What It Is: Smith first debuted its Koroyd construction in mountain bike lids, and finally, it’s coming to a road helmet, the new Smith Overtake, just in time for the sweatiest season of the year.
Why We Like It: The Overtake features Koroyd protection. The basic idea behind the material is that of a crumple zone in your car. That stands in contrast to the industry standard (for nearly 50 years) of EPS foam that essentially shatters when hit hard enough. In addition, Koroyd has another key advantage, which is that you can actually see it deform in the event of a crash, so you’d know to trash your lid, whereas micro-cracks can compromise an EPS cap without being able to detect the weakness. Finally, it’s extremely breathable, because it’s basically a honeycomb full of holes. So even though it’s closer-fitting than the competition, it never felt oppressive during tests.
Nitpick: Smith is an eyewear brand, first and foremost, and the Overtake is designed to dovetail closely with the arms of their shades, so that they “dock” in place above the brow if the sky grows dark or you’re in climbing mode and sweating too hard to see. Which is fine, but not if you don’t have Smith sunglasses, because the Koroyd liner doesn’t allow the temples of non-Smith sunglasses to poke into the Overtake. This is a genuine nitpick, not a dealbreaker, because you can always stuff those lenses in your jersey.