After a short hiatus, Smith makes a welcome return to the bike helmet world here in New Zealand with the all new Forefront 2, a stylish looking evolution of the original Forefront that put them on the map.
Smith helmets’ point of difference has always been the use of Koroyd—their patented honeycomb-like impact protection material that’s clearly visible in the helmet’s voids—and this continues with the Forefront 2. However, while the safety benefits of the energy-absorbing Koroyd have never been in doubt, one of the criticisms of the old Forefront was its lack of ventilation, as the Koroyd tubes filled the helmet’s natural venting holes. Proponents of the Forefront dispelled this as a myth (as Koroyd is, by design, full of holes) but Smith have decided to quash this idea completely with the new Forefront by reshaping the Koroyd inner so it leaves the main centre vents open to achieve maximum cooling benefit. This is not only impossible to miss visually but was very noticeable when riding too. The airflow through the helmet worked a treat and I never had any issues with overheating.
Another improved feature is the new three-position visor. This is also an excellent step in the right direction, as when it’s pushed up it not only lets you store your goggles or glasses easily, it means you can look a heck of a lot cooler too!
When it comes to fit testing helmets, it’s always tricky as their unique characteristics and the plethora of different head shapes out there can make it difficult to gauge what works for the individual. For me, having a small, skinny head, this can be compounded as not many helmets fit me. However I was very pleased to find the Forefront worked well for my pinhead and cinched up firmly with no pressure or hot spots.
I’ve been riding the new lid for over a month now and can only report good things; it’s been faultless. Fits like a glove with excessive movement, regulates temperature well, and gives a lot of confidence with the double protection benefits of Koroyd and MIPS.
The new Forefront comes as a MIPS or non-MIPS option. Our test model had MIPS and fitted seamlessly, so for the relatively insignificant extra cost I wouldn’t hesitate to take the added insurance of the much touted MIPS system. It’s a no brainer…boom, boom!
Smith is back in the game and the new Forefront 2 has taken huge steps forward on its predecessor, making this a serious contender in all categories: look, fit, style, and safety.