Smith Fore Front Helmet

Smith ForeFront Mountain Bike Helmet Review

Travis Gneiting Bikes, Reviews


Smith Optics has always been an avalanche of innovation.   The creators who taught us “Change is Easy” with the first interchangeable lens snow goggle ,  Smith can’t seem to touch anything without completely reinventing it.   Smith invaded Snow Helmet industry over 7 years ago and revolutionized the game with original technology, cutting-edge designs and seamless goggle integration.  In 2013 Smith started a new evolution in helmet protection and performance with the introduction of Aerocore™ impact protection technology.  Price compare REI to Backcountry here: 
The next generation of safety protection gear was first introduced in the Vantage Snow Helmet,  winning the 2013 ISPO award for Design and Innovation. Making the most noise is the 2014 FOREFRONT All Mountain Bike Helmet.  Winning awards across the board for cutting edge design and ingenuity, Smith is turning heads  in all the action sports arenas.   Compact and lightweight  with better safety performance and ventilation –  the competition is up for a rude awakening.  

Aerocore = More for Less

Aerocore™  is all about  more for less.    More protection, more ventilation with less weight, less volume.  For the past 45 years, everyone in the helmet game has been using a different version of the same thing: EPS  FOAM.  Not to be confused with the styrofoam in your coffee cup, but compared to Aerocore ™ it all starts to seem the same.  

Aerocore™ is constructed with Koroyd®  impact material.   Thousands of strong hollow tubes welded together forming a honeycomb of protection.   With clear airways while completely encompassing your noggin’,  Koroyd® tubes provide the ventilation of a tornado. 90% of helmets on the market are still stuck in the 70’s using sweat locking EPS Foam.   With 10 color combinations and Smith signature style, there isn’t anything like it on the market. While the matte white shell with green koroyd is getting the most limelight, if it reminds you too much of a Star Wards Storm Trooper there are 10 exterior shell colors and the honeycomb Koroyd ® comes in black , grey and even blue.

Protection Performance
Aerocore™  is engineered to absorb hits from impact up to 30% better than EPS foam in the event of a crash.  Here’s the real kicker, more safety and high impact protection with LESS VOLUME.    Whether or not you are in the market for new lid, improved safety should entice anyone with brains worth protecting.  Now less volume without compromising protection?- now that’s the real game changer.  

Compact – Lower Profile
If the concussion protection didn’t sway you into an upgrade, than swagger of a  low profile might.  You won’t really know exactly what low profile means you try on an Aerocore™  helmet for yourself, that’s probably  because you’ve been bobbing around in bulky helmets like the rest  of the crowd. 

Lighter Weight
Koroyd
While the construction of the Vantage and Forefront helmets are rock solid, when it comes to the scales they are featherweights.  Most notably the ForeFront Mountain Bike Helmet – weighing in 285 grams, that’s  race-weight performance.  Compare this to the Poc Trabec Race Helmet that advertises a light weight of 385 grams.  Light as a feather and unbelievably breathable – you’ll forget you have this bad boy on.   You can buy the Smith FOrefront at REI, or check out all of the styles/colors at the REI store online.

Protection Reinvented: Smith FOREFRONT
Ventilation and Climate Control
Koroyd®  sheer composition of straw like tubes offers amazing ventilation.  No more zip lock bag syndrome.  Whether you are turning up the heat  flying around switchbacks, or chasing the powder bluebird day day – the Aerocore™ airways breathe cool air right when you need it most.  This enables full coverage with full ventilation and climate control.  Traditional EPS foam is not breathable, it wicks away sweat from the skin at best . Traditional helmets  requires holes for air vents, which means holes in protection.  With an Aerorcore™ helmet, you get full ventilation and full coverage – without having to open any airvents an expose any portion of your skin or noggin to the elements.  Because as you know, or have seen in youtube videos – a helmet not only protects you from Impact. It can protect you from branches, rocks, your own ski poles and other debris.  Extended coverage without gaps for air ways with the best ventilation – worth every penny.

Smith FOREFRONT All Mountain Bike Helmet Review

Making an Entrance
While Smith is the  prevailing veteran in the helmet snow game, they are a newcomer in the cut throat bike market. Yet when Smith makes and entrance, they don’t tread lightly. With the overly saturated mountain market, Smith’s ingenious ability to innovate something “NEW”  is a feat. With extended coverage, the ventilation of a cyclone, and bold design the FOREFRONT offers all Mountain protection with road-race weight.

Unveiled at the 2013  Las Vegas Inter Bike Show, the ForeFront won two “Best in Show” awards.  Coveted accolades for a market rookie, and it’s not just the Aerocore technology that’s stealing the stage.  It’s the innovative design, new features and fine-tuned functionality.  From the onset Smith caught everyone’s attention and distinguished themselves from any helmet ever seen on the market before.  Get the scoop on when all the hype is about, here is our review on the 2014 ForeFront, the MountainBike brain bucket that everyone is buzzing about.

Appearance
The ForeFront has a steamlined minimalist design with the Smith signature styling. Built for function, every visible feature on the ForeFront has a purpose. The geometric air vents on exoskeleton sit on top of the Koroyd tubes.

With three positions for the Forefront’s compact, removable visor, it can be easily adjusted on the trail without any tools risk of loosing.  While the visor can completely flip up in the event there is a change in weather, The visor does fall a bit short compared to other enduro helmets on the market, especially for those who ride under the blistering desert sun.

The high-end exterior shell comes in a matte finish, available in 10 different colors and graphics.  The visible Aerocore comes in the bright green, black/grey or blue – depending on which helmet you select. The ForeFront is built for function with Smith signature style.  While has a high-is streamlined and a high-end quality  The ForeFront has an eyecatching progressive yet minimalist design. With extended coverage for all trail and enduro riders

Adjustable Fit SystemSmith ForeFront Adjustable Fit System
The VaporFit™ is Smith’s ingenious new adjustable fit system. Easy to reach and adjustable with gloves on, the retention system tightens like a “Halo” around the head – and is adjusted using a ratchet wheel at the back of the helmet.  This 360° tightening system is provides complete customization. On top of, the rider can further tailor the fit by selecting from 3 different height options and 4 different side choices to find the perfect fit.   With a few minutes of tweaking, any rider will have the perfectly tailored fit- whether you’re  bald or sporting dread locks.

Fit and Comfort
The padding similarly has a basic yet streamlined design, which made for a surprisingly comfortable to ride.  After hours of aggressive riding, the doughy padding fit well and left no marks.  Being so light weight, breathable and comfortable  –  ForeFront quickly turned into a second skin and seamed to vanish .

Snow helmets are renown for being cozy and comfortable, Smith knows their stuff and seemed to bring some of that over to the biking world.     The narrow yet doughy pads start from the crown, reaching down to the forehead with two padded arms extending on the sides of the head. The back is generously padded to keep the ForeFront  very comfortable and securely in place.    The buckles are easy to fasten, yet very secure.  The straps were soft enough to be comfortable around the chin and neck – yet sturdy in a way that  could never see then twisting around themselves like other straps on helmets.  The high quality straps also yielded themselves to be easily adjusted for a secure  comfortable fit.

Construction
The ForeFront has a progressive  eye catching design with minimalist
construction and extended coverage.  Tailored for the enduro crowd, but light enough at 285g to be worn as a cross-country lid and aggressive trail riders.  The exoskeloton consists of Polycarbonate shell and thin layer of  EPS.  The protective insulating impact material is attributed to the Aerocore Koroyd Material with 3 large layers directly above the rider’s head.

Coverage  
When fitted correctly, the ForeFront should wrap around the ears and provide rearward protection extends nearly to the bottom of the ears.  This protects the entire circumference of the skull.  Typical bike helmets have not offered much rearward protection, yet studies have show that impacts to the  back of the head can lead to the most serious concussions. Most enduro helmets are leading towards more coverage, specially more rearward protection.

Ventilation
The ForeFront’s breath ability is like an air conditioning without the price tag. The ForeFront has vents on top of vents. The exoskeleton feature adjustable airvents, skillfully chambered to direct airflow around your head to draw heat away from your head when the action gets intense.   These air vents suck air down through the helmet and out the back to cool the rider – called the AirVac System.  When the wind picks up, you’ll feel the straws suck down the lot of cool air pulled in by the air vents.    For intense rides, the ForeFront also comes with a a low profile removable liner uses X-static fabric to fight off bacteria and the general helmet-funk that can be caused by hours of sweat buildup.

Integration
No more Jimmy-rigging your helmet, the ForeFront is equipped with integrated helmet camera and helmet light mounting. Smith partnered with Light & Motion and GoPro to develop specific mounts that are secure and adjustable, and is currently working with other partners. Hidden under a plastic cap at the top of the helmet is a small threaded insert that can accept a helmet camera or a light mount, which Smith will be selling as an aftermarket accessory for $14.99.  Find the best deals on the ForeFront Smith Helmet and Accessories by price comparing.  Compare prices before you buy

As expected from Smith, ultimate  founders of seamless helmet goggle integration, you wont find a helmet with better sunglasses and goggle compatibility.  Equipped with an additional helmet/goggle retention strap, the ForeFront has versatile compatibility with sports glasses and goggles alike. The ForeFront is another testament to Smith’s proven trademark in quality integrated equipment.

 

Sizing and Color Options
Three adult helmet sizes are available to accommodate a variety of fits.  The FOREFRONT comes in 10 progressive color options and a range of style choices: Acid, Cypress Camo, Dr. Bob, Fire, Matte Black, Matte White, Matte Cement, Magenta, Neon Orange, and White.

Price
Coming in at MSRP $220 – the ForeFront is on the high end of mountain bike helmets, notably for the safety claims and ventilation and weight performance.  Established brands with a plethora of designs and new-entries to new-entries, the market isn’t short on competition.  Yet the market is in for a rude awakening.  Unlike other helmets that might be able to offer a unique design, mold or graphic – Smith offers something no other helmet can.  Better protection, better ventilation for less weight and less volume.   While it comes at a higher price point – FOREFRONT offers key features that are unique and not offered by other bike helmets, so definitely worth considering.