Bike helmets are made up of two protective elements: an exterior plastic shell and an interior liner, the foam layer where the energy of the crash is managed. For decades, helmet liners have been designed with EPS foam. Upon impact, this styrofoam compresses and rebounds, protecting the head to a certain degree. The foam is permanently compressed and therefore rendered useless following a crash, leaving the wearer in need of a new helmet.
Smith has redesigned the way that helmets function under impact. The company has introduced Koroyd — a unique honeycomb structure it claims is far superior to standard EPS foam — into its new bike helmets. Koroyd utilizes a unique thermal welding process that combines thousands of copolymer extruded tubes into one comprehensive lattice that delivers consistent skull protection. Each of these tubes is engineered to be precisely the same as the next, boasting equal durability, size, and thickness.
Koroyd honeycomb cores are considered the next generation of impact protection. Koroyd is designed to crush in a controlled manner upon impact, absorbing kinetic energy as it compresses. As it absorbs the energy, the helmet actually disperses it throughout the entire structure, and in this way expends the impact, thereby reducing total concussion on the skull.
As opposed to traditional helmets, Koroyd is able to better maintain its strength before crushing, lengthening the life of the helmet. After a low-impact crash, a Koroyd helmet can often be used again. Koroyd also offers superior breathability. Its open cell construction actually expels heat from the head while allowing cool air to enter.
At an astoundingly low 250 grams, Koroyd is among the lightest products on the market. Smith has integrated Koroyd into two new helmets — a road-bike-specific Overtake style and mountain-bike-specific Forefront model. The Overtake retails for $280 on Smith’s website and the Forefront retails for $250.
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