The new Smith Payroll MTB helmet comes loaded with safety features including a built-in impact crash sensor

Smith Payroll MTB helmet
The option to include the Aleck CS Intelligent Impact crash sensor enhances the overall safety features (Image credit: Smith)

Smith has launched its latest bike helmet – the all-new Payroll, which is claimed to be a lightweight, half-shell helmet, that is packed with safety features. Aimed at Enduro and trail, plus it's certified for e-MTB riding, it shares a similar look to the Smith Session MIPS and Smith Forefront 2 helmets we have previously reviewed. 

The new helmet sits in between these as far as pricing goes, and I had a look to see how this helmet measures up against its similar siblings and the best mountain bike helmets currently available.

The new Smith Payroll MTB helmet in Dusk color

The Payroll includes the choice of five color options (Image credit: Smith)

Safety first

What’s very interesting about the Payroll is that Smith has also added the choice of integrating the new Aleck CS Intelligent Impact crash sensor into the Payroll's fit system. The limited edition Matte Black includes the Aleck crash sensor which can measure impact forces should a crash occur. 

It also confirms a rider's condition and sends an emergency message with a GPS location if necessary. The Aleck crash sensor will connect to chosen contacts via the free Aleck phone app and quite cleverly any other Aleck app users within a 1.8-mile radius. There is an additional cost when purchasing the Payroll with the Aleck CS system, but no subscription after the initial purchase.

Other safety features in the Payroll include a Koroyd in-mold construction which not only helps with the weight, but it gives optimum coverage with a proven energy-absorbing capability and well-ventilated impact protection. Like the majority of the best MTB helmets, Smith includes the MIPS Brain Protection System, which for anyone who doesn't know, MIPS reduces rotational forces caused by impacts to the head in the event of a crash. 

The Payroll is CPSC and CE EN 1078 certified, and also NTA-8776 e-bike certified which tests MTB helmets at higher speeds to support impact protection when riding the best electric mountain bikes.

The new Smith Payroll MTB helmet worn by female rider

Smith say the Payroll helmet is designed for ultimate integration with its sunglasses range (Image credit: Smith)

Weight comparisons

The Payroll makes lightweight claims and it's said to come in at 400g in a size Medium. That makes it 20g heavier than the Smith Forefront 2, 40g heavier than the Endura Singletrack MIPS, and the same weight as the POC Kortal Race MIPS in the same size option. These are all very similar half-shell helmets with most of the same built-in safety systems too.

Additional features

Smith has also designed the Payroll for ultimate integration with its renowned range of Smith performance eyewear and goggles. The Payroll offers maximum comfort, venting, and storage convenience including the three-position adjustable visor to generously accommodate the best mountain bike sunglasses and goggles.

Elsewhere the Payroll includes an Iconic+ antimicrobial lining providing perspiration absorption and odor control. For fine-tuning comfort and fit, Smith’s VaporFit system provides 270-degree fit adjustment and 19 vents with internal air channels to keep riders cool.

The new Smith Payroll MTB helmet in Trail Camo color

The new helmet from Smith is aimed at Enduro, Trail, and also e-MTB riding (Image credit: Smith)

Pricing and availability

The Payroll is available now in five color options including a Matte Black limited edition with Aleck CS priced at $220 / £220 / €220. Five options without the Aleck CS are White, Trail Camo, Dusk, Matte Black, and Sedona priced at $200 / £175 / €190. 

Further information on Payroll and all the Smith rance can be found at

Paul Brett
Staff writer

Based in Edinburgh, Paul Brett is a staff writer for He has been an avid cyclist for as long as he can remember, initially catching the mountain biking bug in the 1990s, and raced mountain bikes for over a decade before injury cut short a glittering career. He’s since developed an obsession for gravel riding and recently has dabbled in the dark art of cyclocross. A fan of the idea of bikepacking he has occasionally got involved and has ridden routes like the North Coast 500, Scotland and the Via Francigena (Pilgrim Route), Italy.

Current rides: Marin Alpine Trail 2, Ribble 725, Cube Stereo 160

Height: 175cm