- Lots of safety features – MIPS system, Koroyd™ protection material and VaporFit™
- AirEvac™ system relieves hot air build up that can fog lenses
- Comfortable snug fit
- Lightweight and low profile
- Channels on side of helmet for sunglass storage
- 18 vents
- Lifetime Warranty
- Can be a little warm
Price: $250 MSRP
Colors: 9 color choices
Source: Company website, online, retail
How obtained: Sample from company
RBR Sponsor: No
Sizing: Small (51-55 cm) Medium (55-59 cm), Large (59-62 cm)
Weight: (claimed weight) 10 oz/ 280 grams size M
Improving On A Best-Seller
As part of their spring line, Smith released the Trace road helmet, replacing their best-selling Overtake model. With improved ventilation, a sleeker design and side channels for sunglass storage, the Trace is ready to perform.
To provide added ventilation, two vents on the top of the helmet are open, without Aerocore panels. You can use these vents to secure straps for a head lamp should you need one.
The sleeker look also means more aero. According to Smith, in independent wind tunnel testing against the current top-performing helmets on the market in 2018, the Trace produced the least amount of wind drag in its class. The company did not provide make/model of the other helmets tested.
What Smith did not change was their commitment to exceed helmet protection standards. The Trace 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 Trace helmet utilizes Koroyd inserts (I describe it as “honeycomb”-looking material) to provide zonal ventilated protection. 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 other Smith helmets I’ve tested in the past, the Koroyd can reduce ventilation a bit, so on warm days my head can get hot.
Comfort And Fit
I wear a size small helmet and sometimes it’s hard to find one that fits securely. On the Trace, 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 lightweight 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 Trace helmet are easy to adjust using the standard flip locks on either side. The straps ends are covered in rubber for added protection and prevents unraveling.
Smith’s proprietary AirEvac™ system relieves built up hot air and prevents fogging when worn with performance eyewear. The Trace has storage channels on the side of the helmet to hold sunglasses in place when climbing or at a rest break.
The Trace incorporates XT2® anti-bacterial performance lining. As you sweat it activates XT2 to start destroying odor and inhibit bacteria. After a long hot summer of riding, this feature will help keep the helmet from smelling funky.
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.
For a quick visual of all the key features of the Trace helment, Smith has a short video available.
This spring Smith replaced their best-selling Overtake helmet with the new Trace. With improved ventilation, a sleeker design, and an abundance of safety features, this road helmet is ready to ride. The Trace comes in 9 different colors so you’re sure to find one to match your bike or kit. At $250 MSRP, it’s right in line with the higher end MIPS helmets.
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.