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Endura MT500 full-face helmet reviewed

How does Endura’s super-light, DH-rated full-face helmet perform on the trails?

Endura MT500 full face helmet review
(Image: © Guy Kesteven)

Our Verdict

Superlight and easy breathing for a DH-rated, full-face helmet but relatively hot and sizing and fit need checking before you buy up

For

  • Superlight for a DH-rated full-face helmet
  • Plenty of facial airflow for breathing
  • Stylish design and good price

Against

  • Sizing comes up small
  • Koroyd limits ventilation and makes it hot
  • Strap, pad and visor positioning won’t suit everyone

Endura introduced its Koroyd protection loaded MT500 trail helmet three years ago but the collaboration with the Atherton DH Racing Team meant it needed a gravity-certified helmet too. This full-face uses that same Koroyd protection to meet the required impact standards but at a weight light enough for epic enduro bike use. Fit and heat mean it won’t work for everyone though.  

Construction

Endura uses a contemporary angular design with segmented hardshell coverage over the outer faces and under the rear edge. The EPS foam is exposed along the undersides and under the chin though making it vulnerable to accidental cosmetic damage. There’s only a minimal EPS foam skeleton under the hard-shell with most of the helmet body formed from six separate blocks of the Koroyd honeycomb protective matrix. 

Padding is thin and minimal apart from big ‘J-shaped' cheek pads on either side of the chin bar. The dial-adjustable fit cradle has four different pop fit height positions. The long, 3D peak is held on with neat anodised, logo-etched hex bolts but it's not angle adjustable and butts directly against ridges on the helmet. The single straps are anchored a long way back and you have to feed the FidLock magnetic buckle through a loop on the fat chin pad before connecting which can become really irritating particularly in thicker gloves. 

Endura MT500 full face helmet review

The dial-adjustable fit cradle gives four different positions to adjust fit (Image credit: Guy Kesteven)

Performance

Basic helmet fit will potentially be an issue for some. Firstly the sizing is definitely on the small side, so many riders will have to size up from normal. Even then the fit is narrow so you can expect some ear abuse when getting in/out and those cheek pads to press in pretty tight once it’s on. Some testers found the rearward strap pulled around their throat rather than under the chin, threatening to choke them if it was tight enough to work properly. Others found the narrow shape of the helmet and its slim padding still shifted around on rougher descents. The low, long peak is also intrusive when you’re trying to look a long way down the trail at speed. 

On the flip side, the sun and rain protection from the visor is great. The super-low weight - lighter than some open-face helmets such as Giro’s Tyrant - also makes it a very easy helmet on your neck after a long day of enduro pedalling or heavy landing bike park/DH run head nods. The big open vents on the chin guard sides give plenty of airflow for breathing too although the Koroyd filler in the front vent echoes a bit if you’re really panting on a pedalling section. Like we’ve found in other Koroyd helmets the honeycomb matrix radiates heat well at slow speeds or when stopped but can’t compete with the cooling airflow of the conventional vent and channel designs when you’re moving. That means the MT500 can get pretty steamy if the weather or competition heats up.

Endura MT500 full face helmet review

The Koroyd filler makes the MT500 full face very light but impedes cooling airflow when speeds increase (Image credit: Guy Kesteven)

Verdict

Outstandingly light, easy breathing and with good weather protection, Endura’s MT500 full-face helmet has the potential to be great for keeping you feeling fresh on long gravity days. Undersized fit, the potential for tight spots or wobble, lack of cooling airflow and low fixed peak mean some riders might be glad of the 90-day no-quibble return offer on the MT500.  

Tech spec: Endura MT500 full-face helmet  

  • Sizes: S/M, M/L, L/XL 
  • Colours: 3
  • Weight: 569g (S/M)
  • Price:  £189.99