We have to admit to being fans of the styling of the new Fox Metah, with its chunky full moto looks and extensive coverage it inspires confidence from the outset. Our stealthy black version was popular around the office and after 4 months of all-mountain riding from Canada to the Scottish Highlands, how did the €140 helmet perform?
First of all, a helmet is only as good as the fit, and luckily, with its broad range of adjustments, the Fox Head Metah seems to fit most riders well. The EPS construction contains Fox Head’s Varizorb technology – cone-shaped inserts which are supposed to disperse energy in big crashes, although nobody was prepared to test this in the field. The 10 ‘big bore’ vents are large with wide exit ports on the rear and the three position Y-strap cradle is simple, but comfortable and effective at holding the helmet in place. The helmet offers huge coverage, extending low over the back of the head for maximum protection and weighing 444g (size L/XL) it does not feel large on the head.
In use we found the helmet very comfortable, cool and its deep and extensive coverage inspires massive confidence. The broad brow ensures compatibility with every pair of goggles we tested and after bouncing around in the back of the van and through airports it still looks as good as new – however there is a ‘but’, and it’s a big one. The non-adjustable visor is simply too long! When riding hard, the visor sits low and obscures your upper field of view, causing you to have to bend your neck back to see further down the trail. This is no problem when cruising, but when at full gas, it becomes very annoying. We spoke to Fox and their designer responded “The visor was designed to maximize the face protection and this resulted in a longer length compared with other helmets. It is not adjustable to avoid compromising the airflow and work together with the ventilations to move much more air through the helmet.” We can see where they are coming from, but it’s still too long. We have seen many pro riders trim 1 cm from the end of the visor with a Dremel and we would do the same. We would like to have seen a firmer connection on the cradle adjust too, as it’s too easy to knock the helmet forward into the lower position, exacerbating the low visor issue.
The Fox Metah is a great helmet, offering massive coverage and confidence for those who don’t want the full bulk of a full face. However, the non-adjustable visor sits too low and obscures the upper field of view, letting down what is in every other respect is an awesome helmet.
For more information check out the Fox Head website.
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Words & Photos: Trev Worsey