Smith Optics Introduces the FOREFRONT All Mountain Helmet

by Brian Mullin on August 15, 2013

Thoughts
=> Looks like an interesting high technology helmet with some
excellent safety and protection designs. I’ll be interested to see how
it feels, wears and rides. Hopefully, a test crash won’t be needed to
check out the safety! Looking forward to testing the beast out (if I get
a chance).

Press Release

Sun Valley, ID (August 15, 2013) — Smith Optics, the market leader in snow goggles, helmets and the pioneer of interchangeable sunglass lens technology announced today its expansion into the bicycle helmet market. The brand will unveil its debut collection of bicycle helmets at the upcoming Interbike 2013 tradeshow (Booth# 15024), September 18-20th with testing samples available at the OutDoor Demo (Booth #D3270) at Bootleg Canyon the preceding two days of the show.

“For years our customers have asked us to create bicycle helmets and we’ve been reluctant to do so because of the barriers to entry in the category. Ninety percent of the bicycle helmet market in the United States is dominated by four brands and all of the brands share a common material EPS (Expanded Polystyrene) as the foundation of the helmet design for impact absorption. Through our dedication to leading the winter helmet market, we discovered Koroyd®, a patented tubular core material. Not only is Koroyd a better impact absorption solution than EPS, but also an impact absorption material that provides ventilation, ideal for the bike market. What our product development team has done for bike helmets will disrupt the helmet industry in the same way that EPS replaced leather and foam on bike helmets from the 70’s. If you think about it, nothing remarkable has happened in bike helmets since EPS microshell helmets were created. That is all about to change with the Smith FOREFRONT” said Blair Clark Sr. VP of Sales & Marketing.

The all-new
FOREFRONT (MSRP $220) defines Smith’s innovation platform and serves as
the ‘go to’ helmet for all-mountain riders. Created to provide
all-mountain protection with road-race weight, the Aerocore™
construction of the FOREFRONT allows riders ventilated protection as
never before seen in a bicycle helmet. With up to a 30% improvement over
standard EPS impact properties, the patented tubular core structure of
the Koroyd® material combines with EPS to create a system of materials
designed to surpass current standards at low and high speeds. Aerocore
construction allows for ventilated protection, reduced weight, and
reduced volume.

Weighing in at
285g, the FOREFRONT helmet features Smith’s new VaporFit™ adjustable fit
system, integrated camera and light mounting area, and an additional
helmet goggle retention strap. Based off of Smith’s proven head form and
dedicated investment in unique sets of tooling, three adult helmet
sizes are available to accommodate a variety of fits while 10
progressive color options offer a range of style choices, all designed
with the ultimate integration of sunglasses and goggles in mind.

“As a
product-driven brand, it’s our goal to create innovations that improve
the user’s experience. Our Aerocore application allows us to reduce
volume and weight while increasing ventilation and impact protection. We
believe the new FOREFRONT all-mountain helmet showcases exactly what
Smith is all about: redefining what riders should expect from their
products,” said Eric Carlson, VP of Product and Design.

“The FOREFRONT is
the lightest, most comfortable helmet I’ve ever worn. It’s been great to
be able to work with Smith on the development of this helmet to assure
it meets the needs of all-mountain riders and racers,” commented Lars
Sternberg, professional mountain biker.

Smith bicycle
helmets will be available at North American retailers in Spring 2014.
The 2014 Smith bicycle helmet line consists of three unique models; the
FOREFRONT $220 MSRP, MAZE $80 MSRP, and HOLT $50 MSRP. Consistent with
the rest of Smith’s product lines, the Smith bicycle helmets feature
ultimate integration, beautiful design and premium performance
solutions, plus a lifetime warranty. Additionally, Smith offers
retailers high margins and special Interbike show incentives. For news
and updates concerning helmets and additional product launches, be sure
to sign up for Smith’s newsletter.

Koroyd’s Technology Explained
Thoughts
=> I had ever seen the Koroyd tubular impact system before. It reminds me
of a couple of other systems that were made specifically for football
helmets. It looks like a very promising protection, and it’s nice to see
some technology beyond the default EPS foam. I am always for more
safety and protection when it comes to helmets, and I look forward to
trying this helmet out sometime. Maybe they’ll create some better CPSC
can come up with some better helmet testing, since what the current
requirements are lacking real world criteria.They use this same system as a core in some brands of snowboards.

Engineered Protection
Technology that improves performance. Whatever the application.
Tens
of thousands of co-polymer extruded tubes, thermally welded to create
an unparalleled consistent and fully engineered core, ready to be cut,
shaped, cnc-ed, thermoformed or laminated and further integrated into
the best sport and protection products that give you the edge.

Energy Absorption
The combination of koroyd’s precise extrusion and unique thermal
welding process leads to a structure with both extremely efficient and
consistent energy absorption properties. The koroyd core is proven time
and time again against traditional energy absorbers including eps and
foams. Upon impact the cores crush in a completely controlled manner,
decelerating the energy from the impact and reducing the final trauma
levels.

Full Breathability
An energy absorber which is fully breathable and doesn’t compromise
impact performance. Koroyd’s open cell construction allows cool air in,
whilst expelling hot air from the riders head. When air channels are
introduced to traditional energy absorbers like eps and foams, the
impact performance decreases – unless thicker parts are installed.
Koroyd’s completely open cell construction channels airflow around the
rider, without limitation.

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