FOX is currently one of the most popular clothing and protection manufacturers in mountain biking. The Proframe RS full-face helmet is supposed to be their all-purpose weapon – a versatile companion for all sorts of trails, from gnarly enduro tech to fast bike park tracks. How did it fare against the competition in our 2023 full-face helmet comparison test.
Despite being the lightweight full-face helmet in FOX’s portfolio, at 917 g in size L, the Proframe RS is the second heaviest helmet in the entire test field after the Giro Insurgent DH. However, at € 320, it’s also one of the cheapest competitors, despite its countless high-tech features. The retaining system, which was developed in collaboration with BOA, features a finely-graded rotary wheel, ensuring a wide adjustment range. Unlike the more traditional helmet retaining systems, the BOA relies on thin nylon laces rather than wide plastic straps. The adjustment dial at the back of the full-face helmet is integrated into the shell, where it’s quick and easy to reach, even if you’re wearing gloves and goggles. Not only is the system smartly integrated into the shell, but also cleverly thought out, allowing for up to four occipital steps. Fox also include two sets of cheek pads to adapt the fit to suit your anatomy. The MIPS Integra Split Liner, which is designed to protect against rotational forces to the brain, was developed specifically for Fox and is integrated into the helmet rather than being attached to the shell. In addition, the liner is split in the middle, ensuring better freedom of movement inside the helmet. The magnetic Fidlock closure system on the chin strap is quick and easy to operate with one hand, and the visor can be adjusted between three positions.
When wearing the Fox Proframe RS for the first time, you’ll notice that it runs quite large, with size L fitting head circumferences of up to 61 cm. Whichever size you pick, the shape is long and narrow, meaning that you’ll have to buckle the Proframe RS tightly to ensure a good fit – and even then, some of our testers had a significant gap at the back of their heads. Regardless of the retaining system’s position, the chin straps rubbed against the ears of some testers, which can be rather uncomfortable.
When hitting the trail, the Proframe RS inspires a great deal of confidence but doesn’t offer the highest level of comfort, making you feel as if your head was resting directly on the nylon laces or the bare shell – a raw feeling that you can only improve by adding some padding. However, ventilation is excellent, ensuring a pleasant inner climate even on long summer days – even with goggles.
The Fox Proframe RS looks cool, and is also the cheapest competitor in the entire test field, retailing at € 320 despite its countless clever features. FOX’s lightweight full-face helmet runs on the big side and isn’t the most comfortable to wear, making you feel as if your head was resting directly on the shell and the retaining system. While at 917 g, it’s not the lightest full-face helmet out there, it inspires a great deal of confidence on the trail.
- Fidlock retaining system easy and intuitive to use
- Most affordable helmet in the entire group test
- Good ventilation
- Relatively heavy
- Not the most comfortable out there
- Odd shape
For more information, visit foxracing.com.
For an overview of the group test: 9 lightweight and convertible full-face mountain bike helmets in review
All fullface helmets in test: Bell Super Air R Spherical (Click for review) | Bluegrass Vanguard Core Edition (Click for review) | Fox Proframe RS | Giro Insurgent (Click for review) | MET Parachute MCR (Click for review) | POC Otocon Race MIPS (Click for review) | Specialized Gambit (Click for review) | Troy Lee Designs Stage (Click for review) | Uvex Revolt MIPS (Click for review)
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Words: Simon Kohler Photos: Peter Walker