Tricia

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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.

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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.


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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.

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  • 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.
 

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Tricia

Tricia

The Velvet Hammer
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Someone recently asked about a helmet recommendation so I thought I'd bump this review.
 

martyg

Out on the slopes
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Did VA Tech review this helmet? They are probably the best source of the truth at the moment.
 
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Tricia

Tricia

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Keep in mind, when I'm reviewing a helmet, I'm reviewing on features, comfort and function. I hope to never review on impact.
 
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Tricia

Tricia

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FF>> Summer 2020
Phil started out the summer looking for a lighter weight helmet since he had been riding with the 6D which is hyper protective but can be a tad heavy.
He borrowed mine on his first ride of the season when he went out to ride with some guys in the neighborhood. When he came back all sweaty, I took one look at it and decided that Phil had a new helmet and Tricia was about to get a new helmet.

I went with a new Forefront 2, but in a different color, which concidently matches my Ruckus Optics.
The new one seemed to have a little more room under the Vaporfit for my ponytail which made me very happy. @Philpug didn't seem to care much about accomodating a pony tail ;)
For reference in this update we'll call the original helmet in the review(white) Phil's and the new one(iris-indigo-jade) My helmet.(I hate to talk about myself in the third person.

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At first glance it was clear that there was more clearance for a ponytail in My helmet, but not quite as much as there was in the Specialized with an actual pony tail port.

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Upon further inspection, we relized that the Vaporfit system has install options to change the fit of the helmet. Phil's was installed in the hole closest to the front of the helmet, while My helmet's was installed in the middle hole, which accounts for the slight difference seen in the photo above.

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There are also some areas to adjust the placment on Vaporfit on the sides, however we didn't feel a need to change that area for fit purposes.
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Now, that My helmet has been adjusted to the fit closest to the back of the helmet there is plenty of room for my ponytail.

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