Fox Racing Proframe RS Review
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Fox Racing Proframe RS
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|Pros||Comfortable, breathable, secure fit, substantial protection for enduro-style lid||Breathable, more robust than other enduro-focused options, lightweight||Very comfortable, protective, surprisingly versatile||Protective, reasonably priced, comfortable||Attractive price, solid protection levels, comfortable|
|Cons||Slightly heavier than other enduro lids, not the best option for the bike park||Not suited for frequent bike park duties, a little expensive||Mediocre airflow, not well suited for substantial amounts of pedaling||Average ventilation, heavier weight, no rotational impact protection system||Poor ventilation, not quite as burly as top downhill helmets|
|Bottom Line||A killer enduro race helmet that blends a substantial and protective feel with excellent airflow and comfort||A dialed enduro-oriented helmet that delivers excellent breathability and solid protection||A comfortable and versatile downhill helmet with excellent protection levels||A full-face helmet that boasts a strong value and high levels of protection||A functional and reasonably protective full-face at an outstanding price point|
|Rating Categories||Fox Racing Proframe RS||Smith Mainline MIPS||Giro Insurgent Sphe...||Troy Lee Designs D3...||Leatt Gravity 2.0|
|Specs||Fox Racing Proframe RS||Smith Mainline MIPS||Giro Insurgent Sphe...||Troy Lee Designs D3...||Leatt Gravity 2.0|
|Weight (grams, size medium)||836 grams||765 grams||1042 grams||1219 grams||1008 grams|
|Weight (ounces, size medium)||29.5 oz||27.0 oz||36.7 oz||43.0 oz||35.5 oz|
|Number of Vents||22||21||20||20||11|
|Shell Material||Polycarbonate||Aerocore||Pre-preg Fiberglass||Fiberglass||Polymer|
|Rotational Impact Protection System||MIPS Integra||MIPS||MIPS Spherical||None||360 Turbine|
|Sizes||S, M, L||S, M, L||XS/S, M/L, XL/XXL||XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL||XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL|
|ASTM F1952 (DH)||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Proframe RS is our top recommendation for the enduro crowd. The blend of nice protection levels paired with excellent airflow makes this lid a great choice for those multi-stage races that require some sprinting, punchy climbs, and pedal transfers. This helmet ticks most of the boxes and posted impressive scores in most performance metrics. The only real knock on this slick-looking model is its high price tag.
The Proframe RS is comfortable. Our medium test helmet fit true-to-size with no pressure points or areas of looseness.
The upper portion of the inner helmet resembles a half-shell model. It is lightly padded with strips of antimicrobial padding attached to a MIPS liner (more on that later). There is a BOA dial on the rear of the helmet that controls an adjustable cradle to fine-tune the fit. Tighten the BOA dial and the cradle tightens around the rear of your head, along the side, and over the brow. The dial is relatively small but can be easily operated with gloves on.
This helmet also has the option to adjust the entire cradle position. There are four ways to orient the cradle in case you want it to sit higher or lower on your melon. While this is a reasonably quick adjustment to make, you'll likely want to set the cradle position once and let it ride.
There are sizeable cheek pads on the chin bar that squeeze the cheeks with the perfect amount of force. They were snug and kept the helmet in place without being uncomfortable. There was no slop in the fit and the helmet didn't feel like it was moving around independently of our heads.
The helmet is secured with a magnetic Fidlock closure system on the chin strap. This style of buckle has become more and more common on both half-shell and full-face helmets in recent years. Among full-face helmets, Fidlock is far easier to use than a D-strap buckle. Simply guide the two pieces close to one another and you can feel the magnets pull the clip into place.
The Proframe RS carries a number of certifications. Most importantly it is ASTM F1952 DH certified. It is a relatively recent phenomenon to see these enduro-oriented helmets start to carry DH certifications. It also has ATSM F2032, EN 1078:2012 + A1:2012, AS/NZ 2063-2020, and CPSC 1203 certifications.
The Proframe RS has excellent coverage. Some of the lighter lids in this review can feel like they are skimping on certain areas like the lower portions of the rear of the head and the underside of the jaw. The Proframe RS covers these areas quite well. No matter if you rotate the helmet forward or backward, no key areas are left exposed.
The Proframe RS lid uses EPS and EPP foam. These foams are applied in two layers with a MIPS Integra Split slip plane in between. MIPS is a system that allows the helmet to rotate slightly in the event of an angled impact. This is designed to reduce the rotational forces that reach the brain and reduce the chance of a brain injury. In most applications, MIPS layers are located under the padding strips and is quite visible. With MIPS Integra Split, the slip plane is located between the EPP and EPS foam layers.
This helmet feels plenty protective for enduro racing, pedal-y shuttles, and is quite versatile. If your idea of fun is banging out dozens of bike park laps or sending the biggest gaps, there are beefier and more substantial DH-focused helmets you might consider. If you need excellent airflow and don't plan on simply riding the lifts all season, we feel the Proframe RS has plenty of protection.
Our medium helmet hit the scales at 29.5 ounces or 836 grams. That number puts it in line with most of the enduro-oriented or convertible helmets in this test class. A few of the convertible models are significantly lighter.
The fact that this helmet is a bit heavier than some of the lightest options helps this helmet feel a bit more protective. Yes, a light helmet is nice, but a couple hundred extra grams can make the helmet feel more confidence-inducing when things get gnarly and speeds increase. This helmet is plenty light to feel airy and breathable but has enough heft and bulk to feel like it could withstand a gnarly crash.
Ventilation is the name of the game with the Proframe RS. The level of breathability is truly outstanding. This lid has a total of 22 vents. Despite its slight weight penalty compared to other enduro-oriented helmets, the Proframe RS is among the best in terms of ventilation.
The big story is the open vents on the chin bar. The vents are wide open and don't have any mesh or plastic covering. This allows enormous amounts of airflow when you are hammering on the pedals. There is an open diamond-shaped vent directly in front of the mouth. To the left and right there are large rectangular open vents. In addition, there are two smaller slits above the main vent on the front of the helmet.
Above the brow, there are a series of sizeable intake ports that allows air to enter the helmet. The rear of this lid has a number of exit ports for heat, moisture, and air to escape.
The Proframe RS has an excellent three-position visor. The visor is reasonably broad and is approximately six inches wide at its furthest point. It is somewhat flexible when manipulated by hand. This can be useful as the visor can flex and resist cracking if dropped or crashed on.
The three available visor positions are sensible. We love an adjustable visor and three positions seem to provide all of the adjustment you could ask for. We generally preferred the visor in one of the two highest positions for the best range of vision but appreciated being able to drop it into the lowest position to keep the sun out of our eyes at certain times of day. The adjustable visor allows you to tuck your goggles above your brow if you choose, though we found this can lead to your lenses fogging as the humidity from your head feeds directly into the goggles.
Throughout testing, we observed no signs of premature breakdown of materials or padding.
One area we are a little concerned about is the BOA-actuated cradle tightening system. There is a small cable that pulls and tightens the cradle as you turn the BOA dial. While we did not have any issues with it, it seems like it could be problematic if used carelessly.
The Proframe RS comes with an additional, thicker, set of cheek pads if you need to snug up the fit. It also comes with a very simple helmet-carrying bag.
We didn't use the thicker set of cheek pads as this lid fit excellent right out of the box.
This helmet is definitely on the expensive side of things, no two ways about that. That being said, we think Fox has done a wonderful job crafting a confidence-inducing, DH-certified helmet that is also extremely breathable at a respectable weight. It is a high-end enduro helmet that performs exceptionally well within its intended application.
The Fox Proframe RS earned a Top Pick for Enduro Racing. The fit is dialed, it is extremely comfortable, and the ventilation/airflow is top-notch. If you need a reasonably protective helmet that is comfortable sprinting up punchy climbs and allowing nice airflow on long enduro stages, this is the helmet for you. Sure, it is a bit expensive, but we feel the quality of design and construction is apparent.
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