by Noah Sears
The Urge Archi-Enduro bridges the gap between traditional full-face DH helmets and all-mountain half-lids, call it the "tweener" helmet if you like. As the name implies, it's designed for Enduro racing where full face helmets are often compulsory. The granola-friendly Veggie model reviewed here features a 100% natural linen fiber in place of the fiber glass more commonly used in this and other helmets. On my scale, the size small weighs in at 820g. The Veggie model tested here will set you back $224.95, a $35 premium over the standard (fiberglass) model.
Urge Veggie Archi-Enduro Highlights
- CE1078/ CPSC Certification
- Linen/fiber construction
- Special EVA foam mouth piece
- Removable and washable pads
- ABS visor with vent
- Available in 2 sizes (S/M, L/XL)
- Weight: 820 grams
- MSRP: $224.95 USD
Out of the box I was impressed by the finish and quality of the helmet. Included with the helmet was a second pad, a bag, and some stickers. I was pleased with the initial fit - with the D-ring tight the helmet felt snug but very open and breathable. The helmet also accommodated both goggles and sunglasses well.
On The Trail
My first impressions were validated once I got on the trail. Light and airy, I never felt claustrophobic in the Archi-Enduro. Despite having only six circular vents on the shell, it never felt overly warm even during the hottest summer months. To be fair, I never wore it for a prolonged trail ride or anything with significant amounts of climbing, but it seems you could in all but the hottest climates - if you find the added safety the Archi-Enduro provides is worth the weight penalty (over a half-lid).
I never got to put the helmet to the ultimate test (I only seem to crash violently when I'm not wearing proper protective gear), but given the excellent fit I have no reason to believe that it wouldn't work as intended. The small chinbar doesn't quite give the facial protection that a traditional full-face would, but it is certainly better than none at all. I'm sure it would have prevented the tooth "incident" I had earlier in the year before receiving the Archi-Enduro to test (an incident that left me temporarily looking like Lloyd from Dumb and Dumber).
Things That Could Be Improved
The grommets installed in all of the circular vents found on this helmet have a tendency to pop out - especially when pulling goggles on and off. If they don't fall out completely, they at least get a little caddywhompus. I'm down to four, I'm pretty sure I started with seven.
The open chin area helps with effective breathing where other full-face helmets feel stifling, but the tiny EVA foam bar is floppy to the point that I question if it is there for protection or to simulate the traditional profile of a full-face. I suppose anything significantly more substantial would cut-down on breathability, but stiffer material here would be welcomed.
Style is subjective and this helmet is definitely polarizing. Those that have involuntarily bitten singletrack loved it, but most of my peers found it a little…ummmm….euro? I consider myself "hip and with it" so I like it, though I do wish it came in a more subdued colorway (all matte black preferably, like we see Barel and Barnes rockin'). I also find the "bat wings" a little goofy.
Finally, there is a gaping hole in center of the visor which can let the sun pass through. It was put there to further improve air flow, but this really seems to be taking it a bit too far. The visor is already very open in its design.
Long Term Durability
Aside from the aforementioned disappearing grommets, I've had no issues with durability. Hardware, straps, stitching, and finish are still hanging tough.
What's The Bottom Line?
I see the Archi-Enduro as a great solution for those looking for a little more protection than an all-mountain half-lid offers without the full weight penalty of a DH helmet (aka people who should probably retire their current Giro Switchblade). But primarily, with its excellent breathability, solid construction, and light weight, it's a fantastic choice for Enduro racing. While it is certainly better than a half-lid or piss-pot for resort-style or pure gravity riding, I still think a safer choice here would be a traditional DH helmet.
For more info about the Archi-Enduro, visit www.urgebike.com.
About The Reviewer
Noah Sears eats, sleeps, and breathes mountain biking. During the decade he has been in the bike industry, he has managed a well-known destination bike shop, written for several publications, been a sponsored rider and product tester for various manufacturers, and is currently leading the marketing and product development efforts at Mountain Racing Products. A Colorado native and now Fruita local, there is no shortage of idyllic singletrack right out his back door. He has been racing downhill and super-D events since 2006, but thinks he has found his calling with Enduro. His hammer and plow style of riding puts the hurt on his equipment - and his body. The amount he has spent to fix broken bones and replace broken parts over the years likely exceeds the GDP of a small country. He's all but sworn off 26-inch wheeled bikes, preferring to ride wagon wheels or at least 'tweeners. He also freaking loves Strava.