A leftfield noggin protector that boasts dual functionality and a modest price tag.

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Score 8

Urge Gringo De La Pampa FF

Pros:

  • Lightweight. Good value for money. Good ventilation.

Cons:

  • Only two sizes. Chinguard feels quite flimsy.

Product:

Urge Gringo De La Pampa FF helmet review

Manufacturer:

Price as reviewed:

£119.95

French brand Urge doesn’t often crop up in our list of best mountain bike full-face helmets, but this convertible, lightweight full-face helmet ticks the value-for-money box, coming in at under £120. Your guess is as good as mine as to what the Gringo De La Pampa name is all about, but what is clear is that it targets trail and enduro riders wanting a bit more downhill protection plus the option of removing the integrated chin guard for improved cooling and ventilation. Gringo comes in two flavours; the most ventilated open ‘Pampas’ version here and a ‘Sierra’ model with a more downhill-style ‘filled-in’ mesh chinguard.

Gringo weight is on the money for this kind of product, and the open face part alone is especially light at just over 400g, which is actually similar to many standard enduro or all-mountain lids without any convertible functionality.

Urge’s chin guard uses push buttons underneath to install and remove, and all the fixing hardware is metal for extra durability. Getting the two parts connected is no easier than any other convertible helmet, which is to say it’s tricky with the helmet on but pretty easy with it off. You have to tip up the chin piece at an angle to engage the front before ‘snapping’ it into the under-ear section of the half-shell, and you can only line it up by feel when you’re wearing the helmet. Once installed, the lower section is held very securely in place with minimal waggle, but the guard is quite flexible and flimsy compared to some other convertible lids.

Urge Gringo De La Pampa FF helmet

Urge Gringo De La Pampa FF helmet

In terms of fit, Urge only offers two sizes (less than most brands), but the Gringo comes with alternate thicker cheek and scalp pads to tune fit. A rear retention dial with a broad adjustment range tightens onto the back of the skull and extends down low near the nape of the neck. My head is 58cm and I had no issues cinching the L/XL lid tight enough, but riders with really big heads might struggle for enough internal volume.

Just like the Urge All-Air tested last year, there’s excellent airflow through 22 vents and the same excellent environmental considerations, with a commendable 80% of materials coming from recycled sources. The Gringo doesn’t boast MIPS or any other rotational protection tech, but it is tough enough to pass US certification that subjects lids to slightly higher impacts than the European CE-1078 standard. This doesn’t equate to the full downhill full-face rating some convertibles offer, however.

On the trail, air flow is so good, I was happy to leave the breezy chinbar attached the majority of the time as cooling ventilation pumps right in through the mouth hole. There’s also a light, airy feel across the top of the scalp while riding along. The forehead zone runs a tad hotter than some helmets with perforated brow sections, but overall cooling is definitely not an issue here.

The price and weight are excellent for a dual-purpose lid, although internally there’s the impression – shared with the All-Air – of the shape being slightly primitive and simply bowled out, meaning it’s reliant on the pads doing the majority of the stabilisation. What’s much better with the Gringo is that the overall wraparound fit actually holds the helmet very stable when riding and the retention dial cushions nicely under the back of the skull (occipital bone) for more security.

Verdict

Aesthetically I’m not a fan, as the backside sticks out sideways too much for me, but I do rate the functionality as a light full face with the option to remove the chinbar on scorching summer days. Overall this is a solid option for a great price considering many other dual purpose helmets cost double.

Details

Weight:816g with chin guard, 408g without
Sizes:S/M, L/XL (tested)
Colours:Black, Brown, Red, White, Grey Blue
Contact:windwave.co.uk