Pedal-friendly full face helmet…Think about conversations with your riding crew ten years ago and how often that phrase got thrown around. Well, here we are shacked up in 2020 and the competition for lightweight, well-ventilated full face helmets is just warming up. The new iXS Trigger FF (Full Face) helmet holds the current title as being the lightest full face on the market, and it still passes EN1078, ASTM and CPSC safety standard – no small feet.
We received the iXS Trigger FF a couple of months ago and have been putting some great miles in the lid and are ready to share our official report.
IXS markets the Trigger FF as one of the lightest DH-certified helmets available today. Part of the reason the Trigger FF is so light is thanks to IXS’s patented InMould technology, which is a direct fusion of the helmet shell to the internal EPS material with the face guard structure embedded in between. The unibody construction is stiffened up with iXS’s patented X-Frame, which is an internal structure and helps the helmet earn its ASTM and EN certifications.
The Trigger FF is incredibly breathable for a full-face helmet and even had our testers keeping it on as temps crept well into the 80s. Compared to the Fox Proframe that we reviewed a couple months ago, it’s significantly lighter and more breathable. If you’re looking for warmth in the cooler months, it won’t be as good at keeping your ears warm though. Also unlike the Fox Proframe, iXS’s Trigger FF has a two-level adjustable visor offering a place to stash your goggles on long ascents.
IXS uses an ErgoFit Ultra system that provides precise adjustment of the fitting ring for both vertical tilt and circumference, resulting in what should be a comfortable fit for any head. The IXS Trigger FF is secured on the head by a magnetic Fidlock fastened to a pair of adjustable straps.
We really like the iXS Trigger FF. When it comes to breathability, weight, visibility and comfort, it’s certainly at or near the top of the list. With that being said, it doesn’t quite offer the same DH-bike level of confidence some heavier and bulkier helmets offer. We thought that pedal-friendly full faces would be one niche in the MTB helmet market but we’re quickly learning that nothing can be so simple. It’s like bikes coming in 10mm travel increments.
While we have no doubt that the iXS Trigger will do all that it claims, and passes the tests to prove it, we put it more in the trail lid with a mouthpiece category rather than a DH-helmet with vents. Does that make sense to anyone else besides us? Helmets like the Fox Proframe, Leatt DBX 4.0 and even the 7iDP P23 feature bulkier, less ventilated shells and fitment that are based on shell size and padding rather than dial adjusters or other universal adjustments systems.
From our perspective, that difference combined with the ventilation give the helmet a much more comfortable and lightweight feel, like a traditional trail helmet. Maybe it’s the decades of brainwashing that a DH helmet can’t be adjustable and relies on padding and single sizing models that had us leaning this way but nevertheless, it’s where we stand.
We’ve done everything from shuttle days to epic ebike test sessions where we climbed and descended over 7,000 feet and the iXS Trigger FF never let us down. Even though it’s probably not the helmet we’d take to the bike park, that doesn’t mean we don’t love it everywhere else. In fact it’s probably our favorite new helmet for aggressive rides and every ride we take on an eMTB.
Having the ability to stick the visor up in the air and place our goggles over our forehead is great for quick climbs back up, although on really hot days we’ll stash them elsewhere to maximize airflow. The dial adjuster is also easy to work on the move and aids in the comfort of the helmet when you transition from white knuckle downhills to long climbs or mellow traverses. Other fixed-sized helmets get pulled off far more frequently as they’re hotter and start to develop pressure points after the 45 minute mark.
IXS’s Trigger FF helmet is an all-star piece of kit, and at $259 it better be! It’s a hefty investment in protecting yourself and trust us, a trip to emergency dentist or getting your chin stitched up is a going to cost you a fair shake more. As bikes and trails get faster it only makes sense that we protect ourselves better too. The more time we spend self-shuttling steeper and steeper terrain aboard our eMTBs has got us wearing these pedal-friendly full face helmets 80% of the time, and we’re pretty stoked about it. We can ride faster, more confidently and find that the added benefit of riding in goggles opposed to glasses only makes us ride faster too.
When it comes to being a great all-around aggressive trail to enduro-duty mountain and ebike helmet, the iXS Trigger FF is easy to recommend. We really like the wide field of view, breathability, adjustability and comfort. Thumbs up to iXS and we’re excited to see where this niche in the helmet market goes.