There’s a certain feeling you get when you see a supercar, even if you’re not a car-person. Your eyes are sucked to the automobile’s lines and there’s a mystique about the car, a combination of performance and aesthetics that makes onlookers wonder how it all works together. I guess you might call it awe, but it’s also admiration for not only the tangible product but for the designers and artists behind its development.
The same feeling washed over me when I pulled the Fox Rampage Pro Carbon out of its box. The glossy carbon and hard cut, angled lines drew a mystique around it that is rare for a mountain bike helmet or any piece of protection equipment. Even a quick look at the Rampage Pro Carbon informed me that it was no ordinary helmet.
- Full-face gravity MTB helmet
- Breakaway MVRS visor
- Multi-Composite Technology shell
- Mesh vent screens
- 19 total vents
- Fluid Inside linear and rotational impact system
- Removable, washable X-static liner
- D-ring enclosure
- Certifications: EN 1078, CPSC 1203, AZ/NZS 2063, ASTM F1952
- Weight: 1260g
- MSRP: $500 (available at FoxRacing.com and other online retailers)
Strapping up with the Rampage Pro Carbon
The first thing I noticed when I pulled the full-face out of its box and travel bag was the helmet’s weight. The RPC is no enduro helmet, so it’s not made for lightweight, airy ascending. At 1,260g, it’s almost a pound heavier than the last full-face helmet I tested, the Leatt DBX 4.0.
The Fox RPC is constructed from a Multi-Composite Technology shell, or in other words, carbon mixed with a fiber-reinforced plastic. Under the MCT shell is a dual-density Varizorb EPS foam, which is a two side injection process, said to reduce impact energy by spreading it across a larger surface area.
Under both the multi-composite shell and the Dual-Density foam is a new system for Fox, called Fluid Inside. Fluid Inside are little, circular, fluid-filled pods placed inside the helmet. Fluid Inside says that these pods will act like your brain’s own cerebral spinal fluid, which is the fluid that sits between a brain and a skull, and allows the brain to rotate and/or decelerate with energy.
Other features on the Fox Rampage Pro Carbon include a Magnetic Visor Release System (MVRS), which is a breakaway visor attached with magnets. The idea here is to get rid of anything that will create more leverage on your neck and head in a crash.
There are four sizes for the Rampage Pro Carbon, starting with a small and ending in extra-large. I received a medium in the metallic silver to check out. As I said, the RPC has some weight to it. Unlike the ProFrame, Fox’s lighter-weight, full-face which carves out space in the chin bar, the RPC is meant to provide the highest level of protection.
The RPC also differs from the ProFrame in the enclosure. Unlike the ProFrame, the RPC has a standard D-ring enclosure, rather than the magnetic Fidlock snap buckle. The Fidlock is more convenient, but the D-ring feels a little more bulletproof.
The plethora of vents also kept my head much less sweaty than other full-face helmets I’ve worn in the past. The ventilation is planned out well, and I could feel the channeled air making its way to my face.
When I say the Rampage Pro Carbon feels like a vault for your head, I mean that in a few ways. One, the multi-composite shell feels strong, stiff, and less plastic-like than a lot of other full-face helmets out there. Two, the RPC is damn snug. There’s a disclaimer that Fox makes with the helmet, which is that the RPC may seem too small. Over time though, the padding should form to the shape of your head.
It has, sort of. I rode the Rampage Pro Carbon for a few, full days at the park and the helmet seemed to fit better toward the latter part of testing, but holy heck does it take some muscle to get the helmet off and my head lost some hair.
There is also a stout piece of foam padding that crosses underneath where the back of the melon sits, and seems to cradle the bottom of a rider’s head. It adds to the snug feeling of the RPC, but also the feeling of security. This relates to the last bit about the vault: my head has never felt safer in a full-face helmet before. I can’t attest to Fox’s research with the RPC, or Fluid Inside’s research, but it is a confidence-inspiring helmet, with some intriguing technology.
The price, of course, is the ultimate barrier to the Rampage Pro Carbon. Five-hundred-dollars is a lot of money for a full-face helmet, and most casual riders will opt for a more versatile convertible helmet, or a more lightly-built, full-face. The RPC is a great option for dedicated gravity riders who don’t want to be stingy about protection.
There’s a market for the Rampage Pro Carbon and that market is not for everybody. The price is not for everyone, and honestly, not everyone needs the uber-solid and uber-performing construction of the RPC, nor the glamour. If however, riders want a vault-like helmet that’s easy on the eyes, the Rampage Pro Carbon is an easy choice.
Buy it: $499.95, available at Foxracing.com
Thanks to Fluid Inside for providing the Rampage Pro Carbon for review.