Available in two price points, the new Fox Speedframe mountain bike helmet made quite a few social media waves when it was introduced back in February. We received our test helmet a bit before the embargo lifted and have enjoyed the last several months of testing from Central Oregon down to Baja Mexico. With a comfortable fit, killer graphics and color options and tons of technology, the Fox Speedframe Pro helmet has been a fun one to review.
THE LAB The structure of the Fox Speedrame helmet comes from the dual-density Varizorb EPS foam. We reached out to Fox to get some information as to what exactly Varizorb is and they replied: “Varizorb technology allows us to vary the density and hardness of EPS throughout the shell to provide for low speed and high-speed impacts. For Speedframe Pro, the internal EPS is 18% less dense than the external EPS to create a crumple zone closest to the rider. Not only do we achieve weight savings and a more compliant internal structure, we also deliver a durable outer shell that allows Speedframe Pro to meet or exceed industry standard open face helmet testing requirements. Highlighting this fact is our recent Five Star rating from the renowned Virginia Tech Helmet Testing Lab.” Designed to help mitigate the damage caused by higher and lower speed impacts, the dual density foam blends materials to prevent brain trauma no matter if it’s a major impact or falling over while learning how to unclip from your new pedals.
MIPS rotational impact protection system comes in the Pro helmet as an added feature to reduce the likelihood of brain trauma during a crash. Comfortable and protective, the Speedframe uses removable, washable XT2 liner pads, which are antimicrobial and help manage odor. Several large vents further help manage sweat and moisture by pushing air through the lid. Along with the external vents, Fox has in-molded EPS channeling to help direct airflow through the helmet.
One of the best parts of the Fox Speedframe helmet is the fit. I found the helmet to be one of the most comfortable ones I’ve ridden in recent years. My head measures about 56cm and I found the sizing of the Medium (55-59cm) to be spot on. The 360-degree fit system has 28 clicks of adjustment and let me easily fine-tune the helmet’s snugness for climbs or bumpy descents. Speaking of climbs, having the ability to easily adjust the visor to three positions was also a nice feature. One of our bigger complaints with Fox helmets like the Proframe and Dropframe, which we’ve recently reviewed, is the fixed visor. The Speedframe’s adjustable visor means we can keep our goggles on the front side of our heads and easily slide them up over our forehead for climbs. Also, if we’re riding straight into the sun, we can lower the visor for added protection.
THE DIRT Fox claims the Speedframe helmet is their open-face trail helmet, so if you’re a wannabe enduro racing superstar wanting a lid for your 160mm race sled this probably isn’t your best option. The larger Dropframe would be worth checking out although we’re big fans of the Proframe for bigger bike shreds. If you’re looking for a lightweight trail helmet that doesn’t look like an XC lid, the Speedframe is a solid option.
Earning Virginia Tech’s best rating (5 Stars) in their bicycle helmet ratings program is no small accomplishment, so trail riders can charge ahead knowing the Speedframe will be there when they hit the deck. The over brow ventilation is a nice feature and something I truly appreciated out on the trails. I sweat a lot and having airflow on above my eyebrows and flowing to my hairline helped reduce sweat collection on my forehead. I noticed however when I stopped riding and waited at regroup points the helmet got a bit warm. It seems the top of the helmet could be a little bit more breathable, however the trade-off is less shell material to protect the rider from sticks or impacts.
I also noticed that sweat would feel like it collected in the forehead pads/area but I couldn’t easily “wring” it out. The old, press the helmet against the forehead technique didn’t really yield much sweat. Perhaps the heat retention gave the impression of more sweat being present, or maybe the pads just did a really good job of keeping the sweat in the pads. Either way, on hot and humid days I did notice a little bit of hot, moisture above my forehead.
I loved everything else about this helmet. The Fidlock system is easy to use, the straps sit comfortably out of the way and the 360-Degree Fit adjuster is a cinch to use and makes the helmet feel very snug and secure.
The Wolf’s Last Word
If you are in the market for a lightweight trail helmet, the Fox Speedframe should be on your list. At 394 grams, this helmet offers a more aggressive and stylish look than other XC-lids on the market with some nice coverage and a comfortable fit. Features like a Fidlock Snap buckle, MIPS protection and removable XT2 liner pads further add to the value you get from the Speedframe helmet. In all honesty, I always thought of Fox as more of a marketing and lifestyle brand than a protection brand, but they have really stepped up their helmet game in recent years. I have total faith in the Fox Speedframe and although I hope to never need to test the Varisorb EPS’s protective qualities, I’m sure it will do its job when I need it to.
Looks! Very Comfortable Secure/Snug Fit Features Light
Little Bit Warm When Not Moving
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