Endura has had helmets in their lineup for at least a few years, but U.S. mountain bikers are just seeing them with the launch of the latest MT500 helmet. Until now, I’ve been familiar with Endura because of their apparel, which in my experience has been comfortable, tough, and usually rain-ready.
Does the new MT500 fit in with the rest of the Endura line? I’d say there’s a lot of wiggle room in keeping with a brand image between something like a jersey and a helmet. The technology is a lot different, but so far, I’ve loved the MT500.
About the helmet
Endura’s new MT500 helmet adds MIPS and expands the coverage area of the helmet. So now the MT500 has three layers of protection: A traditional MIPS slip-plane liner, to protect against rotational impacts; a layer of Koroyd Core waffeling, to lighten the helmet and protect against rotational impacts and also direct impacts; and then a layer of hard foam—for more direct impact protection. So that’s two forms of rotational impact protection with MIPS and Koroyd and two forms of direct impact protection with Koroyd and the foam shell. Smith’s Forefront 2 helmet shares a similar construction in that regard.
The MT500 then adds an adjustable visor, an GoPro/light mount, eyewear grippers, an adjustable dial and anti-bacterial padding. The helmet meets a few different safety standards and is covered by Endura’s crash replacement policy where they’ll replace your helmet at a discounted cost.
The MT500 sells for $240 and comes in five colors and three different sizes.
Right off the bat, the MT500 helmet fit great. It pulls on snugly and feels like it contacts my brow ridge, the crown of my head, the temples, and the back of my head equally. I haven’t had any hot spots in the helmet and it’s one of the better fitting lids I have worn in a while.
I also really like the profile. Helmet aesthetics are a personal preference, but I really like that the MT500 is not too square, not too round, and not too bulky or long. It provides a great amount of coverage without being intrusive. The padding is also comfy on the inside and I haven’t had any issues with the strap.
There are some smart features on the MT500. Though I’m not a goggle and half-shell type of guy, there’s a spot if folks need it. And I don’t know why every helmet doesn’t come with a light/camera mount on top of it like this one.
Part of me thinks Koroyd, on top of MIPS, on top of foam might be a bit overkill, since helmets seem to get the job done with just one or the other. Virginia Tech’s top-rated mountain bike helmet right now is the Specialized Tactic 4, a $120 helmet with just a foam shell and a MIPS liner. Endura’s MT500 ranks 28th, and earned a 5-star rating.
However, I’m still a fan of how the MT500 fits, vents, and looks. It’s a pretty breathable half-shell helmet and hasn’t gotten too hot on me yet. There is some noise here and there though with the MIPS liner occasionally sliding against the Koroyd.
Pros and cons of the Endura MT500 helmet
- Can be noisy
I don’t think the MT500 is a knockout all-around. There is some noise associated with MIPS and its contact with the Koroyd layer and this is certainly not the most affordable helmet on the market.
But Endura did a great job with the fit, aesthetic, and the comfort of the MT500. Though it isn’t perfect, it’s my favorite helmet lately.
Check out our mountain bike helmet buyers guide and our picks for the best mountain bike helmets.