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Smith Overtake Road Cycling Helmet

An unconventional honeycomb-like polymer construction lightens the load and improves safety rating

by Graham Hiemstra
on 22 December 2014
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Though best known for making goggles and other sport-specific eyewear, Smith Optics has long explored other product segments for outdoor enthusiasts. Most notably: helmets. The new Overtake helmet is their first foray into competitive road cycling—and it sure is an attractive one. Adapting the unique and innovative AEROCORE construction from their snow helmet program, the Overtake features a Koroyd polymer core where foam is traditionally found. Tests show it absorbs 30% more energy upon impact than EPS foam. It's also incredibly lightweight and quite curious to look at.

One glance at the Overtake, and you can understand where the name comes from; it's all about aerodynamics. The helmet's shape is sleek but shallow. And, while this created some initial concerns in terms of fit, once the rear VaporFit dial-operated support system is ratcheted down it seems to sink into a more comfortable position. With a weight of just 250 grams, it's hardly noticeable when in a secure position.

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The Koroyd internal structure is designed for superior impact absorption, crushing in a controlled manner that decelerates energy from said impact and thus reducing final trauma levels. Another design initiative is in the ventilation and breathability department. Upon closer inspection, there are in fact very few forward-facing channels in the honeycomb-like design, which may inadvertently limit natural air intake. But, while testing in NYC these past few weeks, this was a nonissue, as temperatures have steadily hovered around 45 degrees and excess body heat was still very free to escape through the endless perforations. That said, we could see this coming into play once spring and summer time arrive.

Select colors are also available with MIPS® linings, which further reduce force to the brain in the case of low, high, multi and rotational impacts. Visit Smith Optics online for a closer look at the expertly designed—and thoroughly attractive—design, which as of 20 December 2014 is now available for around $250-$300.

Profile image courtesy of Smith, all others by Cool Hunting

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