The MT500 range offers some of Endura’s most high-tech mountain bike equipment, and the brand’s latest helmet is no exception.
Intended to be Endura’s top-spec all-mountain/trail helmet, Endura has designed the MT500 to feature enough tech and smart spec details to cover you wherever you may find yourself.
Of the leading mountain bike helmet brands, Endura is one that has strayed off the beaten path when it comes to protection. It uses Koroyd and EPS foam for impact protection, along with a MIPS liner to help minimise rotational impact forces.
Endura MT500 MIPS helmet details
The outer shell is made from polycarbonate, and Endura uses an in-moulding process to bond it with the protection underneath to create a light yet hard-wearing helmet.
Underneath the shell is where Endura does things a little differently from most. While it still uses a single-density EPS foam around the edge of the shell, a large bulk of the protection comes from Koroyd.
The Koroyd used in the MT500 MIPS is a lattice of hexagonal straws that are fused together. Under impact, these straws crumple to help reduce the force. Koroyd claims these tubes squash similarly to an EPS foam but become a solid material less quickly than a foam of equivalent thickness. Also, it’s claimed they are more breathable due to their hollow structure.
This design contributes to a safe helmet that has been rated at 5 stars by the influential Virginia Tech Helmet Lab.
While the Koroyd should help with impacts at an angle, Endura has still employed a MIPS liner to help minimise rotational impact forces. This MIPS liner integrates with the retention cradle. A clever touch is that Endura has used the soft side of Velcro in places to help keep the MIPS liner quiet.
Endura’s retention system wraps 360 degrees around your head and is tightened with a micro-adjust buckle at the rear. There’s rubber padding on the cradle that sits against the back of the head, with a three-position height adjustment.
The padding inside the MT500 is antibacterial and removable so it can be washed.
Endura has incorporated 16 vents into the MT500’s design, with 12 of these being covered by the Koroyd protection. Because Koroyd isn’t a solid structure like an EPS foam, the helmet’s level of ventilation is claimed to be high.
You can set the peak to one of three positions, where in its highest setting you can stash eyewear below it. The rear of the helmet uses rubber grippers to help with goggle-strap security. The vents are also claimed to be able to hold your mountain bike sunglasses.
Additionally, there’s a clip-on accessory mount that fits into the vent on top of the helmet. This GoPro-style mount should enable you to attach an action camera or light.
The Endura MT500 MIPS isn’t cheap at £179.99. It’s available in three sizes: S-M (51-56cm), M-L (55-59cm) and L-XL (58-63cm), with a size small weighing 404g.
Endura MT500 MIPS helmet performance
The bright blue Koroyd has divided testers’ opinions over its aesthetics, but overall, the MT500 MIPS is a sharp-looking helmet with a modern design. It’s not too bulky, but still has good coverage with a deep rear section and adequate temple cover.
Another good selling point is the MT500 MIPS is a wonderfully comfortable helmet that’s up there with the Bell Super Air Spherical I’ve also tested. The padding inside is soft and plush, which makes it pleasant to wear.
The retention straps didn’t cause me any pressure points when I tightened the helmet to make it secure enough to tackle even the wildest trails. The cradle, with its rubber padding, was comfortable against the back of my head.
I was happy to ride for extended periods in the Endura without having to adjust it to keep it comfortable. Yes, it’s heavier than many rival helmets, but once on the trail it doesn’t move around and it’s hard to feel the extra weight.
Thanks to the well thought-out details, such as the added Velcro, the MT500 MIPS is quiet when riding.
The peak in its lowest setting just edged into my peripheral vision when riding, so I pushed it up to the middle position to make sure I wasn’t distracted by it.
In terms of ventilation, I didn’t find the MT500 MIPS to be the best. There is a breeze that flows through the helmet, but still the vents are covered more than with a traditional EPS design. For some of the inlet vents, the Koroyd isn’t lined up perfectly to enable maximum airflow. It’s not a hot system, but not the coolest available either.
While the helmet is great for users of mountain bike goggles, the lack of dedicated storage for riding glasses is a little disappointing for a helmet of this price. You can wedge the arms of glasses between the peak and vents, but this isn’t a great solution.
Still, the helmet didn’t interfere with any glasses I tried when riding, which is a win.
It’s good to see Endura adding a mount at this price, too. Its execution is good, attaching the bracket securely to the helmet without needing to use Velcro straps.
How does the Endura MT500 MIPS helmet compare to the Leatt MTB AllMtn 4.0?
At a comparable price, these two helmets offer good protection, plenty of coverage, and decent spec details for their money. The Leatt uses dual-density EPS foams for its shock absorption capability to cover a range of impact forces.
The Endura uses an EPS foam and Koroyd to deliver its protection. The Leatt offers better ventilation and well thought-out features, while I found the Endura more comfortable and truer to size.
Both have pros and cons, but for me the fit, security and comfort of the Endura outweighs its lesser breathability.
Endura MT500 MIPS helmet bottom line
The MT500 MIPS is expensive, but it has a great build quality and well considered details that some other helmets lack. It scores top marks for comfort and is a stylish lid.
Ventilation is moderate, Koroyd clearly performs in testing and it’s good to see brands taking an interest in new ways to protect us.
How we tested
These helmets make up our 2023 trail helmets group test.
We tested nine open-face lids from a range of brands, featuring different tech and takes on performance and comfort to see who came up with the goods.
- Leatt MTB AllMtn 4.0 review
- Troy Lee Designs Flowline MIPS review
- Smith Forefront 2
- Lazer Jackal KinetiCore
- Bell Super Air Spherical MIPS review
- Specialized Ambush 2 review
- Bluegrass Rogue Core MIPS review
- Scott Stego Plus review
|Price||br_price, 5, 3, Price, GBP £179.99|
|Weight||br_weight, 5, 6, Weight, 404g (Small), Array, g|
|What we tested||br_whatWeTested, 5, 8, What we tested, Endura MT500 MIPS|
|Year||br_year, 5, 9, Year, 2023|
|Brand||br_brand, 5, 10, Brand, Endura|
|Features||br_Features, 11, 0, Features, MIPS, Koroyd, adjustable retention cradle, adjustable peak|
|MIPS||br_MIPS, 11, 0, MIPS, Yes|
|Helmet type||br_helmetType, 11, 0, Helmet type, Mountain bike open face|