Long known for its on-trend sunnies and sleek lineup of snow goggles and helmets, Smith entered the bike helmet world in 2013 with a bang and the introduction of the Forefront. Almost immediately a favorite for its featherweight construction and forward thinking design, the Smith Forefront MIPS Helmet takes the platform a step further with industry-leading Multi-Directional Protection System (MIPS) technology and its ability to reduce impact force in the event of a crash.
MIPS consists of a strategically anchored, thin liner on the inside of the helmet that looks exceptionally simple, but serves a big purpose. That little liner is designed to move independently of the helmet shell and redirect the rotational forces at play in angled impacts.
MIPS isn't the only hot item here, though. 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's not a coincidence, as this honeycomb construction yields a claimed 30% reduction in forces transmitted 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 minimalist X-Static lining with Reactive Cooling Performance helps manage odor and keeps you cool by not obstructing air flow. Smith’s VaporFit retention system handles fit tuning with a click-wheel adjuster that’s borrowed from the well-proven snow helmet division, so you know it’s solid. The AirEvac ventilation system also comes from the snow program. It channels hot air out of the tops of your glasses, reducing fogging. This is particularly useful if you choose to run goggles, although we claim no responsibility for the heckling that may follow if you do so outside of gravity runs.
While the Aerocore construction has plenty of advantages, unrestricted, large vents 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 mount 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 mount those items to other helmets, and the benefit is immediately clear when your POV footage becomes a lot less shaky.
- Lightweight protection boosted by MIPS technology
- Karoyd material reduces force transmission
- X-Static lining with Reactive Cooling Performance
- VaporFit retention system adjust easily on the fly
- AerEvac ventilation promotes cooling airflow
- Integrated camera and light mounts