Not long ago full-face helmets were strictly for downhill riding, but with the rise of enduro racing came trimmed-down helmets like Smith’s new Mainline. With low weight and lots of ventilation as top priorities, enduro riders can enjoy the protection of a full-face without wearing a hot, sweaty anchor on their heads.
Bikerumor previewed the Mainline helmet earlier this year, and since then Smith sent me one for a complete review. The helmet arrived very recently so my review will have to come later; for today let’s check out a ‘First Look’ overview of their newest full-face.
The Mainline’s in-molded shell sits over a layer of Koroyd, a unique protective material that Smith employs in their helmets. If you’re not familiar, it’s the part that looks like a bunch of straws glued together. I’m pretty stoked to try out one of Smith’s Koroyd helmets; they certainly appear light and well vented, but I haven’t had the chance to ride one yet.
For further protection against rotational impact forces on your brain, the Mainline also includes a MIPS liner. Here’s one important thing consumers should note; While the Mainline is marketed directly as an enduro lid, it is certified to ASTM F1952 standards so you can take it to the bike parks or wear it while Downhill racing.
The Mainline helmet’s ventilation looks promising. I’m no wind tunnel technician but its large vents look well positioned to promote plenty of intake up front and exhaust out the back. The chin bar isn’t quite as lean as Fox’s Proframe, but its wide open front should let plenty of air into your lungs.
The Mainline also features AirEvac channels above each eye, designed to help air flow through your goggles and reduce the chance of fogging. We’ll soon see how they perform through some hot summer rides…
Smith designed the Mainline to fit perfectly with their goggles, and they sent me a pair of Squad MTB’s along with the helmet. As the photo shows, the helmet’s shell includes a wide channel for your goggle strap to sit in. Other finishing details include a D-ring buckle on the chin strap, and an adjustable visor with a slider/thumb screw.
Smith obviously knows the importance of proper helmet fitting, because not only does the Mainline come in three shell sizes (S/M/L), they also come with three sets of different sized cheek pads, two crown liners and two neck rolls so you can achieve a customized fit. Smith’s interior pads are made with Hybrid X-Static and XT2 anti-bacterial material, and can be removed for easy cleaning.
The listed weight for a Medium Mainline is 770g, but my scale shows mine weighing in at 816g. That’s still very light for a full-face helmet, but nearly 50g more than Smith claims.
When I first put on the Mainline, I thought it wasn’t the most streamlined full-face I’d seen. However, I then remembered that in Smith’s sizing I fit a Medium helmet. At 56cm’s my head usually just squeezes into Small helmets, but Smith’s Medium ranges from 55-59cm. Given that it’s a size larger than my other lids, I must concede it’s not bulky at all. Furthermore, considering its outer shell, Koroyd layer and MIPS liner, the Mainline is actually impressively slim.
The Mainline was released to select retailers as of early June, and will be available from Smith’s website as of early August. MSRP is $300. Stay tuned to Bikerumor for a full review of the Mainline helmet…