Fox Flux helmet £70
Until recently you wouldn't have looked at Fox's helmet range unless you were after a full face lid, but the introduction of the Flux changed all that.
It follows the styling cues of helmets such as Giro’s Xen, which paved a new direction for helmets that offered extra crash protection and a cooler look than XC lids, bridging the gap between superlight race-oriented helmets and the dirt-jumpers "pisspot".
It's a purposeful looking helmet with Fox's usual sharp and fresh looks. An EPS shell with in-mould technology is punctuated by 20 large vents, there's a visor, though its of the non-adjustable sort, and easily the most standout feature is the Batman-esque rear fin - something borrowed from the company's motocross lids.
Keeping the Flux snug on your head is the duty of a dual-ratchet ‘Detox’ retention system, which offers loads of adjustment but isn’t quite as slick to use as other designs. There's a generous number of pads inside which do a good job of mopping up sweat. Interestingly, Fox route the straps directly through the side of the helmets shell (much like the Xen) which meant they flapped around beside your head, rather than sitting flush, and caused some compatibility problems with certain brands of eyewear. Stops them getting sweaty, though.
Out on the trail and the Flux feels heavier (it's 395g) and chunkier than the Xen even before you’ve popped it on, and once on, despite those 20 vents doing their best to push and pull air across the editorial scalp, we felt warmer than when wearing other helmets. This was even more noticeable on a couple of occasions when the temperature was into double figures, and makes those internal pads work extra hard to soak up all the excess perspiration.
But then this isn't a helmet designed for the demands of XC riding and there are other helmets that do much better in the ventilation department. It is comfortable though. If you're not into racing and and want a sharply designed helmet for trail riding, the Flux is worth a look.
Four colours and two sizes are available.
We feel the Flux could benefit from a few tweaks to make it perfect, but for many the cool looks will more than make up for any minor quibbles.