SUN VALLEY, ID (BRAIN) — Smith Optics is expanding into the bike helmet market with three models, including a new all-mountain helmet called the Forefront.
The line will be unveiled at Interbike next month, but Smith revealed some details of the Forefront on Thursday. The Forefront features several material and design innovations, the company said.
Smith is a big player in the ski and snowboard helmet market. Smith's Blair Clark said that through its snow helmet development, Smith learned about a helmet material called Koroyd, which is said to have better impact absorption than EPS and also allows ventilation directly through the material via a "tubular core" construction.
“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," said Clark, who is Smith's senior vice president of sales and marketing. "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.”
Smith said the $220 Forefront provides all-mountain protection with road-race weight (285 grams).
The Forefront features an adjustable fit system, integrated camera and light mounting area, and a helmet goggle retention strap. It will be available in three adult helmet sizes and 10 color options.
Besides the Forefront, the Smith bike helmet line will include the Maze ($80) and the Holt ($50).
The line will be available in spring 2014.