Bike helmets, like ski helmets, have many shapes and features; manufacturers tend to prioritize ventilation and overall protection. The helmet that I have been using is the Specialized Sierra, which is lightweight, fits well, and has a ponytail port -- but it doesn't have MIPS. As much as I love the ponytail port, I have been thinking a lot more about going MIPS for the safety factor. Smith has addressed most of these priorities in the Forefront 2 MIPS helmet, so I snagged one to pair with the Ruckus optics.
First, let's talk about the fit and sizing of the Forefront 2 MIPS helmet. According to the size chart, the medium helmet fits a 55-59 cm head, so my 55.5cm measurement puts me on the smaller size of medium. My concern when I'm on the small size of an adjustable helmet is that it never fits quite right, but this one, with Smith's proprietary VaporFit, snugged up uniformly and stayed firmly in place while riding.
With its 20 vents, the AirEvac ventilation has kept up with the hot days we've had here in the Sierra, from high desert riding to single track along the Truckee River. But what I'm enjoying most is the compatibility with the Ruckus sunglasses. Smith has taken it to the next level with its three-position adjustable visor. This makes it easy to stow the sunglasses if you need to ditch them for quick bike fix. I would say the only thing missing from this helmet is the ponytail port.
I have paired the Forefront 2 MIPS helmet with the Ruckus sunglasses, which come with two lenses. I've been wearing this combination for a few weeks and am happy to report that the integration is incredible. Most days I will wear the darker ChromaPop green mirror, but the rose lens is great for low-light visibility on cloudy days or when riding in the woods. I love how the lens wraps around my face to protect my eyes from wind and debris, but the best things are the ease of changing lenses and the integration with Smith's Forefront 2 helmet.
- Who is it for? Someone looking for a lightweight MIPS helmet-and-optics combination that works for a variety of conditions.
- Who is it not for? Someone looking for a helmet with a ponytail port.
- Insider tip: Wearing the compatible sunglasses and helmet together is ideal.
Accessories Review: Smith Forefront 2 Bike Helmet and Ruckus Sunglasses