I’ll admit that I’m overly critical of all chest protectors, but that’s simply because I know the value of utilizing high-quality armor to protect my internal components. Typically, I’ve stayed away from most foam-based under guards due to their lack of protection, but Fox’s new Titan Race Subframe caught my eye as being a bit better equipped for protection than its counterparts.With true full under coverage-the integrated back panel has plastic all the way down the spine-and a low profile design, the Titan Race Subrame fits comfortably underneath a jersey and is spot-on in sizing (S/M, M/L or L/XL). The unit looks a tad bulky when you’re riding, but do looks really matter when you’re going for protection? After several rides I found that I preferred the Subframe with the straps cinched super tight and snug against my chest, which kept the guard from floating around too much. I found out the hard way that you need to protect against chaffing from the internal foam, but this isn’t an issue with a light undershirt. I underwent a few decent slams in the Titan as well as some brutal roost (including more than one rock at EnduroCross), and the coverage was better than I expected-I only wished for more protection on my sides/upper ribs.
I noticed while racing in the Titan that it doesn’t flow as much air as some other protectors. However, this was actually a great feature in cooler temperatures. In cold weather off-road applications, I ended up liking the Fox Subframe the most when I wore it on top of a jersey and below a jacket. I didn’t try the Subframe with a Leatt brace and I don’t really care to, but I’m certain that you could adjust the setup to work well together.Did the Titan Race Subframe change my mind about under protectors? Honestly, no-I personally would still like to see more coverage. But I will say that I appreciate the fuller coverage of this armor and at the fair price of $89.95, it’s the best purpose-built MX under protector that I’ve tried. -Chris Denison