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Added a product review for Urge 2014 Supacross Helmet 7/27/2014 10:37 PM
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Tested: Urge Supacross Helmet

Rating:

The Good:

The Bad:

Overall:

Review by Josh Cady // Action photo by Xotio Media

The Supacross is a 14-vent cross country/trail helmet from the French company Urge. While not new to the helmet scene, this is Urge’s first foray into protecting the brain-housing part of cross country riders. It is available in six different colors, has adjustable padding inserts, and is equipped with a dial-in retention system. It is fabricated with in-mold construction and made with a recycled EPS shell. The straps are made from recycled PET. Available in S/M (54-57cm and L/XL (57-60cm), it retails for $129.95.

I took the helmet’s ability to handle the cross country riding style to the extreme. My goal was to put about a thousand miles of riding into it, so I used it for everything from commuting to work, riding local trails, and competing in Utah’s Crushar in the Tushar, a 70 mile dirt adventure with 11,000+ feet of climbing.

Supacross Helmet Highlights

  • Built for cross country and trail riding
  • 14 vents
  • In-mold construction
  • Adjustable “Gangsta pad” padding. Comes with two sets of two pads. For example, the thicker pads make it a “large” size, and the thinner pads make it an XL.
  • Dial-In retention system
  • Sized in S/M (54-57cm) and L/XL (57-60cm)
  • Six color combinations: black/white, white/silver, yellow/black, black/green, white/blue, or black/red
  • Weight: 9.2 oz (260 g)
  • Recycled EPS shell
  • Straps made from recycled PET
  • MSRP: $129.95

Initial Impressions

One of the first things I noticed and liked about the helmet is the use of recycled materials in its construction. I always respect a company for trying to keep the cost to Earth low. The helmet seems slightly thicker in general than other cross country helmets and I wonder if this is a result of using a recycled material or an engineering feature for the helmet’s CPSC/CE1078 Certification.

In general, the Supacross is somewhat simple and conservative in terms of features, but it definitely unique on the design side of the house. The number of vents is pretty low. There isn’t a separate visor or an option to install one (the front lip of the helmet is designed to act as a visor). The two round vent holes are more about aesthetics than function, giving the helmet its unique look. I’m all about keeping it simple, and the straps and retention system are easy enough to adjust. I had to do a little bit of “shaping” of the foam to get the helmet to sit right on my head, but this is pretty standard for my odd shaped noggin.

On The Trail

Cross-country riders are a fickle bunch. We wear spandex and weigh pasta along with our bike parts, so I was somewhat concerned that the higher weight of the helmet would prove to be a problem. On rides of three, four, or five hours I never noticed it.

I also never had a problem with it coming loose. Even after thousands of feet of descending at the Crushar over washboard dirt fire roads, the helmet held in place, which was fantastic. I was initially slightly concerned with the retention system, as it seemed a little minimal, but I never had a problem with it.

I was expecting the low number of vents and the slightly thicker nature of the foam to create an overheating problem, but I can’t say I ever noticed the helmet creating any excess heat. I did notice the back of my head was a little more exposed due to a lack of material in the design, but the fit of the helmet came low over my forehead, an area I am much more concerned about protecting.

Things That Could Be Improved

While not the lightest, I never noticed the helmet on my head after initial adjustments, except when I was sweating. After baking in the sun for hours and then climbing up the Tushar mountains, I saturated the front pad, and the sweat was dripping down my forehead and off my nose. To be fair, I sweat more than the average rider, and I shave my head. On longer or high intensity rides, I usually go roadie and wear a cycling cap to help with the sweat. As I couldn’t fit a cap comfortably under this helmet, I had to rely on the helmet's own pad system to channel the moisture away from my eyes, which it has trouble with the more I sweat.

I like the idea of an integrated visor, but it doesn’t seem to perform as well as a separate removable visor. In the morning or evening rides into the sun, I found myself using my hand to block the direct light.

I also would have liked to have been able to park my sunglasses somewhere in the helmet, but the way the vents are laid out I couldn’t find a seat for them. Not a big deal, but like I said, we cross country riders are fickle, and I want to think I look cool when drinking my non-fat recovery lattes.

Long Term Durability

I have put a lot of miles into the helmet, caked the helmet straps a salty white from sweat, and the padding chalky yellow with sunscreen. I have no longevity concerns to report.

What's The Bottom Line?

The Supacross is a solid, moderately priced helmet and a successful first stab into the cross country market for Urge. Its unique look isn’t for everyone, but it has grown on me. Despite the sweat wicking issues I have with the helmet padding and the lack of a removable visor, I still use it for most everything but the longest of rides.

Visit www.urgebike.com for more details.


About The Reviewer

Josh Cady grew up a third generation Coloradan, and got his first mountain bike in high school. While wrenching at local shops in college, he raced 24-hour events along with the occasional cross-country race. He discovered cyclocross living in Portland, Oregon. In between cyclocross seasons, he rides and races a variety of endurance cross country style events. He is much more adept at riding up something than down it, but has fun doing both. Currently residing in Southern California, Josh is a GrassMoots team member for Moots Cycles out of Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

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