THE NEW FOX PROFRAME RS
IN DEPTH OVERVIEW OF THE NEW FOX HELMET
Words by Drew Rohde | Photos by Sourpatch & Dusten Ryen
Video by Brian Niles/Treeline Cinematics
The new Fox Proframe RS helmet is aimed at the aggressive mountain biker and eMTB rider who wants the latest features, tech and design. We reviewed the last generation Fox Proframe a couple years back and really liked the helmet overall, but felt there were a few areas other riders would like to see improved. It seems Fox Racing took that feedback well, as the new Proframe RS helmet sports some impressive styling, the new MIPS Integra Split protection system and yes, more adjustability! From the visor to the fit, the new Fox Proframe RS claims to be the helmet your head deserves. Let’s Dissect this new DH-certified lid and share our impressions so far.
Earlier this year we headed down to Fox Racing HQ in Irvine, California for a Behind the Brands feature. While we were there, we got ourselves a couple of the new Proframe RS helmets to begin testing in preparation for this launch. We also got to meet up with Shaun Ryan, Product Manager for Fox Bike and Moto divisions. Shaun was kind enough to sacrifice a helmet for us a cut one apart so we could take a better look at the industry’s first use of the MIPS Integra Split system.
MIPS Integra Split takes slip plane technology to the next level as there are now two layers of foam of different densities and types to provide even more protection. The inner liner is EPP and is designed to take multiple low-speed hits, will offer protection from the more common impacts riders see. Attached via woofers (elastomers) that can move 360 degrees, this separated inner EPP liner offers rotational impact damping as well as softer foam for sub-concussive forces.
The outer layer is made of EPS, which is found on other helmets on the market. It is designed to crack when it absorbs impacts from larger, high-speed impacts that could cause greater single-hit trauma. Combining the EPP and EPS should give more effective protection across a wider range of impact velocities.
Improving the adjustability from the preceding Fox Proframe helmet, the new Proframe RS claims to have 624 fit combinations available. There are three sizes available in the Proframe RS and each size now includes a BOA Fit System. Further adjustment comes from the four-step adjustable cradle located at the back of the helmet. This allows users to fine-tune where the BOA system snugs up around the head. Different layer cheek pads are also available to ensure a proper fit. You can give Fox’s “Fit Guide” video a watch here.
Snapping the helmet on is easy thanks to a magnetic Fidlock buckle system. We’ve grown to like the Fidlock system as it’s easy to operate one-handed, with gloves on and makes for a quick removal process after the ride.
An adjustable visor allows the new Fox Proframe RS to offer sun or debris protection at various angles while also allowing for goggle storage on long climbs.
Another neat feature on the new visor is the removable GoPro mount for an action camera. It’s easy to use, keeps your footage stable and allows for a seamless application of the mount.
THE WOLF’S FIRST IMPRESSION
Over the course of this summer, we’ve had about six different riders in the new Proframe RS helmet. While most of the riders now love the helmet, it did seem that about 25-30% of riders had an awkward “Getting to know you” phase. Some also noted a tendency for the BOA system to fall towards the center of the helmet when loose, blocking their head from entering the helmet and requiring the spare hand to push it out the way.
With the new design of the helmet and adjustability, it takes a bit more time to really get the Proframe RS dialed in. At least it could, depending on your head shape and size. I’m a 56cm head and went with my standard medium size and felt the crown was pretty accurately sized, and Robert with the same size head agreed. Cheek pads and inner liner pads were played with, and I felt like I could go either way in terms of thicker or thinner cheek pads depending on if I was hitting the bike park or going for a longer eBike mission. With the thicker pads fitted, the helmet feels more secure and downhill-like, whereas longer days in the saddle may be served by a looser fit on the sides and more reliance on the BOA system.
This brings me to the next point. Since this helmet doesn’t rely on padding for fitment, like the old Proframe or Fox’s Rampage RPC helmets, a change in perspective is required when fitting this helmet. We were told that it should fit and feel more like a trail helmet than their downhill helmet, and to look at the Speedframe as our guide for size selection. They were right. It doesn’t feel like a downhill helmet when putting it on, even though it is full DH certified. This could be one of the reasons we like it so much for longer enduro days, and eMTB self-shuttle rides. It’s also why some guys were wondering if they’d rather ride their Fox Rampage helmet in the bike park. Ultimately most riders came away pleased and comfortable riding the Proframe RS in most conditions and consider it a great all-around helmet.
One thing to note is that we had a few of the helmets chirp or squeak the first day or two in the bike park. It wasn’t all helmets but many of them did. Don’t get too discouraged and ask for a refund as the chirping went away and we’ve been without the sound ever since. Maybe it needed some dust and sweat, or to wear away the surface coating. Or maybe it just needed to bed in. We’re not sure, but we’re happy it did, and in the test time so far it hasn’t proved to be an issue.
We look forward to lots more time this fall and winter in the new Fox Proframe RS as we work towards our long-term review. Ask any questions you have below and we’ll do our best to focus on those while we keep putting in the miles in these new helmets.
Weight: 834g (Medium);