Smith Optics: Forefront Helmet
Smith Optics may not be on your radar for bike helmets, and you’d be right – the Forefront is a step in a new direction for the company. However, they already produce a full line of snow helmets and so the move doesn’t seem so out of place. The Forefront is definitely unique in appearance and its aesthetics may not appeal to all, but that’s not really an unusual trait in mountain helmets these days.
Where this helmet truly stands out is in its construction: a recyclable polymer product called Koroyd with a honeycomb-like structure takes the place of traditional EPS foam in much of the helmet. Koroyd is said to absord 30% more energy in an impact than traditional foam while dropping weight at the same time.
The result is a helmet that claims to breathe better, provides protection in the vents, and does indeed weigh in light at 295 grams. We took the Forefront out for a pedal at Bootleg Canyon in 36-degree heat – a good test for the new ventilation system.
The Forefront was available for demo in either black or white with the green Koroyd honeycomb.
The side profile is a bit more “normal” looking, at least by current mountain bike helmet standards.
It looks like a bunch of straws stuck together.
By replacing the usual EPS foam with Koroyd, Smith knocks out some weight and adds protection that otherwise didn’t exist.
While the Koroyd is not soft to the touch, the Forefront fits comfortably.
Matt went for the white helmet, which stands out a bit more…
Then things started to get weird.
The ventilation system does its job well – a triple digits fahrenheit day was a good day to test…
Armpit hair not included.
We’re just happy he kept his clothes on.
The Smith Forefront is expected to be available Spring 2014 and will run for $220 USD.
Does Smith’s new technology intrigue you? What about the looks? Weigh in below…