Tag: Smith Venture VS Forefront

Smith Venture VS Forefront

Smith is known to offer good quality eyewear but they also make outdoor gears like bike helmets which are not only protective but also look good on most cyclists. They carry both road and mountain bike or trail helmets such as Smith Venture Vs Forefront. These models are above the entry-level line with some similarities and differences. If you wonder which of the two to go for, let’s see below about what they can offer.

In this comparison, we are going to talk about:

  • Which Bike Helmet to Buy
  • What are Smith Venture and Forefront
  • How are the Design of Smith Venture and Forefront
  • How are the Build Quality of Smith Venture and Forefront
  • How are the Fit System in Smith Venture and Forefront
  • What else Smith Venture and Forefront can offer
  • Smith Venture Vs Forefront

Road and MTB Helmets

One thing that we can’t forget when riding the bike is wearing a bike helmet because this is a protective gear that will help cover our head when an impact happens. Our head is vulnerable and serious injury may even cost our lives. Wearing a bike helmet is not a guarantee that we won’t get hurt while cycling but it is overall helpful to reduce the risk of severe head injury and damage to the brain. It is also affordable and easy to wear so both young and older cyclists can find their ideal helmet.

In general bike helmets are separated into road and off-road type or mountain bikes. You can wear any of the two based on where you will ride the bike and it can be one for both applications too. But, while road cyclists can wear their trail helmet, it is always recommended to wear a trail or MTB helmet when you are going off the road. Both are very similar helmets with specific safety standards yet they are not the same as well.

There is still a controversy and debate among road and trail bike helmet users apparently whether road bike helmets are sufficient for the off-road. Based on the safety construction both need to fit or exceed the standard to be marketed and this is why checking the helmet label is necessary. Protective ability should be about the same but do note that usually trail bike helmets are heavier and logically they put more material that results in added weight, compared to typical road bike helmets.

The argument is that this added material is also improving or increasing the impact resistance of trail bike helmets. Another difference is the visor but this is also debatable because many don’t need nor want it in their bike helmet. Road cyclists don’t want it because the visor may hinder vision due to the riding position. Visor’s main function is to keep the sunray from directly hitting our eyes but some also think it can be useful to protect it when you are riding on an area with lots of branches harming the vision.

The addition of visor is also making your helmet less “round” or “bubbly” which is undesirable by many as it can look kind of funny. This may not affect the reliability or performance of the helmet but many people don’t want to wear something that doesn’t look good on them. The addition of visor makes a helmet look sportier. Unless you are doing a more extreme activity such as racing or downhill riding, the differences between road and trail helmets can be negligible for some people.

Smith VentureSmith Forefront
Product Dimensions13 x 9.75 x 8 inches 13 x 10 x 8 inches
Shipping Weight0.34 Kilograms 1.96 Pounds
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About Smith Venture and Forefront

There are so many arguments related to bike helmets, not only about the type to wear but also whether it is necessary to wear them. At the end of the day we are the one responsible to decide what is best for us and if you are unsure yet, it is wise to wear something that is made for the application because they are designed properly for the activity. Regardless of the helmet, you can find them easily from outdoor or specialty stores.

There are also many options to choose from based on what you want to achieve and what you want to have from the gear. If you are here then a trail helmet is a very ideal option and for this type of helmet, they are usually slightly more expensive too, compared to the road variant at the same level. The Smith brand, for example, is one of the best when it comes to bike helmets for their various sporty designs that are not only attractive but also protective.

Just like most companies, they do provide a wide range of options to choose from whether you want to ride on the road such as with Smith Signal Vs Portal or if you want to go to the trail instead with Smith Venture or Forefront. These two are very similar trail helmets which are made with the same standard as well but they are not identical at the same time. The Forefront is undeniably the higher model based on the price and feature.

While for basic construction both Smith Venture and Forefront are equally meeting the CPSC and CE EN 178, Forefront is made not only to meet but also to exceed this standardization by adding Koroyd material in the helmet. This seems to help reduce energy being transferred to the head in case of impact. They are also designed quite differently and overall the Forefront or the Forefront 2 in our comparison today is a higher, better, and more protective model that sold at a higher price point too.

Smith Venture and Forefront Design

Smith does have some very similar helmets such as Session and Engage but these two are quite different based on look alone. It may be subjective but the Forefront is sportier and this is the 2nd model which is also different from its original version with larger vents and also larger visor. Side by side, the Venture is a bit shorter on the rear and more like a traditional trail helmet while Forefront large vents makes it look like a road bike helmet.

The shape and size of their vents are different and as you can see, the visor is also different because from the look alone we can tell Venture is not adjustable while Forefront do offer some adjustments. As for the weight, we do think Forefront 2 is similar to Session for the same features while Venture is lighter about 30-40 grams less. As for the finish, they are equally matte and personally we do prefer it better over glossy paint.

Smith Venture and Forefront Build Quality

While the Venture is around half the price of Forefront or Forefront 2, the build quality is not far different. Besides the weight which is the result of different designs, both Smith Venture and Forefront are very well-made. It is to be expected since they are not on the entry-level anymore but we are happy to see that the two properly cover the softer foam on the rim as it is prone to chip and reduce the life of the helmet.

The main difference in built side is the added material on the rear since Forefront is a bit lower to the neck compared to Venture. Both do have MIPS to reduce the severity when it comes to rotational impact and to improve the shock or impact absorption Forefront is featured with Koroyd layer inside the helmet. This layer is like a honeycomb or straws arranged together so the layer itself is not solid but with room in between.

Smith Venture and Forefront Fit System

Smith uses the same fitting system for many of its helmets including the Smith Venture and Forefront. This is called VaporFit which covers a wide range of head’s circumference to help you find the ideal or correct fitting. There are small or thin paddings inside to help with comfort and this fit is adjustable from the back through a dial or knob. The inner is also adjustable to help with the fitting and in general both are working really well to provide best fits for most cyclists.

Smith Venture and Forefront Features

Lastly for the features, we have mentioned that Forefront has Koroyd layering inside the helmet that covers almost the whole helmet as well as an easy to use fitting system. The other feature is large vents which is necessary since Koroyd layer blocks some of the air flow and it is important to have large vents to keep the helmet breezy. The good thing is that this layer helps reduce impact and also prevents small items from getting inside when you fall.

Vents performance will be slightly better on Venture as there is nothing getting in the way of the air circulation so it feels better during warmer days. Additionally, the Forefront has a visor with 3 adjustable positions so we can store goggles here and there is a camera or light mount at the top.

Smith Venture Vs Forefront

Both Smith Venture and Forefront are good helmets that will protect your head when there is an impact. The main difference in our opinion is their design which makes Forefront slightly heavier but also more protective with the addition of Koroyd. This layer is improving shock absorption while covering the vents so small items won’t get into the helmet. It also has an adjustable visor and camera or light mount.

- PROTECTION: Lightweight in-mold construction, MIPS system available in all colors
- FIT: VaporFit adjustable fit system, 20 optimized vents, Performance comfort lining, Ultra-light single layer webbing
- INTEGRATION: AirEvac ventilation, Integrated visor, Ultimate eyewear integration
- CERTIFICATION: CPSC, CE EN 178, AS/NZS265
- Lightweight Aerocore in-mold construction
- Zonal ventilated protection featuring patented Koroyd material
- Integrated skeletal structure
- MIPS system available in all colors

Conclusion 

The decision is all yours because not all of us will have the same preference and if you don’t need these additional features, Venture is a very attractive choice with its good build quality and also protective ability while keeping the budget low.