Freeride hero Richie Schley is known for promoting top brands, so when you come across a helmet that bears his initials – the “RS“ in iXS Trail RS helmet – you probably should take a closer look.
I’ve been riding the „Schleyer“, as iXS also calls it, for quite a while – more than two years, in fact. It has been one of the three go-to helmets I’m using for most of my riding.
The most important aspect of a helmet is fit. If it doesn’t fit well, it cannot protect you, however sturdy it may be. The iXS Trail RS sports the „Ergo-Fit Ultra“ retention system, “fully flexible and adjustable”. It does exactly what the fancy name implies. The helmet width can be adjusted in 23 steps via the usual, small wheel in the back. The strap system and ratchet close firmly without play. Even though the helmet is very comfortable, on longer rides, it left some marks on my forehead. These have no side-effect whatsoever and vanish quickly.
The iXS Trail RS fits a bit wider than some of the other helmets I’ve tried. I found I can easily wear a winter cap or thin beanie underneath it. Even with a small cap, it still fits snugly.
Its only weakness in the fit department is the visor adjustment, which offers a range of just an inch. With the visor all the way up, there is no space to place a google underneath it to avoid fogging of the goggles when climbing or stopping. You can put them on the back of the helmet for additional freeride style points, or you can free the visor from the little plastic piece which holds it in place.
For a trail helmet, the Schleyer feels sturdy and confidence-inspiring. It seems more solid than the Specialized Ambush. It extends far down on the back of the head and also rests a bit lower on the forehead compared to other helmets. It covers more of your head, which is good. The only downside is that depending on your shape of head, not all goggles will fit perfectly.
In terms of technology, the helmet sports an inmould construction with EPS material. It meets the American CPSC safety standard, as well as the European EN 1078.
Luckily, I avoided multiple opportunities to test the quick release system that is supposed to let the visor fold away in a crash. This also means I can’t judge how well the helmet’s certifications translate into practice. While I’m all in favor of thorough testing, I’m even more in favor of not crashing.
The iXS Trail RS weighs about 320g, which is fairly average for an all mountain helmet – on par with a Troy Lee A1 or a Giro Feature. When worn, the firm fit does a good job to distribute and disguise the weight. I always like to point out that a few grams of weight difference are insignificant, and I’d rather have a solid helmet that protects me when it has to. Then again, there are helmets that feel lighter when worn – Specialized’s Ambush, for instance. Overall, I think the Trail RS has a good weight for its shape and protection level.
Ventilation-wise, this helmet is surprisingly cozy. Despite its 22 vents, it gets rather warm. While it is still perfectly fine for summer riding, compared to the Specialized Ambush, it is noticeably bit less ventilated. This, together with the slightly wider fit, makes it an ideal choice for cooler days.
Tim’s Take: Richie Schley takes care only good stuff bears his name, and the iXS Trail RS is no exception. It is sturdy and confidence-inspiring, with great fit. What it may lack in heat management is made up by the level of protection it offers. If you are looking for a trail helmet for all mountain riding, this would not be a bad choice.
Sizes: SM (54-58cm) (tested), ML (58-62cm)
Certifications: EN1078, CPSC
Weight: +/- 320g (according to manufacturer)
Price: 120 $