Black, Green Camo (may vary with country)
Features: MIPS, Fidlock buckle, dual-density Varizorb EPS foam
|Helmet type||Mountain bike open face|