Great for humid conditions, the Smith Rhythm goggles keep clear where others mist up, thanks to an open weave frame

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Score 9

Smith Rhythm MTB


  • • Lightweight, low profile and comfortable
  • • Great lens optics
  • • Superb anti fog properties and ventilation
  • • Face foam wicks great and dries fast


  • • Open design allows insects or debris to easily get inside 
  • • Not cheap
  • • Hard to find replacement lenses


The Smith Rhythm goggles are lightweight, breezy and brilliant… but beware of flying insects


Price as reviewed:


Mountain bike goggles goggles are prone to steaming up when you heat up, especially on cold and damp days, and Smith’s Rhythm uses the same open lattice frame idea as the Squad model to try and get round this problem. This makes lenses less prone to steaming up, and quicker to clear if they do. But there are other consequences, the open design means ditching the foam around the frame that traditionally kept out debris, dust and roost on motocross goggles. The best mountain bike goggles cut a perfect line between protection and clear vision, the Rhythm will have to do the same to join them.

Three layer foam sandwich is both comfy and secure… the open frame weave is great for demisting too

Design and specification

The Rhythm sits tight on the face and – just like the Smith Squad XL goggle – is one of the most low-profile options on the market. This is important because it keeps the lens closer to your eyes and thereby widens the effective field of view. The Rhythm frame differs, however, by being a continuous loop like most other goggles on the market while the Squad lens/frame is ‘open’ around the outer corners with the lens exposed. 

This results in a slightly stiffer, less flimsy chassis here and means it is marginally heavier, at 120g. It’s still one of the lightest on the market though. The Rhythm costs around £10 more than Squads in the ChromaPop lens varieties and £15 more with a clear lens.

The Smith Squad XL offers massive coverage, and its low profile design is an obvious influence on the new Rhythm too

A three-layer ‘DriWix’ foam sandwich seals it around your eyes, wicks sweat away from the skin fast and dries really quickly. The outer layer next to the skin is super soft and the stack of foam underneath is slightly sturdier than Squads and also more sculpted in the nose bridge area. This nose bridge is more cutaway too, which helps the Rhythm sit well and doesn’t pinch your nose and restrict airflow the way some goggles do. It feels more open while allowing the lens to sit closer to eyeballs to reduce any ‘goldfish bowl’ sensation.

On the frame’s interior, there’s a matt black finish to reduce glare and reflections and the goggles are held on by a wide silicone-backed adjustable strap. Smith also sells Rhythm extras including a roll-off system for wet conditions and microscreen inserts to cover where thin foam would have traditionally lined the frame – I’m not sure why it doesn’t ship with this, but presumably it’s because even a microscreen cover impacts on ventilation.

The lens itself is injection moulded and pre-curved with slim slots on the upper edge to further help with venting. The clear lens I tested is thicker and more pre-formed than the Squad with replacements costing £29.99. It also seems to be pretty scratch resistant compared to many clear lenses from other brands. 

In terms of model options, Rhythms with a ChromaPop lens also have an extra clear lens included for £99.99, whereas the clear lens-only models are £84.99, so the former looks a better deal to me. Smith also includes a microfibre bag that doubles as a lens wipe with all models.

The cutaway nose bridge means the Rhythm doesn’t impinge on your nose, and consequently your breathing


Putting the Rhythms on, there’s an immediate sense of a low profile, unobtrusive fit. They feel very lightweight and the specially shaped nose bridge means they don’t pinch or restrict airflow like some brands, even cinched up tight. I found them even more invisible and transparent than Smith’s Squads, which is possibly thanks to this tapered nose bridge piece.

The lens has excellent clarity and the interior is glare free with a really wide field of vision in all directions. It’s also an advantage that there are no annoying tabs for tear offs in your peripheral vision on the sides – only in hindsight can I see this is actually a bit annoying on other lenses.

Fog resistance is really impressive, and even on cold, steamy, humid days in winter or during summer rainfall in the trees the Rhythm really resists steaming up. Because the fully open frame lets air circulate freely behind, lens fog rarely happens anyway, but if it does (in an uplift for example), the lens clears rapidly as soon as you move, presumably aided by those upper lens vents. 

Sizing is somewhere between a Squad and Squad XL – I found it fitted my face and a few different helmets I wore perfectly and because the frame is a bit more solid, the face foam seems to take longer to deteriorate and lose little chunks too. I’ve ‘worn out’ the foam edges on some Squad goggles more quickly, which might be due to a different foam or the bendier Squad frame… it’s hard to say.

Some riders might not like how the Rhythm allows constant air flow across your eyes and face. For me, it was never to the extent it made my eyes water, and it was well worth it for the exceptional anti-fog performance. One negative aspect of the open mesh frame is tiny bits of mud of debris can occasionally get inside the frame and sometimes bugs too. This happened to me almost daily in Italy while riding, and it can be a major distraction to have something tiny buzzing around close to your eyes. Overall, though, the open design is a trade off I’ll happily take for the demisting qualities and you could always try Smith’s (extra cash) Microscreen inserts if it’s a major issue.

Is the Rhythm a better choice than the mighty Squad XL? Probably yes, if you tend to mist up in humid conditions


With an extra wide field of view and a lightweight and unobtrusive fit, Smith Optics do some the best mountain bike goggles for my money. With Smith’s open mesh frame, the Rhythm’s anti-fog ability is unrivalled, and the clear lens here works in all light conditions, has great clarity and resists scratching way better than most. Whenever I try rival brands there is always something I can’t get along with quite as well. So, despite the high price, having the best fit and function with Smith goggles and actually seeing where you are going as best you can is a no-brainer.


Sizes:One size only
Lenses:Chroma Pop package comes with clear lens included
Colours:13 different lens/frame colour combinations