Aerodynamic helmets are a cost effective way to improve your race performance or to just look faster on weekend rides. The Ignite is Smith’s race day ready aero helmet that combines a sleek aerodynamic profile with Koroyd and MIPS safety features. With a retail price of $250, the Ignite features a smooth exterior with 10 fixed vents to funnel air through the helmet while minimizing aerodynamic drag. In addition to the MIPS liner, the Ignite has zonal Koroyd which is an innovative impact absorbing material that uses a structure of co-polymer extruded tubes on the two front vents. In terms of fitment, the helmet has their VayporFit Dial adjustment system with an easy to use rear dial.
The Smith Ignite aerodynamic helmet combines a sleek low-drag profile with the latest Koroyd and MIPS safety features.
|Measured weight (in g)||314 (medium)|
|Likes||+ Aerodynamic profile|
+ Eye-catching Matte Cinder Haze color scheme
+ Large vents funnel air through the helmet
|Dislikes||– Orange Matte Cinder Haze color may attract bees|
|Where to Buy (US)||Smith Optics|
The Smith Ignite comes in a standard helmet box with pavement graphics printed on it. Inside the box you’ll find:
- Ignite helmet
- Branded storage bag
- Info tags for Koroyd and Smith
The included black fabric bag is perfect for protecting the helmet while storing it or traveling with it.
FIT & FINISH
Visually the Smith Ignite has the classic shallow and elongated profile aerodynamic helmets are known for. There are 10 strategically placed vents and an elongated rear to allow the helmet to slice through air while keeping you cool. Unlike helmets like the Bollé Furo MIPS which have removable vent covers, the Ignite’s vents are all fixed. Smith offers the helmet in a few color variations from classic Matte Black and Matte White to the eye-catching Matte Cinder Haze (e.g. a orange digital geometric camo print that blends multiple shades of orange with geometric pattern) shown in this review. The unique graphic scheme sets Smith apart from other companies which typically stick to solid color schemes.
The helmet itself blends elements from other Smith helmets like the Trace but has an extended rear profile to optimize aerodynamics. While the front vent placement is similar to the POC Ventral Spin helmet, the Ignite has more of a TT like semi-circle rear profile. The two center front vents are wide open to allow air directly through the helmet while the larger side vents have zonal Koroyd. An additional two vents on top of the helmet help scoop air and right out the rear. Our favorite design element of the helmet is the rear vent which is split down the center with a smooth foam divider that looks like the interior of a wind tunnel. At first glance, the zonal Koroyd looks like a honeycomb structure but is actually a safety technology found in many of Smith’s helmets that is designed to absorb impact while still allowing airflow through the vent.
Inside the helmet, you’ll find the standard MIPS liner that has been carefully cut around the vents. Removable padding has been placed at all the contact points and is soft to the touch. As you’d expect for a helmet at this price point, the external shell fully wraps around the lip of the helmet for a sleek fully-finished appearance. The side straps are single layer webbing and are light and flexible to the touch. Smith has even retained the Y splitters, a feature many helmets drop to minimize weight, on the straps to allow for adjustment as well as a simple plastic buckle closure. The VayporFit retention system is a standard cradle design with rear dial that can easily be adjusted.
ON THE ROAD
While we can’t verify any of the aerodynamic claims, the Ignite certainly makes you feel fast on the road. The medium size we wore fit very similarly to other medium helmets we’ve worn and was very comfortable on our head. We found it easy to adjust the dial or strap positions to get a secure fit whether we wore the helmet on its own or with a buff. Despite being an aerodynamic helmet, we found that the Ignite also had great ventilation even on long slow climbs, thanks to the open center vents. Our only complaint is that the bright orange color scheme seems to attract bees more than our other helmets.
Overall, we found the Smith Ignite to be an attractive and comfortable helmet. Particularly in the bright orange Matte Cinder Haze color scheme, the Ignite is a slippery looking helmet that blends traditional road cycling helmets with a TT like rear profile. Despite the large zonal Koroyd insets in the front side vents, we found the Ignite had enough airflow to keep us comfortable on high-intensity climbs. Even finished in the more subtle solid color schemes, the Ignite is a sleek looking helmet that can potentially help you cut a few seconds off your race times or at least make you feel faster.
Disclaimer: The product for this review was provided by Smith Optics. The views expressed on this website are solely those of the authors and are here to help people make an informed choice before a purchase. The authors or the blog itself does not get any monetary compensation from the product manufacturer or third-party websites/vendor links that are posted here.