The Fox Speedframe Pro helmet is the brand's flagship trail lid. The Speedframe Pro boasts MIPS protection within a durable and sturdy build and a great fit with plenty of cradle adjustability. It's a shame the straps aren't more adjustable around the ears, but that's a minor drawback to an otherwise great helmet.
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This review is a result of over 12-months of testing. Having almost exclusively worn the white Speedframe Pro since last summer, this helmet has been from the summer Alps to the tropical climate of Madeira and back to my home trails in the Afan Valley. This year, I got my hands on a new colourway in the same model, and I can confidently say I've got little to complain about.
Fox Speedframe Pro - The build
Starting from the inside out, the Fox Speedframe Pro uses an XT2® antimicrobial comfort liner, which is removable and washing machine-friendly. This liner is Velcro-lined throughout the inside of the casing and helps to wick moisture away while keeping odour at bay. From the liner, we have the Multi-Directional Impact Protection System (MIPS). This low-friction layer inside the helmet allows a multi-directional movement from angled impacts, which helps to reduce rotational forces on the head. The third layer we come to is Dual-density Varizorb™ expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam, common in nearly all certified cycling helmets. All this head-tech is encased in a durable hardshell casing, finished in one of six attractive colourways.
The chin clasp uses a Fidlock SNAP buckle which is easy to use as the two ends locate one another quickly and securely. To further dial in the ideal fit, Fox uses a 360 fit system which allows you to reposition the inner cradle height while using the dial for a precision fit.
For comfort and practicality, the Speedframe Pro visor has three placement options to play with and easily accommodates riding goggles or sunglasses and sits securely in the chosen position without rattle or slip. To add further comfort, there are a shed-load of vents throughout. I counted 19 ports on the main helmet with an additional two in the visor.
As for the safety aspect, the Fox Speedframe Pro has been certified and accredited the following; the Consumer Product Safety Commission (USA), AS/NZS 2063 (Australia) and EN 1078 (EU). It's also earned Virginia Tech's best rating (5 STARS) in its Bicycle Helmet Ratings program - fancy.
The Fox Speedframe Pro is available in small, medium and large, accommodating head sizes of 51cm to 63cm. According to Fox, the listed weight for a medium helmet is 380g. I've been testing both helmets in medium and found the older white helmet to weigh 394g and the newer black/teal one to be 386g. However, I'm inclined to say there is probably Madeira dirt still embedded in my white helmet contributing to the weight discrepancy.
How the Speedframe Pro faired over time
As I mentioned earlier, I've had the white Speedframe Pro for 12-months, and it's been all over the trails with me. This year, I got the same Speedframe Pro but in black, because why not. Suffice to say, I'm still wearing the Speedframe Pro now on my regular trail rides, alternating between the two colours depending on my kit choice.
My head is roughly 56cm, so I wear a medium size trail helmet. The inner cradle of the Speedframe Pro has 4 positions secured by stiff plastic poppers. I like a low cradle, so mine's in the lowest position available, comfortably sitting under the skull. The dial is easy to adjust, with and without gloves on, which pulls the cradle to the desired fit and holds this securely.
The final fit step is the chin clasp which has an easy-to-use adjustable tab to pull and loosen to suit, along with a rubber loop to keep the excess strap from flapping around. The Fidlock SNAP clasp has made it difficult for me to revert to a traditional clip system. The magnetic clips locate one another easily and keeps the strap secure - even after a few involuntary dirt naps. However, the triangular cross-over pieces under the ears aren't adjustable and are a little large. I found these to be a little too low, but they didn't affect the fit or security.
Ventilation for the Fox Speedframe Pro is really rather good, especially the vents a the front under the visor. When the breeze picks up, you can really feel the airflow through the front and top of the head. As for sweat, I'm not really a drippy sweat person, but the XT2® antimicrobial comfort liner did well to absorb moisture without retaining it like a sponge. I have washed the liner pads a few times and have had no issue with re-fitting them. However, you can purchase spare liners, dials and visors directly from Fox for just a few pounds each - ensuring you get as much life out of your lid.
When it comes to head protection, you want to feel protected. I found the Speedframe Pro to offer plenty of head coverage, and the adjustability to fit being so incremental boosted my confidence in the product further. At no point did the fastenings or dial loosen off, nor did I feel any movement when riding over particularly rocky or uneven terrain. As a self-proclaimed semi-pro crasher, I've come off my bike a few times, and although I'm careful to try and not dive headfirst into the floor, sometimes it happens. I can confidently say that my head is fine. The helmet only suffered scrapes to the surface and no damage to the structural integrity to a point where it would need replacing.
Before heading out to Madeira, my white Speedframe Pro was relatively clean-looking. However, the staining island dirt has permanently left its mark, like an unwanted souvenir upon the helmet's pearly white finish, especially the straps. Unfortunately, straps are not replaceable. Alas, stained straps are a sign of a well-worn helmet, I suppose.
Value and verdict
Let's talk money. Fox's top-tier trail helmet, the Speedframe Pro with MIPS, is £145. This is the same value as Endura's top-tier MT500 helmet, which uses Koroyd technology over MIPS, and doesn't have a fancy magnetic clasp.
For £200, the new Troy Lee Designs top-tier trail lid, the A3 (which Liam is testing), features MIPS technology and a Fidlock clasp but has fewer vents - only 16. Now, Smith Optics' top-tier trail lid is the Forefront 2 originally retailing for around £200. From Smith, you get MIPS as well as Koroyd and a few more vents.
On the other end of the spectrum, SixSixOne's top-tier helmet is the Summit. This model has MIPS, 15 vents and a Fidlock clasp for around £110, making it one of the most affordable MIPS trail lids on the market.
As someone who's ridden hundreds of kilometres in all conditions and terrains over the past 12-months, I've been really impressed by the Fox Speedframe Pro. Not only is it comfortable for any duration, but it fits well and feels secure - arguably the most critical aspect of head protection. For Fox's top-tier helmet to be priced at £145 and packed with some cool tech and features, you get a good bang for your buck. The only minor areas of criticism stemming from the likely staining of any white bits, especially straps and the triangular buckles below the ears, which aren't adjustable. Of course, helmet shapes don't suit everyone's head, so I highly recommend trying before you buy if possible.
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