FOX PROFRAME HELMET REVIEW

Words by Sean Leicht & Drew Rohde
Photos by Jesse Polay

We’ve been quite excited by the new and quickly growing market of pedal-friendly full-face helmets, like the Fox Proframe. As safety concerns over the increasing speeds and gnarly terrain that riders are navigating on incredibly capable trail bikes, three styles of helmets have filled the void between the half shell and DH helmet offerings of yesteryear. Those being moto-style trials influenced helmets like the Fox Dropframe, convertible helmets like the Bell Super and Giro Switchblade, and more open and breathable full-face, like the iXS Trigger and Fox Proframe tested here. Fox may not have a convertible, but they have an offering in all the other categories. We are excited to report back the findings after several months of riding in our Fox Proframe during the cool winter months in Bend, Oregon.

THE LAB
Designed with the enduro racer and all-mountain rider in mind, the Proframe is Fox’s ultra-lightweight full-face helmet weighing in at roughly 737 grams for a size medium. The Proframe has a dual-density Varizorb EPS liner. Varizorb is a shock-absorbing technology that places cone-shaped inserts over varying densities to better handle the loads of both high-speed and more frequently occurring, low-speed impacts. Fox also utilizes MIPS rotational impact absorbing technology in the Proframe.


Fox Proframe Helmet

Fox outfitted the Proframe with a total of 24 Big Bore vents. Fifteen intake vents and nine exhaust vents make it one of the most breathable full-face helmets on the market. In conjunction with the vents, Fox decided to go with a fixed visor that is perfectly placed to allow max airflow. The downside to the fixed visor is a lack of adjustability when it comes to sun protection or storing goggles over the eyebrows for short punchy climbs.

A Fidlock Snap buckle closure system makes for easy on and offs, even with gloves or cold fingers. The Proframe has CPSC, AS/NZ 2063, EN 1078 and ASTM F1952 certifications, the ASTM cert is the standard for downhill mountain bike racing although this would not be our go-to selection or recommendation for riders who are regularly hitting the bike park or racing DH.

Fox Proframe Helmet Riding

THE DIRT
Fox’s Proframe helmet has been getting a ton of use on several of our testers’ heads this winter. We’ve passed it around for the sake of feedback and comparison in the competitive market of pedal-friendly full faces. After making some adjustments to the cheek pads to fine-tune the fit, our riders were very happy and comfortable in the Proframe. While it does lack the ability to adjust the fit via a rotating dial, like many helmets, we were lucky enough to have average enough heads that fit inside the helmet very nicely. It offers a snug and secure fit. The helmet instilled confidence to let us open the brakes and charge just a bit harder.

During the climbs, ventilation was impressive for a protective full-face. For similar helmets, it’s competitive in the space. The large mouth opening and chin bars offered a very open and breathable feel. Sometimes full-faces can give a claustrophobic feel, but the Proframe is quite airy; squirting water, snacking and spitting through the mouth opening are all easy thanks to the large cut-out. The helmet does a good job of keeping your ears and head warm enough on cool days but won’t be a sweat bucket during the summer months. Don’t get us wrong, it’s no XC-lid, but for a full-face helmet, it moves air very well.

Fox Proframe Helmet Side View

Something that bothers us about all of Fox’s full-face helmets is their fixed visor position. While the moto and DH lids only bother us in terms of adjusting the visor to protect us from the sun, the Proframe also causes some issues when it comes to storing goggles while on the bike. On two to eight-minute climbs when we didn’t feel like coming to a stop to rotate the goggles all the way around our helmet, we tried just sliding them up under the visor, above our eyebrows. Some goggles would hang on, barely. Sometimes they wouldn’t and would slam back down onto the bridge of our nose, resulting in some curse words. It could be a minor complaint for some, but we regularly find ourselves fogging up goggles on short climbs that end in quick descents and don’t want to stop every time to put goggles on and off when we could just keep rolling and drop them down with one hand. Also, if you ride somewhere westerly facing, the sunsets will certainly be an issue with the fixed, high visor.

Fox Proframe Helmet on trail

The Wolf’s Last Word

The Fox Proframe is a very solid option for customers that want more than a half shell, but don’t want the weight of a DH full-face. You’ll get a lightweight full-face equipped with MIPS that won’t have you sweating up a storm on the ascents. The Proframe is another quality helmet offering from Fox, however, it may not be ideal for everyone as the only way to adjust fit is by swapping out pads. Also, the fixed visor is an issue that may affect some more than others.

The pedal-friendly full-face market hasn’t won everybody over yet as Sean would rather just run an open face for trail rides and a DH-helmet for downhill days. On the other hand, Drew and several other testers welcomed the added security and sense of confidence when letting our more-than-capable 150-170mm bikes rip down trails we were shuttling DH bikes on not too long ago. As with most personal and protective equipment, we would suggest going to a dealer to try the helmet on before purchasing.

Price: $249.95
Weight: 737 grams
Sizes: S, M, L, XL
Website: Foxracing.com

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We Dig

Breathes Well
MIPS Equipped
Secure Fit
Looks Good

We Don’t

Lack of Adjustability May Affect Fit For Some
Fixed Visor

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