Smith Forefront ReviewApril 16, 2015
- Unobtrusive while riding
- Good ventilation
- Honeycomb construction may improve impact protection
The Forefront is a light, breezy, and comfortable helmet that is ideal for riders who value weight savings and unobtrusiveness.
Awesome. In testing, the Forefront enveloped my head with even, comfortable pressure, even when I dialed the rear retention strap for a snug grip.
The Forefront’s heat dispersal is truly impressive. I wore it on a bike trip in Namibia, pedaling through 110°F heat (I’m not exaggerating) and appreciated the way it managed to cope with the conditions. Sure, I was stifling–but the helmet wasn’t contributing to my misery. Two vents in the shell above the forehead funnel heat and moisture away from your face (Smith claims they keep your sunglasses from fogging up, though mine still did in certain conditions). Twenty-eight additional vents disperse heat, though I didn’t always feel breezes coursing across my scalp (the Koroyd matrix may actually block some wind). Sometimes I wished more cooling gusts could make their way through the honeycomb to speed evaporation from my head.
A plug in the top of the shell hides a threaded brass insert to make it easy to mount a POV camera. Most of the Forefront’s vents are backed with a rigid honeycomb made of Koroyd: Smith claims that this proprietary matrix is 30 percent more effective at reducing impact forces than standard EPS foam (which is used only around the helmet’s perimeter). Coverage is expansive, reaching from the base of the skull to just above the eyebrows. The visor offers two viable settings: low (for max glare protection) and high (for wider field of vision). In either position, it stays where it’s told.
All sources of discomfort could be adjusted. A series of holes inside the helmet allow repositioning of the retention strap and the tension dial is easy to adjust while wearing gloves.
The Forefront pairs an ultralight race weight (10 oz.) with impressive coverage and impact protection. It’s a no-compromises way to shield your skull without feeling weighed down.
It’s expensive! Riders who log lots of days on the bike may get their money’s worth in comfort and protection.