Fox Racing 2016 Gear Intro

A First Look At The Newest Fox MX Gear, Helmets, Boots, & Armor

On a recent sunny southern California afternoon, the Dirt Rider crew headed down to an oceanfront house in Laguna Beach to attend the Fox Racing intro, where Fox introduced its 2016 line of gear. Here’s a look at what the Fox team has cooked up for 2016:

Jersey/Pant Combos

Prior to this year the top tier gear that Fox had to offer was the 360 line, with the 180 line as a step below for the entry level rider. For 2016 Fox has a new high-end gear called Flexair, which features technical fabric that was hand selected by Ryan Dungey. We asked Mark Finley at Fox Racing how important it is to him to have the pros of motocross select the fabric they will race in. Mark replied, “Having those guys believe in it and actually guide us, was really important for us. When he gave us the go ahead on the final fabric, I thought it was almost a little too light, but that light fabric that we use is a stand out over the pant. So having Ryan involved is super important to us.” We also asked Mark what goal they’re trying to achieve by developing Flexair: “The goal for Flexair is to let racers perform at the highest level; in the worst conditions.” The lineup is very clean and has a ‘racer’ look to it, and judging by what we could feel of the fabric on display, we’d bet that it works amazing on ultra-hot race days. Of course, we’ll be verifying this fact for ourselves soon!

Helmets

With evolving regulations for helmets in the racing industry, Fox has again innovated in 2016, Mark explains, “We actually didn’t change our helmet designs, we actually changed the way they were manufactured. We changed the way we were building the EPS foam; the density on the EPS, but also the way the shells were laid up. And again, a lot of that was because we were switching to the ECE standard, which also allowed us to lighten the helmets up. But from the design and the shell shape itself, it’s the same V3 we had last year.” Aside from the adult helmets, Fox is now offering a youth V3 option with has never been available until this year. Mark talks about the youth V3, “This is brand new in our range. We’ve always had an entry-level helmet in our range, but again, great product is needed for entry level customers, and we really wanted to take what we’ve learned from our adult premium helmets and bring it down to youth riders.” Often times, companies will neglect how important youth riders are in our sport, but Fox Racing is doing a great job to recognize the fact that young racers have big demands when it comes to protection, too!

Boots

Fox has always had a few different levels of boots: the Comp 5, the Comp 8, and the Instinct. The former Dirt Rider Product Of The Year-winning Instinct boot is the company’s high-level, top-tier boot, and Fox feels that it didn’t need any changes because it is already a great product. The Comp 5 boot has a new trim, but other than that, they haven’t made any revisions. The real innovations are in the Comp 8 boot. Mark told us, “We released Comp 8 last year, and we definitely learned a lot as it went to market. A few durability things that we wanted to update was the durability of the outsole, so we’ve gone to a new formula called duratack, which is the proprietary rubber outsole that we use on our Instinct boot. We brought that over to the Comp 8 this year to get longer life out of the outsole itself. Another thing for us was improving the ankle fit. We’ve got a great ankle fit on the Instinct boot, which really hugs your ankle inside the boot. We wanted to mimic that for the Comp 8, by narrowing up the ankle area but also changing the foam package on the inside of the ankle area. The second change we made was on the second strap up, we changed where the buckle base is located to give you more leverage as you close down on the second strap to really pull your ankle nice and tight into the boot.” Some of the new colorways for 2016 are super flashy and really eye-catching, especially when paired with matched colors of gear sets. Definitely do some digging through the Fox catalog, as you may find that you like a particular wild style better than one of the standard colors.

Body Protection

In former years, Fox has only offered the Raptor body protector to youth riders. This year they are offering it in an adult size, but they’ve added a couple of extra goodies to ensure full protection to the adult rider. Mark shared, “When we brought out the adult version, we actually added shoulder coverage and bicep coverage. Those are both removable so the consumer can make the choice on how they want to wear it. The other thing we did on the adult Raptor is we added a foam package to the back of it that makes it a level 2 CE certified back protector. The great thing about this is it’s fully ventilated, with tons of vents in the plastic, keeping the rider totally cool while they’re getting the most coverage possible.” The Raptor is also neck brace compatible, which is just the cherry on top of this (rare) CE-certified product.

What's Next?

Thanks to Fox Racing for giving us the time to talk, and also for giving us a couple of sets of gear to put to the test, thrash-style! In our opinion, all of the new gear looks great, but as fun as it was to see up close, we can't wait to see more of it in action. Make sure to keep an eye out for a full test of many of these products in a future issue of Dirt Rider, and right here on our site.

Take an up close look at the gear here: