Review: FOX Dropframe Helmet – The open face aggressive bomber


Aimed at the aggressive trail riding segment, the FOX Dropframe helmet offers riders maximum protection in an open face style. The coverage extends around the ears, parts of the jawbones, cheeks, and down the back of the head. On paper, I am totally sold on the concept – but is it comfortable on the trails?

FOX Dropframe helmet, Table Mountain, Cape Town, South Africa.
Clean lines, more protection – what’s not to like?


DETAILS, FEATURES & FIT

The Dropframe has a non-adjustable or fixed visor system, which is marginally longer than most helmets and is designed to optimize airflow. Eight intake vents, seven exhaust vents, and two large ear vents boost cooling and ventilation.

The EPS liner on the Dropframe consists of two different compound types which collectively minimizes and spreads crash loads. A magnetic buckle or chin-lock secures the helmet strap and releases with an easy enough twist action.

The helmet liner has moisture wicking and antimicrobial properties. In terms of weight, the size medium I tested tipped the scales at 481g which is about 90g above an average trail helmet.

Available in four sizes – small, medium, large and XL – each is supplied with a ‘fit kit’ which is essentially a combination of differently sized padding for the brow, cheeks, and back of the head. In terms of fit, since the Dropframe is not adjustable via any ratchet strap system but only via the fit kit padding system I would suggest paying special attention to the sizing on purchase. In my case, I am usually a small, sometimes a medium and with the Dropframe the medium was spot on.

FOX Dropframe helmet test with Bike Network, Wayne Reiche, Myles Kelsey on Table Mountain in July 2019.
On warm days there is a marginal increase in temperature around the cheeks, it’s only noticeable at low speeds and is a small price to pay for the added protection.

ON THE TRAIL

First things first – the eyewear discussion – the Dropframe is a goggle and regular eyewear friendly helmet. For goggles there is a slight indent shaped into the rear of the outer shell which nestles the strap. In terms of regular eyewear, it looks as though FOX have intentionally designed the inner liners and padding with a gap or channel to slide the eyewear into and hold them in place.

FOX Dropframe helmet test with Bike Network, Wayne Reiche, Myles Kelsey on Table Mountain in July 2019.
Pay careful attention to fit when buying the Dropframe – you may need to go up in size.

When bombing trails there are three things I really liked about this helmet: 1. The Dropframe doesn’t bob about, slide around or move out of position – even on big hucks! 2. The longish visor provides some degree of shelter from sun and rain. 3. Regarding the extra grams, I did a few long rides with it, including a five-hour ride and never noticed the weight at all.

In terms of ventilation, on warmer days you will feel slight warming around the cheeks on slow climbs but it really is not a biggie. The one-piece brow pad stretches from temple to temple does a good job of channeling sweat away from the eyes.

The Dropframe has one other trick up its sleeve. The extended coverage around the ears provides a lower mounting point for the straps. This means there is no strapping around the ears and jaw area, which further improves comfort.

SUMMARY

I have done over 30 hours of riding with the Dropframe and can say it’s incredibly comfortable, super light and handles heat and rain well. Yes, I did feel a whole lot more confident bombing trails with the added protection of the Dropframe. Trail and E-Bike riders will love this helmet. The styling is proper. I think FOX have nailed it here.

RRP: R3199 Learn more: https://www.foxracing.co.za/Dropframe-Helmet-324919.html

FOX Dropframe helmet test with Bike Network, Wayne Reiche, Myles Kelsey on Table Mountain in July 2019.
Gravity, trail, enduro and E-Bike riders will love this helmet.

Images: Wayne Reiche


4 Comments

  1. Really nice review, thanks Myles. Just one question though, given that the price is in the same bracket as helmets with removable chin guards which type would you choose?

    • Hi Mark, Good question! I haven’t used a removable chin guard helmet so can’t answer your question emphatically. I can see how they would be a good idea for racing blind notoriously gnarly trails – like a TP or something. Personally, I don’t race-blind trails all that often – if at all – so haven’t felt the need for a removable chin guard helmet. The choice should boil down to individual riders, based on how and where they ride and how measured they are with their own speed vs skill ratio.- Myles

  2. Thanks for a nice review. One question: is there room to rest goggles on the helmet under the visor? Seems to me there is not… I use goggles, but only for descents, and having them haning around your neck the rest of the time is not comfortable.

    • Hey Andreas, totally agree about the goggles around the neck thing and thanks for the kind words. Have you tried running the strap around the front just under the visor with the lenses at the back of the helmet for climbing, transitioning and so on?


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