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|
Finally a helmet that inspires confidence. The million other bike helmets out there that all pass every standard required only protect your head in the event of a crash.
Do the big red buttons engage Turbo Mode?
The round jet exhaust outlets towards the rear sides are placed perfectly. Those are exactly the locations on the head where heat bursts out of the skull. Ingenious design.
This dude should have been wearing an Urge helmet instead then... according to that statement he'd have been chowing down on Gazelle burgers instead of laying on the floor like wilder beast road kill.
Casuality??? I think NOT
The issue is tooling cost. Those molds are super complicated to get all the vents in there. They need to have slides and some pull apart from multiple directions.. This one also has the co-molding of the plastic tubes inside of the foam tool.. You're not just buying the lid, you're paying for RnD and tooling. I'd guess the tool for one helmet size is well north of $75K.
$178 is a significant amount of dough to drop for a half dome. Totally with ya there.
Actually no. I just bought a Fox Float F32 CTD- adjust fork for my mtb, at close to $1200 Canadian it was not cheap by any means but after a few rides on it this month I think it's worth every penny I payed for it. I look at a product and figure out if it's really worth what they are asking for it. As far as companies making profit, if you sell for a reasonable price you usually sell allot more units than if you sell something for a high price and though you make less per unit you make more profit in the long run.
As for unit sales, again, AM lids target a very specific market, so unit sales are not going to tremendous regardless of cost. Urge has this price point based on their market model for this helmet. Like I said above, there is a ton of related costs associated with the sales price which co way beyond just BOM and profit. There's lots of other good to great AM lids in $100+ range, so there's lots of choice. Saying anything above $75 is a ripoff ignores all the additional requirements needed for a company to stay viable, not to mention not understanding the materials, compound blends, speciality components, and work that goes into making light, strong, cool (as in airflow) helmets. These are not simple "styrofoam" shells. Considering the amount of money spent on my bike, spending $100 to $200 on a helmet that best protects my most valuable asset (my brain) is trivial.
Couldn't disagree more. Their lids only really fit people with regular (med or small) sized heads. Anyone with a slightly larger cranium should definitely go fit them on before purchasing. My head is 62cm in circumference and I can't squeeze my head into the enduro-matic, even with the large shell and the thin padding.
OK I lie - I could squeeze it in, but it would be unbearable to ride with.
All that, coupled with the fact that you can no longer buy Urge helmets in bike shops in Canada, means I will not get one. If people are wondering what I mean, Mountain Equipment Co-op is now the exclusive dealer AND distributor in Canada. Bike shops can no longer buy or sell them!
I'd get the TSG Substance: Less than half the cost and 240 grams!
Personally I like my visor to sorta block the sun.
As the article says the looks are a love/hate thing - got to say I am not a fan of the aesthetics myself.
I know i should get a new one, but at the prices here i never feel inspired to spend money i could put into my bike. I need a $60 or less enduro lid to inspire me to change.
So, what you want is the core of the helmet to be robust, yet soft enough handle the impact. Too soft and it just blows up on you. Too hard and you're just adding to the trauma. Like MP11 said above, materials degrade over time, so even if you never crash, you'll still need to replace your helmet frequently. How often depends on how much you ride.
To the best of my knowledge, the public can't get access to certification test results, so you'll be hard pressed to get comparison data. Unless, of course, you want to build up a lab, buy all the helmets and run side-by-sides for us. :^) So, it's really down to cert stickers in the helmet and whether you trust the vendors claims.
As for neck, get the best helmet to protect your valuable brain and get a brace for your neck. Also, strengthening, flexibility, and fall technique go a long way in helping.
I am half German and my head is completely square on the back. I wish Urge made a Box O Matic. I had the Urge Enduro O Matic and hated every minute in it until I decided to ride like a tard and go head first into a 4"x4" fence post on a handicap walking trail. I bought a Gyro to replace it and it is pretty good.
Really should stick to my D3.
Certainly I am in the first group!
It's my head and I'm going to wear a lid that I know will offer the most protection, is comfortable, and is one I won't overheat in. And yes, design also matters, since if we buy a product, we should actually enjoy wearing it. No way I'm wearing some $30 Lazer, which is just a block of foam just because it met a standard. Sometimes that means spending $90, sometimes it means a bit more. I view my brain as pretty import part, I'm certainly not going to sweat a $50 difference in price to protect it with a lid that hits all *my* requirements, not just testing requirements.
No red buttons, glitter, and funky looking exhaust ports though.
I had ordered my Endur-O-Matic via Canada as well.