From the start Urge never set out to make helmets that blend into the background. The philosophy was simple - do something that stands out as it's better to create products that people love or hate rather than make products that only inspire indifference. When Urge first launched, the "love" group was fairly small, but as the brand has matured and people have caught on to what they are doing, more and more people have found themselves in that group. Here in the Pinkbike offices this new trail helmet, the All-M, gets the full gamut of opinions - from "retarded" through to "one of the best-looking helmets money can buy." Chances are you're already decided on the aesthetics, but what's it like as a piece of protective equipment?
The Development of the All-M
Love it or hate it?
Urge All-M helmet details:
- CE1078 Certification
- In-mold construction (unmatched ratio protection/lightweight)
- Featuring Gangsta pad anti-sweat system
- X straps on neck
- Available in 2 sizes(S/M, L/XL)
- Weight: 305 g
- MSRP: $178.18 USD
We (well, I) loved its predecessor - the Endur-O-Matic. Talking to Zoobab, Urge's designer, he explains this was the starting point. "I started with the Endur-o-matic in mind - like I think Porsche designers always start with a 911 in mind - and I shaped the evolution around it. Inner fitting is a bit different to cover a huge range of head shapes with just a few pads. Instead of making billions of micro vents, we decided to open only a few, but they would be big ones to create real air circulation without looking like Swiss cheese. Because of the special size and shape of of the vents we had to divide them for testing certification. Instead of using the classic EPS bridge for that we decided to develop plastic tubes to create a very nice and efficient system and maintain the low weight. We couldn't use alloy or carbon because those materials are too stiff for impact security."
One thing Urge have always shown is an attention to detail. With the All-M, Zoobab carries on to explain that, "As you can see, the goal was to identify it as an Urge helmet from each side you'll see the helmet. Without any big logos you can see that from afar because we kept the Urge design codes very visible (round parts, smooth but edgy lines, clean details, red dots). To remind me of toy car we had when we were kids, I put gold metal grids in the round side vents to make it looks like racing car wheels. They are details, but for us details are important."
As with all Urge helmets, the details on the All-M are fantastic - from the little metal plates that hold the visor in place, to big, reinforced vents and the embossed red dots, which they add just because they like it. At the back is their unique, but simple retention system.
Where Urge take a different route to any other helmet manufacturer out there is the strapping and fit. Rather than use a complex retention system, in previous helmets Urge used BMX-style straps. For the All-M this has evolved into a cross-strap at the back of the helmet - the straps from either side simply cross at the back of the head. What is impressive is how well this simple system works - we're surprised how little it gives up to other retention systems. Our first one of these helmets to test had a different retainer below the ear to flatten the straps, for some reason this didn't make it to production, which is a shame as it actually worked slightly better than the production version, keeping the straps flatter against your face.
Urge only makes a limited number of shell sizes, and then use different thickness of padding. This may sound a little basic, but we've heard relatively few reports of people having problems with the fit of the helmets - quite the opposite in fact. The padding has a dual function in these helmets - at the front they have named the pad the Gangsta Pad. It sits around a centimeter below the base of the helmet and allows the sweat to evaporate before it can reach your face to run down into your eyes. It may sound simple, but it is surprisingly effective. As Zoobab puts it, " It's very basic, but we are very proud of our stupid, basic, clever solutions…"On The Trail
Combining a good fit and the cross-strapping added up to a very comfortable helmet. It doesn't move about when you're riding - not matter how hard you're pushing. Compared to the previous Endur-O-Matic, the increase in venting is both noticeable and welcome. We never sat in the group that felt the Endur-O-Matic was too hot to be good, but this helmet is a marked improvement in terms of airflow.
This helmet inspires enough confidence to charge through whatever the trail throws at you.
Where we like Urge helmets particularly is when it comes down to what matters - eating dirt. The reason we tried a pre-production and a production version of this helmet is because we trashed the first one. The front wheel went on some loose, wet dirt, I was straight out the front door, with the bike coming back over the top and smashing into the back of the head to remind me that I'd crashed... Sure it put an end to the day's riding, but I walked away from that one, the helmet didn't. Urge make their helmets soft, so they break and deform more easily than many other helmets we've tried. For anyone not familiar with the intricacies of helmet design, to put it simply: if your helmet is taking the hit like that, it means your head isn't. Combine that with good coverage around the back of the head and you have a confidence-inspiring package.Pinkbike's take:
|We've been using Urge helmets for a couple of years now and continue to be impressed with the protection they offer. If the looks, the details and their approach to helmet design do it for you, there's little else we need to say. There was a running joke with Zoobab, the helmet's designer, when we were writing this review; we were struggling to come up with more than a single sentence to sum up this helmet, so it seems fitting to end there: "It's comfortable and I like the way it looks." - Matt Wragg|