The original Forefront put Smith on the map in the cycling helmet world. It combined unique looks with a compelling protection story and of course played well with Smith’s sunglasses as well. While that first helmet was certainly a game changer for Smith, it wasn’t perfect. One of the most common critiques was that it ran hotter than other helmets since the vents were filled with Koroyd protective material. The Koroyd itself is filled with holes, but the placement of the material seemed to cut down on the airflow through the helmet at speed.
With the introduction of the Forefront 2, Smith wanted to change that. They also decided to add a few other improvements to make this the best Smith mountain bike helmet yet.
The biggest change to the Forefront 2 is impossible to miss. From any angle, you’ll notice that the center vents have all been cleared of the Koroyd material. This allows more air to be forced in through the front and evacuated out the back. Additional internal air channels have been sculpted into the helmet to help direct that airflow, while AirEvac channels help pull moist air from your eyewear to prevent fogging.
The good news is that it seems to work. I’ve been riding this helmet for a few months on some of the hottest days where I would have never reached for the original Forefront. It still may be slightly warmer than helmets with completely open vents, but it’s a big improvement over the original.
And while the Koroyd Aerocore material has been removed from the center channel, it has been added to the rear of the helmet to add more protection to the lower back half of the lid. After a hard impact in the original Forefront caused me to be a believer in the material, it’s comforting to know that they were able to increase ventilation, while adding in more Koroyd to the back of the helmet, and kept in the locations most likely to be impacted.
You’ll notice that this sample is not MIPS equipped, but you will have the choice of a MIPS or non-MIPS helmet when purchasing the Forefront 2. In order to improve the fit, the head form has gotten slightly bigger to allow more room for the MIPS liner. For me, that meant while the original Forefront MIPS in medium was a little tight, the Forefront 2 without MIPS is a bit too big. However, the version with MIPS should fit a bit more snug making it just about perfect, and I’d prefer the MIPS equipped helmet anyways. The helmet still features their VaporFit adjustable fit system and XT2 anti-bacterial pads on the inside.
A three position visor up front will allow you to stash goggles underneath, or tune to your liking. Other eyewear integration includes front or rear sunglass storage channels. You’ll also find a discreet camera or light mount on the top of the helmet – though the actual mount kit is sold separately for $15.
Overall, the Forefront 2 is a big improvement over the original. Just about everything has been improved on an already great helmet, which should make this one even more popular. The Forefront 2 will be available in MIPS with 7 colors for $230, or non-MIPS in three colors for $200. Limited colors are available now, with the rest making their way to shelves this February.