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Review: Smith Optics Forefront MIPS Helmet

One of the most innovative & radical MTB helmets currently available.” Ben Stallwood shares his experience with the Smith Optics Forefront MIPS helmet.

New Gear Day!

I was lucky enough to get my hands on the Smith Optics Forefront MIPS helmet for a long-term test. However, my luck immediately let me down as the day it arrived my bike was taken out of action for several weeks, leaving me staring at the Forefront itching to get out and try out some of the most sought-after gear.


Close up of Koroyd material

The straw-like Koroyd absorbs greater impacts while allowing airflow through.


Forefront Main Features

The forefront is packed with plenty of innovative features, from the unique eye catching design, airflow, MIPS, and even carbon fibre reinforcement in key areas. I am not technically minded enough to run through all the specs and engineering, but what I can do is list what the key features of the helmet that I like as a rider, and which set it apart from others on the market.


Smith Forefront MIPS helmet in green and black showing the integrated camera and light mount

The Forefront features an integrated camera & light mount using an optional accessory.


  • Integrated light & camera attachment – Smith Optics offer a separate accessory which is certainly worth the additional spend to remove the hassle of trying to find ways to mount lights to your helmet. There are plenty of creative videos out there of DIY mounts for lights, but none as sleek and simple as this feature. The ability to mount almost any light and be safe in the knowledge its secure is a must have for winter riding.
  • Lightweight, highly vented construction – The lightest and coolest helmet I have ever worn. The 21 vents and ‘Aerocore’ construction using the straw-like ‘Koroyd’ material effectively vent any heat away from your head while climbing, without being too cool on the descents.
  • Glasses storage/goggle retention – The Forefront ships with a clever yet simple retention clip that ensures the strap of your goggles will remain in place. The grooved rim around the top of the helmet doubles as storage for your glasses too.

Smith Optict Forefront helmet with glasses mounted in the front

The grooved rim doubles as a place to store your glasses.


On the bike

The Smith Optics Forefront is a helmet you can fit and forget. Once on and fitted using the retention system, there was no need to re-adjust, tighten or fiddle with the helmet, giving you one less thing to think or worry about. The low weight and ventilation make the Forefront unnoticeable.

The integrated mounts mean you don’t have to switch between helmets and gear for night rides, with fantastic build quality and a lifetime warranty the Forefront quickly became my helmet of choice when heading out for a spin.


Smith Optics Foreront helmet being worn by a mountain biker out on the trails.

The recommended size Medium sits a little high on my head.


My only criticism of the Smith Optics Forefront is that I personally find the medium (my recommended size) sits a little higher on my ‘melon head’ than perhaps I am used to. That said, a few friends interested in purchasing a Forefront have tried on my medium to find it fits them perfectly, and doesn’t sit high on the head.

The bottom line

For riders looking for a lightweight, innovative all mountain helmet equipped the latest safety features and the integrated light and mounts, it would be silly not to consider the Forefront.

4.0 out of 5

 


Written by Ben Stallwood