Product of the Month
Endura’s MT500 helmet: improved safety, an excellent fit and all the latest features
There’s not many hard and fast rules on the trail, but one thing is clear: you should always wear a helmet. Not all trail lids are created equal however, so the real question is which one to pick. Enter Scottish brand Endura. Since the beginning of the year, their MT500 helmet represents a hot new candidate in the running – with a fresh security concept and numerous clever details to attract the attention of die-hard trail and enduro riders alike.
Our resident trail fan Kai agreed to take a closer look at the MT500 helmet for us. Throughout August, the Endura MT500 became his trusty companion – accompanying him during every uphill climb and downhill run on his local trails near Stuttgart. Kai was first bitten by the bike bug 14 years ago and he brings plenty of enduro riding experience to this review. In the fahrrad.de team, he’s responsible for purchasing and developing our helmets, shoes and glasses ranges. So, we can hardly imagine a better tester for the job.
The Endura MT500 helmet first caught my eye at the product launch. It isn’t the first bike helmet in the Scots’ range, but it is the first model they’ve designed in the style of modern trail/enduro helmets. With its low-cut neck area, easy-to-adjust visor, goggle clip and integrated GoPro fastening, it offers both functional and visual appeal to downhillers. The real highlight, however, is its honeycomb-like Koroyd structure, which you can see through the ventilation ducts of the hard shell.
The MT500’s in-mould helmet construction sees a polycarbonate outer shell bonded to a layer of protective EPS foam. The design is then lined with a series of shock-absorbing hollow Koroyd tubes – dramatically improving the level of protection against head injury. Holding this model in my hands and during the first try-on at home, its light weight and high-quality workmanship were immediately apparent. Even its marine blue outer skin is pulled clean around the edges. Everything is easy and precise to use. In addition to the normal fit adjustment of the head circumference via a dial in the neck and chin straps, this lid also allows you to tweak its fit to perfectly match your individual head shape. I measured my head circumference at 58 cm, and selected size M /L for this test. The helmet sat very well and didn’t require any further fine tuning.
On the trail
I tested the Endura helmet on the local trails of the newly designed Esslingen Nordschleife MTB course (EsNOS). In the Schurrwald near Esslingen, just before the gates of Stuttgart, the way takes you uphill and down over a series of woodland trails – jumping and flowing through rough passages.
The fit of the helmet was exactly what was promised during the fitting. No wobbling, no pinching – the helmet felt light, comfortable and safe in every riding situation. The adjustable visor, with and without glasses, guaranteed a generous field of vision and the glasses stayed safe in the glasses garage when they weren’t needed.
Considering the summer-hot conditions and two to three hours riding time, I sometimes got the impression that the Koroyd tube design slowed down the ventilation of what is otherwise a very good helmet. I didn’t need to call upon the improved protection of Endura’s innovative honeycomb tech during the helmet test. But, the high-quality overall impression of the MT500 and great past experiences of other Endura mountain bike products provided a very safe and positive feeling – without the need for a test crash.
Endura bike equipment: designed in Scotland, tested worldwide
Scotland isn’t only notorious for its difficult weather. The north of Britain is also famous for its extremely passionate bike culture and excellent trails. Since 1993, Endura has been developing highly functional cycling clothing for mountain bikers and road riders wanting to stay in the saddle whatever the weather. The result? The brand has developed from the insider tip for reliable rainwear to a high performance clothing brand with an extensive range. It’s no surprise that Endura’s employees are enthusiastic bikers themselves and thoroughly test their high-quality jerseys, jackets, pants and helmets until they meet their own ambitious requirements.