- Lots of safety features – MIPS system, Koroyd™ protection material and VaporFit™
- Good value for a MIPS helmet
- Comfortable snug fit even on small heads
- Lightweight and low profile
- Adjustable/removable visor
- Sunglasses store on front of helmet
- 20 vents
- Lifetime Warranty
- Lack of feminine colors
- Can get a little warm on hot days
Cost: MSRP $160
How obtained: review sample from company
Available: online, retail, Smith website
Colors: Matte Black, Matte Klein Blue, Matte White; Matte Rise; Matte Dust Rose; Matte Cinelli
RBR Sponsor: no
Tested: 30+ hours
Weight: (claimed weight) Size M – 10.58 oz/300 grams
Sizing: Small – 51-55cm; Medium – 55-59cm; Large – 59-62cm
Network Checks the Boxes – Comfort, Safety and Great Fit
It’s been over a year since my last Smith helmet review (see Route Helmet) so I was interested to test one of their 2018 models launched in March. The Network helmet has all the safety features Smith is known for and a nice low profile, comfortable design.
Exceeding Helmet Protections Standards
Smith continues to exceed protection standards on their cycling helmets. The Network is no different. It combines MIPS, in-mold Aerocore™ construction, patented Koroyd ventilated technology, and a VaporFit adjustment system to provide safety and incredible fit.
You can see the MIPS liner (light gray) covering the Koroyd inserts in the inside photo of the helmet. The liner attaches to the helmet on the little yellow posts, which allow the helmet shell to slide over the liner in the event of a crash. For more information about What is MIPS? Follow this link: What’s MIPS? Section of the Route helmet review here.
Smith’s objective and design philosophy behind the company’s Aerocore™ construction is to increase airflow and improve temperature regulation, resulting in fog-free vision, and improved impact resistance. The Network helmet utilizes two Koroyd side inserts (I describe it as “honeycomb”-looking material) to provide zonal ventilated protection on both sides of the helmet. Koroyd is a unique structure designed to reduce trauma levels by managing the energy transfer in an impact.
In a crash, the Koroyd cores crush, dissipating the energy from the impact and reducing trauma. This is most helpful in low-speed crashes where the impact often is not enough to compress the Styrofoam inside the helmet, but great enough to cause head trauma.
As with the Route helmet, I found the Koroyd to reduce ventilation a bit, so on very warm days my head would get hot.
Comfort and Fit
I have a small head which makes it hard sometimes to find a helmet that fits securely. With the Network, the VaporFit system uses a rear rotary dial adjustment system (BOA like) integrated with a tuned elastic fit. The VaporFit system has a full 5cm of rotary adjustability which I used when going from winter riding (full head cover), to spring (headband with ear covers), to Summer temps (no head cover). No matter what I was wearing under my helmet, I could dial in the fit, with one hand, for safety and comfort.
Smith’s AEROCORE™ construction is to increase airflow, improve temperature regulation resulting in fog-free vision and improved impact resistance. This is achieved through the combination of materials like EPS and Koroyd which allows for more vents to be placed throughout the helmet without sacrificing protection and comfort.
The straps on the Network helmet were easy to adjust using the standard flip locks on either side. The ends of the straps are covered in rubber, so no need to burn the ends to prevent unraveling.
The Network incorporates XT2® anti-odor technology. As you sweat it activates XT2 to start destroying odor and inhibit bacteria. After a long hot summer, this will help keep your helmet from smelling funky.
The Little Touches
The Network helmet has some unique features. A small, flexible visor comes standard with the helmet. When I first pulled it out of the box it reminded me of the visors on those old time cycling caps. What’s nice about this visor is it attaches easily as well as flips up or down. In addition, since it’s not rigid plastic, if you crash, the visor wont shatter or impale you in any way.
If you’re a rider that likes to store your sunglasses on the front of the helmet, they can be securely positioned in place.
Standard in the box is a nice nylon and mesh helmet storage bag. The backpack style straps make it easy to carry your helmet hands free, when not in use.
Smith’s new Network helmet exceeds protections standards without sacrificing fit or comfort. At $160 MSRP, this helmet with a MIPS system is a great value. The low profile, light weight design keeps you stylish. A nice added feature is the adjustable/removable visor which provides protection from the sun. Checkout the value and style for yourself.
Sheri Rosenbaum regularly contributes articles and reviews products for RBR. She’s an avid recreational roadie who lives in the Chicago area and a major advocate for women's cycling, serving on the board of directors and volunteering with the Dare2tri Paratriathlon Club. Click to read Sheri's full bio or visit her web site sunflowersandpedals.com.