Smith Network MIPS helmet review
Smith has a new lid for 2018 which still adopts the brand's unique style and uses Koroyd for multiple impact protection
The Smith Network helmet is a nice bit of kit that will allow you to have a one helmet to suit a number of different riding types; commuting, training or even racing. The straps are a little annoying but overall it is a comfortable helmet.
Great value for money
Mixed appeal in terms of looks
Smith has found a technology to enhance impact protection whilst maintaining good levels of breathability: it seems the helmet and eyewear brand is focusing on safety as well as functionality. It divides opinion in terms of looks but does offer up a great, versatile helmet.
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What Smith uses is something called Koroyd, which is made up of hundreds of extruding hollow tubes. These are thermally welded and engineered to be the exact specification needed to help absorb impacts. The impact is absorbed by each Koroyd tube collapsing in a controlled manner, absorbing as much of the energy from the impact as possible.
What Smith calls the Aerocore construction utilises EPS foam and Koroyd to deliver breathability as well as increased impact protection. For the Smith Network helmet this Koroyd is place in zones to offer best impact protection where it's needed at the sides of the head.
The Smith Network helmet also uses MIPS technology, so in terms of safety this helmet is offering a lot to help reduce the risk of damage if you do crash and hit your head. This does add a little weight and overall the Smith Network helmet is 309g.
It isn't the lightest helmet on the market – the Lazer Z1 for example is 225g and is similarly priced – but the Smith Network helmet is comfortable.
For my head shape, which suits the likes of the Lazer Z1 mentioned above and Giro's Synthe, the Smith Network helmet fits very well. Although basic in terms of action and feel the Vapofit retention system holds the lid in place well and is easy to adjust – just not as minutely as the Giro.
The XT2 pads are comfortable and antibacterial and seem to absorb sweat well enough. In 20°C heat I was comfortable in the Smith Network helmet but wouldn't really want to take this out on the hottest days.
The straps do their job but feel a little scratchy, while I struggled to fit my Oakleys to the helmet when I didn't want to wear my sunnies. If you have Smith Optics you'll be able to, but just not with other brands.
What is good about the Smith Network though, is that I'll be happy to use this lid in casual clothes commuting in town or racing it. Although the versatility limits its ability in some regards, it really is a helmet that can do both without looking out of place in either. You have a removable peak for the city streets, which is a nice touch to change up the looks too.
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Symon Lewis joined Cycling Weekly as an Editorial Assistant in 2010, he went on to become a Tech Writer in 2014 before being promoted to Tech Editor in 2015 before taking on a role managing Video and Tech in 2019. Lewis discovered cycling via Herne Hill Velodrome, where he was renowned for his prolific performances, and spent two years as a coach at the South London velodrome.
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