Trail and enduro bikes are so capable these days, the amount of protection needed has ramped up. Enduro helmets with removable chin bars came first. Then helmet brands began the battle to create a lightweight full face helmet suitable for all-day riding. Last week at Crankworx in Whistler, IXS stepped into that ring in a big way with the release of the new Trigger FF, a DH certified full face helmet that weighs in at 600g +/- for a size small.
- Patented fully in-molded construction
- Unibody in-molded EPS= no weak points/ joints
- High strength to weight Ratio
- X-Frame™ internal crash cage provides increased frontal impact strength and security
- Vortex™ ventilation
- Five massive intake vents interconnect with 17 exhaust vents (moves cool air in and hot air out)
- Size/weight: SM 54-58cm (+/-600g), ML 58-62cm (+/- 660g)
Although the Trigger FF is rated for DH speeds, it’s not meant to be a dedicated DH helmet. Instead, it’s designed to address the needs of aggressive trail and enduro riders. Riders are hitting DH speeds on their local trails, and the last thing you need is to forget to strap on that chinbar before dropping in and ripping. Controlling the temperature is a big part of all day riding comfort, so airflow and ventilation was implemented, which iXS calls their Vortex molded aeration system.
The specs list five air intake vents with 17 exhaust vents; I can attest this helmet does not retain heat, as we were freezing on the chairlifts, feeling every breeze.
On the Trail
A quick disclaimer is warranted at this point, as not only did I receive a helmet for personal use ahead of the launch, but I have a new day job where I’m involved with marketing SPANK and iXS products. (cool, right?!) More on that soon, (it deserves it’s own post) but in the interest of full disclosure, I’m not really allowed to say anything bad about these products.
That said, as we’ve stated a number of times in the past, we’re here to share the cool stuff we’ve encountered and used, and you can trust that if I thought this helmet was less than stellar, I wouldn’t be wearing it. And I definitely wouldn’t have sat down in front of my computer at 6am — coffee in hand — to tell you about it.
So here’s the scoop. If you’ve read any of the Crankworx coverage, you’ve already heard the news that this helmet is light. Well, I’ll say it again: it’s really, really light.
It’s so light that I normally wouldn’t wear it to ride my DH bike. Weight isn’t as big of a deal when you’re sitting in a chair to get to the top of the hill. Plus, if you’re charging, we all crash eventually, and a basic DH rated helmet is far less costly to replace than a premium helmet like the Trigger FF.
I only had room to pack one helmet though, and as it’s light enough to ride regular trails with, it was the helmet I packed. That meant it also was the helmet I wore for several days of riding the Whistler bike park. (I also have an iXS XACT Evo DH helmet; it’s not shabby in the weight department and a solid bargain at $139 MSRP.) That said, having a full face that only weighs about 250 grams more than a half shell is pretty damn amazing. Goggles are more noticeable than the weight of the helmet, and here’s the thing about weight. Lighter means you can react faster, move around better and generally just get more rad in general. When it comes to bike stuff, light is good – so long as it doesn’t compromise strength, or in the case of a helmet, protection.
Besides the minimal heft, the Trigger FF pushes a ton of air through it. As I previously mentioned, our heads were cold while riding the chairlifts. I haven’t had the opportunity to do a pedal ride at our local go-to spot at Sandy Ridge, but that’s the next spot I hope to rock it, soon as I get to experience the new trails at the new Timberline Bike Park.
Besides the weight and ventilation, the Trigger has a goggle friendly visor that’s sooo enduro. Not only can you push it up to rest your goggles there, but the goggle is completely out of the way. Out of all the helmets I’ve run in the last few years, this is the first that can claim that one. There’s also a magnetic Fidlock buckle, which is a favorite; a major upgrade from the old school D-rings, it can be adjusted with the flick of a finger and thumb, making it so you can pull the helmet off and on quickly and easily.
I’ve only ridden park with the Trigger to date, but plan to update this post after I get a pedaling day where I get my sweat on. I’m most excited to rock this helmet on Johnny Royale, the new jump trail at Sandy Ridge. I have been running a half shell on this trail, as I’m too lazy to carry the chin bar to my enduro helmets, and I really should be going for addition protection given the size of the jumps.
Final thoughts: Fit
The shape of iXS helmet molds is on the oval side. There is a lot of fit adjustability with the optional settings and most everyone had good results.
I often have a bit of a challenge with helmet fits as I have more of a round head, which is less common. I have to size up with iXS half shells, and while I can get the M/L models to fit, they do look big on my head because they end up big front to back. (my head is 56-57cm around)
As a full face, the Trigger FF does have significantly more adjustability than the half shells thanks to the Ergo Fit Ultra system. The Trigger FF has a number of options where you can adjust it and with the dial cranked all the way it stays in place well; I was able to get a decent fit with the M/L size, but sizing up to a bigger cheek pad would be ideal for me. Most riders have responded with positive feedback with the fit, but for us round-heads, there has been discussion of offering one additional size on the cheek pads. I’ll be first in line for that, as it would make things perfect.