After updating the mountain bike line with a Forefront II this summer, Smith turned their attention to road, gravel and cyclocross with the new Ignite and Trace helmets. Designed to improve aerodynamics (Ignite) and ventilation (Trace), they offer better looks and MIPS rotational impact protection, too.
The Ignite uses a much more closed shell, relying on oversized front vents and huge rear exhaust ports, along with two top intakes at the back to help push air through. Smith didn’t name names, but said they beat competing helmets in their wind tunnel tests, so it’s not just a sleek look.
Both models use Koroyd for breathable impact protection, and both get MIPS inside. The Ignite has their adjustable VaporFit retention mechanism with lightweight chin straps and anti-bacterial pads. It also builds in eyewear storage slots on the front. Retail will be $250 when it debuts in February 2019.
The Smith Trace replaces the Overtake as their quasi-aero helmet. It comes in at a claimed 280g for size medium, and will run $250 with the same fit and padding systems as the Ignite. It, too, gets eyewear storage, relying on the shaping of the sides to provide a nest for the arms of your shades.
2019 Smith Wildcat sunglasses
Maybe it’s a fad, maybe a trend, but ginormous sunglasses are making a comeback. Smith’s answer is the Wildcat, a slightly curved, oversized lens made of a similar material to their goggles. That means it’s a little flexible, but will definitely vent better.
Each pair will ship with an “everyday” ChromaPop lens and a clear lens, both with dirt/dust/grease resistant coatings. The adjustable nose piece and arms use Megol grippers to keep them in place when you start sweating. Retail is $199, available now.
In other news, if you’re one of the Smith fans that’s had issues with the reflective coating on the insides of the ChromaPop lens over the past few years (some riders, myself included, get a slight double or triple vision reflection that can be distracting), you’re in luck. Starting in 2019, they’ll be revising or removing the anti-reflective coating on the inside of the ChromaPop lenses to eliminate that issue.