After introducing their Forefront helmet to the dirt scene last year, Smith Optics dives into the road helmet market with the Overtake. Smith takes the wildly innovative construction/material techniques used in the Forefront to the windtunnel and comes out with what Smith claims to be the best all-around helmet for safety, aerodynamics, ventilation.
The most striking feature of the Overtake’s “Aerocore” structure is the use of Koroyd for the bulk of the helmets protection. Koroyd is a material made from uniform, polymer tubes thermal welded into a lightweight, structural honeycomb. In the event of a crash, the Koroyd is very effective at absorbing kinetic energy as it crushes, reducing the trauma experienced by the rider’s brain. But unlike the foams upon which other helmets entirely rely, the open honeycomb structure of Koroyd allows air to freely pass, so the Overtake keeps a rider’s head cool without the bulk of elaborate internal airflow channels. Six panels of Koroyd are bonded to an EPS foam liner that provides the helmet’s shape, with a thermoformed skeleton and PVC outer shell. The Overtake has 21 external vents.
To be competitive in today’s market, Smith had to make sure that the Overtake could slip through the wind with the best of them. By testing against other category leading designs at a variety of wind angles, Smith was able to create a light, well-vented helmet that performs better than most competitors and just a tick behind the Specialized Evade. But then Smith looked to improve the overall ergonomics of the helmet, the contours of the helmet have been refined to avoid fit interference while wearing sunglasses, and thoughtful “eyewear docks” have been integrated into front and back of the helmet to securely hold the sunglasses when not being worn.
Byron will be testing the Overtake in the near future, while I am currently trying out the Forefront. Check back for updates.