2006 was the year Facebook expanded beyond college campuses. It’s changed a lot since then. It’s also the year the Disney Channel premiered their children’s show starring Hannah Montana, alter-ego of Miley Cyrus. She, too, has changed a lot since then. And it was the year Fox introduced its first trail helmet, the Flux. Surprisingly, it has not changed since then. Or at least, not until this year.
The new Flux got some significant cosmetic updates on the outside and even more significant updates on the inside, starting with deep inside. There is a plastic skeletal brace across the rear of the new Flux that supports the material around the enormous rear vents. A piece of the brace peeks out on each side of the helmet, that spot where the embossed Fox Head logo sits.
Around that skeleton is a unique dual-density EPS foam Fox calls Varizorb. The two surfaces bond along a three-dimensional field of interlocking cones. This allows for more deflection when the inner layer presses into the outer layer and, more importantly, when your head presses into the inner layer. Fox didn’t go for a hybrid of EPS and much squishier EPP foam because they found that configuration caused kinks in the deceleration curve. Using two stiffnesses of traditional EPS resulted in more steady deceleration and, hopefully, healthier brains.
The inside shape of the new Flux was refined with the goal of more complete contact between your head and the helmet. This means a closer fit, less rattle, and ideally, more comfort. It also means certain head shapes might not agree perfectly with the form-fitting forms. My form happens to fit fine, and that like-a-glove feel is immediately noticeable. The straps also took unique steps to keep you comfortable. The split beneath the ear is the wider type we always love seeing.
And the straps anchor into the helmet in a unique way. Instead of originating inside the helmet like classic helmets or directly to the center of the rim around the shell, they sit somewhere in between. Bracing to the bottom edge of the inside surface of the helmet, the straps are easy to manage and stay untangled, but sit close enough to your face that they accommodate any style of glasses, whether the arms want to sit behind or on top of the strap.
The retention system evolved this year to wrap 300 degrees around your head. And in addition to the rear height adjustment you see on most retention systems, you also get some fore/aft adjustment on the front of the harness. We even had a bald-headed tester approve of the shape of the occipital cradle, that often irritate his sensitive melon.
The Flux comes in at two price points, the Mips-equipped version features a Fidlock magnetic buckle, X-static long-lasting antimicrobial padding, and a spare pad right out of the box for $150. The standard version comes with standard pads, a standard buckle and goes for a standard $100.