Fox Flux Helmet
Thank you, helmet! We’ve found ourselves thinking this many times and perhaps even saying it out loud. Anyone who’s ever done anything bold, adventurous, or just plain stupid has profited from the protective benefits of a modern, hardshell helmet. Bike helmets have come along way from the old Lycra covered six-pack cooler type. They used to be hideously ugly, and while they were marginally effective at absorbing untimely impacts, they could always be counted on to generate crass remarks. Nowadays, helmets are designed with a little more style in mind -- some more so than others. One new entry, the Fox Flux helmet, blends current styling with real coverage and functional mountain bike utility in mind.
The Fox Flux helmet is a bit of a departure from traditional lightweight helmet designs in that it blends styling cues from skater helmets. Anyone who’s ever ridden by a skate park and stopped to watch the kids, will know that they should all wear helmets. And they all need good ones. Those guys seem to fall in all directions. Good skate helmets cover the whole head. They might not cover the ears, but they darn sure cover the back of the head as well as the front. The Fox Flux helmet has brought this full coverage shape to the mountain bike helmet. It has been a long time coming, in our opinion. While some have been better than others over the years, many helmets have had sparse protection for the back of the head. The Fox Flux helmet has addressed this issue and provided a solution to those who’ve been looking for that next step in protection while on rocky, technical terrain.
Our first perception of the Fox Flux helmet was that of admiration. The folks at Fox scored big with this one. The Flux is made like any other hardshell/foam helmet with a few exceptions. First, we really liked how the hard plastic shell wrapped entirely around the foam core, leaving the foam exposed only in the interior of the helmet. The structural foam will not be as easily dinged up or dented through routine use or careless storage like other helmets with less exhaustive shell coverage. The shell and foam liner are nicely mated in the molding process. It is evident in the perfectly smooth transitions between the foam and shell that the folks at Fox were aiming at building a great helmet. The shape is a dealmaker -- it seems that someone finally realized that riding mountain bikes on hard, rocky trails thrusts riders into risk of precarious, unpredictable falls. We don’t always land face down. A helmet with better coverage is a good idea. The Fox Flux helmet fits very well. It comes in two sizes: S/M and L/XL, and it includes a pad kit to customize the fit. The Flux provides a rock solid fit with no unwanted jiggle or movement when we ride down the trail. We believe the good fit to be a combination of the better rear coverage (it goes down over the back of the head instead of being perched on top) and a familiar ratcheting retention system out back. Simply put, this helmet fits well and stays where you want it.
The Fox Flux helmet has 20 vents which seem to provide adequate cooling further enhanced by interior channels that help move airflow through the helmet. It comes with removable visor and spoiler. Obviously the visor has a function -- it keeps the sun out of our eyes. That’s fine and dandy. The spoiler on the other hand may just be a style feature. Fox claims that it helps smooth airflow through and out of the rear of the helmet. It’s inspired by motocross and although it may be functional as we bomb down hills, it's most likely just decoration as we grunt our way up a hot, sweaty climb.
Helmets are the unsung heroes of our mountain bike apparel. We treat them with disdain as something we wear because we’re supposed to, or as insurance in the unlikely event of a crash. They're never appreciated until they do their work. Function is one matter, and style yet another. The Fox Flux helmet is a product that blends impressive function with classy utilitarian style. It isn’t aero. It isn’t super lightweight. It does, however, provide a slick protective barrier and a great fit. And, it'll keep you cool while you look cool. The Flux has been designed for mountain bikers. Could you use it on the road? Sure, but only if you want a helmet that offers more head coverage and an awesome fit.
For the time being, we are fortunate enough to be unable to provide any firsthand accounts of the crash durability of the Flux. While it's almost a certainty that one of us will eventually do a headstand in the middle of a rock pile, we hope that when it happens that we'll be wearing a high quality helmet that could possibly save our melon. The Fox Flux helmet has been rigorously tested by the engineering folks at Fox and complies with the US CPSC 1203 safety standards. After some rigorous testing of our own, the Fox Flux helmet is easily one of our favorite new products of 2007. The comfortable fit, seamless, quality construction of the shell, combined with the excellent hardware and strap layout, make the Flux a top pick of the staff.