Smith Launches Forefront MTB Helmet


Smith Optics, long known in the mountain bike world for its interchangeable-lens sunglasses, is expanding into the bicycle helmet market. The Sun Valley, Idaho-based company, which also makes snowsports helmets and goggles, is set to unveil its new collection of MTB brain buckets at the upcoming Interbike tradeshow in Las Vegas, and the new helmets will be available at North American retailers in Spring 2014.

The Forefront (MSRP $220) is targeted at all-mountain riders, but with a road helmet weight of 285 grams. This is achieved via what Smith calls Aerocore construction, patented tubular core structure of Koroyd material combined with EPS to create a system of materials designed to surpass current standards at low and high speeds. Aerocore construction also allows for ventilated protection, reduced weight, and reduced volume.

The Forefront helmet also features Smith’s new VaporFit adjustable fit system, integrated camera and light mounting area, and an additional helmet goggle retention strap. Three adult helmet sizes are available to accommodate a variety of fits, while 10 color options offer a range of style choices.

“As a product-driven brand, it’s our goal to create innovations that improve the user’s experience,” said Eric Carlson, Smith’s VP of product and design. “In our effort to reduce volume and weight while increasing ventilation and impact protection for ski and snowboard helmets, we came across Koroyd. Through a little bit of luck and good fortune, we found the Koroyd material met all of our goals. After a full year of testing we were able to gather massive amounts of impact data and design flexibility that made an innovative Smith bike helmet project possible. We believe the new Forefront all-mountain helmet showcases exactly what Smith is all about: redefining what riders should expect from their products,”

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  • bryan says:

    With the overly saturated mtb helmet market for smith to come out with something “new” is a feat. I like my smith snowboard helmet, and call it personal preference, but this thing is fugly.

  • Catmando says:

    Okay, I like the helmet but I’m trying to figure out how to mount a light on it. Where are you going to thread the straps? What I don’t quite understand is that with the increasing popularity of night bike riding why is it that helmet manufacturers continue to market helmets ( with air vent designs ) that have absolutely no compatibility with most bike lights?

  • Ben says:

    Why not make it a MIPS helmet ? I plan on getting a MIPS helmet next time. I found the arguments for that system convincing enough not to go back. If the material absorbs shock great, but if it doesn’t reduce concussions as a result, what good does it do ?

    • Clancy says:

      Ben, I completely agree with you. After reading an article in last months Bicycling magazine about MIPS that goes extremely in depth on the issue, any helmet that throws around anecdotal evidence of protection while failing to cite any standard (ANSI, Snell, MIPS, etc.) is just window dressing.
      I think that the public demands more. Their is a market. Scott currently markets 2 helmets for a fraction of the cost of the Smith that provide the rider with MIPS.

  • anthony says:

    I’m all about safety, but I also like eye candy. This helmet does not look sweet at all.

  • Rutts says:

    I’m with Bryan, this helmet IS fugly. And I own and love my Smith Variant Brim ski helmet. Not only is it fugly, but how long will it take to clean the 7 billion holes of mud and crap after a single ride??? Thanks, but I’ll save $120 on buying a more conventional helmet and spend it on beer.

  • mike says:

    For that kind of money, I wish they will make a size larger than an 8. Maybe up to a 9 or larger, I have a big head already and I have dreadlocks so I need a larger size to accommodate my hair. The first to make it gets my money

  • Doug says:

    I tried 3 helmets today,troy lee A1 ,sweetprotection bushwacker,and the smith optic,and to be honest I wanted to like the first two best but after trying them on the smith is,(for my head) lighter more comfortable,cooler,and doesn’t clash with my choices of eyewear,which sadly the sweetprotection and the A1 did,looks are very much an individual thing but I think it looks better than the other two ,just my opinion,
    It seems to fit my head better than the other two,it has a clip for goggles .it is (again ,just my opinion) a very good replacement for my old Giro Xen which cost £100 nearly 9 years ago,personally I don’t think it’s overpriced,my brain is quite useful and the purchase price of the lid is only 5% of the cost of my bike so I can’t think of a good reason not to have it,

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