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REVIEW

Getting Wild with Smith Eyewear and Helmet Integration.

Words Veronika Voracek
Photos AJ Barlas
Date May 20, 2021

The Forefront 2 helmet and Ruckus performance glasses are a total power couple. The Forefront 2 offers top notch protection and comfort, and with Smith's Trademark ChromaPop lenses, the Ruckus glasses will enhance your vision while protecting your eyes like no other. The two integrate seamlessly providing a secure way to carry your glasses without them fogging up or falling off your helmet until you're ready to send it down the trail.

Forefront 2

The Forefront 2 has been a part of Smith's arsenal for a number of years now. Boasting Koroyd technology, MIPS and a AirEvac ventilation system, every inch of this helmet is functional in protecting your brain, and keeping you comfortable at the same time.

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The retention system may look small but is highly customizable for perfect fit and ultimate comfort.

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The MIPS is the grey web inside the helmet that protects against rotational motion.

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They've gone with a minimalist approach with the padding inside the helmet.

The Koroyd technology is designed to crumple upon impact and absorb all the force and not just disperse it resulting in less force being transferred to your head. This combined with the MIPS, which protects against the rotational motion transferred to your brain, this helmet has everything to keep your head safe.

I've been rocking this lid for a couple of months in the Get Wild color and I can't lie, I love the attention it gets. I genuinely wish more helmet manufacturers went all out with some bold and crazy patterns each season. Don't love the loud colors? That's ok, the Smith Forefront 2 comes in many color options, a whopping ten to be exact.

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A zebra print helmet and bright glasses with major 80's flair? Yes please! I wasn't going to pass up the loudest colors Smith has to offer in order to explore the integration between helmet and eyewear.

Aesthetics aside, this helmet is very light and comfortable. The VaporFit system allows for a 5cm adjustment using a rotary dial and can even be moved at the 3 attachment points for a customized fit. I am on the cusp of a small and a medium based on Smith's size guide, I chose the medium and had no issues getting a nice snug fit.

Despite having very minimal padding inside the helmet, it still has a nice soft feel and it adequately absorbs and holds sweat. With twenty fixed vents, there is plenty of airflow and breathability. I've definitely had some good sweaty rides in this helmet and so far the XT2 antimicrobial lining has kept sweat out of my eyes and hasn't started to smell too offensive.

Ruckus Performance Glasses

The Ruckus glasses are a nice blend of performance and style, providing large coverage with those amazing ChromaPop lenses. They come with two lenses so even though they are categorized as sunglasses, with their darker Ignitor lens, an easy swap to the Contrast Rose lens, and you have some great low light riding glasses. Kind of a two for one really.

I can't say enough about ChromaPop, I've had a few sets of glasses and goggles with it and the clarity and definition never cease to amaze me. Colors are so vibrant and distinct, they make me truly appreciate my surroundings and take a bit more time to soak it all in.

Another cool detail of these glasses is the Megol nose and temple pads; made of a non slip material that gets grippier as it is introduced to moisture. The sweatier you are, the more they stick. I can produce some decent perspiration so this is a very handy feature.

Learn more about the Smith Ruckus and check out all the different frame and lens options.

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Ruckus glasses with the ChromaPop Contrast Rose lens.

Integration

The real magic here happens when carrying your glasses. No more shoving them into a pocket or pack only to have them scratched up or trying to wedge the arms into your vents while being poked in the head. Smith has created a channel along the helmet specifically made to carry your eyewear. Those extra sticky temple pads are not only there to stick to your head but also to stick to your helmet. Glasses can be stored both in the front and on the back of your helmet based on preference. This also goes for goggles if you're going for a more enduro look.

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Glasses fit snugly under the visor in a forward carry position.

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I prefer the glasses on the back approach.

Once the glasses are on, they fit perfectly with the helmet and don't rub or touch anywhere. They have an adjustable nose piece to get that ideal fit without the nasal squeeze. Something I've noticed, when toggling between wearing and carrying my glasses, is that they are never foggy thanks to the helmet's airflow ventilation design.

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This pair is ready to party.

V's Verdict

All in all these have been a really fun couple of pieces to check out. The features in both the Forefront 2 helmet and the Ruckus glasses make them look, feel and perform as truly quality pieces. With the helmet coming in at $280 CAD and the glasses at $200 CAD, they don't have small price tags, but I would never put a price on my brain or my eyeballs.

The Ruckus glasses are comfortable, functional and they just toe the line of making me look too serious about my sport. I have only been using the Contrast Rose lenses here in the forests of Squamish as the light can get pretty low and splotchy. There have been a couple rides at dusk where I had to lose the glasses altogether and was kind of wishing for clear lenses. In those cases, I've put the glasses back on the helmet, ridden rowdy trails down, and never had an issue with the glasses falling off or even budging for that matter. I love having that kind of peace of mind.

The Forefront 2 is a lightweight, comfortable helmet and as I mentioned this color way is just enjoyable to look at while inspiring a good time. So far it has done a good job of keeping me cool on trail with ample ventilation. The only negative comes when taking it off; the tabs that secure the MIPS have a tendency of pulling hair out with them. Sometimes the helmet gets some of my greys so I can't be mad, but it's going to be hard to explain away my developing bald spot. I know of people that have had to put tape over top of the tabs but I feel that this could be addressed by the manufacturer. That aside, I would highly recommend this helmet.

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Comments

JVP
+2 Pete Roggeman cxfahrer
JVP  - May 20, 2021, 10:56 a.m.

I'm a fan of Smith helmets. I have a narrow head so many helmets, including this Forefront, don't fit well. But the cheaper Session is awesome for narrower noggins and what I've been running for a few years.

The Session is also designed to hold glasses (took me a while to realize this). They go above the visor, held by little rubber nubs in the vents. Maybe not as slick as the Forefront, but easy to use and perfectly secure. Glass mounts on lids are such a great setup for riding packless since eyewear storage on fog-prone climbs can be the limiting factor.

Reply

Vron
+1 AJ Barlas
Veronika Voracek  - May 20, 2021, 1:16 p.m.

Have you played around with the adjustments on the retention system contact points to find the perfect fit? I find this feature super cool as there are some brands of helmet that don't fit my head period and have very limited options for adjustment. 

Good tip on the Session, I was looking for how the other helmets integrate with the glasses and couldn't figure it out.

Reply

JVP
+1 Veronika Voracek
JVP  - May 20, 2021, 5:19 p.m.

Played around with the retention adjustments, and ended back up in the middle position where the Session fits me perfectly. We're all shaped differently, so adjustments like this are a very good thing.

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
+2 JVP Veronika Voracek
Pete Roggeman  - May 20, 2021, 3:26 p.m.

It's so often overlooked by helmet brands but when you find a combo that works, it's one of those little things that adds a really nice quality of ride detail. And as you say, when you're trying to go packless, you need all of those little things to line up.

Reply

denomerdano
+1 Pete Roggeman
Deniz Merdano  - May 20, 2021, 12:46 p.m.

Great shots AJ and solid write up Vero! The hair pull is real and is very annoying. Karin also found that the glasses will store above the visor and not cut into her peripheral vision..

Reply

Vron
+1 AJ Barlas
Veronika Voracek  - May 20, 2021, 1:17 p.m.

Thanks Deniz! Sweet tip about the glasses, I tried riding with them up front under the visor and found it a tad distracting...Karin has larger glasses too doesn't she?

Reply

KarinG
+5 Veronika Voracek Pete Roggeman Andrew Major AJ Barlas Deniz Merdano
Karin Grubb  - May 20, 2021, 2:21 p.m.

Wildcats for this tiger!!! ;)

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
+1 Veronika Voracek
Pete Roggeman  - May 20, 2021, 3:27 p.m.

Same - I pop the visor up as high as it will go and run them underneath so they're well-protected and the visor slightly wedges them into place. It works so well I often forget to put them on for the descent.

Reply

AJ_Barlas
+1 Veronika Voracek
AJ Barlas  - May 20, 2021, 7:32 p.m.

Thanks champ. The wild colours of this setup were fun as!

Reply

KarinG
+5 Veronika Voracek Pete Roggeman Andrew Major JVP Deniz Merdano
Karin Grubb  - May 20, 2021, 2:24 p.m.

Great write up V and nice to see another lady-written review!  I'm glad you mentioned the hair pulling - that is my biggest gripe by far with this helmet.  For a while I was so worried about a bald spot I bought hair serum!  I otherwise love the helmet and I wish Smith would address it - another reason why its so important to get the female perspective on some of these things!

Reply

araz
+2 Deniz Merdano Pete Roggeman
araz  - May 20, 2021, 10:59 p.m.

My favorite thing about this helmet, other than that it fits my head perfectly, is the light mount that Smith offers. Wish it came with the helmet for the price, but it's worth the extra few bucks to be able to pop a light on and off easily and securely.

Reply

Vron
0
Veronika Voracek  - May 21, 2021, 4:31 p.m.

I believe some of the other models do come with it so it's a mystery why this one doesn't....

Reply

grimwood
+1 Pete Roggeman
grimwood  - May 21, 2021, 8:24 a.m.

Great write up and I wish all helmets had glasses integration like the Forefront2. On really sunny days where I’m not under the canopy (i.e. a road climb), I’ll where the Ruckus with a dark lense and put the clear Wildcats on the back. At the top, I stuff the Ruckus under the visor, then lock the visor onto the glasses. Cant see them at all while riding. I certainly take a bit of ribbing from other riders, but it beats starting a ride with a headache.

Reply

Vron
0
Veronika Voracek  - May 21, 2021, 4:31 p.m.

This is a brilliant idea!

Reply

Sethimus
0
Sethimus  - May 21, 2021, 11:29 p.m.

NO RX INSERTS, NO CARE

Reply

tdc_worm
0
tdc_worm  - May 24, 2021, 4:16 p.m.

Non padded plastic slip planes and corroid wreak havoc on those bald heads, elective shaved heads and follically challenged heads, alike.  have had this issue with my Oakley DRT helmet as well as Smith helmets.

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