Mountain biking helmets have been diversifying rapidly over the last few years, with new types of helmet popping up and becoming popular fast. What once was a category with only two main styles – the “XC lid” open-face style, and “downhill full face” helmets – has now been joined by breathable “enduro” full faces; convertible full faces; and most recently moto-trials inspired open faces that extend over the ears.
Fox racing anticipated, or perhaps inspired, this boost in popularity of the moto-trials style open face, with the introduction of their Dropframe helmet at the beginning of 2019. The Fox Dropframe helmet was released without a hype-driving advertising campaign, seemingly appearing in the wild without anyone really knowing but instantly caught the attention of the public with its’ polarizing looks. It seems as if this “soft-drop” approach worked, with the helmet instantly spreading its presence across the fashion-conscious mountain bike scene, no doubt bolstered by riders like Josh Bryceland regularly repping the Fox Dropframe helmet in videos and events around the globe.
The Dropframe is advertised as “the choice for trail riders seeking more coverage, more confidence, and more fun.” As previously mentioned, it features additional coverage around the ears and around the back of the head, dubbed the M.O.RE. Guard (Mandibular Occipital REinforcement Guard), offering a similar level of protection to their Proframe full face, but without the chin-piece. A dual-density Varizorb™ EPS liner takes care of your head in an impact, promising improved protection over the standard single-density liners. 15 vents (8 big-bore intakes, 7 exhaust) channel the airflow through the helmet to manage heat, aided by the fixed visor that’s designed to direct the air into these vents.
The Fidlock SNAP buckle is carried over from the Proframe, providing easy 1-handed fastening of the helmet, and a moisture-wicking, anti-microbial helmet liner takes care of padding duties. The Fox Dropframe doesn’t feature any sort of ratchet system. Instead, the fit is tuned using the padding of different thickness, much like your typical full-face helmets. There’s no rotational protection technology on the Dropframe, which is surprising to see for a premium helmet in 2019, though the effectiveness of these technologies is still up for debate. The Dropframe retails at $169.95, placing it at the upper end of the open-face helmet pricing scale, alongside competitors such as the Troy Lee Designs A2.