The new MT500 is Endura’s take on a lightweight, trail rider/enduro full-face helmet.
At just 570g (S/M) it’s over 100g lighter than our category benchmark Troy Lee Designs Stage helmet, and also costs £85 less.
Just like the Stage, the MT500 is fully DH certified and meets the ASTM F1952 full-face downhill helmet standard. It’s worth noting that the MT500 isn’t a convertible helmet and uses a fixed chin bar.
Endura offers the MT500 in three sizes (S/M, M/L and L/XL). To help tailor fit, the Scottish brand has also included two thicknesses of cheek pads, while the helmet itself features an adjustable retention cradle which helps when it comes to getting it to fit securely once in place.
I’d recommend trying before buying because the MT500 does feel quite narrow. While I fitted just fine into the M/L (chosen using Endura’s size guide), the thin cheek pads were super snug and the retention cradle needed to be tightened fully to improve secure. Downsizing to the S/M did help, though things did feel noticeably tighter either side of the head and around the ears.
As we’ve seen in other top-tier lids from Endura, the MT500 uses Koroyd in a bid to up noggin protection that bit further. Despite the layer of this honeycomb structure, it’s really quite surprising how airy the MT500 feels once you get moving.
That’s largely down to the sizable vents and intakes, which do a sterling job of preventing you from overheating.
One thing that is apparent when you’re working really hard though, is that your breathing is louder when compared to the Stage or Fox Proframe due to the Koroyd used in the front of the chin bar. It’s by no means off-putting, but is noticeable, initially at least.
Something else you’ll need to get used to is the peak, which remains in your eyeline while riding. Sadly, it can’t be pushed up out of the way as it butts up against the helmet shell. This, coupled with the relatively stiff plastic it’s constructed from, gives me concerns over just how easily it’ll breakaway in a crash.
I got in touch with Endura for its take on the matter, and it said: “The effects of a so called ‘breakaway peak’ is something we may investigate further in the future but on this project the focus was to create the lightest, best fitting trail full-face helmet on the market, exceeding the required safety standards. We’ve used Koroyd technology to provide measurable improvements in impact absorption using the test criteria which current certification is based around to quantify this.”
My other little bug bear is the strap. While I’m happy enough with the FidLock buckle, threading one half of the strap through a loop to ensure the chin pad stays in the right place is quite fiddly, especially with gloves on. I also found the strap needed re-tightening almost every time I put the helmet back on.
If you can live with these issues and are happy to get used to the peak, then the MT500 is a nice helmet to ride in. It’s comfy (though the padding isn’t quite as plush as the Stage), vents well and feels light and airy enough that you can keep it on while tackling long sweaty climbs without feeling like your head is about to explode.
It isn’t perfect, but it’s well made and competitively priced, plus Endura offers a 90-day satisfaction guarantee if you’re not totally happy with it.