Smith Forefront 2 2021 Mountain Bike Review

Smith Forefront 2 2021

Reviews / Helmets

Smith 207,933

At a glance

Smith’s most popular enduro lid comes with a ton of tech. MIPS Brain Protection System, Koroyd structure, VaporFit adjustment dial and a visor that you can adjust in three different positions. 20 fixed vents sort out the cooling, and the antimicrobial liner keeps the sweat out of your eyes. Available in a variety of colors to match their eyewear and your mood, it retails at 209 GBP / 230 EUR / 240 USD.

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A classic, Smith’s multisport goggles adapted for mountain bikers. Available in 6 different frame/strap combinations and 5 different colored lenses to match the weather.
Pricing sits around 90GBP / 100EUR / 85USD with some variation depending on the lens.

About the brand

Smith has been around for decades, and has its origins in winter sports. Dr. Bob Smith is both orthodontist and ski bum, and in his garage he developed the world's first sealed thermal lense and breathable vent foam goggles in 1965. On the weekends he travels the Utah and Colorado ski resorts and sells the goggles from the back of his van. In the mid 80’s Smith entered the off road market with Motocross goggles and their ‘Roll off’ system.
On the sustainability front they make no real mention of any special projects or goals, but on the parent company Safilo we find a well thought out plan focussing on people, product and planet. Their Chinese production facility is partially run on solar, and in their Italian facility they optimised their water recycling more than 90% of the water used. They mention using regenerated Nylon for their products and have abandoned the use of nickel. On the people front they strive to be a diverse and inclusive company which reflects in the 21% female executives and 13 nationalities at the directors level.

The product

Apart from the tech, this helmet looks very stylish. The option to move the visor up to make space for your goggles in between laps is a great feature too. It comes in 3 different sizes to comfortably fit most head sizes and shapes. We tested the size Small, which weighed in at 366 grams.
The straps are easy to adjust, and snap together with a classic buckle. Maybe for the Forefront 3 we will see a magnetic / fidlock closure?
For the POV YouTubers amongst us, there is a ¼ inch thread on the top of the helmet, which you can use to securely mount your favorite action cam.

The goggles we had on test came with a clear lens for those bad weather days, and a ChromaPop Everyday Red lens. ChromaPop is Smith's technology to help your eyes distinguish more details by filtering out two specific wavelengths of light that cause color confusion. The result is a lens that brings a higher definition image, more natural colors and clarity.
The goggle frame is highly flexible to make sure it fits all different types of faces. This model has a Medium size fit, if you like your goggle large then opt for the Squad XL goggles. The foam makes for a comfortable fit, and the air vents make sure they don’t fog up.

Out on the trail

First thing we noticed was the nice wraparound fit. The Forefront2 really has a solid grip on your head, and even the roughest of trails didn't make it slide or move. Although we didn’t have the pleasure to test it in the scorching heat of summer, we do know it does a good job of venting the heat. On a humid day my sunglasses did not fog up as much as with my other helmet (Troy Lee A1).
When combined with the goggles, you notice the advantages of the designers talking to each other. The compatibility is perfect and being able to flip up the visor and store your goggles for the climb.
We managed to ride these goggles in overcast and bright blue sky conditions. Only in the darkest of forests the tinted lens made it slightly hard to see, but to be honest, even without the goggles we were struggling to. Fogging up was not an issue at all, especially when combining it with the Forefront 2 helmet. Climbing with goggles on is something the style police heavily patrols on, but on some of the undulating trails on our local we had no problem just keeping them on.

Verdict

Definitely a keeper in our gear room. The Forefront is stylish, well vented and works fantastic with the matching eyewear.
The Everyday Red lens on the goggles is a fantastic do it all for overcast to moderately sunny conditions. Switching lenses is quick and easy. It’s just a shame the spare lens doesn't have a pouch or storage case to keep it safe when you’re not using it
All in all, a great set combo with amazing lens technology for a reasonable price.

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This review was in Issue 65 of IMB.

For more information visit Smith

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By Jarno Hoogland
Jarno's life has revolved around two wheels ever since he swung a leg over his first BMX at age 4. After a BMX and DH racing career, he moved on to work for bike shops, distributors and brands before ending up in the editors seat at IMB. Based in the ultimate testing ground in the Swiss mountains, he runs his guiding operation and makes sure every IMB issue is filled with top notch content.

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