Added reply in a thread What's your dream bike? 9/30/2015 9:31 PM

Tits If we're dreaming here, it's going to have tits. So probably something made in france.

Added a comment about press release WANTED: RAMPAGE REPORTER 9/30/2015 11:07 AM

Anyone who does this without an unlimited beer budget for 8 days is a fool. 18 year olds included.

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Added a product review for iXS Xult Full Face Helmet 9/28/2015 10:28 PM

Tested: IXS Xult Fullface


The Good:

The Bad:


I'd seen a few press releases from IXS and knew this was something they wanted to put out as a 'crossover' helmet, which you and I both know this means "ENDURO!!!" I was curious about what that meant and was wondering if someone had actually made a helmet you could tolerate having on the whole time during pedal rides. Basically it sounded like something really sketchy, dangerous and gave me Giro Switchblade flashbacks.

What showed up however was a surprisingly meaty fullface helmet that actually looked much better padded than some of the crash hats I used to ride DH in. This is no trailriding helmet, ENDURO!!! market or not.

IXS got in touch with Vital and asked if they wanted to check one of these out and what color helmet they'd like to try if so. I said 'ooh pick me, pick me, and also black black plus black and maybe blue or grey'.

It's YELLOW!!! That's actually the color: YELLOW!!!


To be fair they do at least call it that in lower case letters.

On The Trail

I got an ML size which is listed as 57-56 cm. I'm a pretty solid 56.5 and the pads that came installed were obviously the 56-minus ones because I could barely get the thing on. Fortunately there are two sets of pads! What must be the 57-plus set work great, pretty snug but not boa constrictor throb inducing.

Curious about what made up this helmet, what they did uniquely, what it looks like they did horribly I went to the website to see what it was at least made of. They call it FRPTM (fiber reinforced polymer™) which is much easier to just say than abbreviate. It sounds a lot like carbon fiber and having taken a small chunk out of it, kind of looks like it too. It's not flyaway in your hands light but it's far from heavy (1150g weighed to a claimed 1100+/-). At $349 it's got to be something really really close to carbon fiber. Perhaps some sort of glassy polymer with fibers in it, a glassfiber if you will, more carbon neutral maybe.

You can read what they have to say here:

Yes they mention ENDURO!!! but only to bring it up to the level of DH. I respect that. I also didn't wear this helmet anywhere but lifts and shuttles. Because hey, this is a real fullface. Gassed out with a chinbar in your face still sucks.

Regarding fit, honestly this just fits my head. Some helmets like the Fox Rampage feel like they have the chinstraps too far back in the shell for my neck and feel like they're choking me. Not so with this one. I didn't have to put any indentations in the foam like I did with my old TLD D3 to remove pressure points on that weird singular bone that exists in various degrees on the lower rear of human heads. It also doesn't have some stupid rubber flap underneath the chinbar which serves god knows what purpose other than be 'removable ready'.

Being a crossover helmet I expected this thing to breath. And it does.....really well. As long as you're moving. You can see the big vents in the chinbar and the massive two ports by the forehead. They work. This is the best ventilated real fullface I've ever worn. It's not xc lid cool like a Bell 2R but it's also a lot more substantial of a protection device in my opinion. It's not like wearing nothin' at all but you'll notice the airflow.

I confess I don't really like writing reviews on safety equipment because I read so many of them that end with "we haven't crashed on them yet but we're fully confident they'll perform as expected." I'm not going to go out and TRY to kill myself but it's kind of useless reviewing pads and helmets until you do. Fortunately I literally almost gave my left nut up to mountainbiking while wearing this helmet.

And "contents" STAT!

I had three good 'incidents' while wearing the Xult. Only one that involved genitalia unfortunately. And I know, the wrong anatomical end but hey, we try.

The first was at a bikepark while coming over a fairly fast blind jump with a long fall away landing (that means acceleration) to see a bro in a bro top staring at me through his bro shades in bro horror while running himself and his bro bike across the landing right in front of me. Not wanting to actually kill bro, I aimed for the bike and caught all frame and handlebars to the face. I know for a fact my face augured into his top tube because that's what I remember from the whole thing. I did get a black eye (handlebars?) but was mostly pretty unharmed. I did notice something afterwords though. I still have a visor! Public Integrity maintained. I made out with a tree for a short bit during the scrotum and contents incident and knew right away that this visor was legit. Here's a reinactment from the waist up.

You can do this all day long. Xult don't care.

Something also learned in my travels was that I never got a bloody lip with this thing on. Yes that happens in some helmets. The Xult has a huge layer of rubber padding on the inside of the chinbar. It works. It's firm enough that you probably could mess up some skin but I doubt you'll be extracting teeth. It sticks out a bit so yes, you're going to contact the chinbar sooner, but it's not going to be on 1mm of pinner foam. To me that's a better solution when you go to really mess up your mug.

Chiclet Saver

I did get one opportunity to completely lose my sh!% out of control at speed and go tumbling into oblivion at a high rate of speed and nail the side of this thing. Unconcussed, but still scaring the guy riding behind me, I got a pretty good noggin whack. On a scale of that ain't nuthin to reaching for the light, this was an event that 'kinda hurt' in the head. I honestly rest most of my opinions of helmets on the kinds of crashes that happen a few times a year, free of major injury but still hard enough that if there were no helmet involved, you'd be seriously injured. This was one of those. I've had old D2s a decade ago that would have hurt a lot worse and possibly led to asking the same question 20 times. I've also had a D3 that shook off this kind of hit with a little more grace and a good bit less pain. This one's good. I wouldn't say it's the best, but it's not bad. The Xult meets European EN1078 and American ASTM DH as well as C.P.S.C standards like a lot of them so for the truly catastrophic hits, it's in the game like most. Since it's nearly impossible to compare the types of incidents that push these standards between helmets in any sort of review capacity, I admit and confess that this is why my opinions are formed on the lesser impacts. Like I said, this one's okay. For for a helmet supposedly geared towards trailbike riding, it's great.

Worth noting though is that this cute little nick was the only scar in a crash that had my buddy behind me thinking my whistler trip (and possibly my neck) were over. It was with an odd bit of disappointment and awe that I saw that this was all that was done to the helmet. It was a hard enough hit that I made myself recite my address to myself a few times. Unfortunately I got it right but it was still a pretty good hit. Did I mention it was a pretty good hit? But anyway it was a pretty good hit and this is all that happened to the helmet. And it was a pretty good hit.

I know we both could do better than this next time.

There's a good surface on the bottom of the visor for a camera mount. On the bottom. Where it belongs.

Teletubby box ready

The padding pulltabs for your buddies to use to get the thing off when you're convulsing and puking on yourself.

We're still cutting the shorts off but your helmet's good

YELLOW!!! may not be my favorite color but it does show up in photos

You can clearly make out the head

Things that could could be improved

Those huge headblowers need an exhaust and the price for that is a lot of the rear of the helmet that's blank space. I'm not basing this on experience but the preponderance of holes over helmet sketches me out a bit. I didn't have a hard rearward head smack into something pointy, but this is a lot of 'not helmet right there'. One row of those could be deleted because a goggle strap covers them anyway, and even in ENDURO!!!, we all know goggles are are a thing. All that great ventilation I spoke of earlier still occurred with a goggle strap present.

If heads could fart

There's still a ton of foam back there and the relief of the shell should give it some strength but still.

But heads can't fart

Through one of my adventures or the little button that holds the foam panels in, I cracked the shell liner foam. I'm a disgusting human being so I've washed the pads a few times. At the time of this photo I couldn't get that pressfit button to release without opening up this crack wider. The buttons are cool, but they need to let go.

More than likely a crash. I had a pretty good hit

Not necessarily a complaint but an observation if you're thinking you're going to put this thing on and go climb 3k in Phoenix in Augus: Don't do it. This is a genuine fullface helmet. Regardless of how trail friendly the literature might imply, this is not something you want on your head when you're climbing at 5mph with the sun beating down on you. That's obviously at the sake of a better piece of protective equipment but even though IXS has made this with ENDURO!!! in mind, it's obvious they're talking about the descents. Not the climbs obviously but not even really long flat pedals either. It's a real fullface.

One glaring omission one might notice upon reviewing IXS's other product line, the moto stuff, is the lack of ASS technology.

Yes this actually exists.

This is real

They've obviously put some time into getting ASS onto the heads of their moto users but nothing yet for their bike line. Perhaps it's next with a dedicated DH specific helmet and then us bikers can enjoy the snug, bladder induced fit of ASS, within which a wider range of heads may comfortably be situated.

But in the meantime.............

The Bottom Line

The Xult is kind of in an odd niche of it's own. It's a really well ventilated, and fully legitimate DH helmet, but also one that will be more tolerable in the short uphill and flat gasser moments of ENDURO!!! that will still protect you pretty well when things go south.

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Updated photo album IXS Xult 9/28/2015 9:46 PM
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  • C48_buttoncracksmall
  • C48_facecrushsmall
  • C48_fork_crushsmall
  • C48_goprosmall
  • C48_insideventssmall
  • C48_nicksmall
  • C48_overviewsmall

And 5 more...

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Added a new photo album IXS Xult 9/28/2015 7:40 PM
  • C48_armchair3small
  • C48_buttoncracksmall
  • C48_facecrushsmall
  • C48_fork_crushsmall
  • C48_goprosmall
  • C48_insideventssmall
  • C48_nicksmall
  • C48_overviewsmall

And 5 more...

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Added a comment about video Getting Serious With Team Robot // Gravity Components 9/24/2015 10:55 PM

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Added a comment about video An UnReal Dirt Blizzard 9/21/2015 7:55 PM

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Added reply in a thread 2016 Racing Rumours 9/20/2015 9:21 PM

It means ropo won't be wasting his talent flying all over the world to pedal up dirt roads just because specialized wants to sell trail bikes.

Added a comment about photo 2017 Tantrum Meltdown 9/17/2015 1:56 PM

Can I buy just the headtube?

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Added a comment about feature Interbike Indoor WTF's 9/17/2015 12:03 PM

Imma bout to click on 10 advertiser links in support of this variety of coverage.

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Added a comment about feature 12 WTF's from Outdoor Demo - Interbike 2015 9/15/2015 11:10 AM

Startin to feel like home again.

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Added reply in a thread YT USA Support & Info 9/5/2015 10:21 AM

What's up with the removal of expected ship dates? Is this a 2016 model replacement thing? Are the bikes that are already sold out done for good?

Added a comment about photo Source Hydration 2016 9/4/2015 4:33 PM

Just what fanny packs needed: A bra.

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Added reply in a thread RESULTS: 2015 Masters World Champs DH from Andorra 8/27/2015 1:18 PM

Yeah Mike Wents!

Added a comment about slideshow Val di Sole World Cup Downhill Qualifying Slideshow 8/21/2015 11:58 PM

No that is why 4x is AWESOME!!!!

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Added a comment about video Val di Sole from Moritz Zimmermann 8/21/2015 10:32 PM

This video makes it clear more than ever. The modern enduro bike is basically "just as capable as dh bikes™"

I mean really. Practically the same thing.

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