The trusty Fox Flux half shell was due for a reboot this season, and its successor is one hot looking hunk of protection tech. The new Speedframe lid comes in a shiny MIPS equipped Pro version for $160 (€159), a MIPS-ed flat finish shell that omits the Fidlock and dual-density EPS foam for $110 (€99), and in Europe, there’s a middle model that retails for €149. It’s encouraging to see the price of brain savers decreasing a bit, and this one doesn’t skimp on the details.
The Fox Speedframe Pro uses a 360° retention adjustment system, allowing it to be shifted to the shape of nearly any noggin. The angle of its 360 Fit System can be set in one of four positions to adjust the overall tilt of the shell on your skull. I prefer my helmet to rest about a finger’s width away from my glasses so that when I wear goggles it just barely touches their exterior frame. Clicked into the lowest, or most forward setting, the helmet’s angle and overall fit feel perfect.
- Price: Speedframe Pro $160 (€159), Speedframe MIPS $110 (€99), EU-only model €149
- Actual weight: 422g for the size large Pro, with added dirt.
- Sizing: Small 51-55cm, Medium 55-59cm, Large 59-63cm
- Safety certifications: CPSC, EN 1078, AS/NZS 2063
- Protection: MIPS, Dual-density Varizorb™ EPS
- Colorways: White, black, navy, green camo, pewter, dark purple
- 21 vents
- 360° fit system
- 3 position visor = heaps of goggle space
With my disproportionately large and sweaty head, I feel my life’s destiny is to test helmets. Okay, that’s a stretch, but I could model for ‘Big and Tall Craniums’ if such a shop existed. It’s more accurate to say that I struggle to find helmets that fit properly, and don’t cause headaches while riding. It’s even more difficult to find helmets that look decent when perched atop this orb.
The Speedframe Pro is the first gravity oriented half shell I have tested in a while that immediately fit comfortably, with a well considered aesthetic. Loads of the helmets I have reviewed could eventually be adjusted to fit, but this one just slid on and locked right into the sweet spot. I rode with it during several days of shuttling and pedaling at a media event in Massa Marittima, Italy and I was pumped with the cozy interior and well-vented shell.
The 21 vents include a set of three gaping mouths under the visor, reminiscent of some Smith and Specialized vent systems. The protective Varizorb™ Dual-density EPS foam has channels to move the wind and sweat through your luscious locks. With their breathing powers combined, the Speedframe Pro keeps my head as dry as any of my best helmets.
Once the helmet angle is dialed, the Speedframe Pro tightens in place with the usual round dial, evenly adding tension all the way around your head for a comforting squeeze. The chin strap on the Pro model latches with a Fidlock magnetic buckle for easy gloved operation, and, in exceedingly rare form, the side straps are long enough to accommodate lower ears or taller skulls. Most often the side straps push the bottom of my ear up and out, but with this new configuration from Fox they fit appropriately below my ear.
With a 3-position adjustable visor, there is ample space to stow goggles completely out of view. The back of the shell has a matte-finished space for a goggle strap to cling to, with a point toward the rear crown to keep it from sliding over the helmet while you’re crusin’.
Complaining and conclusion
My one grievance with the Speedframe Pro is the chinstrap color on the white model. Unless you regularly bleach and groom your gear, this thing is going to be a shade of filthy and unkempt for the life of the helmet. There’s a reason mountain bikers’ car interiors are often earthen, and many of us don’t own white bath towels. We’re dirtbags, and we like it that way. Well, I do. The glowing strap color is likely a regular complaint, and maybe Fox will swap out the material for grey or black in the near future.
Apart from the color misstep, this is the best-feeling and sharpest-looking gravity half shell that I’ve tested in a long while. The fit is dialed and dialable, it breathes well, it’s not super heavy despite the MIPS insert, and it costs less than a new set of tires. Given the burgeoning selection of MIPS’d lids in this price range, the solidly clean and precise aesthetic puts the Speedframe Pro at the front of my half shell lineup.
Thank to Fox Racing for providing the Speedframe helmet for testing and review.