The Smith Venture MIPS mountain bike helmet is a cross country or trail helmet designed for mountain bike riders wanting a light and comfortable helmet that can keep them safe. Smith is a well-known company with a reputation for producing high-end products, and the Venture is no exception. In this Smith Venture MIPS review, we will look into who it suits and the pros and cons of the helmet.
It is aimed at the everyday mountain bike rider who tackles the local bike park, trails, or for a commuter wanting a super nice-looking lid. We wouldn’t recommend this helmet for the advanced downhill or enduro rider wanting to tackle the advanced trails. As it doesn’t quite have the protection and coverage for high speed crashes on gnarly terrain.
This Smith Venture review will look into the details to see if it suits you and your riding style!
For any kind of rider, beginner through to professional, you need to keep that head safe. Features we recommend looking for include;
- EPS foam protected by an outer polycarbonate shell
- An anti-rotational system- such as MIPS
- A visor
- Coverage around the back of the head
- Adjustable fitting system to keep the helmet snug on your head
You will find that the Smith Venture meets these criteria, but now we will dive into the specifics.
Smith Venture MIPS Helmet Review
- Safety Features
- Fixed visor is quite low
Design and Construction
The Smith Venture looks sleek. There is no doubt that it is a nice-looking helmet! It uses modern styles and looks much more expensive than it is.
Check out the best looking mountain bike helmets here!
It uses in-mold technology to bind the EPS foam to the outer polycarbonate shell. This holds the structure together nicely, makes it more durable, and looks flasher!
The visor is fixed, which means you don’t get an option of where the visor is placed. It is removable if you want to improve the aerodynamics, but that does mean you give up on the protection from the sun and low hanging branches.
The main niggle with this helmet was that the fixed visor was very low and cut into my vision. I got a sore neck after a while of riding and realized it was because I was craning my neck to see up ahead properly.
In saying this, I was riding in an open space rather than on a trail, so I was looking further ahead than if I had been on a more technical trail (e.g., looking 100 meters ahead as opposed to 10 meters!). It was also about an hour into the ride with no stops before I felt my neck straining. So, if you do shorter rides or stop reasonably often, you might not even notice it! Just something to consider.
The Smith Venture MIPS mountain bike helmet features MIPS technology. MIPS is an anti-rotational technology that dissipates rotational energy in a crash to protect the rider’s brain. Without MIPS, there is a much higher possibility of damage to the brain. Personally, I never ride without an anti-rotational technology, nor do I recommend to others to ride without it. For a minimally higher price, it could save your life!
Linear impacts are reduced by the EPS (Expanded Polystyrene) foam, protecting your skull. The foam will crush on impact, effectively slowing down the crash, which reduces the energy transferred to your head.
The rear of the helmet extends down the back of the head slightly, offering a bit more protection than helmets without it. Having extended coverage useful in a crash if you hit the back of the head (very common in mountain bike crashes) as it protects the skull or knocks to the head from rocks, sticks, or other sharp objects.
Comfort, Ventilation, and Weight
I have no complaints about the comfort of the Venture. It fit well, the padding was soft, and there were no pressure points anywhere on the helmet.
The fitting system – ‘VaporFit,’ used a dial at the rear of the helmet to secure the fit and had a decent gap for the ponytail out the back. It was easy to use, even while riding, and had plenty of adjustment settings.
The straps were easily adjustable, and I never found they got in the way or rubbed against my face.
The ventilation wasn’t too bad, either. While not as breezy as some of the more expensive Smith lids, it does allow air to flow through quite well. The Venture has 20 optimized vents and two internal air channels, which effectively allows air to flow over the rider’s head to reduce the heat build-up.
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Weighing in at 340 grams for a size medium, it is very lightweight. For comparison, the lightest top-of-the-line helmets on the market at the moment, such as the Specialized Ambush, weigh around the same!
In all, the Smith Venture MIPS is a highly protective helmet that will keep you as safe as possible in a crash. The intended use is for trail rider or the safety/style-conscious commuter.
We wouldn’t recommend it for super long rides as the visor is quite low. Unless you are happy to tilt the helmet back a little to give you a bit more vision.
But otherwise, it looks good, has a comfortable fit, and great value for money!
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