Endura is a Scottish brand, founded in 1993 and has been gradually growing its market share in cycling apparel. So much so that we just had to review some of their gear. On the MTB side of things they have a wide range of really cool stuff, and we were able to get a set of gear from the MT500 collection. The jersey and shorts we received are the same worn by Danny MacAskill, one of their athletes, hailing from Scotland and leading world-class trials/MTB rider. The MT500 Helmet is the subject of this review.
I rode with the MT500 on a number of XC rides on trails in the Netherlands. Temperatures ranging from 20 to 30 degrees Celsius.
Out of the box, the first thing you notice is just how light the helmet is. The main reason for that is the very unique padding system Endura has used in this helmet. Instead of the EPS or EPP foams, the protection and impact absorption is left up to hundred of Koroyd tubes that line the helmet like a deep set honeycomb. These tubes crush homogeneously at impact, absorbing the impact of the fall. It’s a really interesting take on impact technology, and I am curious to see how it will feel (though not curious enough to slam my head into something on purpose.) If I do have the unfortunate fortune to live test the impact absorption, I will report on it.
What did come to mind is the question how Koroyd would handle oblique impacts (for which technologies such as MIPS and SPIN have been designed) and the supposition that the crushed tubes will probably not recover their form so the MT500 would not be a multi-impact helmet. Checking the Koroyd website teaches me that low-velocity impact is handled with the elastic deformation of the Koroyd core and can, therefore, handle multiple impacts. High velocity, however, leads to permanent deformation.
Side effects/advantages of Koroyd that I noticed where the lightness of the padding and also the fact that, because the tubes are hollow, they have an extra ventilating effect. Of course, the helmet has large vents in the shell, but the interesting thing is that wherewith other helmets, the vents are left open and unpadded, the MT500 vents are padded through with Koroyd, and offering complete protection over the total surface area of the helmet. And the vents can be made larger as well. On a number of warm rides, I did the ventilation really came into its own, so that seems to work really well.
The helmet fits well, with the adjustable fit you can tune at the back of your head. You really can feel the system grip your skull as you adjust the system, and when it reaches the tighter end, it can get a bit uncomfortable. I wore the helmet with regular riding glasses and goggles with straps, and in the last case, I noticed that with the pressure from the strap, the helmet really squeezed too tight. But with a few turns of the dial, I could loosen the inner fit system.
There is a clip at the back of the helmet that will fit the strap of your goggles. So if that is your preference the MT500 is adapted well to riding with goggles. Other features include a clip on mount for your GoPro that goes on the top of the helmet. I do have some doubts about that position for a camera, seeing as it can get caught in low hanging branches and rarely produces great shots. For a headlight it is a great option though.
Also included is a front eyewear dock: two inlets that let you insert the legs of your riding glasses if you need to get these out of the way. For that, you can also tilt the visor up.
All in all the MT500 is different than many other helmets, and that’s something I always like. The helmet is light and ventilates very well. It is fairly comfortable to wear and can be worn with glasses and goggles. The helmet comes in at € 159,99. There are helmets out there that that provide multi-impact and oblique impact protection for a lower price, but also more expensive ones.