Fox Proframe Helmet – hard Test (Thumbs Up!!)

I have been beating myself up for not getting this up sooner. I have been talking up this helmet since getting it back in 2019. When I first opened the box, I loved the look and was amazed at how light the helmet was to hold in my hand. This was back when I worked at Suzuki in Brea, and I carried the thing around and showed it off to my Mountain Biking buddies on the office floor.

At Greer on a Busy Saturday!

The helmet fit well, looked awesome and then I wore it on the first outing. My love of the helmet intensified. See, the ventilation is super too. My thought was “Man, this thing is going to be hot. Maybe I’ll just wear it on the technical rides?”. Well, my first time out, on a routine morning ride for me – except for the recent rain, I found the helmet to be very well ventilated.

To recap:

  • Looks awesome
  • Light to hold and WEAR
  • Super well ventilated
  • (Not yet mentioned) Fantastic Field of vision

So I ride up Skyline Trail on the fire road. I ride up to the 3-mile turn around, then head down Troy Lee Designs trail. This is a normal ride for me, not dangerous. Well on the very bottom, near the end, I cross rut the front tire and the bike just kind of leans to the right – but I am still travelling at a good rate. I’m trying to right the machine but then — WHAAP! I get ripped off the bike. Turns out I caught a sapling with my chin. The good news? I am wearing a full-face helmet, so its not MY chin.

A fantastic solo-ride at Santiago Oaks

That incident sold the helmet for me. I wore it constantly after that. People would comment in my group that I must be hot, or that it must be heavy. The truth is it is lighter than my Specialized Open Face helmet and better ventilated. In fact, since I have no hair, I had to start wearing a cloth or “Halo” in the helmet to direct the sweat away form my eyes.

Then Came January 18, 2020

Having been recently laid off form Suzuki, I talked my friends into a celebration ride at Greer in Murrieta. Greer is an aggressive park for climbs and descents – if you are looking to take it up a notch.

We got to the park and I was feeling GREAT! I was full of energy and my buddies were completely capable as well. We were PR’ing everything. (that mean setting Personal Records in Strava) I was clearing doubles I had never tried and jumping into and over rock gardens I used to crawl through. It was an amazing day.

Looks worse than it feels…

Finally, In what would have been like two-thirds of our day, we roll a section of trail that was new to me. My buddies were ahead and I was the tail of our group, although we picked up another tail behind me.

After 20-years of motorcycle roadracing, I know that I know that I know you are never to look behind you to worry about the traffic behind you. I broke that rule that day.

As the trail G’d out at the bottom of a hill and powered up into a banked right hand turn, I glanced behind me. This pulled me off my line to the right a bit, and as I descended this punchy set of trail, my right pedal clipped a boulder on the right side of the trail. The Giant Reign Advanced 1 was ripped from underneath me and I went flying.

Having launched from the bike at over 30 MPH, the ensuing tumble was quite the show. There was no movie-like slow motion… just repetitive impacts to my shoulders, back, and head. I never took a “trail-nap” and stayed awake the whole time. I crawled to the side of the trail to take a quick physical inventory… thinking that if I had a broken leg, I wouldn’t want to stand up.

Great climbs in Santiago Oaks

I sat on the rock, breathing and getting my wits about me. The new tail our group had picked up stopped to get my bike and water bottle for me. He was super concerned and quite accommodating considering he wasn’t part of my group. I thought everything seemed to be in order, so I coasted down to my buddies and re-took a physical inventory, where we determined immediately that I would be headed to the Kaiser medical center.

I had broken my collarbone and it was sticking up into my jersey. To add insult to injury, I was wearing a completely new kit. The jersey, jacket, and shorts I debuted that day all became refuse. The guys escorted me to my truck, as I was reliving the crash for them. I was telling them that this was the hardest by far that my body had ever hit the ground. They went along with it being nice. “Uh – Huh, Uh- Huh”

I’d take this over brain damage any day!!

Then when they helped me load my truck, and I took off the helmet… the mood changed. That helmet took a beating. There are at least 5 separate impact points on the helmet. That boulder that ripped me off the bike was moved about 6 inches – so you know I hit it with force. That force was duplicated by my head bouncing its way to a stop on the trail.

I never went to sleep. I suffer no memory loss from the incident or that day and if, big if, the helmet is what broke my collarbone… I would take a broken collarbone over brain damage any day.

When I wanted to first write a review in the Fox Proframe helmet, I thought it was going to be a sales-like piece on aggressive styling, lightweight, chicks-dig-it, and the like. Turns out I performed a hard test of the product and passed with flying colors.

When I am back to gainfully employed, another Fox Proframe will be on my shelf.