Review: Fox Rampage Helmet

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Access to gear that’s both highly desirable, functional and of course affordable, has never been as good for us mountain bikers as it is right now. While some products have shot up in price, the trickle down effect has given us a plethora of great products to choose from that not only look great, but do the job and do it well. The Fox Rampage fits into this sector and effectively wrote the rule book on it too, being a long serving member of Fox’s MTB line. But what’s so cool about the Rampage, is not the rad designs it’s available in, but that it’s also used by some of Fox’s top athletes, offering premium pedigree goodness at a crazy price. We had to find out for ourselves what on paper looks like an unbeatable product.

Words: Olly Forster

Photos: Olly Forster and Nathan Carvell

It’s hard not to talk about economics when discussing the Rampage helmet. It’s £99.99, basically £100 for a pro level helmet and in the matte black colour way we tested, who’s to complain? And look at it, it’s not bad looking is it? Far from it. I think some people may be put off by the price being perhaps too low, but seriously, get to a dealer and try one on – I think you might surprise yourself!

Classic lines and styling with borrowed tech from their MX helmets, plus some 11 well placed vents, a removable liner and all the certificates which say it’ll do the job should they be needed. We tested a size large, but being on the cut off between that and a medium, it’s always worth getting to a dealer and trying one on. On the scales a size large (with GoPro mount) comes in at 1150 grams, so pretty light – just slightly lighter than a carbon D3, which is four times the price!

Peak adjust-ability isn’t great, but satisfactory – I’d like a little more rearward movement to maximise peripheral vision, plus I think they look cool further back too. Venting is pretty good, but like most DH lids it’s all about letting your head perspire rather than increasing airflow – unless you’re lucky enough to ride fast and open tracks and not live in the UK.

Construction is right up there and we’ve only had one dry day of riding in the Rampage (luckily the shoot) and it’s holding up to the constant break down of parts, cleaning and re-building. The matte finish isn’t the best for a quick wipe with a wet cloth, but hey, it looks awesome!

Getting the Rampage on and off is no hassle at all thanks to a regular quick release buckle. Not as steadfast as a double ‘D’ strap, but this is a helmet that’s going to be many people’s first full face lid, so keeping things simple from the off is not a bad way to go. The fit and feel isn’t quite there compared to the more MX inspired V3R from Fox and the TLD D3, but way comfier than some other helmets at this price point.

Individual shell sizes keeps sizing dialed where some lids share an EPS liner and use different pad sets to accommodate different head sizes. The Rampage meets all safety standards including the ASTM F1952 Downhill specific one, so rest assured it’s gonna save your mug should you have an OTB.

Breakdown. The removable liner comprises of little more than three pieces, including two cheek pads and a large single section that covers your skull. All the pads are made using a technical moisture wicking material and are pretty damn comfy while maintaining a solid fit. They are all held in place with a mixture of poppers and Velcro, making cleaning that little bit easier. I’d recommend washing the pads by hand and hang drying them just in case, as these are made from synthetic materials that could easily melt or be damaged by mechanical washing, even on a cold wash. If you trust your machine, go for it…

We’ve been running the Rampage almost exclusively with the 100% Accuri goggles that we’ve been testing, but having sneaked a few runs in with the Fox Main Pro and some Oakley Proven and Crowbars, they all showed no issues with sizing. Hopefully as you can see from the photo, there is actually quite a large amount of room for even the widest goggle frames. One niggle I had, was that most helmets these days feature a groove to the rear of the helmet where your goggle strap sits, making it easier to have things sitting where they should be for optimised performance and indeed acting as a guide for putting your goggles on. The Rampage’s shell has a random bump rather than a groove where the strap goes, but for most of us this is neither here nor there and in all honesty you’ll get a feel of where the strap should go.

Conclusion.

All helmets have to meet the same safety requirements before they come to market, so any question of whether a helmet that costs more will actually do more in an accident is not in question. More money equates to more features and the use of more advanced materials, but for many of us these state of the art features make little to no difference to a helmet we only wear for a few minutes at a time.

Ultimately the Rampage for me represents value for money on another level to other helmets in this price bracket and indeed above it. Why you may ask? Well this is a review, so I’ll tell you. Products you see used by the sports top athletes are quite frequently the best in that particular brands line and more often than not carry the ‘factory tax’ on top. The Rampage, although an established product, has been seen on the heads of Fox’s top riders for years and is still used today with the likes of Andrew Neethling and Cam McCaul, repping it races and comps all over the world. We all like to buy the cool stuff that our heroes use, but quite frequently find justifying the cash just too much. The Rampage doesn’t represent such an issue and there’s more…

I like to ride and ride as much as possible. I don’t like stuff (product) that gets in the way of me maximising what to me should be a day of bicycles and good times. Stuff that doesn’t quite do what it says on the tin and impedes on my two wheeled adventures pisses me right off. The Rampage doesn’t claim to be anything other than a solid, well priced and easy on the eye, all of which it is and then some.

It’s light, comfy, works with a Leatt and has enough room to accommodate the vast range of goggles the average goggle fanatic has in their kit drawer. Ultimately, this should be on anyone’s list for a full face helmet. The price point makes it ideal for the first time buyer, while the looks and pedigree should help persuade the experienced rider prepared to pay a little more. Available in four colours and designs, plus a Rockstar Energy drink replica for all you Hart and McCaul fans, and all this for one penny shy of £100. Recommended!

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