Smith Optics has become an icon for its stellar lineup of killer shades, 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 singletrack, and they (understandably) want to keep their domes comfortable and protected during the warmer months as well. Enter the Forefront Helmet, which pools Smith's extensive knowledge of all things lid-related to bring feather-light construction and hard-hitting protection to your time on the trail.
Smith accomplishes a 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. That resemblance isn't a coincidence, as this honeycomb construction yields a claimed 30% reduction in forces transmitted to your noggin when compared to EPS foam, the industry standard. 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 airflow, keeping you cool when you’re working hard.
The helmet's interior features an X-Static lining with Reactive Cooling Performance to help manage odor and keep you cool. Fit tuning is handled by Smith’s VaporFit retention system, which utilizes a click-wheel adjuster that’s borrowed from Smith's well-tested snow helmet division, so you know it’s solid. The AirEvac ventilation system, which channels hot air out of the tops of your glasses or goggles to reduce fogging, is another import from the snow program.
While the Aerocore construction has plenty of advantages, unrestricted, large vents for clamping attachments isn’t one of them, which is why Smith includes integrated camera and light mounts. Using a threaded brass insert atop the helmet, you’re able to pick up an aftermarket mounting kit with custom mounts for your POV camera or light. While it does require accessories, the upshot is that the mounts are far more secure than the standard strap mounts used to attach those items to other helmets, and the benefit is immediately clear when your POV footage becomes a lot less shaky.
- Lightweight protection with a unique style
- Karoyd material reduces force transmission
- X-Static lining with Reactive Cooling Performance
- VaporFit retention system adjust easily on the fly
- AerEvac ventilation provides cooling airflow
- Integrated camera and light mounts