Urge Endur-O-Matic Review

Helmets Pro Reviews

The helmet has eight cooling or venting portholes, which are all 30mm in size (half dollar), four at the front, two on top and two at the rear. They are positioned and designed to create a Venturi effect, and work in synergy with the visor, which enhances and directs the airflow. Although the holes do help ventilate, this is not a roadie styled maximum air conditioning unit, and it can get warm, especially when moving at slow speeds when the visor can’t do it’s turbo boosting assistance. If the front pad gets too damp, it can be pulled out and slapped on your thigh to get rid of excess moisture, and this odd method does the job surprisingly well. The venting system is somewhat problematic, and it can get a bit toasty on really hot days, but the temperature compromise needs to be weighed against the benefits of the excellent safety features.

The flexible visor really extends out over the front of the helmet, acting as an excellent sun guard, greatly aiding in keeping the face from getting heat flush and a sun beating. In addition the visor offers rain, snow and hail protection when it’s encountered, which I got to test in spades during the usual Colorado Winter and Spring weather conditions. I added a small piece of protection tape under the middle of the visor and helmet interface, since it seemed to scratch up the helmet as the visor moved back and forth on the helmets surface. The visor is bolted down on its sides, but it’s pliable and loose enough not to cause issues when crashing, and it deforms easily without breaking, and doesn’t get grabbed by the ground and cause head twisting. It worked like a charm on the several small crashes I took, and it performed like the visor wasn’t really there.

The helmet has been very durable, and except for the spot under the middle of the visor interface (where it rubbed), nothing out of the ordinary has shown signs of wear. Since it’s not a normally vented setup, when using any sort of video camera or night light, it requires a stick on mount, much like a full faced helmet requires. I really liked the extra protection that the helmet offered, as it not only extended far down the neck and towards the ears, but the helmet shape meant it really cradled the head. The cradling or cupping of the head meant the helmet didn’t flop around or feel sloppy, and felt as though it was an extension of your noggin. It felt much safer since it seemed to encase, envelope and wrap around the head, offering a great degree of protection and serenity when pushing the edge into ugly heinous terrain. The overall round shape of the shell meant it rolled better during a crash, and had fewer tendencies to get caught or pinched in debris or terrain obstacles.

The outer shape, and colors were nice, and it was an ideal compromise between a full face helmet and a traditional vented bike helmet, and you certainly would never be mistaken for a roadie! When I got ready to drop down into the gnar, all that was needed was a tightening of the chin strap, and you were ready to go. The decreased proliferation of venting holes also meant fewer tree branches could penetrate or get caught, whether riding through a wooded area or during crashes, and the same scenario for small stones and other debris.

Another nice little bonus is that it comes with a useful helmet bag, and I ended up using with many other helmets for travel protection. I wish more vendors would include a simple bag with their helmets?

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About the author: Brian Mullin

Brian has been part of the Mtbr team since 2007, where he has become an integral member of the review and test staff, specializing in technical articles. He likes to push the limits in all the sports he obsesses in, whether it's mountain biking, whitewater kayaking, extreme skiing, or sport climbing. He takes those same strengths and a good dose of insanity to his reviewing and writing on mountain biking products, creating technical, in-depth and hyperbolic articles. Whenever he's not on the bike, he might be found watching MotoGP racing, otherwise look for him out on extremely technical singletrack.


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  • WW says:

    Urge is also a member of 1% for the planet meaning 1% of their company profits goes to help or planet. Good on them!

  • Veda says:

    I just bought this last week! It’s easily the safest and sturdiest helmet I’ve ever owned and I’ve owned practically all brands in the past. Wanted a POC Trabec Race but couldn’t justify the price. This Urge does just fine as substitute, actually more than fine as it’s only 305gr which is acceptably light. Will purchase more Urge in the future for AM usage. For XC I’ll stick with my proven superlight MET Kaos UL.

  • henrik says:

    1996 called and wants it Troy Lee Design style helmet back!

  • Pico says:

    ^^^^^
    THIS!

    And really, what’s with the Flash Gordon lightening bolts?

  • Pete says:

    I’ve looked at this helmet, but the lack of air flow/venting kept me from buying one.

  • chris says:

    It looks nearly exactly like my Giro snowboard helmet. Which I took the liner out and tried riding with once, but just once cause it made my head sweat like CRAZY!!! HOT HOT HOT. (obviously I don’t know for sure if this helmet is the same, but it’s the same amount of vents with the same type construction) I think these helmets make lots of sense for urban, skate park riding with the extra protection for the back of the head. But for AM, if it’s gonna be that hot you might as well have the face protection added in…

    The visor is a good idea, though I can’t stand it when a visor is crooked. (have that issue with soft visors on paintball masks)

  • Justin says:

    I would easily pick protection over ventilation any day. I’m currently doing my own self funded helmet shoot out between the Urge, POC Trabec, and the Kali Avita carbon and I don’t feel that the POC or the Kali have a noticable advantage over the Urge in ventilation.

  • Rob says:

    I can’t believe these helmets get good reviews. I have the urge downomatic and feel it is the most inferior helmet in it’s price range. Just look at the pictures of the padding inside these things. The only positives are the weight and unique look.

  • Mark says:

    I’ve owned this helmet for three months and can say that it’s the most comfortable helmet I’ve owned. It’s also light and has decent ventilation. I like that it isn’t another modified roadie helmet. Highly recommended.

  • Brian Mullin says:

    1) been waiting for almost a year to test a POC Trabec Race (still waiting, sort of given up?)
    2) I found this helmet to extremely comfortable, can’t compare it to the Downomatic since I never tried one?
    3) It’s not a snowboard helmet, which isn’t really meant to ventilate
    4) Once your moving the helmet has pretty decent ventilation, and the visor and Venturi effect work together, but it’s not a roadie helmet
    5) the safety factor, visor and extra protection that this helmet provides are it’s main attractions
    6) it is a French company, so the Flash Gordon look comes with the territory ;>)

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