In this Fox Speedframe Pro Helmet review, we look into the strengths and weaknesses of this trail helmet, and whether or not it will be the right one for you.
The Fox Speedframe Pro is a top-of-the-line half shell mountain bike helmet. It exceeds expectations in terms of ventilation and comfort, and ranks very highly in terms of safety.
When looking for a helmet, I was wanting something that would get me through the warmer summer months here in New Zealand, have a significant amount of protection around the back of the head, as well as MIPS and other safety considerations. I also tend to go on longer rides (3h+), so comfort was also a priority.
Now I have tested out the Fox Speedframe Pro helmet, so let’s dive into how this helmet performed.
In this Fox Speedframe Pro MIPS helmet review, we will dive into what makes this helmet great, but also look at whether this helmet is the one for you. We will look at the components of comfort, ventilation, safety, construction and how it compares to other helmets of the same style or price range.
Fox Speedframe Pro MIPS
- MIPS liner
- Good rear coverage
- Great retention system
- Plenty of features
- Well ventilated
- Looks pretty sleek
- Not the lightest in the price range
Comfort and Sizing
When I first put on the Speedframe Pro, I could tell it was a quality helmet. The padding was plush, and it wrapped around my head giving me a sense of security that I do love in a well fitting helmet!
The helmet sits relatively low on the head, providing plenty of coverage around the back of the head and over the temples. This can be adjusted using the mechanism inside the helmet which alters how far the helmet is tilted on your head.
The Speedframe Pro comes in 3 sizes- small, medium, large. The size bands are generous, largely due to the retention band that means you can dial in your fit quite well. The dial at the rear of the head, which Fox labeled the 360 Fit System, allows you to tighten or loosen the helmet in small increments. It’s easy to turn while riding, even with gloves on and for those with large uncoordinated fingers!
The range of sizing tends to be a little larger than other brands, with a medium sitting at 55 cm to 59 cm (usually I see a medium sitting at 54 to 56 cm), so I’d advise checking the size guide before buying!
With 19 reasonably sized vents, including three very large overbrow vents, the ventilation of the Speedframe Pro is not bad. The inner padding is reasonably minimalist, and as a result does not block the airflow through the lid.
In the heat of the New Zealand summers, I find myself reaching for the Speedframe Pro more than the likes of my Giro Source or Parachute MCR. While not quite the airflow of the Specialized Ambush II, it is still one of the best ventilated helmets I have tried.
The Speedframe Pro uses a standard Multi-Directional Impact Protection System (MIPS) liner. The MIPS technology works to reduce the chances of brain injury by absorbing some of the energy through the helmet (rather than your head absorbing this). Put simply, I wouldn’t ever purchase a helmet without a MIPS liner or a similar technology.
Outside of the MIPS layer is the dual density EPS foam shell. This sits reasonably deeply on the head, protecting the back of the head from hard hits. The dual density foam is two layers of slightly different materials. The denser material is able to reduce the impact from higher energy, faster impacts, and the less dense material reduces the impact from slower crashes.
The result of all these features is a 5 star safety rating from Virginia Tech helmet ratings (https://www.helmet.beam.vt.edu/bicycle-helmet-ratings.html) .
Fox claims the helmet weighs in at 380 g more a size medium. However, I would say this was slightly closer to the 400 g mark based on some research (I don’t have an accurate enough scale on hand at the moment to say so myself).
Comparing that with the likes of the Troy Lee Designs A3, which weighs 420 g, the Giro Manifest which weighs in at a light 360 g, and the POC Kortla Race MIPs which weighs around 390 g. The Speedframe sits around average of the high performing helmets.
It does seem somewhat surprising to me though, I definitely thought it would be lighter. The Manifest and the TLD A3 have two separate layers of foam (different densities, protecting against a wider variety of crashes), which would have made them slightly heavier. The Speedframe also has such large vents, so I am unsure where the weight comes from!
Regardless, I don’t think the additional weight will be noticeable if you aren’t switching between helmets on a regular basis!
- Adjustable Visor – the visor has 3 preset positions. Securely fits goggles or glasses beneath the visor for storing on the climbs.
- Fidlock Buckle – the chin strap is connected by a magnetic clip that makes it super easy to do up your helmet on the go.
- Antimicrobial liner – prevents the helmet from smelling, and keeps it in better condition for longer. It is also washable, and cheap to replace if ever needed.
- Approx 400 g for size M – though Fox claims 380 g, see Weight section of this product review.
- Fully wrapped EPS shell – keeps the foam protected and extends the life of the helmet.
- Adjustable cradle – allows you to shift how the helmet sits on your head.
- Three sizes – these tend to run large (see the size chapter of this review).
The Fox Speedframe Pro is in line with POC Tectal in terms of price and performance, but the Tectal is slightly lighter (365 g). It would be up to personal preference in comfort.
The Troy Lee Designs A3 is a league above the Fox Speedframe Pro in terms of price, but you get what you pay for. The TLD A3 is more cushioned, has a bit more adjustability/personalisation and has slightly more coverage. But for the average rider, this won’t be particularly noticeable unless you try them on one after another! Read our TLD A3 review here.
The Speedframe Pro is a step up from the Speedframe. It doesn’t feature the dual-density foam, anti-bacterial liner, and no fid-lock buckle. It is a bit cheaper though, so it is an excellent helmet to consider if you think you can do without the techy stuff.
The Speedframe Pro is also a large step up from the Fox Mainframe. The main differences being the Mainframe has a fixed visor (you can’t move it up and down to block the sun or rain, or store goggles beneath it), and the shell of the helmet isn’t fully wrapped in hard plastic. This typically results in faster wear and tear of the helmet as it gets exposed to the elements.
The helmet has all the features of a premium helmet, and leaves you with a really good quality, safe lid to keep you out on the trails for a long time. The dual density foam, great ventilation and light weight were major selling points for me when looking at this helmet.
There is a pretty premium price on having these features, but the helmet is priced roughly what you would expect of a trail helmet like this.
The helmet also looks pretty sleek, with a number of color options and a glossy finish.
For more reviews on similar mountain bike helmets, have a look at: