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Review: Smith Express MIPS helmet

Great looks and performance for your commutes and beyond

Smith Express helmet
by Joel Vosburg

Smith, which is well-known for its technology advancements and boundary-pushing looks in the optics space, has made a charge, head first, into the crowded road and mountain bike helmet market during the past few years. Recently, the Smith team has released a commuter helmet designed to move on from the odd cue-ball look the bike industry has been pushing for years, by putting out a lid that at its forefront is safety yet is sleek, modern and stylish. That helmet is the Smith Express MIPS.

Smith Express helmet

Safety and fit of the Smith Express

The Express MIPS comes in four sizes—small to extra large—to fit head sizes ranging from 51 to 65 cm. It has a built-in adjustable dial to fine-tune the fit to each rider’s head. The helmet comes in both a MIPS (featured here) and a non-MIPS version. The MIPS system helps to manage rotational forces in a crash. Since the MIPS helmet is merely $50 more compared with the non-MIPS, the upgrade is high-value and completely worth it. The Express also comes with reflective chin straps and a removable rear light that can easily be turned on and off while riding so you can boost your visibility out on the road.

Smith Express helmet
The MIPS system, the yellow inner layer, moves within the helmet in a crash. That movement helps to address rotational forces on a rider’s head.

Smith Express: Its looks

Smith has done a great job of making a helmet commuters of all ages in both rural and urban settings will want to wear. Whether you are commuting the busy streets of downtown Vancouver or just riding to a friend’s house for dinner in town, this helmet stands out above the rest. Its sleek and stylish design is available in four matte colours—yellow, blue, grey and black.

Smith Express helmet

Features of the Smith Express helmet

Complete with 13 ventilation holes for more than adequate breathability to keep you looking fresh upon arrival. A removable fabric visor to both keep direct light out of your eyes and provide some sweat protection. A removable light that fits into the rear central ventilation port with multiple settings to provide steady or strobing light to warn drivers of your presence. The light can be easily turned on and off while riding.

Smith Express helmet
The Smith Express comes with an integrate rear light that has multiple settings.
Smith Express helmet
The integrate rear light of the Smith Express helmet in action.

The verdict

The Smith Express MIPS has all of the features you could possibly want for commuting complete with a great modern look, all for a very reasonable price of $130 CAD. I think you would be hard pressed to find a helmet with as much value as this one.

Fast facts: Smith Express price

Fast facts: Smith Express cons

  • Rear light is not rechargeable. It runs a CR2032 cell, which lasts a long time.
  • Rear light can be difficult to turn on/off with heavy winter gloves

Fast facts: Smith Express pros

  • Overall look is great compared with other commuter lids on the market
  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • The price is very reasonable for a MIPS helmet: $130
  • 13 vents provide great airflow
  • Removable rear light for greater visibility
  • Adjustable fit system

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