Smith has some of the most recognizable mountain bike helmets on the market. And if you’re like me, you have at least a few helmets out there for different activities or disciplines—one for trail, a full-face for bike park, one for snowboarding, and another for road/gravel/XC riding. It sounds a little silly now that I’m writing it out, but it’s nice to be able to have different options, just like you would have a different bike for each type of ride.
Smith’s Trace helmet is a lightweight visor-less helmet for rides when speed and weight matter a little more than bulk and coverage. The Trace says it’s “all about versatility,” and is made for anything from road to gravel to bikepacking. It’s been a great cross-country helmet for me too.
The Trace is created with an integrated skeletal structure making a “roll cage” for strength and impact protection, which is also enhanced with MIPS and Koroyd, a double-whammy on top of the EPS foam structure. The Trace helmet has 18 vents for airflow, an anti-mocrobial lining on its foam inserts, and what Smith calls AirEvac ventilation, a system that works with the brand’s optics for fog-free glasses.
The helmet weighs a scant 280g, comes in three sizes and an overwhelming ten colors. The MSRP is $250.
Smith Trace ride impressions
Just as Smith says, the Trace can be worn for just about anything. Don’t let the “road” categorization on their site fool you. I’ve been wearing the helmet on gravel and singletrack and the first thing that grabbed me is the Trace’s looks. I love the earthy two-tone colors, which I assume stand out to off-road riders over the often racey flashes on road wear.
The Trace feels very light and I found a good fit on the helmet after some minor strap adjustments. The helmet secures with a regular trident-style buckle and functionally, there aren’t any surprises here. The Trace is a regular ol’ bike helmet, but with modern looks and colors and a combination of MIPS and Koroyd.
That certainly adds to the price. Like the Forefront 2 trail helmet with both Koroyd and MIPS, the Trace is basically Smith’s flagship visor-less helmet, whereas the less-expensive Smith Persist visor-less helmet doesn’t have Koroyd.
Airflow on the Trace is plentiful and the helmet is easily forgotten about on long rides, which is really all you can ask for in terms of comfort. Smith says the air ventilation system is meant to work with their eyewear, and though other glasses should fit fairly fine, it is true that I haven’t had any pairing issues with their optics and the Trace. It doesn’t hurt that the Smith Shift Split Mag glasses have some of the same colorways too.
Pros and cons of the Smith Trace helmet
- Great aesthetic and lots of colors
- Easy to wear on long rides
- Matching sunglasses
- Some more affordable options out there
Smith’s Trace helmet is a lightweight visor-less bike helmet with rugged good looks and a good fit.