Urge Endur-O-Matic Review

by Brian Mullin on June 26, 2011

The helmet is sort of a cross between a full faced and normal design, offering excellent rear and side coverage, supreme comfort, and some unique features, especially in regard to safety. It uses the industry standard In-mold EPS foam construction, with a durable high gloss outer polycarbonate shell, and meet the US and European certification standards. It features a flexible visor, eight venting hole, and comes in a wide range of colors, two sizes (Sm/Md and Lg/X-Lg) and weighs in at 300 grams. Urge Bike Products is based out of Cogolin, France, and is co-owned by multiple time World Champion Fabien Barrel, who also does product testing and development for the company. I tested the L-XL Flash Sand model.

The Urge Endur-o-Matic helmet is an extremely comfortable helmet, and was easy to wear for long periods of time. The inner shape and supple padding feel proper, and it seems to be shaped like your head, cupping it, almost like your wearing a skull cap, without any bind or pinch spots. Like any helmet, their last or mold might not fit your particular head, so always try and get a test fit if possible.

The helmet has a simple chin strap, and uses different padding for sizing alterations, instead of the usual high tech adjustment or retention system. Outside of choosing the proper size for fit (Sm/Md or Lg/X-Lg), the helmets come with two sets of machine washable pads of different thickness (5mm and 10mm), which allow the adjustments for a customized fit. I used the default thinner padding within the helmet, and found it fit just fine. The padding (one front and one rear), is held in place with Velcro, and is quite soft, cushy and thick, and has excellent wicking capabilities. The ‘Gangsta’ style front pad, which receives the major portion of perspiration, extends 15mm below the shell, and it gets a constant flow of air while riding, which offers effective drying, and keeps the sweat from dripping into your eyes.

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?

Bottom Line
The Urge Endur-o-Matic is a comfortable, well made, durable and safety feature laden helmet. The additional rear and side protection, encapsulation of the head, flexible visor, and round shape, decreased object penetration, offer excellent safety and peace of mind. The great comfort is produced by a synergy of the helmets shape and plush padding, and offer long day pleasure. The venting works decently, especially when moving, but at slower speeds and on hot days it can get warm. The ‘Gangsta’ styled front pad dries and wicks sweat, and keeps it from dripping into your eyes.

The Urge Endur-o-Matic is an excellent safety featured helmet, and one that I always like to use again, especially when riding in ugly technical terrain.

Strengths

  • Excellent extended rear and side protection
  • Flexible visor
  • Portholes have fewer foreign object penetration opportunities
  • Round shape enhances crash rolling
  • Padding is soft with great wicking properties
  • Durable
  • Comfortable

Weaknesses

  • Venting system – can get warm sometimes
  • Lack of adjustment and customization in the field
  • Visor rubs on shell causing wear spot

Overall Rating: 4.5 Flamin’ Chili Peppers

Urge Endur-o-Matic Specs:

  • Certified to CPSC and CE EN1078 safety standards
  • In-mold EPS foam construction with polycarbonate exterior hardshell
  • Extended rear-of-head helmet construction to protect farther down toward your neck in the event of a backward fall
  • Eight porthole-style vent holes – four forward, four in rear
  • Flexible visor designed to enhance airflow into the porthole-style vent holes
  • Velcro-affixed Urge Gangsta Pad – an interior comfort and sweat pad designed to dry while your ride, so it stays effective at absorbing sweat for longer
  • Weight: 294 grams
  • Sizes: 54cm – Small/Medium 54-57cm, Large/X-Large 57cm – 60cm
  • Colors: White & black, Black, white & red, Flash Blue, Flash Brown & white, Flash black & white, Flash Sand, Flash green & black
  • Includes: helmet, storage bag, two replacement pads, sheet of stickers, instruction guide
  • MSRP: $109

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