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Item # SMI001O

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Item # SMI001O

Totally futuristic.

Smith Optics has become an icon for its killer shades, not to mention its lineup snow helmets and goggles. But the boys in Sun Valley spend most of the year riding mountain bikes on the region’s countless miles of velvety-smooth singletrack, and they wanted to keep their domes comfortable and protected during the warmer months as well. That’s why Smith pooled its extensive knowledge of all things helmet related to create the Forefront helmet. At 285g, it’s feather light, but don’t think for a minute that it sacrifices anything in the way of protection. It’s plainly obvious that this ain’t Smith’s first rodeo, even if it is the Idaho brand’s first bike helmet.

Smith has been able to accomplish this blend of minimal weight and maximum protection through the use of its patented Aerocore technology. This construction employs Koroyd material, which looks a lot like the bundles of straws you may have used in science class to protect eggs when you dropped them off a roof. It’s not much of a coincidence, as this honeycomb construction yields a claimed 30% reduction in forces transmitted to your noggin, as compared to the industry standard EPS foam. It’s particularly useful for building helmets, because it requires a minimal amount of material, so there’s no unnecessary weight. It also has the desirable effect of maximizing air-flow, keeping you cool when you’re working hard.

The padding is minimal, to keep air flowing freely. Speaking of which, the visor has two height settings, neither of which interfere with the ventilation. Three shell sizes accommodate the vast majority of head shapes, with fine tuning handled by Smith’s VaporFit retention system. It utilizes a click-wheel adjuster that’s borrowed from the snow helmet division, so you know it’s solid. Also coming from the snow program is AirEvac ventilation system, which channels hot air out of the tops of your glasses, reducing fogging. It’s particularly useful if you choose to run goggles, although we claim no responsibility for the heckling that may follow such a contentious fashion statement.

While the Aerocore construction has plenty of advantages, unrestricted, large vents isn’t one of them, which is why Smith integrated camera and light mounts. Using a threaded brass insert atop the helmet, you’re able to pick up an aftermarket mount kit with custom mounts for GoPro helmets, as well as Light and Motion lights. While it does require accessories, the upshot is that the mounts are far more secure than the standard strap mounts used to mount those items to other helmets. The benefit is immediately clear when your POV footage becomes a LOT less shaky. And Smith is currently working with a handful of other manufacturers to expand the mount offerings.

The Smith Forefront Helmet is available in three sizes, from Small, to Large, and in the colors Acid, Cypress Camo, Dr. Bob, Fire, Matte Black, Matte White, Matte Cement, Magenta, Neon Orange, and White.

  • Aerocore Koroyd tube construction
  • POV camera and light-mounting capabilities
  • Optics perch

Tech Specs

Shell Material:
Aerocore technology featuring Koroyd
Multiple Impact:
Fit Adjustment:
Claimed Weight:
[medium] 285 g
Recommended Use:
Manufacturer Warranty:

Size chart


Arrival, Aspect, Camber, Compass, Forefront, Gage, Maze, Overtake, Sequel, Valence, Vantage, Variance
Head Circumference  20 - 22in
(51 - 55cm)
22 - 23in
(55 - 59cm)
23 - 25in
(59 - 63cm)
25 - 26in
(63 - 67cm)
Allure, Holt
Head Circumference 20.5 - 21in
(52 - 54cm)
21 - 22in
(54 - 56cm)
22 - 23in
(56 - 58cm)
23 - 24in
(58 - 60cm)
24 - 25in
(60 - 62cm)
Gage Jr, Holt Jr, Upstart Jr, Zoom Jr
  Youth SYouth M 
Head Circumference  19 - 21in
(48 - 53cm)
21 - 23in
(53 - 58cm)
How to Measure Head Circumference:
Measure around your head where your hat would fit comfortably.

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Here's what others have to say...

4 5

Light as a damn feather

  • Familiarity: I gave it as a gift but have feedback to share

Super lightweight and breathable too.

That "Honeycomb" is great!

"It does a great job of moving, ventilating and standing vent, plus it gets so much of the sun off my bald head that it helps me cool that way too." Quotes from my man himself.

Happy Camper Indeed! <3

Light as a damn feather
5 5

The orange is BRIGHT

I bought this helmet in orange for my boyfriend and I love it because I can always spot how far ahead of me he is in the trees. He loves the helmet, says it breathes nicely would recommend it to anyone.

Avg. ride time: 21m per week
  • Average ride time is based on Strava activity over the last 3 months. Give your reviews credibility by connecting your account.
4 5

great fit, good style, a bit warm

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I don't have great luck finding helmets that fit me well, but after several Smith ski helmets I gave their bike helmet a try and its great. You can make the adjustable harness really snug without ever pinching, and the padding is all the right places for good support and comfort. Just this past weekend I took flight and landed directly on top of my head, but had time to note that there were no uncomfortable pressure points in the helmet and was pretty pleased with the result (also good to see that the visor can break away without being damaged!). On the first gen helmets the visor can sometimes move up and down a bit easily, but from what I can tell the second gen ones they've lowered the angle and made it a bit more firm. The only downside to this helmet so far has been the heat on really hot and sunny days in southern Utah and western Colorado, the ventilation just isnt as good as other helmets with bigger openings. That being said, I'll take the protection and coverage on the back of the head over a bit cooler of a ride.

4 5

looks cool, but poor ventilation

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

It looks cool, and the technology is cool, and it fits nice, but it doesn't cool your head. It's one of the hottest helmets I've used.

Because of the honeycomb design, air flowing toward the front of the helmet will never make it to your head because the honeycomb tubes point UP.

I like how the visor clicks in 2 positions. Nice fit. Looks cool, but there are better helmets out there in this price range.

5 5

Just as Good as Smith's ski helmets

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

The Smith Forefront reminded me a lot of the Smith Vantage ski helmet I wear all winter long, which was concerning because ski helmets are generally so much bulkier than bike helmets. Fortunately, after putting the Forefront on, which is very comfortable, you quickly forget it's there so it's plenty light and breathes well even on 100 degree days. It's also solid and sturdy enough to hold a light up top with a self-contained battery without it slipping around or feeling awkward. For how much it costs it should probably include the light / GoPro mounting adapter, but whatever, it's another $12 or so from Smith so not a huge deal and more importantly it works great.

5 5

Crash Report.

  • Gender: Male
  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Yeah, I know all helmets meet meet federally mandated safety standards, and I know that single crash doesn't really constitute scientific proof a helmet's safety, but I took a hard fall wearing my Smith Forefront and rode away. Here's what happened:

Wanting a change of pace, I took my fully-rigid Niner ROS 9 Plus out on the weekly night ride instead of my Ibis Ripley. All was going well on the familiar trail until the final steep and rocky descent. Lacking suspension and carrying more speed than I wanted, I took a poor line and put the front wheel straight into a large rock, stopping the bike dead and sending me into the air. I landed ten or fifteen feet down the trail on my left side. Time slowed as I fell, and I felt my head hitting the ground on my left side. I wondered if I would be on the morning news as the subject of a nighttime mountain rescue operation. The dust settled, and I gasped for air and noted pain in my shoulder and left hand, but no problems with my head. I got my lights pointed in the right direction, and rode the final mile or two back to the car and drove home. Once there I stayed up for a couple of extra hours and waited for the headache and dizziness of a concussion, but aside from the pain in my body, I felt okay and went to bed. A visit to the clinic the following day confirmed a broken thumb and rib and a sprained shoulder, but no head injury.

Inspecting the helmet post crash shows a deep dent in the left side behind the ear, where a road-oriented helmet would not have covered, abrasions on the shell, small cracks in the EPS, and signs of crushing to the Koroyd material. So, the Forefront is done, but it did its job!

Prior to its destruction, it has been one of the best helmets I have worn. It provides better coverage at a lighter weight than most XC-style lids, a great fit with minimal interior padding, a functional 2-position visor, and the best styling of any mountain bike helmet on the market. I'll replace it with another Forefront, but given the year I'm having, I may spring for the MIPS version!

Crash Report.
5 5

Great dome piece!

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

This helmet obviously came super recommended by my coworkers, the media and people I spoke to out on the trails. When I kept flying off my bike at the beginning of this season I realized my roadie styled helmet needed an upgrade. This helmet is very comfortable and easy to adjust for women with longer hair that may need to get their ponytail or braid under/through the back strap (the "VaporFit retention" strap to be official). It is super lightweight and vented really well- my head doesn't get as hot as my last helmet. I struggled for a while on the price, but when you're considering your safety I really don't think you can put a price tag on that. No regrets here!

Great dome piece!
5 5

Head of the Pack

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

They call this helmet the Forefront for a reason. It is an industry leader in design and protection. It uses the Koroyd material that provides a different take on helmet shells and the ventilation is pretty good. I have worn it in 100+ degree Moab swelter sessions and it has kept me cool. I also like the low profile fit, especially since I wear a small. The Vapor fit adjustment system also cinches down on my head and feels extra secure. I also appreciate the port on the top of the helmet for POV cams and more importantly, night lights for after dark shredding.
The visor moves up and down to accommodate googles for those enduro racers out there. Also, this helmet interfaces best with Smith Optics and the rear of the helmet holds the PivLock frames perfectly. I wear Oakley Fast Jackets and they fit just fine too. All in all, this helmet is a great summer addition to Smith's helmet lineup. If you wear a Vantange or a Maze winter helmet, you'll love this!

Head of the Pack
4 5

Great Performance Overall!

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Overall all this helmet performs well. There are a lot of things that I like about the Smith Forefront Helmet. And, one thing I don't.

The things I like:
- Lightweight
- The way it holds Smith Sunglasses on top. I sweat a lot and this has been an amazing feature for climbs.
- The fit is great and the sizing chart is true.
- Vents well when there is air flow.

The one thing I don't like:
- It is quite hot when there is no airflow.

I've noticed on long climbs with calm winds, it seems to be warmer than my POC Trabec that I had previously. Honestly, if I still lived back east or in a humid climate, I would probably hate this helmet. However, it works well in UT and the surrounding states where humidity levels remain low.

Avg. ride time: 2h 11m per week
  • Average ride time is based on Strava activity over the last 3 months. Give your reviews credibility by connecting your account.

My favorite helmet.

I love this helmet- it fits great, breathes well, and looks great. I love the "optics perch" nice to throw your shades up top in a secure spot on those long and hot climbs.

My favorite helmet.
Responded on

Awesome picture Jonny !!!

I selected this image to feature on the Community Hub at the bottom of the homepage! Congrats on being amazingly GOATWORTHY !!

5 5

Best helmet I have owned

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Got rid of my Bell Super helmet and upgraded to the Smith forefront. Great fit, super light, and well ventilated. With I would have switched sooner! Well worth the money

Best helmet I have owned
5 5

Super light weight and comfy

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

So light I forget I'm wearing a helmet. The honeycomb tubes and vents provide great ventilation. I like the styling of the matte black ombr� and wear it with my Smith PivLock sunglasses for a great matching fit. Haven't taken a spill on the dome yet but it seems like solid construction and I feel safe hitting the trails hard!

Unanswered Question

I am interested in the Smith Forefront bike helmet. Do you post to Australia and if yes how much would it cost?
Also, my head size is 59 cm, what would the best helmet size?

5 5

Perfect MTB Helmet

I've been wearing the Smith Forefront for the last several weeks now and it's absolutely perfect for my riding style. Riding here in WV has a lot of steep climbs that will get you over heated. But with this helmet it breaths great and is very comfortable. I hate wearing helmets but this is not an issue with this helmet. I looks incredible as well. I've tried many different brands but POC and the Smith are by far my favorites. And for me the Smith is now my go to over my POC. Price is alittle steep compared to other helmets. But spend the money, you won't be disappointed.

Do you have an ETA on the MIPS version of this helmet?

Best Answer Responded on

It kind of depends on the color/size you want, but we should start getting those in at the end of this month through mid April!

4 5

Love it

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

Great helmet. Great looks, great coverage, and it's nice and light. I think it's more expensive than it should be, but the technology is cool.

I really like how the visor articulates up. This is great for climbs when you want full vision, or when you set it on the ground after a ride, it prevents the visor from stressing.

I like the new radical design with the hexagon tubes on the inner material. However, these tubes don't always line up with the flow of air, so it doesn't breathe quite as well as it should.

Overall, it's a little overpriced, and the airflow is about 80% of a regular MTB half-shell, so it lost 1/2 a star. All that considered, it's still my favorite helmet so far.

How is the airflow on this helmet? does it get hot? I'm trying to decide either to go for the forefront or the hex.

Best Answer Responded on

Hey Rapee L,
This helmet vents extremely well. It has large opening around the helmet which help to extract heat and moisture. The Giro Hex helmet also vents very well. Personally I think this Forefront helmet will vent better than the Hex.

Responded on

It vents OK, but not as well as some other lids. I still love it though, but due to the hex design, the "tubes" don't always align with the flow of air.

Avg. ride time: 8h 14m per week
  • Average ride time is based on Strava activity over the last 3 months. Give your reviews credibility by connecting your account.

Smith Forefront

Putting the Smith forefront to good use today!

Smith Forefront
Responded on

Awesome picture Andrew!!!

I selected this image to feature on the Community Hub at the bottom of the homepage! Congrats on being utterly GOATWORTHY !!

5 5

Dome Protection

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

This helmet has been hard to get in my size and desired color. Everyone wants these things and for good reasons! It is super light, fits my head great and doesn't bobble around as my old helmet did. The honeycomb venting also allows for great air flow in the summer when you are hot. It is winter now so I haven't put it to much use yet but come summer I can't wait to put this thing on!