If you’ve been following any American mountain bike media over the past year, you’ll have no doubt noticed Smith Optics’ stunning foray into the MTB helmet market with the Forefront. Smith have been making snow helmets for years and figured it was time to apply their knowledge and lessons learned to the MTB world. The helmet is unlike anything else out there and they come in some pretty fresh colours. They haven’t been available outside the USA since the initial release but that time is about to be up and come December they’ll be available here in New Zealand for $359. We have one on its way so will drop our initial impressions soon and a full review in December.
The all-new FOREFRONT defines Smith’s innovation platform and serves as the ‘go to’ helmet for all-mountain riders. Created to provide all-mountain protection with road-race weight, the Aerocore™ construction of the FOREFRONT allows riders ventilated protection as never before seen in a bicycle helmet. With up to a 30% improvement over standard EPS impact properties, the patented tubular core structure of the Koroyd® material combines with EPS to create a system of materials designed to surpass current standards at low and high speeds. Aerocore construction allows for ventilated protection, reduced weight, and reduced volume.
Weighing in at 285g, the FOREFRONT helmet features Smith’s new VaporFit™ adjustable fit system, integrated camera and light mounting area, and an additional helmet goggle retention strap. Based off of Smith’s proven head form and dedicated investment in unique sets of tooling, three adult helmet sizes are available to accommodate a variety of fits while 10 progressive color options offer a range of style choices, all designed with the ultimate integration of sunglasses and goggles in mind.
“As a product-driven brand, it’s our goal to create innovations that improve the user’s experience. 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,” said Eric Carlson, VP of Product and Design.
“The FOREFRONT is the lightest, most comfortable helmet I’ve ever worn. It’s been great to be able to work with Smith on the development of this helmet to assure it meets the needs of all-mountain riders and racers,” commented Lars Sternberg, professional mountain biker.
Smith bicycle helmets will be available at New Zealand retailers in December 2014.
Not one to sit still, Smith have also just announced a MIPS integrated (hopefully that’s coming to the MTB line) road helmet to… the Overtake… You can check it out here.