After making appearances at trade shows earlier this year, Fox is officially launching the new Crossframe helmet. It's aimed at cross-country and gravel riders, with a unique shell shape that does away with the visor entirely. Instead, the helmet tips upwards above the brow, allowing air to enter the three prominent front vents.
The Crossframe has a total of 22 vents, although it's worth keeping in mind that vent count doesn't matter as much as size and position. The vents located just above the temples do serve double duty – they can also be used to store sunglasses. A small plastic flap holds the sunglass arms in place, and the vents are lined with rubber to help keep them from slipping out.
Fox Crossframe Details • Mips liner • BOA fit adjust • Dual-density Varizorb EPS foam • Weight: 370 grams (medium, actual) • Sizes: S, M, L • MSRP: $220 USD • www.foxracing.com
A ratcheting Boa dial at the back of the helmet is used to fine-tune the fit, and the chinstrap uses a Fidlock magnetic buckle. The Crossframe uses Fox's Varizorb dual-density foam, which uses a softer foam to help deal with the slower speed impacts, and a higher density foam for larger impacts. In addition, the Crossframe is equipped with a Mips liner, a plastic slip plane that's attached to the inside of the helmet with elastomers that allow it to move in the event of a crash, ideally dissipating some of the impact energy.
My size medium helmet weighed in at 370 grams, the same number indicated by the sticker inside the helmet. That's a reasonable weight for a helmet designed for mountain biking, but many XC racers these days are using helmets originally designed for road biking, like the POC Octal or Specialized Prevail, that weigh nearly 100 grams less. That said, I'm not convinced that a helmet is really the place to shave every gram possible, and the Crossframe does offer more coverage towards the back of the head.
The Crossframe is available in sizes S, M, and L, and is priced at $220 USD.