Compared to traditional cycling companies, Smith is relatively new to bicycle helmet production. When they released their first helmets, they made quite a splash by incorporating a material called Koroyd. Koroyd looks like a bunch of plastic straws glued together and is claimed to offer superior energy absorption and better protection than EPS foam. The Overtake was well received by our testers, who found the helmet to be very comfortable and to offer a wide range of adjustability, though it lacks effective ventilation. It is clear when you get the helmet in your hands that it is exceptionally well built, with a great deal of attention to detail.
Smith Overtake MIPS Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Durable, comfortable
Cons: Poor ventilation
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Overtake is one of the most comfortable helmets we tested. The Vapor Fit system used on the Overtake does a good job of evenly distributing tension for a good fit free of pressure points. The Roc Loc Air fit system on the Giro Synthe is better by a slight margin, as it is not fixed to the EPS shell and provides the best distribution of pressure. The Overtake uses X-Static pads that are similar to what is found in the Synthe, but they are much thicker and extend over the top of the head. The straps on the Overtake are thin and supple and are much more comfortable than what's on many other models.
The Vapor Fit system on the Overtake provides a good amount of adjustability. Circumferential adjustment is accomplished by turning the dial on the rear portion of the adjustment band in the same manner as every other helmet we tested. This lid will accommodate head sizes between 55-59 cm in a size Medium, giving it the same range of adjustment as most models in this size. 3 cm of fore and aft adjustment are available in three increments for fine-tuning the fit. The Overtake also hits all the critical points when it comes to straps. Small, adjustable Y-buckles are easy to manipulate and allow for even strap tension. The rear strap is also not fixed to the shell, a feature we prefer as it allows for centering of the chinstrap.
The Overtake weighs 276 g in a size Medium, which is pretty impressive considering the full wrap polycarbonate shell and a MIPS liner. The Specialized Airnet also has a full wrap shell and a MIPS liner, but it weighs quite a bit more. The Koroyd impact material likely helps keep the weight down as it is said to be lighter than EPS foam.
Poor ventilation characteristics prevented the Overtake from truly being a contender for our top awards. Nearly every vent on this model is filled with Koroyd material. While air can passively flow through the Koroyd, the orientation of the Koroyd tubes do not line up with the wind flow pattern over the helmet. There are three vents at the front brow area of the helmet not filled with Koroyd, but they are completely obstructed by the MIPS liner. The Giro Synthe and many other helmets we tested have MIPS liners, but these helmets have cutouts in the MIPS material to allow for airflow. Our testers found the Overtake to be excessively hot due to poor ventilation, regardless of road speed.
This is one of our highest ranking helmets for durability. The polycarbonate shell on the Overtake completely wraps the entire helmet, leaving no exposed EPS foam. The overall quality of the helmet is impressive, with no flimsy stickers or decals on the exterior. The Kask Protone also scored highly with a full-wrap polycarbonate shell, but the fore and aft adjustment mechanism broke early in our testing. The Overtake performed flawlessly during testing, with all components of the helmet providing reliable service; it's one of the highest quality helmets we have ever tested.
The Smith Overtake is one of the more expensive helmets we tested. However, the quality of the helmet is impeccable, making it a good long term value for the right user, even at this price.
This contender is a high-quality helmet with unsurpassed durability and class-leading comfort. Unfortunately, its overall score is hampered by poor ventilation.
— Nick Bruckbauer & Curtis Smith