Being the most important safety accessory that you should use, nowadays helmets are almost like part of your bike. You just can’t go out and ride with your beautiful pink brain exposed to the breeze and to the impact of a huge rock that you WILL eventually hit some day. Falls happen, and they do a lot in Enduro Racing when you test your limits, you just have to be aware of it and prepare yourself to minimize and attenuate the injuries, so that you can get up, get rid of the dust in your gloves and continue to rip down the trail.
That being said, and in order to help you choose the right one for your needs and style, we got the opportunity to test some of the URGE helmets, particularly, all of the MTB collection.
DirtOmatic is a skate-style hard shell helmet from Urge that I think it stands out from others thanks to a various number of reasons… mainly style! It’s available in some really bold and hipster colours to get with your hipster style, making you the “super-trendy-minimal-fashion-king” of the dirt park.
Enduro-wise it’s a very useable lid, but it suffers from some style-related consequences. It’s amazing weight for a closed shell helmet, as well as the nice interior padding choices, makes it very comfortable to use, just like if you’re wearing a cap. But this “comfiness” – and because we’re in Portugal and the weather gets really hot down here not only in the summer – soon goes away when the sweat drops start hitting your eyebrows. Bigger bore vents would ease this chafe, but hey, then it wouldn’t be so pretty would it? But some internal venting channels would make that little breeze that comes in, to flow through your hair like you’re in some kind of a shampoo commercial.
The cap-style snap-on peak is the final touch, it adds some serious style to the helmet without compromising face safety keeping the minimalist appearance. Function wise as a solar eye-protection… well maybe if you’re in Cape Verde and it’s noon, but it really is a cool detail!
Regarding the fact that was not made for MTB riding, it’s a really well made helmet and a good choice to wear if your interest is to look cool without compromising safety, but – at least here in Portugal – not for the Summer.
- cool colour choices
- optimal protection
- “one size fits all” (some real world sizing would be perfect)
- hot in the summer
EndurOmatic, the name says it all, made for Enduro use, full stop.
I first saw the endur-o-matic on a french magazine and it immediately got my attention, the looks, the quality construction and the extraordinary protection it provides for a helmet that it’s supposed to be used for long distance epic days going up and down, especially the latter.
When we grab it first time it feels super lightweight as being a hard shell (and almost fully closed) we are expecting for something more heavy than the ordinary xc helmet but it isn’t! the Endur-o-matic keeps the promise and delivers a lightweight hard shell.
In the head it feels great, after some initial fitting and adjustments (there are two different internal spacers to fit) it just feels sooo comfortable, really overreached my initial expectations. It seems like even if you don’t “close” the security strap the helmet will stay in it’s place.
The protection level inspired by the hard shell is (I would say) above the average, as we have full protection on the sides and in the back of the head, unlike an ordinary xc helmet. Must say I already got the chance (for several times) to test the endur-o-matic crash / protection capabilities as sometimes I feel a certain attraction by some rocks, and it never let me down (it doesn’t even have a dent or mark, the hard shell is very strong indeed!).
If you get the sizing right, the endur-o-matic it’s a great helmet with super protection and super cool look.
- extra protection (when compared to other gravity oriented models)
- cool colour choices
- construction quality and nice details (like the flexible visor)
- sizing not easy to decide…
- hot (in some climbs there might be the need to get the helmet off to cool down your head!)
Taking a closer look at this one that was created with the enduro races in mind, it has enough protection for the dh sections and a large opening for breathability and cooling and the rubber bow in the shin protection adds style and it’s really handy to rest your hand when you’re hydrating and so light that you forget that is one on your head.
- none if you look at it as a enduro race helmet, but it can get warm if you use it as a all around.
The DownOmatic is the hard pack – downhill piece but many enduro riders wear it because it’s light, comfortable and very well ventilated.
It’s a very well built lid and looks sweet with awesome graphics and colors.
The main character of this helmet is for sure, the big round holes. This grilled vents are the brand mark. Just beautiful.
The other good idea is the visor. Super flexible and stylish. It´s perfect to crash (ahahaha)
Because it’s a downhill oriented helmet, in big enduro stages it can be very hot, but it´s perfect for riders that need that extra protection. It´s a compromise.
In terms of weight (996 gr) versus material (composite fiber) versus retail price, it’s very good.
- cool color choices
- big and grilled vent
- Flexible anti-crash visor
- hot in long enduro stages (but hey, it’s a DH helmet!)
Urge is one of our favorite helmet brands much due to the fact that they actually think of us. All Mountain riding is in fast progression and evolution. Now, every MTB oriented brand has one or more AM oriented frames, wheels, really high-tech seatposts and even tires and stuff! Urge is no different and decided to design a really AM oriented helmet, combining that extra protection that you cannot get from a XC lid, with the efficient head freshness that you cannot expect from an Enduro or DH helmet, and at last but never not least, the beautiful design that makes you be sure you’re looking at an Urge helmet 200 meters away.
For this new design, the french brand adopted some of the concepts in it’s original designs, and added some new stuff like big vents and Alloy tubes to reinforce the open structure. Unfortunately it’s not possible to make this kind of functional helmet to be as cool as the others but that’s just a matter of choice and personal taste…
For 2012, Urge is really into helping our planet future and their classic crossed strap fixing system is made from recycled material. Which lead us to our last paragraph on this review.
The Urge all-M is hopefully available mid this year.
The 2012 Urge suggestion to us all is to do something for our planet. Following this thought, they come with this high-tech fibre from low-tech materials to replace fiberglass that is very dangerous to work with and requires a lot of energy to make it useable. As described in their website, the Veggie models are partly made from a “100% natural and vegetal fibre: the linen fibre” which comes obviously from Linen which “is a plant that produces really pretty blue flowers and grows in fields with low water needs, without fertilizer or chemical products.”
Is this the future of composites? Natural fibres, recycled and recyclable, which require a lot less energy to be produced and don’t represent a danger to the environment? MTB is supposed to be in harmony with nature and get the most of its natural characteristics, so, in order to keep that going for many years, we think it’s a very important step from them.
The full details on Urge helmets lineup it’s available on Urge website, have a look!
Note: we would like to say a big thanks to Luis Lúcio from Freeride.pt for the opportunity to test the Urge Helmets lineup.