Urge Enduro-O-Matic 2 Helmet - Review

Apr 18, 2016
by David Arthur  
Urge helmet


For those who want to stand out, there are few helmets as distinctive as the Urge Enduro-O-Matic. First released in 2009, it really caught our attention, but last summer a new-and-improved version was released, the Enduro-O-Matic 2, which introduced a host of useful updates, while retaining its distinctive design.


What has Urge changed on the new helmet in the six years since the original was released? While the smooth plastic shape and circular air vents remain, the new version extends lower at the back of the head, providing more coverage and protection. A more significant boost to safety is a new "Butterfly" cage that is embedded inside the foam liner, a measure that should provide better impact absorption in the event of a crash by retaining the structural integrity. Safety aside, Urge has also added more vents (up to 28 in total), so ventilation in hot weather should be improved.
Details:
• Sizes: S/M and L/XL
• 28 vents
• Butterfly cage
• CE1078/CPSC/AS Certification
• Recycled PET straps
• Recycled EPS shell
• Boa retention system
• Weight: 405g actual weight (size S/M)
• MSRP: $134.95 / €149
• Contact: www.urgebike.com @urgebikeproduct


The last change doesn’t affect the performance, but it does lower the carbon footprint. A switch to 100% recycled EPS, derived from the automotive industry, and straps made from recycled plastic bottles, shows the company is trying to be environmentally aware. The environmental impact of mountain bike products isn’t something that is given much attention so it’s good to see Urge doing its bit.


Performance

Any product with enduro in its name tends to set alarm bells ringing, and there is certainly no shortage of helmets that claim to be designed for the demands of enduro racing these days. The Urge certainly delivers everything you’d want in a half-shell-style enduro helmet: it’s well ventilated, comfortable, easy to adjust, compatible with goggles, and should provide good protection in a crash (something that is difficult to test without access to a laboratory - or a hospital). I assume that it doesn’t necessarily do any of that better than other similarly priced and pitched helmets, though.

The construction of the Urge provides a slim profile and reduced volume compared to some popular helmets, which helps to avoid the mushroom look that some bulkier helmets can provide - and anyone with a narrower face will find it a good fit. I found the fit on my very average sized and shaped head to be exceptionally good. There’s plenty of scope for adjustment too. The BOA retention system is easy to use and can be adjusted on the fly with gloves on. There are two height adjustments for the retention cradle. Get the height adjustment right, and you don’t need to overly tighten the helmet to ensure it stays stable on your head, even on really rough terrain at high speeds. The helmet also comes supplied with different thickness pads so you can dial in the fit just how you want it. The pads are made of anti-bacterial and moisture wicking material that can be removed for washing.

Urge Enduro-O-Matic 2
The lack of an adjustable peak was an oversight.
Urge Enduro-O-Matic 2
The radical styling sure stands out, but won't play to all tastes.

Urge Enduro-O-Matic 2
The BOA dial retention system is super easy to use.
Urge Enduro-O-Matic 2
Increased ventilation is an improvement over the original.


The ventilation is a massive improvement over the previous helmet, up from 8 to 28 vents. They’re a combination of circular and rectangular vents and placed to provide the greatest possible airflow, pulling air into at the top and front and allowing it to exit out the back. I tested the helmet through the British winter, so I can’t verify for its hot weather performance, but I could certainly detect the cold air rushing through the vents and, in this regard, it compares well with other helmets from the likes of Fox and Giro.

As you’d expect for an enduro product, it’s designed to be compatible with goggles, with plenty of space allowed for the strap to fit around the back without slipping out of place. Regular glasses are also easily compatible, with enough space above the ears to fit the arms of my regular shades.

While it's hard to fault the performance of the Urge, my main gripe with the Urge is the lack of an adjustable peak. I found the front of the peak to sit too low and while it doesn’t obscure your vision when riding, the bright blue object at the top of your field of view is slightly distracting. You soon get used to it, but you really shouldn’t have to. And we can’t get this far into the review and not talk about the aesthetics, a subject I know will light the blue touch paper in the comments section. You’re either going to love or hate the look of the Urge helmet, so I won’t try to persuade you either way. Truthfully, you can’t see it when you’re wearing it anyway.


Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotes If you can live with the radical styling and overlook the lack of an adjustable peak, the updated Urge Enduro-O-Matic 2 provides decent performance, with a good fit, ample ventilation, low weight, and lots of protection. - David Arthur



Visit the high-res gallery for more images from this review.





100 Comments

  • + 96
 If Mega Man was a mountain biker he'd wear this helmet.
  • + 14
 Mega Man IS a Mountain Biker (nickname of René Wildhaber for winning so many Mégavalanche).
He actually wears another helmet Wink
  • + 6
 Then call me mega man! If you have a small head urge helmets are about the only ones that don't look like a giant mushroom on your head. As much as I'd like to wear a Troy Lee A1 it makes my head look like a giant bellend Frown
  • + 2
 I also have an Urge helmet (the AM model, whatever it's called). It's the only one that does not move on my weird skull. I love it just for that!
  • + 12
 Why does the industry want us all to look like giant dicks with ears?
  • - 29
flag harrisonwright (Apr 19, 2016 at 8:03) (Below Threshold)
 SHOULD'VE CALLED THIS THE FAGGOT HAT... HAHAHAHHA
  • + 2
 Looks like Captain America had a say in the design. " stars, gimme lots of stars!"
  • + 2
 @enduroelite: When I saw the photos cpt. America was my first thought as well. Big Grin
  • + 71
 I like the cup holder on the visor.
  • + 3
 @RichPianabol: beer always gives the best results.
  • + 1
 A nice feature, but I'm still not feeling any urge to try one of these out.
  • + 2
 It's not a cup holder, it's an oculus. Like on the Pantheon in Rome.
  • + 4
 @RichPianabol: oh shit a 5% er up the pinkbike forums shit is getting real. Riches gang has spread to the mtb world
  • + 38
 Looks like a helmet for a unicycle-riding clown
  • + 14
 I'm just a bicycle riding clown. Can I still wear one?
  • + 33
 Evel Knievel called and said this helmet is too loud for him.
  • + 33
 Man. I love reading the comments on PB.
  • + 6
 Same. I love Urge, but all the haters are hilarious.
  • + 4
 @src248: We have bought urge helmets a few weeks ago for our shop cause when you put it on your head it feels like a rope cap. they are so comfortable.
  • + 18
 I could get behind the whole e-bike thing if they were forced to wear this helmet. And a hydration fanny pack. Done deal.
  • + 17
 ample ventilation my buns
  • + 2
 compared to the previous model there is !!!
  • + 2
 Looks like an aero road helmet.
  • + 4
 I have an original Enduro-Matic. Never had a problem with it being too hot. Fit perfect. It's still going, but I've added the new 'Supa-Trail', which has more vents, but, seems hotter maybe because of the extra vents. The original was a great helmet, super light.
  • + 16
 2016 has been a hard year for the half-shell "enduro" look so far.
  • + 13
 Is the hole in the visor there so a unicorn can use this helmet?
  • + 12
 That helmet looks like a spaceship
  • + 9
 I was halfway through the article before I realized that it wasn't a satire piece.

Enduro-o-matic? 2? Wasn't one bad enough?
  • + 10
 Hmm... Didn't know Little Tikes made helmets.
  • + 10
 TFDR: too fugly, didn't read.
  • + 6
 They should be up front and just name that helmet the Panty Dryer. Parents should buy it for their young teenage sons to protect their virginity. The promise ring of helmets.
  • + 4
 Personally, I don't find this too offensive. On top of that, Urge never overprices and the fit is usually great (Love my Down O-Matic). Besides, to an outsider, all mountain bike helmets look dorky, as do the shirts, shorts, shoes...Anyway, it's all subjective right, apart from the protection it actually offers.
  • + 3
 If the blue of the underside of the visor is distracting, do what hockey goalies do to the inside of their face grill and paint it! Goalies go with white so the grill bars blend with the ice.Best here to go with black to make it like a shadow.
  • + 7
 Pepsi - O Matic
  • + 5
 Look at me look at me I have a huge hole in my sun visor...this reminds me of gaper gap on the ski hill
  • - 1
 LOL! Unfortunately... I have a weird head shape. No matter what combination of gear I run I get a little bit of gap. LOL! I laugh more at the people rocking beanies under their helmets and the gap is like 3 inches wide. Glad that Gaper is catching on everywhere though. That's a tahoe term. Least it used to be.... it's gotten to be so all encompassing that it doesn't mean what it used to mean.
  • + 3
 Two questions...
1. What is glory hole for?

2. Is the price listed the amount of money they will pay a customer to wear it? Because it isn't enough.
  • + 2
 the glory hole is to let sun into your eyes just when you're hitting a massive double
  • + 1
 As "out in the left field" as the look of Urge's helmets are, they are among the most comfortable I have tried. I am seriously considering this as my next dirt helmet, or the IXS trail from my LBS. Personally, I do not mind the look, the only beef I have is the non-adjustable shade.
  • + 5
 What the hell is this thing?
  • + 0
 I have the old version of this helmet. Not adjustable so the foam packed out making it too big for my head the rest of the year and no matter where I wore it, people would comment about how weird it looked and if the big holes in the back were speakers. I never really use it anymore unless I wear a liner toque in cold conditions.
  • + 1
 Just got the EM2 in black. Im in the XL arena... I have to say its the most comfortable helmets I wore. Doesn't ride high like some other helmets I tried. And on sale .. this was a double win.
  • + 0
 That thing is ridiculous. Why is there so much space behind the dudes ear? I like the 80's vibe they were trying to get and they almost got there in a few places.

But the visor could have easily been at the very least 2 position adjustable without messing up the look they were locked in on.

The hole in the visor is still stupid.
  • + 1
 After reviewing a product, PB should contact the manufacturer/distributor 3 months down the line and check how many units they sold; the figures on this bone-dome would be interesting....
  • + 0
 Looks awesome for cosplay. I've got a Down-o-matic and really like it plus the new version looks even better. This one though, it very polarizing styling and looks for sure.
  • + 2
 Did they use a blind guy to pick a paint scheme? Why does everyone want to make such ugly shit these days?
  • - 2
 It also comes in all black, black/white, black/red for boring folks.
  • + 6
 @src248: a colorful helmet does not make you interesting person. It does not work like that. You will be just a guy in a colorful helmet. Nobody will like you more for that reason.
  • + 3
 you say iconic, i say moronic.
  • + 0
 Gutted that every urge helmet ive ever tried just does not suit my head. Ive got numerous helmets from a variety of manufacturers but for some reason urge helmets and my head dont go together.
  • + 2
 I've just been sick in my mouth. Although if it is expensive, they'll be all over the Surrey hills as soon as they're out!
  • + 1
 And helmets do you no good if you don't wear them..
m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10206655192766140&id=1462620706
  • + 1
 Wow, one helmet to cover two sports:
Mtb and horse riding

Errr, great. I guess...
  • + 1
 Lot of y'all complaining about the colors but people already look like clowns wearings bright colors jerseys and shorts.
  • + 2
 Available at your nearest toys-r-us.
  • + 1
 I will stick to my old trusty protec helmets..works for all sports, even enduro..its way ahead of its time
  • + 1
 @jawa awww man, you have just bought a new lid. Maybe get an urge next year!!
  • + 1
 This helmet makes me ill. @smobytoe
  • + 1
 Saw the photo and went straight to the comments. There is no other way to read these reviews Smile
  • + 0
 The hole in the visor has got to be the dumbest feature on this whole monstrosity. Doesn't it kind of defeat the purpose of the visor?
  • + 0
 I have two, and not once has it been an issue.
  • + 0
 Do the Urge helmets have a shape similar to that of a Bell or a Giro? I.e. more round or long front to back and narrow side to side. I generally wear a size medium Bell.
  • + 1
 You guys have an extra O in all the names, it's endur-o-matic, not enduro-o-matic.
  • + 1
 I love my Urge helmets,have had the old enduromatic for like 3 years now and it feels great.....
  • + 2
 The perfect look for riding the short bus..
  • + 2
 This would go well with an Evil Knievel outfit.
  • + 1
 Wow. Tough crowd. Clearly I have poor taste, since I didn't find it that offensive.
  • + 0
 Pros : interesting design, fit, boa, built quality
Cons:color scheme
I am in
(honesty if it was TLD painted everyone would be buying it!)
  • + 2
 Man,that guy don't look happy
  • + 0
 One bike to the face was all it took for me to give up half shells on anything of any real consequence. I did get the badass Ti upgrade for my eyesocket out of it though.
  • + 2
 100% will be seen on Jerry of the Day.
  • + 2
 First association - super Mario...
  • + 1
 Meant to click fails of the month..... Still delivered
  • + 0
 I see what you did there....
  • + 1
 and another helmet without a light (or camera) mount.
FAIL
  • + 1
 since when did we need an adjustable peak?
  • + 1
 It's an even uglier version of Fox's new lid!
  • + 1
 Looks like they shared paint schemes as well.
  • + 1
 i really like the pb comments. this post is in my top 5 !
  • + 0
 I got the first version love it to this day best helmete can't wait to get my hands on this Smile thanks urge!
  • + 1
 The guy that won Zinc's Capra should get one of these
  • + 0
 Looks more Lego than actual Lego. Least they backed down from the daft Swiss cheese holes
  • + 1
 Looks a helmet the Village People should be rocking.
  • + 0
 Really!!! Wtf is that, all these big companies need to go back to the drawing board not the 80,s
????
  • + 0
 Put this helmet at the side of that new Fox helmet and you have a clear Winner. This one is ugly and Fox one is perfect
  • + 1
 Stick an elasticated mouth guard on it and you'll be racing 80's BMX.
  • - 1
 hopefully somebody has urged Pink Bike riders not to be seen in this helmet... blech
  • + 1
 Shocking colour scheme
  • + 0
 Why does Urge make such fugly helmets Confused
  • + 1
 Fugly.
  • + 0
 Haha....
  • - 1
 The style doesn't look too bad. The color combo on the other hand...
  • + 1
 If you think this is bad, check out the green/gold version! (It comes in less flashy colours as well)
  • + 0
 Too much enduuuro for me
  • - 1
 Fugly plastic and polystyrene overpriced lump-o-crap.
  • - 2
 I want
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