- Good coverage
- Dialed fit
- Comfortable and lightweight
- Small visor
The Smith Forefront provides good extended rear and side coverage. Adjustability is quick and easy and the straps are very lightweight. The addition of Koroyd technology enhances safety on impact but the internal helmet padding is thin and sparse.
The perforated padding inside the Smith Forefront consists of two thin and narrow strips that run front to back. Though minimal in both weight and breadth, it provides enough of a barrier between the scalp and the abrasive edges of the Koroyd tubes, as well as preventing sweat from dripping onto the face. Strap webbing is thin and lightweight and lays comfortably flat but our tester found that the side straps are placed to close together at the point they come out of the helmet. As a result, front strap always touched our tester’s ears.
While the Smith Forefront has twenty-one air vents it did not translate to optimal ventilation on high-exertion rides. Between each air vent and the cyclist’s scalp is the honeycomb-like sheet of Koroyd tubes that protect the cyclist’s head upon impact.
The reduced ventilation was most noticeable on seventy-degree days on hilly mountain bike trails in which greater exertion was required while riding slower speeds. However ventilation worked better on road rides with increased speed and did not involve steep technical climbs.
What makes the Smith Forefront stand out is the Koroyd technology. Koroyd is a thick honeycomb-looking sheet between the helmet and the head that is a series of thousands of thermally-welded miniature tubes that absorbs impacts by elastically deforming. According to Smith, Koroyd absorbs thirty percent more impact energy.
The Smith Forefront provides good coverage on the sides and back of the head. The size small that our tester reviewed measures seventeen inches in length from front to back and fourteen inches wide from ear to ear.
Though the visor is short (only 1.5 inches at the longest point) with very minimal adjustment and offers minimal sun shading, it is removable and is goggle-friendly.
The Smith VaporFit™ dial-operated 360 adjustable fit system is simple and fast to adjust and can be done one-handed while riding. Out-of-the-box adjustment was relatively fast and when fully-adjusted, the helmet had a secure and snug fit with very minimal wobble.
With the generous head coverage, thin strap webbing, minimal padding and the Koroyd sheet safety feature, the Smith Forefront is the second lightest helmet in the test at 310 grams.
How We Tested It
The Smith Forefront was tested for two weeks on asphalt, gravel, singletrack in and around Minnesota on days with temperatures ranging from the low forties to the mid-seventies and on distances that ranged from six miles to fifty-six.
The products featured in this test have been loaned to the Gear Institute. For more on our policies regarding editorial objectivity and sample returns, see here.
About the Author
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