Back in October, Endura released its MT500 MIPS helmet. Featuring a more wrap-around design with increased coverage, MIPS rotational protection, and 3D-formed Koroyd panels, this top-of-line trail helmet is finally available in the US. Focused on offering riders a safe, breathable, and lightweight helmet with thoughtful accessory and eyewear integration, the MT500 looks to be a serious contender in the aggressive half-shell market.
- Materials, Construction: Nylon 5%, Polyester 5%, Polypropylene 15%, Polycarbonate 25%, Polystyrene 50%
- MIPS® Brain Protection System with Koroyd Core provides increased energy absorption,
- Certified to CPSC and CE EN1078:2012 + A1:2012 standards
- Warranty: Covered by Endura's Crash Replacement Policy and Endura Product Guarantee
- 3-position adjustable visor
- Anti-bacterial padding
- Clip-on accessory mount for a headlight or helmet cam
- Weight (size medium): 416 grams
- Sizes: S-M (51-56cm), M-L (55-59cm), L-XL (58-63cm)
- MSRP $239.99 USD
Endura has been developing mountain bike products for decades, and their latest helmet range includes a variety of models, from full-face downhill helmets to sleek road helmets. Five of these helmets are now available stateside. The MT500 MIPS is their premium half-shell model targeting all-mountain and trail riders. The helmet features 3D-formed Koroyd Core technology designed to increase impact resistance by dispersing energy while increasing airflow. A MIPS brain protection system also works to mitigate energy transfer during angled, rotational impacts. Combined, the MT500 MIPS is Endura's safest trail-focused helmet to date, receiving a five-star Virginia Tech Bicycle Helmet Safety rating.
Additional features include an accessory mount on top of the helmet, an adjustable retention cradle for finetuning fitment, antimicrobial pads, and a three-position visor. The MT500 MIPS is available in four colorways, and three sizes and retails for $239 USD.
On The Trail
We rode trails around Southern California during ideal spring conditions for this review. Temperatures ranged from 55-70 degrees (12-21 C). We started with more XC-style trails to get acquainted with how the MT500 fit before diving into the deep end of iconic trails around Laguna Beach and San Diego. Immediately we noticed the helmet offered an all-encompassing fit that wrapped around the entire head. The shell curved around the back of our head more than most other all-mountain/trail helmets we've worn. This provided an awesome level of comfort that motivated us to ride without fear. Along with the shape of the shell, the retention system's four-position adjustability let us to quickly dial in where the cradle tightened around our head and how deep the helmet sat on our head.
After spending a few days in the helmet, it was obvious that ventilation was at the forefront of Endura's list of attributes they wanted to nail with the MT500. Using the Koroyd core design, Endura effectively includes more vents without compromising protection. This was highly noticeable on long, steep, hot climbs. Moving further into the on-trail performance, Endura added a fair amount of rubber to the retention system to keep the helmet in place. At first glance, this seemed a bit overkill considering the wrap-around shell design. However, its presence became much appreciated once we were sweating and riding rough trails as it kept the MT500 from moving. Additionally, the pads remained in place during the entire test period, even when filled with moisture.
During our testing, we wore the helmet with a couple of different riding glasses and did not experience any fitment issues. The leading edge of the MT500 sat in the middle of our forehead, keeping even our largest glasses from coming in contact with the helmet.
Things That Could Be Improved
We think two aspects of the MT500 MIPS could be improved. First, the glasses-holding dock could have been more secure. For most of the testing period, we opted not to use it after having our glasses fall out on a brief descent while traversing a climbing trail. Additionally, the glasses dock was difficult to locate when riding, and it took too much time and effort to get our glasses to sit comfortably.
Secondly, the three visor positions seemed to sit right between where we wanted them to be. The low setting was too low with a heavy presence in our field of view; however, the next step higher was too high and felt like it was sticking straight up while riding. The third and highest position must be for holding goggles underneath the visor because it is fully pointed toward the sky. Either that or it's used on long road descents to help slow you down.
Long Term Durability
The durability of a helmet is a tricky proposition without the event of a crash occurring. Lucky for us, we did not take any major crashes when testing the MT500. We did have one minor fall where our head lightly touched the ground. The helmet sustained no noticeable damage, and the 3D-formed Koroyd core did not compress or change shape. By comparison, the impact was minor enough that we don't think a traditional EPS foam helmet would have been affected/compressed either.
What's The Bottom Line?
Endura's MT500 MIPS provides top-notch comfort and protection for trail or enduro riders wanting a breathable, stylish half-shell helmet. The wrap-around shell design offers exceptional coverage, while the adjustable cradle holds the helmet snugly in place down the roughest trails. The MT500 MIPS does carry a heavier price tag than some helmets out there, but we feel the safety, ventilation, comfort, and looks all justify its price.
Available now in the US! To learn more, please visit us.endurasport.com
About The Tester
Tanner Stephens - Age: 28 // Years Riding MTB: 16 // Height: 5’10” (178 cm) // Weight: 145-pounds (65.8kg)
Most known for winning a Pro US Downhill National on an old spray-painted bike, Tanner chased the dream of racing at the World Cup level for several years. Now working within corporate America, he keeps his hands in the bike industry through various creative outlets. He has developed a strong affection for suffering on long road and mixed terrain rides and getting sketchy on an XC bike; however, he hasn’t lost his love for smashing rocks, railing corners, and flowing jumps. A true student of mountain biking, Tanner has a strong love for downhill history and can be heard chatting about racing on Vital’s B Practice Podcast.
View key specs, compare products, and review helmets in the Vital MTB Product Guide.