The Forefront is a lightweight helmet with a unique aesthetic. At 10.8 ounces, it's the lightest mountain bike helmet we've ever tested. The Forefront is a recent addition to the mountain bike helmet market. The eyewear giant has been making helmets aimed at snow sports for some time, but this is its first offering in the cycling helmet category. It is funny it took them so long since they make dozens of sunglasses aimed at cycling and sponsor dozens of cyclists in many different disciplines. Maybe the folks at Smith were waiting to come up with something that stood out from the masses. One glance at the Forefront, and it appears that they did.
The Smith Forefront received a minor aesthetic update with new graphics and new color options for 2017. Scroll down to learn more!
The most unique aspect of the Forefront is its use of a material called Koroyd, which looks like a bunch of short drinking straws stacked together to create a honeycomb-like matrix. This is the only helmet we've reviewed which uses this material. Beside simply standing out from other helmets, the idea behind the Koroyd is to save weight and allow for extra ventilation. The Forefront is the lightest mountain bike helmet we've ever tested, though it's debatable if the weight savings is the from the use of Koroyd or the slim profile, tiny visor, and minimal interior padding. We also suspect that the Koroyd hinders ventilation more than it helps it.
This helmet has a number of other unique features which, at least on paper, make it a standout helmet. Though we think the Forefront is a quality helmet, we were somewhat disappointed in some of the advertised features. More on that below.