At the Bike Press Camp event held recently in Park City, Utah, Smith Optics was on hand showing their new Route and Rover helmets. These are follow-ups to their poplar Overtake and Forefront helmets which were notable due to their interesting shape and use of a material called Koroyd intead of the industry standard EPS foam for impact protection. But with a price of $220 for the Overtake ($250 for the MIPs version) the cost of entry was steep.
For 2017, Smith introduces the Route (and corresponding MTB version – the Rover) with the same Koroyd protection, but at a more affordable $150 price tag ($180 for MIPs). To keep the price of the Route down, Smith opted to use the Koroyd material only in key zones that they found were the most common impact areas. Smith worked closely with Koroyd for optimal placement and proctection. As a result of this select usage of Koroyd, air channels were opened up to help increase the helmet’s air cooling properties (one of the critiques of the early designed Overtake).
The majority of cycling helmets are made using an EPS foam liner. This material is effective at defusing impacts above a certain speed, but does not crush early enough to address sub-concussive impacts. That’s why several brands have begun experimenting with non-foam liners, which can be tuned for lower speed impacts, yet still offer protection against larger hits.
Smith’s helmets are built using a combination of traditional and nontraditional materials. The main protective structure is made from Koroyd, which consists of thermally welded plastic tubes (that look not unlike a bunch of green straws bundled together) whose thickness can be adjusted precisely for specific impact zones.
The new Route uses the same 360 fit system with a rear dial found on the Overtake as well as the same lightweight webbing. There are two different molds between the Route and Rover since the Rover has a bit more coverage in the rear and two additional vents. Claimed weight is 330 grams for the Route and a bit more (340 grams) for Rover. Of course, eyewear integration is always key (Smith’s full company name is Smith Optics, after all) and there are channels for eye wear stashing for those breaks in riding.
- Lightweight AEROCORE In-Mold Construction
- Zonal Ventilated Protection Featuring Patented Koroyd™ Material
- MIPS system available in all colors
- VaporFit Adjustable Fit System
- 18 Optimized Vents
- NEW X-Static with Reactive Cooling Performance Lining
- Ultra-Light Single Layer Webbing
- AirEvac Ventilation
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The new Route from Smith has a base price of $150, wile a MIPS version is available for $180 and is available now. The mountain bike oriented Rover has the same $150/$180 MSRP and the main differences are the front visor, deeper rear coverage and a two-tone (red) color option. Currently available colors for the Route are: Reactor (green), Opal (blue-green), white and black. Other colors coming soon include: blue, purple and digital camo. There will be a total of 9 colorways available this year. Best of all, the Route and Rover come with a lifetime warranty.
For more information visit www.smithoptics.com