The Urge Endur-O-Matic Helmet is a great all-purpose, comfortable cycling helmet that offers superior protection for your brain – and it also has great style.
The Urge Endur-O-Matic Helmet is intended mainly for mountain bikers. It is extra low in the back to offer extra head protection. It seems to work – in this video a mountain biker takes a dramatic fall, but walks away apparently unhurt. His helmet seems to be undamaged too.
So if head protection is your main concern, this helmet could be a great choice for you. But it is also being worn by an increasing number of commuter cyclists who just plain like the look of it. I know that’s why I bought the Urge Endur-O-Matic Helmet from Amazon. And it’s the only helmet I have ever had that has caused strangers on the bikeways to say to me:
“That’s a great helmet! Where did you buy it?”
It sure looks very different from most other helmets, as you can see from this photo of the Urge helmet next to Maggie’s Bontrager helmet. On the other hand, I know that some people very definitely do NOT like the look of these helmets.
I think it’s a mark of the Urge Endur-O-Matic’s uniqueness that people either love it or hate it.
Most of the time, people don’t even notice helmets. Given that this helmet provokes such a Love it or Hate it response, I decided to do a bare-knuckles kind of Pros versus Cons review. The Urge Endur-O-Matic Helmet has a whole lot of both Pros and Cons.
Pros and Cons of the Urge Endur-O-Matic Helmet
- It looks great! (In my opinion)
- BUT some people think it looks awful. Judge for yourself!
- It’s a good, super-comfortable fit, with comfy internal pads. It comes with extra pads, of different thicknesses, to help with fit. The pads are removable and washable – a major plus for keeping your helmet non-smelly. There’s a comfy pad that rests on your forehead. Urge calls it a Gangsta Pad (yes, really), and it’s meant to wick up sweat. I just find it comfy.
- BUT just because this helmet happens to fit MY head well, this does NOT mean it will fit YOUR head well. It comes in two sizes: S/M (54/57 cm) and L/XL (58/60 cm). If one of these is your size – you’re good to go. If you have a giant head or big hair, you might be in trouble.
- The huge ventilation holes (eight 30-mm circles) really do keep my head cool on hot rides. Urge claims the helmet channels air using the Venturi effect. The Venturi effect is a jet effect; as with a funnel, the velocity of the fluid or air increases as the cross-sectional area decreases. This the principle used in spray guns. On your helmet, it means a lot of air comes in through a big hole, and gets channeled over the surface of your head through increasingly narrow funnels in an accelerating blast, powered by the decreasing diameter. It DOES feel like I have strong blasts of wind keeping my head cool. (Adidas claims it is using the same system to channel air over my eyes, when I am wearing my Adidas cycling glasses. All in all, I must be riding with my head ENCASED in wind channels!)
- BUT the giant holes mean that this helmet is really NOT FUN in pouring rain. When I get caught in the rain with it, I forget about the Venturi effect, and just think about the soaking-wet-head-with-rain-running-down-my-face effect (note the holes are on the top, as well as on the side). Due to this, this is definitely a fair-weather-only helmet for me. I think of it as my summer helmet. This is a helmet for cyclists who want to keep cool, not cyclists who want to keep warm.
- The Urge Endur-O-Matic Helmet comes with a good-looking visor, flexible and said to be almost unbreakable.
- BUT the visor has a big hole in it. This is to enhance the Venturi effect, but it is not helpful in the rain.
- It weighs in at an eagle-feather-light 336 grams.
- BUT so do a lot of other helmets in this reasonable price range (around $100).
- It comes down low at the back and covers more of your head, protecting more of your precious brain stem. This is because it was developed for mountain bikers, but urban cyclists need even more protection, in my opinion. After all, there are no speeding cars, drunk drivers or F-150s on mountain bike trails.
- BUT… no buts on this one, this extra coverage is definitely a plus.
- The lack of a cradle adjustment fitting system makes this helmet quick and simple to put on. You just put it on, do up the strap, and go.
- BUT I find that the clasps below the ears tend to slip down.
- It’s easy to wear goggles and glasses with this helmet, thanks to good ear clearance.
- BUT it’s pretty much impossible to wear a helmet light or helmet cam, thanks to the unusual configuration of the holes on top. UPDATE: Actually, you can wear a helmet cam, if you get an awesome and affordable GoPro Hero with a GoPro Hero helmet strap. The helmet strap fits over the Urge helmet comfortably, providing a very secure helmet cam mount. And you can just fix it with an adhesive strip, too.
Bottom Line on the Urge Endur-O-Matic Helmet
You will probably either love or hate this helmet. If you love it, buy it for yourself or for someone you love for less than $80 on Amazon. The price is very comparable to other helmets of similar quality. Personally, this is my favorite helmet, despite its cons. I love putting it on, because it is the most comfortable helmet I have ever worn. Here it is, waiting on my bike, to protect me on my (sunny) morning commute!
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