As I pulled the Urge Down-o-Matic out of the box for the first time I was presented with a glossy, classy and quality looking helmet. Further examination backed this all up, with an obviously well made helmet, with well thought graphics and good styling. Mine came in a stealth black and grey, but a range of well thought out and styled colours is available.
Urge helments have divided opinion in the past about their styling, it being different from the norm. With this helmet I think they have kept enough of the ‘kookiness’ but with strong lines and bold character. Although the styling is good, the helmet is pretty bulky, more like a Moto style helmet than a traditional DH helmet. The overall girth was around 15% greater than the Troy Lee D2 that has been my helmet of choice over the years.
So far, so good, so let’s get this thing on my head! Wow, it’s tight, ‘ouch my ears’! Once on the helmet is obviously the correct size with the skull cradling padding feel perfectly sized and extremely comfortable. But the cheekpads are very thick and make the opening to get you head in very small.
Now let’s get riding. The helmet is light on the head (1050g for a medium) and sits extremely well, with no movement at all. In fact I can say, I don’t notice it at all when pushing hard on the trails. The peak is just the right size and placement, just on the edge of the view, but keeps the crud out of your eyes (there was no sun). Luckily, I didn’t crash in this helmet, but I felt confident it would do the job of protecting me, the worldwide range of certifications backs this up (EN1078, CSPC1203, AS/NZS2063 ASTM).
The strong chinguard is well vented, and along with the other multiple vents and the large face opening the helmet seemed cool. However the winter period that I had this helmet didn’t give the best opportunity to test it’s cooling powers to the full. The large opening, as well as giving good airflow, also gave excellent field of vision and ease of goggle fit.
So back to the fit, although a good fit when on the head, the thick cheekpads again caused an issue, pushing into my own cheeks and making it tricky to talk. They also caused me to chew the insides of my mouth a little pushing my cheeks against my teeth as I ground them in terror down the technical DH trails. I know this may be down to my own physiology, with my super rubber skin, but I’m sure others will experience a similar effect. Thinner check pads are available from Urge (along with many other spare parts), but the stock ones are too thick.
The tight cheek pads also made getting the helmet off hard. The short chinstrap also meant it had to be undone to get the helmet off, no a huge difficulty, but we’re all a bit lazy aren’t we.
So, in summary; a good looking, well made helmet, that feels great when riding. But the tight fit causes a few problems for the rubber faced amongst us!