Fox introduced the Speedframe Pro last year. The helmet targets trail riders and the team at Fox claim the helmet is "the most comfortable, best-fitting, and coolest trail helmet they've made in the 45 years they've been in business."
The helmet comes with a host of features sure to tick the box on some riders' wish list - MIPS, a 3-position adjustable visor, a Fidlock closure buckle, a 360-degree retention system, and a removable, washable, antimicrobial XT2 liner. The helmet is available in eight different color options and sells for $169.95 USD.
The sizes available are Small, Medium, and Large, and the helmet tipped my scale at 401 grams for a size medium.
Speedframe Pro Details
• 360º retention system
• Varizorb EPS Liner
• Fidlock SNAP buckle
• XT2 Antimicrobial liner
• Weight: 401 grams (medium, actual)
• Sizes: Small, Medium, Large
• EN1078, CPSC, AS-NZS 2063 standards
• MSRP: $169.95 USD
Fox designed the Speedframe Pro to offer trail riders what they call "class-leading and trail-specific performance features." Catchy buzzwords aside, the helmet does have several features well-suited for the modern-day mountain biker. There's loads of ventilation through four large vents in the front of the helmet and a washable, antimicrobial liner for keeping the funk at bay. In addition to MIPS, there's a Varizorb EPS liner designed to provide impact protection by spreading the forces of a head impact across a large area, instead of it being focused on the point of contact.
The visor is adjustable to three different positions and there's a Fidlock SNAP buckle, which can be operated with one hand, gloved or not. The straps are fixed below the ear, and the tri-junction there is not adjustable. The helmet's retention system is a 360º style set up so that the helmet tightens uniformly around the head, as opposed to only in the back, or the back and sides. Finally, the helmet is goggle compatible, with a nice cradle for the strap on the back and room to work with the visor to stow goggles when they're not in use.Ride Impressions
While helmet fit is just as personal as saddle choice, the Speedframe Pro fits my head quite nicely. It sits neutrally, not too high, not too low, and leaves room for glasses to rest on my ears without clanking against the helmet's shell - more on glasses in a bit.
I've long been a fan of 360º style fit systems that tighten all the way around the head, instead of simply in the back as it keeps the pressure even. The system on the Speedframe is comfortable and nicely executed, providing even and ample pressure around the head. The dial is straightforward to reach and adjust. In addition to the circumferential fit, there's an adjustment in the back that allows the system to be moved in several positions vertically through a pin/snap system to fine-tune things further.
The adjustment of the visor is straightforward, and while it's not more of an infinitely indexed system, like one of my favorite helmets, the Specialized Ambush, the three positions are truly all I can imagine anyone needing. The Fidlock buckle is simple to use and a bit less finicky than a standard buckle, especially when wearing gloves. While it's not all that common that I really need to take my helmet off mid-ride, when I do feel something fly into the vents I want to be able to get it off as quickly as possible, since I've been stung in the head before. It's worth noting that my colleague Seb may disagree with me here as he's found the buckle can pinch his neck from time to time but, I personally didn't have that issue.
While the helmet was designed around the fitment of goggles, it's quite disappointing that glasses don't seem to be much of a consideration. Now, I understand that plenty of people ride with goggles in many places, and goggles do fit well with this helmet, but I would argue that far more trail riders use riding glasses. A helmet that is marketed as a "performance-focused open-face trail helmet" should accommodate riding glasses and have a place to stash them when they're not needed in the back of the helmet, as one of the few times I don't have glasses on is when they're fogging up - usually when I'm riding slow or uphill, or both. "Try your pocket" well, no, if they fog up on your head, they're surely going to in your pocket - additionally, pockets and packs are where expensive lenses go to find scratches and die.
Moving on, the Speedframe is fairly light, offers ample protection, and is comfortable. The ventilation is excellent, and I don't feel as if it's any warmer than a trail helmet should be. On rough trails, the helmet stays perfectly in place and feels just as secure a couple of hours into a ride as it does at the start, and I don't find myself constantly fiddling with the retention system as some other helmets lend to.
Well made, comfortable and secure+
Fidlock buckle closure+
Limited adjustment on the visor-
No storage for glasses