This Summer I’ve spent the majority of my pedal powered rides in the Endura MT500 MIPS helmet. As a relative newcomer to the world of mountain bike helmets, Endura has paired up with MIPS and Koroyd for extra protection on this new flagship trail lid. As my first experience in an Endura lid, what stood out most about this helmet was the oversized vents and impressively deep coverage over the occipital area. Read on to see how it fared in the long term…
- MIPS rotational protection
- Koroyd impact protection
- 5 colors
- 3 sizes: S/M, M/L(tested), L/XL
- Standard buckle
- 420 grams (our scale, M/L)
- Goggle friendly
- Removable Accessory/Light/Camera mount
- Micro adjust fit system
- Crash replacement policy
- $239.95 USD
As you can clearly see – big vents and extended coverage out back are a standout.
This helmet has clean lines and a nice look to it while nothing stands out as being wildly unconventional. Note the stealthy and minimalist accessory mount in the center frame, above.
Out back there is a grippy section to help keep goggle straps in place.
The retention system is adjustable in its height between 3 positions as you can see above, left. The dial is easy to operate with one hand and there is a thin rubber layer on the contact side which helps keep things comfortable and grippy.
Koroyd is interesting stuff. It basically looks like a bunch of straws sandwiched together. The idea is that it helps with impact resistance while still allowing for plenty of air flow.
The strap system is what we’ve come to expect these days – a Y shaped harness with fixed anchor points in the front of the helmet, combined with a standard buckle.
The adjustment range of the visor on the MT500 MIPS is massive. It has more than enough room for goggles if that’s your thing. The detents aren’t all that clear but the hardware is sturdy, made from aluminum, and there isn’t any unwanted movement.
On the trail
Beginning with fit, the sizing was pretty spot on and accurate. Regardless of how most brands label things, if they offer 3 sizes I always end up wearing the middle one. Additionally, I didn’t notice any hot spots or odd shape to its overall profile. That said, if you can it’s always good to try a lid on in advance, as there is plenty of range in the profile of riders’ head shapes and thus, many people have certain preferences based on how each brand tends to fit. Anecdotally, I feel like most riders would get along well with the MT500’s shape. I appreciated all of the features and the padding is quite plush and soft to the touch. It seems to be distributed nicely throughout all the right places as well. Although I don’t personally wear goggles with half lids, I tried some and they work very nicely. On the topic of eyewear the arms of two different pairs of glasses slipped in comfortably and didn’t interfere with the retention system as well.
Some thoughts on Koroyd and the vents…While I did find that the very generously sized openings kept things very cool I did find myself wanting to be able to scratch the occasional itch through them and unfortunately the Koroyd layer prevented me from doing so. With that in mind, I don’t think that vents this large would be nearly as safe in the Koroyd’s absence as a stick could easily get though them in the event of a crash gone wrong, so that’s worth considering. All in all, this helmet runs very cool and keeps air flowing very nicely – especially given how much coverage it offers. In terms of moisture management, I did wear this lid on a few days in deep Summer heat and it did an excellent job of keeping the sweat from running down the front of my face or dripping into my eyewear.
Touching on some of the other features, I quite liked the visor. In addition to the massive range in height, it’s sturdy and fairly thick but also somewhat flexible, leading me to believe it would survive a few minor crashes without detonating. Put it this way – it doesn’t feel brittle or fragile. When it came to the straps and retention system I had almost no complaints. I completely got along with the retention system and found the straps and anchors to be very comfortable. However, as someone who has gotten spoiled by Fidlock buckles I did find myself wishing this helmet had one and given the MT500’s price point it could stand to have that additional premium feature. All told however, that’s a very short list of downsides.
In summary, I’m a big fan of Endura’s MT500 MIPS helmet. One of my favorite aspects was its very broad coverage – which definitely helps to instill confidence as we all continue to push trail bikes harder and harder these days. While it’s a bit hard to quantify, it feels like it has a bit more material than every other lid that I’ve used in this category. I haven’t had any bad crashes in it (knock wood!) but I feel very safe when wearing it. Comparatively speaking it is extremely comfortable and runs very cool. Interestingly, when I went back to my TLD A3 – my prior favorite – it didn’t feel as comfortable as the MT500 and I found myself preferring the shape and padding in the MT500. All told, I’d highly recommend this lid if you’re in the market for something new. Although Endura is a newcomer to the helmet world, they’re definitely doing it right.