The new version of the Fox Proframe might be more expensive and heavier, but it's got a whole lot of new features including the MIPS Integra Split safety system
Fox’s DH-certified lightweight full-face lid has already been a top-scoring helmet at MBR in its previous generation, so has Fox made it even better with this RS version, or has the competition caught up? Is it still worthy of a place in our guide to the best full face and convertible helmets?
Almost a hundred quid more than the original Proframe, this RS has also gained an extra hundred grams in equivalent sizes. It’s seen a total overhaul though, and justifying the extra cash and weight are a slew of new features, including an industry-first safety exclusive with MIPS (‘Integra Split’ protection), a BOA tensioning dial fit system and new adjustable visor.
In fact, while styling is very similar to the old helmet (including that massive hole in the front of the chin bar that’s key to ventilation being so effective), look closely and there’s an all-new shell too, with freshly shaped edges, different textures and new materials.
MIPS Integra Split adopts a dual-layer approach, whereby an outer EPS foam layer better absorbs forces of high-speed impacts, and an inner EPP foam layer deals with slower-speed impacts; both separated by a low-friction interface. Joined by small elastomers called ‘woofers’, it all looks like a beefier version of MIPS, with Fox claiming around 10 to 15mm of movement to help reduce the effect of rotational crash forces.
The design is integrated neatly into an outer shell that’s still pretty low volume with great lines and graphics and comes in three sizes. Inner pads are cushy and well positioned and also redesigned, so there’s less pad surface area and skull contact. Two separate cheek pads are included to tune the fit.
The new RS boasts increased ventilation via bigger ports on the chinbar sides and behind the ears, a much bigger rear exhaust port and a welcome forehead vent on the brow. None of them get blocked by goggle straps either, which ensures the Proframe is one of the best ventilated full-face lids available. You can happily pedal in this all day, and airflow into the mouth is exceptionally good. One downside of all this air whooshing through is that the Proframe RS is very noisy inside and air whistles into the ears at higher speeds more than other lids.
Fox’s all-new BOA tensioner’s headband uses cables and webbing and seems to pull both the bottom up and the sides in simultaneously. It wraps lower around the skull than most and really holds the Proframe firmly with a gentle-yet-secure grasp. Tightening increments are perfect and Fox’s rapid magnetic chinstrap literally flicks together too. One issue with the BOA is that we had to almost hold the webbing open to slide our head inside.
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Fox has really ticked a lot of boxes here. The entry price is very high, but this is a well-rounded product with an improved fit system, new safety tech and really superb ventilation. So despite being noisy, it’s still got a lot in its favour.