Reviewed: Endura's MT500 Mountain Bike Helmet - Total Women's Cycling

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Reviewed: Endura’s MT500 Mountain Bike Helmet

Well-thought out, lightweight lid designed for enduro and trail riding

Words by Hannah Reynolds on Twitter and Instagram

Endura has really thought through the style of riding this helmet is going to be used for. Aimed squarely at the enduro market, it has a high level of impact protection and also features sweet additions that make life on the trail just a little bit more simple, and therefore enjoyable.

Safety First

On the safety front, which is after all our primary reason for wearing a helmet, Endura’s MT500 has had a complete overhaul. Helmet safety and design have leapt ahead in the last two years with new materials and technology being introduced. The MT500 has the deep rear coverage and lower sides we have come to expect from trail lids but within the shell, it is fitted with Koroyd, a thermoplastic honeycomb system that offers impact absorption whilst remaining lightweight and breathable. It fills the entire inside of the helmet shell reinforcing the helmet from every possible impact angle.

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Use of this material allows helmet designers to reduce the amount of the old style EPS foam, reducing bulk and weight whilst providing higher levels of impact protection, the honeycomb design acting as a ‘crumple zone’. Koroyd has been shown to reduce maximum deceleration values by 25-35%.  In Koroyd’s own testing it shows a reduction in the risk of head injury at speeds of 19.5km/h from 40% to 5%. Koroyd has instigated a voluntary Helmet Safety Initiative to encourage more helmet manufacturers to sign up to the altogether more satisfactory 5% risk level which Endura have satisfied with this lid.

The honeycomb is angled to allow good airflow from the 17 vents and when riding your head remains cool, even at lower speeds, the honeycomb seeming to channel heat away from your head. Another added benefit is it keeps flies and wasps from getting in through the vents!

The rear retention system is easy to adjust one-handed and you can fit a ponytail above it if you are so inclined, as I am! However, for me personally, the retention system could be lowered slightly more beneath the occipital bone at the back of the head. The pads inside are thick and textured to help increase air flow and wick sweat. The density of the removable pads adding to the comforting snugness of the fit.

Features and Styling

A secure glasses port at the front of the helmet allows you to slot your eyewear into place one-handed, but if you favour goggles the rear strap clasp and helmet shape keeps them from sliding. The front visor has three indexed positions which can be adjusted on the fly but retain their position securely regardless of what is going on under your wheels.

A neat addition to this helmet is the accessories mount that clips into place on the top of your lid, from here you can fix your GoPro or helmet light securely and the mounting kit is included with the helmet. It might not work with all styles of helmet light, we haven’t tested that exhaustively, but it’s great with a GoPro. One word of caution, if this is the kind of thing that bothers you, use of the optional accessory mount is at ‘user’s own risk’ and the helmet is only certified when used without it. It is not a biggie, we are just telling you when you add accessories to any helmet it compromises the safety certification.

At £149.99 rrp the MT500 is a fraction cheaper than comparable helmets such as the POC Tectal– £159.99 or Smith Forefront, which at £169.99 also has accessories mount, Koroyd impact protection and, unlike the MT500, MIPS protection in some colour ways. Endura offers a crash replacement scheme, 50% off rrp of a replacement lid if you crash and your helmet is damaged, an option worth taking up after any impact.

Verdict

This is the most comfortable helmet of its style I have used. It feels light and streamlined whilst offering confidence inspiring levels of protection. I love the option of goggle or glasses port and the addition of an accessories mount is a really great idea given how many of us now ride with a GoPro or similar. Thanks to being light and cool it is versatile enough to use for race days and didn’t make my head feel ready to explode when climbing in the heat.

Endura’s MT500 helmet is available in white, black and navy colourways. Sizes range from S-M, M-L and L-XL.

The MT500 trail helmet from Endura is available here for £150.

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