When the Dropframe first turned up on my doorstep, I was really unsure of the looks, but over the testing period, I became a fan, especially when worn with goggles. The black iridium paint finish looks great, with a slight oil-slick style to the highlights, and received a number of compliments when out on the trail. The finish proved to be very tough, too, surviving the test of time well and looking fresh after months of testing and rolling around on the floor of my van a few times.
Tuning the fit of the Dropframe to your head is a simple affair with the included padding. Once adjusted to your skull, the helmet sits really snug. In fact, it’s the most solid feeling open-face I’ve ever put on my head. Putting the Dropframe on requires spreading the ear-guards (quite a lot in the case of my big ears), which means the sides of the helmet really hug your head, giving you a locked-in full-face feeling. The overall helmet weight is reasonable for its extended protection at 440g (size medium, measured), which, combined with the fit, makes for a helmet that is barely-there. The visor barely intrudes on your vision, and the shape of the helmet integrates with both goggles and glasses nicely. The Fidlock buckle – utilizing a magnet to help things slide in to place – is a favorite of mine, and offers easy fastening with reduced chance of pinching skin compared to a standard buckle.
The venting does a reasonable job of keeping your head cool, though this is no ultra-airy XC lid. The padding absorbs a good amount of sweat – it was only on the hottest of days that I ran into issues with sweat bypassing the forehead pad and running into my eyes. The anti-microbial properties of the padding had a tough task in remaining smell-free with me as the tester but lasted a good amount the test before the inevitable stank set in. Popping the padding out and sticking in the washing machine fixed this with ease.
Thankfully I’ve not had a chance to verify the protective capabilities of the Dropframe, though I trust that the Varizorb technology employed would do a stellar job of keeping my brain intact.
I do have one gripe with the Dropframe – with the super-breathable Proframe full face in the Fox lineup, why would you choose the Dropframe instead? Money aside, the Proframe offers near enough the same riding sensation as the Dropframe, albeit with an ever so slightly less secure fit, but provides you with that extra jaw protection. Perhaps it could be a styling thing, with the Dropframe having a more casual appearance – but if it were up to me, I’d save up that little extra cash and take the additional protection of the Proframe.
The Wolf’s Last Word
Fox’s Dropframe helmet offers trail and enduro mountain bikers the option to make a style statement, and receive additional head coverage compared to the standard open-face helmets available on the market. Not everyone will love the looks, but the secure fit, effective venting, and overall quality make the Fox Dropframe helmet a viable option for anyone after a new trail lid.