Fox Proframe World Tour: Swinley Forest Demo Day 23rd April 2017
Fox Head have launched the Proframe enduro helmet recently to huge success – this weekend they will be travelling to Swinley Forest with a full size run and colour range of the helmet for riders to ride out onto the trails to test out how the helmet rides. The Fox ethos is that this is the trail riders helmet that allows you to climb, breathe, pedal & descend.
Here at Swinley Bike Hub we ride what we sell, and sell what we ride – so from a trail riders perspective (that’s us) how does the Proframe ride? Over the weekend I ditched my regular open faced trail helmets and took the Fox Proframe as my only lid to the Southern Enduro Champs; a 2 day event in Exmoor which saw us cover over 50km of riding and 6000 feet of climbing.
Proframe in Matte Black
First some tech detail on the Fox Proframe:
• ATSM downhill certified – this is the same specification as any full face helmet on the market!
• MIPS rotational impact protection
• Big Bore airflow: consisting of 15 intake vents around the face of the helmet and 9 exhaust vents that drag the airflow through and out of the helmet
• Varizorb multi-density EPS liner
• Impact-absorbing DH-certified chin bar
• Fidlock buckle system – a magnetic clasp system – super easy to use with gloves
• Sizes: Small, Medium, large, X-large
• £215 rrp
• Weight: 750 grams (medium)
Placing the helmet on your head, here is what marketing cannot tell you…
The helmet is light, like super light. This helmet feels way lighter even as a full face over other comparable removable chin bar helmets on the market. The helmet has a real wide opening for vision, so you do not feel hemmed in at all compared to a DH lid and Fox have been very smart of the placement of liners, pads, and cheek pads – leaving around the ears free from padding which allows you to feel like you are actually wearing an open face lid. The helmets size up well, and the lid comes with additional cheek pads to allow for the pads to match the profile of your head. fastening the helmet works a treat with the magnetic clasp which is easy to use with gloves on.
A really clear view of how the Big Bore vents suck the airflow in, through and out of the helmet
Back to riding the helmet in reality. Most enduro’s in the UK highly recommend full face helmets for the event, with helmets being required and compulsory on the sometimes arduous transition stages. So what do you do – suffer with a full face on transitions losing your body weight to sweat, or ride an open face lid and swap over at the start gate or get to the top and attach a chin bar? For me, the less faff the better as i am trying to desperately remember what lies ahead, get hydrated and maybe, just maybe take another well earned confirm break. Through various events I tried all variations of helmet at Enduro’s. I have tried riding a full face helmet for the day, tried an open face for the full day, tried chin bars and tried taking 2 helmets and swapping over at the end of transitions. All of the scenarios have pro’s and con’s however the main feeling is to be very confident that once you start descending that you have the protection of a full face lid – for me, it puts you a little bit more into that race zone (**note – you do not need to race at the front (I don’t!) to get your race head on – it happens for all riders at all ability levels -and it is really important you feel as safe and comfortable as possible when you hit your personal zone!) that allows you to push that bit harder. You also want to get to the stage and through transition as easily as possible.
Fox Proframe in action. Photo Credit to Richard Tilley (Check Richard out on Roots and Rain – awesome photos)
Riding in the Proframe all weekend was done so to really test the full face approach without options, and I have to say I didn’t once think about turning to my open face, or full face as an alternative. On the climbs the Proframe allowed full uninhibited breathing, on practice day the full 3000ft of climbing was done stood on the pedals so no better test to be fair. It is a touch warmer than an open face lid, however the difference in reality is negligible. On the descents the helmet gives huge confidence to push on hard and where your fitness permits to pedal hard without blowing up for air inside your lid like can happen in DH full faces.
The legendary Big Mac photography style – capturing the Fox Proframe at full tilt on board the DMR Sled.
In conclusion the Proframe is certainly a great lid, and one here at the Hub we would definitely recommend for those riders looking for:
- a trail orientated full face lid – there really is no noticeable difference to riding in this helmet so why faff with removable chin guards?
- riders looking for added protection without the weight or sacrificing all day ride’ability
- a strong chin bar on a trail orientated lid – this is properly certified to DH standards!
- riders looking to tackle any type of enduro event this year
- riders looking for a versatile lid to take to Wales and afar for protection
- a RAD looking lid!
To really sum it up, I would wear this lid without hesitation to the majority of UK bike parks or regular trails i was less familiar with, and if i was feeling like i was trying new skills or wanted to really pin it around Swinley – yes, i would wear it over and above a regular trail lid at Swinley as, why would i not? I can breath in it and it offers more protection.
make your own mind up come and join us and the Fox Crew on 23rd April for testing the lids out right onto the trails and getting some BBQ time in – test it – you will be impressed!