FOX BASEFRAME PRO REVIEW

FOX BASEFRAME PRO REVIEW

SL & SS PROTECTION LAYERS

Review by Sourpatch | Photos by Dusten Ryen

The Fox Baseframe Pro protection line is their low profile, Level 1 certified body armor that is available in long sleeve, short sleeve, and no sleeve options. If you are someone that spends a vast majority of your time ripping at the bike park or shredding steep, chunky trails, upper body protection should be a piece of kit in your gear bag. There are a number of options and configurations available today from just about every company you can think of. Fox Racing is one of those brands and offer a variety of mountain bike protective gear from minimal to maximum. When approached with the opportunity to test some new body armor, we opted for Fox’s D3O equipped Baseframe Pro layers. Drew went with the short-sleeve version, and I chose the sleeveless version.

FOX BASEFRAME PRO REVIEW

THE LAB
Designed to be worn under the jersey, the Fox Baseframe Pro protection layers offer quality protection with low-profile coverage. Both the SS (short sleeve) and SL (sleeveless) versions have a removable Level 1 D3O back protector. The base layers have been designed to offer an extremely snug fit which plays a role in helping the D3O pads get as close to the body as possible so that they can conform to each applicable body part. The open mesh fabric Fox used on the Baseframe Pro aids with breathability and helps with wicking moisture.

Even though Fox’s Baseframe Pro SS and SL have a nearly identical construction and feature list, there are still a few key differences between the two, outside of the obvious cut. The Baseframe Pro SS has built-in Level 1 D3O shoulder pads and comes with a D3O chest protection. The Baseframe Pro SL on the other hand uses a lightweight foam chest pad and features two pads located on the hip whereas the SS does not.

Both D3O Viper back protectors feature a wavy texture, called flex grooves, and are perforated to help them fit comfortably and manage heat.

FOX BASEFRAME PRO REVIEW

THE DIRT
Outside of the over-the-jersey composite moto-style chest protectors, I have never been a fan of torso protection. Some of the under-jersey short-sleeve armor I have found to get uncomfortable, specifically around the armpits and slightly annoying to wear, which is why I opted to try out Fox’s sleeveless Baseframe Pro. Although the SL has some foam padding on the chest, I would have preferred to have the same D3O protection found on the SS and LS versions.

Fox’s Baseframe Pro SL is comfortable and the D3O conforms after a few minutes of warming against the body. The base layer feels like it is not even there. I had concerns that the size large would end up being baggy for my skinny 6’1 160lb frame, but the Baseframe Pro SL fits as snug as a bug in a rug.

Unfortunately, that fit I like so much is also a huge negative when it comes to having to take the base layer off. It is darn near impossible to remove after a long day of riding without potentially ripping any of the seams. However, after leaving it on for the 30 minute drive home form Mt. Bachelor and the sweat had fully dried, I did find that it was much easier to take off. Even though Fox claims that the Baseframe is breathable, it gets quite warm, specifically when climbing the ebike on some of our favorite loops or when standing around without a breeze. It is best suited for bike park laps or shuttle days in my opinion. Compared to other sleeveless under-jersey chest protection, it is on the expensive side compared to some other offerings at $169.95, although they do not employ D3O technology.

FOX BASEFRAME PRO REVIEW

When it comes to the Baseframe Pro SS base layer, Drew had mostly good things to say. Like the SL, the short sleeve Baseframe Pro fit snugly, was super comfortable on and easy to forget once on the bike. Standing the in the lift line wasn’t too uncomfortable either. Compared to no protection, no body armor is truly comfortable or breathable, but if you are a wearer of body armor then you are willing to accept the heat and rubbing against the skin that comes from added protection. I almost always wear body armor when downhilling at bike parks and typically prefer long sleeve versions for the elbow protection but was curious about trying a short sleeve. I liked that on some days I could wear a short sleeve jersey and this unit for shoulder and back protection.

Compared to other body armor, I found the Fox Baseframe Pro to be very slim, comfortable and it did a good job of not annoying me. No sharp seems rubbing my neck, or armpits, it didn’t stick out above my jersey and once moving, it did a good job passing air through. Like Sean however, I had a helluva time getting this thing off. I’m 5’11 173lbs and nearly had to ask for some help before dislocating a shoulder, getting old sucks! That being said, over time it has gotten slightly easier, and I found that if I wear a super thin base layer underneath, it makes it easier to get off. It seems moisture on the Baseframe makes it want to stick to the body when you want to peel it off. Perhaps a zipper would help for donning and doffing the Baseframe. It’s a small price to pay for overall comfort, peace of mind and a really nice protective unit. I will continue wearing it and hope it keeps loosening up while taking it off.

The Wolf’s Last Word

If you are a rider that prefers to ride the roughest of trails or spend hours in the bike park, some level of upper body protection should be in gear bag. Though the Fox Baseframe Pro baselayers are not perfect, they are certainly some of the most comfortable thanks to the materials used and the way the D3O inserts conform to the wearer’s body. The snug fit helps maximize the range of motion, and keep it in place, but the downside is having to struggle to take the base layer off after a long day of riding. The Baseframe Pro SS is competitively priced at $189.95, but the SL is definitely on the higher end of the spectrum at $169.96. If you are in the market for some body armor and don’t have bad shoulders (for taking it off), the Fox Baseframe Pro could be for you. Whether you want the sleeveless, short sleeve or even long sleeve version, we are confident that when we hit the deck, this thing will take the edge off.

Price: $169.95 (Baseframe SL) – $189.95 (Baseframe SS)
Website:
Foxracing.com

SHOP TORSO PROTECTION @ COMPETITIVE CYCLIST

Disclosure: Our team selects all of the products we review and do so with honesty and objectivity in mind. Some of the products we receive come directly from Competitive Cyclist, who also value our readers and have offered them a 15% discount (exclusions apply) on their first purchase by using LOAMWOLF15. Through this program we may also receive a small commission at no cost to you. Thanks for your support, TLW.

We Dig

Snug Fit
Level 1 Back Protection
Use of D3O
Different Cuts Available (sleeveless, short-sleeve, long-sleeve)
Comfortable

We Don’t

Hard to Take Off
Sleeveless Version is Spendy

LEAVE A COMMENT, WIN FREE SWAG!

Want to win some free schwag? Leave a comment and vote up the most thoughtful comments and each month we’ll pick a winner. The person with the smartest and most helpful replies will earn some sweet new gear. Join the Pack and get the latest news and read the latest reviews on the top mountain and electric mountain bikes.