Urge Archi-Enduro RR helmet review£179.99

Race ready enduro-specific full facer gets an update

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Urge’s Archi-Enduro was one of the very first enduro racing specific full-face lids. Designed to offer much more protection than an open helmet without restricting breathing and ventilation as much as a conventional full facer, it was a bit of a hit.

As the discipline has grown and matured, there are more brands offering helmets to fit this niche, so it was time for an update, resulting in this RR — Ready to Race — version. The basic outline is pretty much the same, but there's now a load load more ventilation to help keep you cool.

The outer shell uses a mix of fibreglass and ‘natural fibres’ over EPS padding, which Urge says outperforms all the relevant safety standards. That means it's got certification to the usual EN1078, CSPC1203 and AS/NZS2063 ratings, as well as the ASTM F1952 standard which also covers the protection offered by the chin guard. 

The chin bar has a flexible upper section with a huge port to allow you to breath unhindered
The chin bar has a flexible upper section with a huge port to allow you to breath unhindered

At 1,035g for a medium it’s decently light and it's certainly not a chore to wear it for a long amount of time. It’s liberally peppered with 10 vents, including a very large mouth vent and two large, mesh covered vents in the forehead.

Combined with that wide opening front and high peak, it’s a very airy and pleasant place to be, even during hard efforts that’d have you feeling claustrophobic in a conventional full face. The main reason for this is that the chin bar has a very wide opening which allows you to hoover up as much air as you like to supply your suffering lungs. The back of the lid is raised up so there’s less chance of it interfering with a pack, too.

The raised back of the helmet marries well with backpacks
The raised back of the helmet marries well with backpacks

While fit is a personal thing, I found it hard to get it comfortable. It feels tight over the brow but loose at the sides, which led to a lot of movement — especially fore-aft rotation. That let the plastic micro-adjust ratchet neck strap dig uncomfortably into my Adam’s apple, which was quite unpleasant at the best of times. There's no padding or soft covering on the strap either, which would help prevent this.

Elsewhere, the removable dual density cheek pieces sit comfortably, with an almost suede-like texture that does a good job of soaking up sweat without getting scratchy.

The peak offers good coverage and can also be adjusted far up enough to give you an unobstructed field of vision, even when you're in a head-down attack mode.

The back of the helmet is also raised slightly, reducing the likelihood of your backpack punting you in the back of the head as you ride over rough ground. The very wide face means that it syncs well with both goggles and glasses, with the arms of the latter not getting forced into the side of your head. Less encouragingly, some of the stick-on trim on the chin guard fell off rather quickly, and paint began to chip on the flexible peak quickly too.

The micro-adjust ratchet can be rather uncomfortable when in use
The micro-adjust ratchet can be rather uncomfortable when in use

All in all, if the shape fits your head it’s worth a look. The ventilation and breathing space it gives are definitely lightyears ahead of conventional full face lids and whether you race or just ride, the extra protection over a half-lid is reassuring. However, convertible rivals such as the Giro Switchblade and Bell Super 2R might have the edge for combining race day protection with trail riding usability. 

Jon Woodhouse

Technical Editor, UK
Jon's been working with bikes for as long as he can remember, from spanner monkey to product tester. He's always looking out for new kit that'll give an edge when the going gets rough and is happiest experimenting with geometry, rubber and suspension.
  • Age: 32
  • Height: 173cm / 5'8"
  • Weight: 62kg / 137lbs
  • Waist: 79cm / 31in
  • Chest: 92cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Mountain
  • Preferred Terrain: If it involves dirt and bikes, Jon is there, whether big days out in the mountains or steep and technical plummets in the woods. It's all good.
  • Current Bikes: Mondraker Foxy Carbon, BTR Fabrications Custom hardtail, Scott Spark 700 Plus Tuned
  • Dream Bike: Nicolai Ion 16 Longest, made from carbon
  • Beer of Choice: Franziskaner Weissbier
  • Location: Monmouth, South Wales, UK

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