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.
• 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.
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:
| 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|
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