Safe, My Mate!

WHEN YOU RIDE TRAIL BUT DE­SCEND LIKE A DOWNHILLER. HERE’S THE LID FOR SKID...

Bicycling (South Africa) - - Inside - By Myles Kelsey

At last – a light­weight, full-face trail hel­met.

Long gone are the days of trick­ling a trail bike down a de­scent be­cause of dodgy tyres or ge­om­e­try. These days, they climb re­ally well; and most de­scend in­cred­i­bly well too. So much so that at times, a trail bike will be the fastest bike for cer­tain down­hill sec­tions. So if trailies are ca­pa­ble of bar­relling down sin­gle­track at 60km/h, why no full-face hel­met? For­tu­nately, hel­met man­u­fac­tur­ers have now seen the need for a light­weight, full-face trail lid; and the Fox ProFrame was the first to land in our of­fices for test­ing.

At 735g, it’s far lighter than a tra­di­tional down­hill hel­met, yet it car­ries a down­hill safety cer­ti­fi­ca­tion. Other fea­tures in­clude 24 air vents, an in­te­grated chin bar, a Fid­lock buckle sys­tem, a se­cure vi­sor, and the MIPS safety sys­tem. And the look and feel of this head pro­tec­tor is clas­sic Fox, and oozes style.

On the trail, it’s a lit­tle strange at first to be ped­alling up a climb wear­ing a full-face – we did tilt the hel­met a lit­tle, to in­crease vi­sion and breath­ing for climb­ing. The huge air vents on the chin bar fa­cil­i­tate good air flow and breath­ing on the climbs. The buckle sys­tem re­leases eas­ily enough even with full-fin­ger gloves on, so trail­side re­groups and chats with mates are easy as.

As we dropped into the de­scent and be­gan to pick up speed, we im­me­di­ately re­alised the big con­fi­dence boost this hel­met brings with it. Hop­ping gaps, flow­ing through tricky turns and smash­ing rock gar­dens while know­ing that you have proper head and face pro­tec­tion helped us re­lax a lit­tle, and ride even bet­ter.

We figure for rides longer than two or three hours we might well stick to the reg­u­lar open-face hel­met op­tion, and hold back when charg­ing the de­scents. But for any­one look­ing for a short, fast ride with max­i­mum pro­tec­tion, we think Fox have a win­ner here.

Fi­nal note: we used the hel­met with gog­gles, and noted that the fit is snug enough that you can eas­ily use your reg­u­lar trail eye­wear with­out any down­side. Or go the gog­gle route.

THE TAKE OUT Trail rid­ing just got a whole lot more fun.

WORDS BY MYLES KELSEY PHO­TO­GRAPH BY DES­MOND LOUW

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