Smith Overtake Helmet

Vital Rating: (Outstanding)
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Smith Overtake Helmet - BLACK
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Tested: Smith Overtake Helmet

Rating: Vital Review

Review by Joel Harwood // Photos by AJ Barlas and Dave Silver (BCBR)

Smith has been producing eyewear since 1965, and has recently been making the move into cycling helmets. Late last summer they released the unique Forefront, for hard charging trail riders seeking innovative features and ample protection. Featuring many of the same features and distinct styling, Smith also created the Overtake helmet, catered towards riders looking for a more traditional XC-style helmet that could also be used on the road. The Overtake was not intended to be an entry level helmet; Smith took what they’ve learned from their years of experience, and went straight for the top. We've racked up the miles with the Overtake to find out how close they came.

Overtake Highlights

  • Available in sizes S, M, L
  • 12 color options
  • Aerocore construction
  • Koroyd polymer cores
  • Available with Multi-Directional Impact Protection System (MIPS)
  • Wind tunnel tested
  • Weight: 250g (without MIPS)
  • $250 or $290 (with MIPS)

Initial Impressions

The first thing that stands out when one glances at the Overtake is the unique aesthetics that Smith has kept consistent with the Forefront. The overall shape of the helmet is no major departure from the norm, however the panels, vent shape, and Koroyd structure all are. The use of the honeycomb-esque Koroyd offers 30% more impact absorption over traditional EPS construction, in addition to being lighter, slimmer, and providing directed ventilation.

Smith's Aerocore construction combines a more traditional EPS liner and plastic shell with the Koroyd layer to provide additional protection and structure. Hidden within the helmet is MIPS, the Multi-Directional Impact Protection System (available as an option). It allows the shell of the helmet to rotate slightly in the event of a rotational impact, to further reduce trauma. Inside, a minimalist approach to padding keeps things low profile yet functional. The retention system for the Overtake is simple and effective: a single dial, simple strap, and a few manual adjustment options round out the rear of the helmet.

On The Trail

Initially, the most impressive thing about the Overtake is the lack of weight. The helmet is light. There are lighter offerings out there, but the lack of heft was immediately apparent compared to the helmet it replaced. The fit of the helmet is very comfortable. Obviously head shapes can vary significantly, but the Overtake's retention system can be adjusted, and the helmet should fit most.

The ventilation on the Overtake is superb. While the predecessor seemed well ventilated and cool, the Overtake provided far more airflow – no doubt a combination of the Koroyd, weight, and lack of a visor. While riding, the helmet did not shift or rattle, and the integrated eyewear dock never lost grip on the non-Smith glasses that were perched upon the Overtake from time to time. Fortunately, the helmet’s ability to absorb impact was not tested directly, but Smith would suggest that the Overtake does an outstanding job in this regard.

Things That Could Be Improved

The rear strap on the helmet has very little clearance between it and the rear of the ear. For some, the strap might rub behind their ears and be a nuisance.

Long Term Durability

The helmet has been worn multiple times per week since late June. It also traveled to the BC Bike Race and was worn between Crankworx EWS stages. The pads, straps, and helmet itself have remained intact and fully functional. The Koroyd structure is a little bit tough to clean once mud gets inside, but a soft brush gets it out without much hassle. There is no evidence to suggest that the Overtake won’t last for quite some time.

What's The Bottom Line?

The Smith Overtake’s unique styling is polarizing; however the functionality is tough to debate. Trail riders, XC racers, and roadies alike will all enjoy the breathability, lack of weight, and comfort that the helmet provides. Whether you’re after performance with little compromise, or all day comfort, Smith has done an outstanding job with the Overtake.

For more information: www.smithoptics.com/overtake


About The Reviewer

Joel Harwood has been playing in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia for the last 9 years. He spends his summer months coaching DH race groms in the Whistler Bike Park, and guiding XC riders all over BC. He dabbles in all types of racing, but is happiest while blasting his trail bike down trails that include rock slabs, natural doubles, and west coast tech. On the big bike he tends to look for little transitions and manuals that allow him to keep things pointed downhill, rather than swapping from line to line. Attention to detail, time in the saddle, and an aggressive riding style make Joel a rider that demands the most from his products. Joel's ramblings can also be found at www.straightshotblog.com.

Specifications

Product Smith Overtake Helmet
Riding Type Cross Country, Trail
Rider Unisex
Number of Vents 21
Construction EPS, Lightweight AEROCORE In-Mold Construction, Ventilated Protection Featuring Koroyd Material, No Visor, Integrated Sunglass Holders
Adjustable Padding 360° Fit System with Minimal Padding
Certification
Bag
Size S, M, L
Colors Black (MIPS), White (MIPS), Matte Black (MIPS), Matte Neon Orange (MIPS), Matte Red Max, Matte Acid Ombre, Matte Navy, Matte Mustard, White Frost (MIPS), Neon Pink, Black Ombre, or Frost Mint
Weight 0 lb 8.8 oz (250 g)
Miscellaneous Price: $250 USD for the Standard and $290 USD for the MIPS Version.
Price $250
More Info

Smith Optics Website

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