10 June 2008

bikefix Exclusive Review: Fox Flux helmet

The Flux seems to be Fox’s answer to the popular Giro Xen helmet. Like the Xen, it has more protection than a standard XC helmet, a sloped “urban” style back, and models with “tough” looking graphics. These helmets are aimed directly at the "all-mountain" and "trail" bike markets. Since all helmets in the USA are certified by the same test, we don’t really know how much more protective helmets with thicker EPS foam are, but these helmets also tend to have a deeper rear profile- and most certainly offer more protection in the lower head/neck region than a standard XC or road helmets. They also tend to be heavier than typical XC helmets. The Fox is no exception at 390g, which is slightly beefier than a Giro Xen.

The Flux only comes in 2 sizes (a bit annoying): either small/medium or large/extra large. For my big round head, I ordered the latter. The first thing I noticed was it wasn’t as comfortable as either my Xen or my Uvex XP 100. I think it is the shape of the interior of the helmet more than the retention system. The Flux is not uncomfortable but has some pressure points that can be annoying. I have tried different size pads to help remedy this but I can’t get it to feel better. It may just be my head shape. Of course, everybody's head is a bit different and the straps were easy to adjust.

The retention system looks very similar to the Giro and it works reasonably well too. It is a bit more stubborn to adjust than the Giro system, but on the other hand it doesn’t seem to loosen over time like the Giro's can. Despite some serious use and rough handling, none of the plastic retention parts have broken. That is cool because this has been a problem with some helmet brands in the past.

The Flux comes with both a visor and a spoiler (see stock photo below). They are both removable and I immediately took off the “spoiler” because it looks dumb and I can’t believe there could possibly be a reason for it other than (questionable) aesthetics.

Although the helmet has 20 vents, it seems hotter than any of my other helmets. That may be because of the dark “urban camo” color scheme (not my first choice)-, but almost all the color choices available are darkish. The Fox Flux is a pretty good helmet and I would like it a lot more if it fit me better. Try it on and if it fits you well- put it on your list of contenders. It retails for $99.95.



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