Scottish brand’s new helmet combines MIPS and Koroyd for all-round trail safety
Endura recently announced that it had given its helmet range a refresh, part of which involved giving the popular MT500 a complete overhaul. This came as a result of a new partnership with MIPS alongside its existing relationship with Koroyd, and the brand new MT500 MIPS boasts a double dose of safety technology. Good enough to make it one of the best mountain bike helmets on the market? Time will tell.
Need to know:
- Features both MIPS and Koroyd impact protection technologies
- Adjustable visor
- S/M, M/L, L/XL helmet sizes
- Good ventilation and air flow
Attending the launch in the sunny Dolomites, we were able to get up close and personal with the new helmet range, chat to representatives from Endura, MIPS and Koroyd about how they worked together to seamlessly integrate their respective technologies into one package, and then spend some time putting the MT500 MIPS helmet’s mettle to the test.
So the question here is, does combining the two leading safety technologies create the ultimate helmet, or is it overkill?
Visually, the MT500 MIPS has a more modern aesthetic over the previous iteration, with sleek lines and a matte finish. There’s now more coverage at the front and rear, providing full protection from the base of the skull to the forehead, and it sits quite low, about a finger’s width above the brow.
Endura MT500 MIPS helmet safety features
The main talking point here is how Endura has managed to integrate both Koroyd and MIPS technology together. Quite simply, the vast majority of the helmet features a layer of Koroyd, about an inch thick, leaving space in the centre for a GoPro mount, while the MIPS layer is placed over it. Relinquishing its distinctive yellow colouring, the MIPS layer here is a dark grey, so it blends in with the rest of the helmet’s aesthetic.
Colours aside for a moment, the MIPS layer is a plastic liner that moves independently from the rest of the helmet. The thinking behind the technology is that when the head is knocked in a crash, more often than not, the impact happens at an angle and the head continues to roll, or rotate, against the surface with which it’s collided.
This is believed to be the cause of many brain injuries, including concussion. By moving freely, the MIPS layer has been shown to allow for this natural movement to take place without damaging the brain.
Moving onto the Koroyd layer, in this particular colourway it retains its bright green hue, and is recognisable from its honeycomb-like structure of welded tubes. These individual tubes are fused together and designed to crumple in the event of an impact, shielding the head from potential brain injuries by absorbing dangerous forces.
While Koroyd (the company) dreams that one day Koroyd (the technology) will completely replace EPS foam (the more traditional material used in bike helmets), there’s still a way to go for that to happen. As such, the MT500 MIPS still features a significant section of EPS foam around the back of the helmet, essentially where the grey panel is.
Endura MT500 MIPS helmet fit, ventilation and features
Other aspects of the helmet’s makeover include more refined finishing touches, like the fitment system and strap dividers, both of which are more sleek and premium in feel. Fitment is 360 degrees, while the wide strap dividers make it much easier to achieve a comfortable fit with the straps sitting flat against the face.
The visor, meanwhile, is adjustable, and can be moved between three positions, and beneath its hinges are two vents that are long and narrow in shape, and double up as decent eyewear storage.
There are plenty of ventilation points across the helmet, not only in the form of the large gaps within the outer shell, but also the Koroyd layer itself is essentially an open-cell structure that allows maximum airflow, and this was noticeable while testing out the helmet for an afternoon in 30 C weather.
According to Endura, the MT500 MIPS helmet is designed for all-day riding, and therefore the brand has attempted to make it fit as comfortably as possible. The padding is pretty plush, and does a good job of cradling the head at the front and sides. Once you’ve had some time to play around with the strap dividers, it really is possible to achieve an excellent fit there as well.
The only gripe I might mention here — and it really is nit-picking what is definitely shaping up to be an excellent helmet — is that the overlapping sizes might prove to be difficult for some folks to find the right fit. I say this because I found the sizing to come up quite small, although I wasn’t badly affected by this at all. I just wonder if it might prove troublesome for those with larger noggins.
As someone with a peanut for a head, I found the Small/Medium size to fit me perfectly with few adjustments to the dial, meaning that someone with a medium-sized head would probably find that size to be too much of a squeeze. Admittedly there’s also a Medium/Large and Large/Extra Large to choose from, but it may not work for everyone.
The new Endura MT500 MIPS helmet looks sleek, feels great, and delivers a double dose of protection in the form of MIPS and Koroyd, though it might be hampered by some fit issues.