First Look: Fox Rampage Pro Carbon Helmet

Mar 28, 2019
by Daniel Sapp  


Fox's new Rampage Pro Carbon full-face reminds us how far helmet technology has progressed since the days of wearing padded leather caps. Hell, it's progressed a ton just in the last few years. We now know more than ever, how important it is to manage head trauma, concussions and other brain injuries. The science of helmet design is being taken more seriously by everyone from athletes and their sponsors, to the brands who develop products and strategies designed to protect the brain.

It's now documented that it takes far less than just a hard hit to cause permanent injury and that there are different forces at play which can contribute to a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Presently, brands are working harder than ever to come out with products that minimize damage both from direct impacts as well as rotational forces that the head undergoes when it hits the ground, which (according to much research) contribute more to concussions than a direct impact.

There are a variety of systems now on the market that work to minimize rotational forces. MIPS is the pioneer and the most popular, and while each system works differently, the common goal is to reduce the rotational force from any impact. Fox's "Fluid Inside" system represents one of the newest strategies.



Fluid Inside System

Fluid Inside is a Canadian protection brand that Fox has chosen to partner with on their new Rampage Pro Carbon helmet. Fox says that they tried working with a number of different products and they believe that this is the best one for them to use with the Rampage Pro. The basic premise is that that the head is suspended by a number of specially shaped fluid filled pads instead of elastomer cushions or a slippery MIPS skull cap. Fox says it took a lot of testing and many different methods of using the new concept before arriving at the final product.

The fluid inside was tested to not freeze or lose its protective properties in conditions ranging from sub-arctic to flaming hot, according to Fox. They spent time with the helmet going straight from freezers to impact tests and subjected it to a myriad of conditions far worse than anyone would ever ride in to ensure that the helmet would provide protection, no matter what.

Inside the helmet, there are seven different "pods" filled with fluid that help dissipate the energy and rotational movement transmitted to the head in the event of an impact. The pods are designed to both compress and to move on a slip plane to allow for rotation.

The Fluid Inside system uses seven pods strategically placed in the helmet to minimize rotational forces and impacts.

Views: 3,822    Faves: 4    Comments: 0
Fox's PR video does a good job of animating how some of the technology in the RPC works.

Innovative Design Elements

The visor on the helmet is held on with magnets. Fox calls this their Magnetic Visor Release System or, MVRS. The magnets use an ample amount of force to keep the visor right where it is supposed to be but in the event of an impact, it will break away. This further mitigates rotational forces that could be put on the head in a crash.

The visor is held on by magnets so when you hit the ground it pops off.
Vents are protected by molded-in screens.

The shell of the helmet is composite and Fox offers different shell sizes, along with four sizes of EPS liners in order to offer a wide range of fits for riders. Research indicates that a close fit is critical to maximize protection. There is a dual-density EPS foam that is in-molded, meaning the liner and shell will respond as one structure. Dual-density Varizorb foam is shaped to spread out an impact over a wider area of the head and helmet rather than having it all concentrated in one spot.

The guard has an impact-absorbing frame.
The dual-density EPS foam is configured similarly to Kali's well-proven helmet liner.

The face guard of the helmet is molded, has a reinforced internal frame, and is designed to absorb an impact rather than simply shattering. It has a lot of ventilation, but those openings are covered by a molded-in screen to protect the rider from dust and trailside debris. And, last but not least, the liner is made out of X-Static. It's removable and washable so you can keep your helmet clean and it also is antimicrobial to keep the funk down.

MSRP: $499.95 USD


Initial Impressions:

While I haven't had a chance ride in the new RPC quite yet, I did check it out with Fox and spoke with their athletes in Rotorua at Crankworx this past week. It's a new product and no doubt, Fox wants to sell all that they can, but it's clear that Fox did their homework on this one, and that building the safest helmet they could was paramount to them. They took their time and utilized a lot of resources in the development of the helmet.

Athletes today are undoubtedly more concerned than ever about being safe on the bike and preventing brain injuries. Everyone should be. The Rampage Pro is evidence that Fox works closely with their athletes to keep them as safe and comfortable as possible and their team is on board to assist in the development process. That says a lot more to me than any marketing video or press release ever could because, at the end of the day, I'd rather have a great helmet and an alright bike than an alright helmet and a great bike.




107 Comments

  • + 44
 That helmet looks sooo good...... the price on the other hand not so much. hopefully they make the same one but not carbon so us non dentist can buy one.
side note: that fluid protection sounds awesome, i'd love some more info on that!
  • + 4
 After a quick search there is a company Brico that are also using the fluid inside tech.
They make ski and cycling helmets but the cycling helmets are more road slanted.

The one mtb helmet Fuoco fluid I can't seem to find in stock.

Which sucks cause it's less then $200.
  • + 3
 Water head.
  • + 1
 Thats what im saying that ventilation looks amazing
  • + 3
 I can not put a price on your nogin!
  • + 2
 After further research one can use a ski helmet.
The Briko Canyon looks very nice the ear warmers can be removed it has some ventilation maybe not enough for summer but would make an awesome fall winter spring helmet.

Has the fluid inside tech and after registration and 10% discount $127 shipped.
  • + 2
 @reverend27: I actually wear a similarly styled ski helmet for almost all of my sub 35 degree riding.
  • + 1
 @MarcusBrody: I most of the time forgo a helmet in the winter because I cant stand the cold on my head and ears I have a baclava but it's not enough with all the ventilation plus the helmet always fits a little weird with anything on my head.

It weighs 20 grams more then my Super 2.
I'm ordering one now.
  • + 1
 @reverend27: I actually kinda want to get that for the next ski season now haha. Thanks for the link man.
  • - 6
flag excavator666 (Mar 28, 2019 at 13:53) (Below Threshold)
 Still a stupid looking lid even in carbon.
  • + 1
 @enduro29erHack: I can so put a price on your noggin and it's about $19.95. I just can't put a price of $499 on my own.
  • + 2
 "Helmets are too expensive!" - This guy. "Only $500 for this redundant part that saves 150 grams? Sweet!" - Also this guy. Probably
  • + 42
 Good stuff!
  • + 7
 Cool to hear you approve of a competitor product because you're brain health first and business only comes after that.
  • + 2
 Kali is the knees. Super comfortable on my dome.
  • + 2
 Been trying to find a store in sydney/aus that stocks the maya 2 so i can try one on and purchase. any ideas?

Your only listed stockist in aus sems to be trade with no mention of the product on their website.

Not really the kind of thing that i wish to just order over the internet sight unseen from another country.
  • + 34
 How long until Mips claims that fluid inside doesn't work?
  • - 5
flag WAKIdesigns (Mar 28, 2019 at 12:00) (Below Threshold)
 Did you try to read their article with the accent of Fredrik Eklund from Million Dollar Listing New York?
  • + 6
 @WAKIdesigns: you sure have alot of opinion on helmets WAKI. . . . . Remember the one thing they can’t fix is your head!
  • + 21
 Sorry guys I can’t ride... my helmet is frozen.
  • + 5
 I know this is a joke, but it does actually (sort of) raise an interesting point.
In the article it mentions that there is fluid inside, but no specifics of which fluid or much about how it behaves, especially at low temperatures.
Presumably Fox have thought about this, but it would be nice to know.
  • + 11
 Well your head isn't frozen when it's cold out, so it's probably safe to assume that body heat keeps them warm enough.
  • + 0
 The fluid in the pods does not freeze, it does not harden in cold weather it stays 100% fluid. I haven’t tested it at temps below 0 yet but you shouldn’t be riding at those temps anyway.
  • + 5
 @micahaalders3: there are ski helmets with the same tech so i would assume the fluid has a very low freezing point
  • + 5
 The fluid itself is a type of mineral oil. It’s not going to freeze, or boil. It’s a very stable system.
  • + 11
 It's FLUID inside; not WATER inside. Although I like to ride with BEER inside.
  • + 9
 It's well thought through...the fluid will not freeze and it tests as should in extreme conditions cold to hot to everything in between, according to Fox.
  • + 15
 It's great that all helmet makers are pushing safety. However, I'm a bit disappointed with the lack of helmets with multi impact shells. POC is the only one that comes to mind. EPS helmets are designed to sustain one impact only. In theory, the moment you drop your helmet (I'm clumsy) or have one bump (I'm a poor biker as well), you have to replace your whole $500 investment but no one does. I bought a POC for that exact reason and the Fox fluid system looks very similar to their spin system. Yes it makes me look like a storm trooper and the shape isn't exactly elegant, but it's the only brand that doesn't seem to compromise on safety. Take note other helmet makers.
  • + 2
 I don't really trust EPP foam though :/. If it works like they say why don't more manufacturers use it over EPS?!
  • + 2
 @rezrov: It's heavier, bulkier and more expensive.
  • + 1
 Seems like you'd have to compromise on the performance of a helmet for the first crash for it to withstand multiple crashes. Assuming that's the case, I'd rather have a helmet that does the best once rather than OK multiple times.
  • + 8
 EPP is a legal shitstorm waiting to happen.

If a Helmet Manufacturer claims their helmet is 'Multi-Impact' then they are just asking to be sued, when some idiot crashes in it thirty times and then get a brain injury. "oH bUt iT sAiD iT wAs MulTi iMpacT!?!1"

How can anyone say with any degree of certainty that a helmet is fine to use after multiple impacts? How can someone know that the structural integrity of the helmet isn't compromised beyond a safe standard?

The only way I can trust EPP is when they start fitting sensors on helmets to measure impacts that say when it's time to give it up. That technology is starting to happen, but it's a while before it's small and light enough to feature in an MTB lid.
  • + 10
 Magnetic Visor Release System, or MVRS....Because the militaries around the world still have not used up all the good acronyms.
  • + 4
 It's a stupid acronym but it actually is a very smart idea. It'll also allow you to pull a Rogatkin on the fly!
  • + 1
 I’m not convinced that it’s such a great idea. Is it going to be strong enough to not release when hitting small tree branches or being pulled off if it snags when strapped to a backpack? I’ve hit my visor on chairlift safety bars before too.

The current thin plastic visors bend or break in an impact. I’d be interested to see, in the long term review, whether that breaking force is so great that it justifies a low-force release system.
  • + 6
 Personally not a fan of the aesthetics, compared to the old RPC this looks a lot worse. Not to mention seeing some of the pictures of riders wearing it during Crankworx, they look like bobble heads.. I feel the slimmer profiles and more sleek design are a huge attribute to the success of helmets like the D3, and even the previous RPC ..
  • + 3
 Aesthetics can be polarizing but what about the bulk of the whole thing! The helmet is huge.
  • + 1
 The old roc was/iz a really nice helmet, the vents on this new one look crap, I liked the metal mesh on the old one
  • + 4
 The pads plus dual-density foam is a promising design for reducing concussions. Vastly more promising than a helmet with just MIPS. Breakaway visor is a smart feature too. On the other hand, the angularity of the shell and all those edgy recesses for venting is a concern-- those seem to me like choices that prioritized aesthetics over safety. But overall this looks like a great new option and hats off to Fox for taking concussion-reduction seriously here.
  • + 4
 1230g. Is that heavy for 500$ carbon helmet? I love the tech improvements. My 7yro rides DH with me on a Fox Proframe once in a while (750g I think), but man I wonder if that's not enough protection with all this new stuff. Lots of competition tho, so prices will come down soon I'm sure.
  • + 2
 that's pretty much the weight of a motoX helmet... they got ca. 200g heavier, not a big fan of that fact Frown
  • + 7
 I just crashed pretty f*ckin' hard in a Proframe a few days ago and it did an awesome job, in my opinion. I'd get this new helmet if it weren't like $700 CDN.

I was on a downhill dual slalom track and was seriously gunning it through a berm when my tire went over the edge of the berm and I landed on my elbow and head/face. I saw the rocks and dirt (Sedona) scraping by my face but amazingly I didn't get knocked out and even my sunglasses got out scratch free. The Proframe got two dents, one on the temple and one towards the side/back, I noticed at least one crack in the EPS foam, and the MIPS actually gave me a minor cut above the eyebrow (but presumably did something). I sorta rolled outta the crash and it's possible I got a very light concussion but I can't fault the helmet for that. I was sorta disoriented for the first 30s after the crash, but that might've just been from the extreme pain I was in.

My elbow was less lucky than the head. Multiple abrasions, a large contusion, a laceration requiring 2 stitches, and something scary I've noticed just today is I think I have rhabdo from the crash, which can be fatal. I'm just trying to stay extremely hydrated so I don't DIE.

Anyway, 5/5 would Proframe again :>.
  • + 3
 @rezrov: well if that isn't a ringing endorsement I don't know what is lol. I'm just hoping it all works for my kid. I know there are more beefy DH rated helmets but I'm not sure if they are that much better or not.

Nevertheless, you should probably chill at the hospital a bit amigo. Good luck!
  • + 1
 @Svinyard: If I were in Canadia I'd go to the hospital, but I'm not going to stress-test my travel insurance by getting hooked to an IV overnight. Even though rhabdo is serious the main "cure" is hydration, so I think I'll be fine. I seem to have what seems like a very minor case.

Back to the helmet, I was originally surprised by how easily it deformed, which is a good thing (helmet deforming vs. my head deforming). I've only come to realize later on that the crash was likely quite a bit faster/harder than I originally thought, and it was probably the helmet doing a good job that made me think it was less than it was. It's covered in scratches from the peak around to the back, plus dirt on the chinguard up to the mouth.
I've crashed in a more DHy fullface before and the Proframe feels in no way undergunned. I'd only go with a DH fullface if I were riding at a DH park.
  • + 1
 @rezrov: gotcha. Yeah you are out of town. Coconut water man! It's a heck of a lot better than water for hydration. Very close to an IV.

For DH parks, do you think the Proframe is undergunned?
  • + 2
 @Svinyard: I don't think it's strictly undergunned (it is DH rated, after all), but you can likely get a cheaper, less ventilated helmet with similar technologies (or MIPS again) for half the price (or less?) and it'll be a bit more built up for the highest-speed impacts.

I'd have no concerns wearing a Proframe at a DH park (and I'm pretty serious about head safety), but if I were going more than a couple times a season I'd invest in a less ventilated DH helmet with a more built up chin guard.
  • + 1
 @rezrov: thanks man. Get well!
  • + 2
 First helmet with 'dual rotational'? are they claiming the magnetic visor protects against rotational impact? come on...so, all the brands that have made breakaway screws can now go back and say that also provides rotational impact protection?

Been a couple weeks of helmet brands using smoke and mirrors.
  • + 3
 Just curious why Tahnee was struggling with the buckle. I don't want the paramedics to struggle with the buckle that much when the need to take the helmet off while I'm knocked out.
  • + 2
 Usual fox, over priced, $705 aud for a new helmet, what are the points should i get this over the old rampage or yet the proframe? maybe the fluid could be better but mips is proven and been around for a while. overpriced in my opinion and many others
  • + 1
 Interesting concepts, and I'm really enjoying seeing the safety industry actually trying to improve safety as compared to bold new graphics or marketing.

One question though: what safety certifications does/will it meet? Didn't see anywhere if this was intended to be classified as astm1952 dh standard or ECE/Snell etc? I don't expect this to be Snell, however I hope it's better than astm1952 (I've had zero positive comment from crashing in 1952 helmets).
  • + 3
 How many times does one attempt to find their visor after having a brush with a branch before committing to no visor?
  • + 1
 Let's just wait a few days and MIPS will claim, that their new innovative system (that doesn't remind me of POC s Spin) is a threat to all people. Like always when a new helmet comes out.
  • + 4
 Like the aesthetics but it's HUGE. Reminds me of Spaceballs.
  • + 0
 Hmm...those pads look a little flimsy.
I was always hoping the next gen of helmets would get thicker padding as well as new padding technology.
I don´t doubt they work as advertised, but a little more material would make me feel better about just how well they really can dampen an impact.
Bare EPS also always feels kinda weird on the head imho.
I´ll give it a try though, as this does look as if they had tried to do things right by improving upon liner material and padding, which is something most manufacturers haven´t touched since the inception of helmets.
  • + 3
 Check out the technology in the TLD SE4 .. I’m waiting for the day TLd drops a D4 and it has the same foam/padding tech.. seems like I’m endlessly waiting tho haha
  • + 1
 @qman11:
Those are still only regular foam pads on the SE4 though, or am i missing something?
They look beefy though. A SE4 style liner in that fancy FI material would be so awesome!
  • + 0
 @Loki87: SE4 is the first and I believe still the only helmet that has triple density EPS foam, the liners also have both coolmax and dri-lex where as most other helmets have neither or just dri-lex. Also having worn a SE4 tons of times, the padding seems to be waaaaay softer then anything else I’ve ever worn, even in comparison to the D3.
  • + 1
 In the video it does look like it has a padded liner around the little disc things so I don't think you'd just be direct onto the eps. I had a rampage pro carbon a few years back and it had a similar removable liner. I agree though - not everyone has a perfectly round head which is where a lot of the newer tiny padding systems kinda fail.
  • + 1
 Those fluid filled pads look and probably feel very similar to the POC SPIN pads. They have soft gel in the back that allows for the shearing movement that seems to be key to this type of design. Downside - less foam area for sweat to absorb into so they max out quicker and start dripping sweat sooner.
  • + 5
 I was hoping for force field tech and teleportation. Maybe game restart too.
  • + 1
 @qman11: weird. I’ve been waiting and expecting a D4 helmet for while.
The SE3 came out a year before the D3 so I figured the D4 would follow the same schedule.

No news release from TLD though
  • + 2
 @gonecoastal: new TLD helmet is scheduled for 2020, luca shaw was seen testing one that looked like a D3 with more vents on the upper side. hope the new helmet will be a totally new one and not a D3 "AIR".
  • + 2
 After seeing more pictures it seems that there's a rather generous liner inside the helmet in addition to the pads. This helmet is getting more and more interesting.
  • + 1
 I’m sure they function well....but I’ve never been able to get on board with their looks.
  • + 2
 Is that cranium fluid leaking out of my ears? nope, just popped a pad, all good.
  • + 1
 That happened to a former housemate whilst riding in the town with no helmet. Since that day I always wear a helmet, even on the street.
  • + 4
 500.00 FUUCK!!!
  • + 1
 so, your helmet budget is?
  • + 1
 @OfficerRigs: never spent more than 300. on any of my moto or bike helmets.
  • + 2
 Agree that’s a bit absurd. As great a protection it could be, it’s limited by the price point. Only dentists will live to perpetuate the genes.
  • + 1
 @bikebike69: How often do you destroy a lid?
  • + 1
 I think the price is not that bad actually.
  • + 1
 @OfficerRigs: I’ve never destroyed one. Only replace after a few crashes depending on how bad they look. In nearly fourth years of everything from BMX to DH and in between I’ve owned maybe 20 or so helmets.
  • + 1
 @yakimonti: some will be able to think that.
But not a lot.
  • + 1
 I like the look I think this may be my new helmet...still need to wait and see what 100%'s 2019 Aircraft line looks like first though
  • + 3
 Too many sharp edges. This helmet will save your had and kill your neck.
  • + 0
 Fox look like it has mixed and matched a lot of other companies best tech and ideas and put it all together under one shell. It does look like they have put a lot of thought into this helmet.
  • + 3
 Looks like a milk crate.
  • + 1
 If helmet manufacturers made a flexible visor like Arai helmets do, you'd never worry about it breaking it.
  • + 1
 That venting looks horrible IMO. The price is absolutely frightening as well......
  • + 1
 Sorry, infuriating that helmet makers think an XL is less than 25". Frustrating for us big-noggined folks.
  • + 2
 This is my next fullface as soon as I see them on sale online
  • + 1
 Glad this allowed me to pick up the old one for 200 bucks from FOX even though my Mips is outdated now...
  • + 2
 gawd that intro was so edgy
  • + 2
 I’m actually digging the raw version in the pics!
  • + 1
 Fluid... but no Waves? I’m out. Wink
  • + 1
 Wonder what MIPS has to say
  • + 2
 Ney ney ney, dey foonkar intey! Vee moustey foondera pow hoor overtygger man fowlk oat intey leeta pow Americansk marknadsfouring!
  • + 2
 best looking helmet out
  • + 1
 Cue mips telling us it doesn’t work.
  • + 1
 Their merchadology is on fleek lol
  • + 0
 Looks good , what’s the weight?
  • + 0
 Also curious, especially given that it's carbon and has some similar vent shaping to the proframe.
  • + 1
 1300
  • + 1
 @viniadhv: Vital has a pic of it on a scale, over 1300 grams, for a carbon DH lid!
  • + 0
 No pic of the whole helmet? Red flag
  • + 1
 Looks amazing!
  • + 1
 You're not allowed to say that, its carbon fibre. You need to continue your one man mission to bitch over anything made from carbon remember.
  • + 0
 very posh...
  • + 0
 Still not a D3.
  • + 0
 Very fancy!!!!
  • + 1
 Be cool if you could buy the fluid packs and put them in any helmet using Velcro or something! I would totally put them in my d3
  • - 2
 Dart wants hoe helmet back....Wink

Post a Comment



Copyright © 2000 - 2019. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv56 0.106710
Mobile Version of Website