Crash Report on Urge Archi Enduro Helmet
Now that I'm feeling just a bit better, I thought I'd post a quick little crash review of the Urge Archi-Enduro helmet... Urge Archi-Enduro Helmet | Hucknroll.com
With the popularity of enduro-style events really exploding around here, this helmet seemed like an ideal piece of equipment. Indeed, it was exceptionally comfortable, well-ventilated, and light. I wouldn't - and didn't - wear it for DH-gnarly stuff, but for enduro & Super-D races, as well as jumpy-flowy trails that required pedaling to access (read: Arcylon), it seemed THE solution to decent protection and relative comfort. It was also compatible with a Leatt...which turned out to be a very good thing.
To cut to the chase, I overshot - waaaaaaaay overshot - the landing on the 2nd wood kicker jump on Arcylon (after the super high-speed, super awesome left sweeping high bermed corner). So much so that I landed less than a bike length from the roller jump that immediately follows it. With nonexistent setup for the slightly-lippy roller, I got bucked - actually, make that catapulted - OTB into the high-side bank on the left.
(FYI, I love Arcylon - even lent a little assistance building it - and have probably no less than a hundred runs down it, so it's not something unfamiliar or uncomfortable for me. Indeed, perhaps I was a little too comfortable...)
...I landed on my face. Right on my face. No hands out to break the fall (probably a good thing), no initial shoulder digger beforehand (also probably good). This was the absolute definition of a faceplant. Textbook.
The good: the helmet did prevent me from breaking my jaw. I also suffered only a minor concussion, rather than being knocked out.
The bad (a picture is worth a thousand words...): the chin bar design.
Basically, the chin bar flexed/folded under impact, and the open face port/low-profile chin bar design allowed the helmet to act like a giant scoop. Good thing my Leatt stopped my head from tucking under...I'm absolutely certain that wouldn't have turned out well. The underside of my jaw was very bruised from contact with the Leatt platform, but it worked like it was designed. Fantastically.
The outside damage is actually healing quite well. Besides permanently missing a piece of my upper lip, there'll be little scaring. By the luck of the draw, I ended up having one of the best hand and face plastic surgeons in the state do the emergency surgery.
The inside of my mouth is where the worst of the damage is. The impact actually tore all the tissue inside my mouth off my jawbone, from chin tip to jaw hinge on the left side, exposing the bone (sorry, no pics of that...thankfully....). I have a mouth full of stitches, which sucks only slightly less than being on a liquid-only diet for at least two weeks.
There was a bit o' bad luck involved in this crash in that I happened to land on either a random stick or a piece of brush that had been cut down. As the helmet turned my head into a giant scoop, and the chin bar flexed (allowing my face to dig in), the stick/piece of brush had it's way with my mouth in a bad way.
Anyhow, I just wanted to give everyone a first-hand crash report on this helmet, as its appeal would seem pretty high in non full-on DH applications. IMHO the chin bar design is fatally flawed in the case of a crash where you want face protection the most.
...Super bummed that I'm now offline for some early-season Canyons fun, but unless I have issues with infection, I should be back on-trail in about a month. Sporting a "real" full-face helmet at all times for the remainder of the season. I get a little dizzy just thinking about if I hit my face again anytime soon...
Dang!! Bryan, that's horrendous, glad you're doing better man. I'd highly considered scaling down from my D2 to one of these to beat the heat a little better, but after seeing this I'm definitely sticking with my TLD.
Healing vibe going out to you! Take care, get better, ride soon!
Oh man, sorry to see that. Hope the healing goes as well as can be expected. Thanks for the helmet report as well, I bought a DownOMatic last year after a few days on Arcylon but almost went with the EndurO instead as I don't do any lift served DH and thought the DownO might be overkill. I decided in the end to error on the side of caution since I'm new to the whole flow trail/jumpin thing. I'm sure this is far better than things would have been with a standard XC helmet but it does seem like the big gap in that helmet did you in. Between nearly taking a high speed digger up there last weekend and this post, I'm really starting to rethink hitting that trail solo. How did you get out and where did you head for emergency care?
Good to see your ok for the most part.
I would send an e-mail to the company and tell them that their product is sh*t. Hell if the helmet cut you I bet you even have some possible legal recourse against the company as well.
Wow. Thanks for the real world, in depth product test. You really went above and beyond...
Seriously though, get better. I crashed last week and also visited the ER, but only for stitches, no surgery.
Thank you for the healing vibes! I can definitely use 'em.:thumbsup:
As for extraction after the incident, I self-rescued. After I determined the everything else was OK except for the blood pouring from my face, I put the helmet back on and finished the run, pedaled back up to the intersection with the Gorgoza Trail, and then coasted down to the TH. Not wanting to touch my face with dirty hands, I didn't know the extent of the damage until I got back down to my vehicle and looked in the side mirror. I was a bit shocked, to say the least, because at the moment it didn't seem to hurt as much as the amount of torn flesh would otherwise indicate it should.
I think I scared the crap out of of several hikers/dog-walkers coming up. Blood was continuing to pour out from under the helmet and onto my jersey. With my mouth torn open - which given the helmet design people could see - and all the blood, I looked like I was returning from auditions for a zombie apocalypse movie. One lady literally turned white when I stopped momentarily to let he and her dog pass.
I drove down the canyon and went to St. Marks ER on 3900 S., between 1300 E and 1100 E. It was the closest and, from past experiences, I've found that it usually has the shortest wait time and best care. I didn't have to wait at all to get in. They don't have a plastic surgeon in-house at all times, so after some initial triage I waited about 90 minutes for them to track down an on-call face and hand specialist. The doctor who responded (Dr. David Motoki) was the chair of plastic surgery there at one time, and he thankfully retains his OR privileges, so I was being wheeled into the OR not long thereafter.
Regarding letting Urge know about their helmet, great minds obviously think alike. :D I sent a note (with pictures) to the place I bought the helmet, and received a response right away. The person wanted my permission to forward all the information to Urge, and I said be all means. So, hopefully, Urge has at least seen how well the design protects in a real crash. Or, rather, how well is doesn't.
I actually don't think the helmet itself caused the damage. I'm pretty sure the damage was the result of the simple fact that my face was allowed to plow into the ground.
So, basically, IMHO there really is no acceptable way to cut corners with a full face. Ride one that offers full protection for your face. Period. It may be kinda hot in some circumstances, but when the time comes for you to need need that face protection, you're going to be very happy it's there.
I can't take any chances after this, so I'll be riding a Arai VX-Pro3 moto helmet from now on. It's a bit heavy in context of a standard DH ASTM DH cert helmet, but it's a full DOT/SNELL cert moto lid; it comes in at just under 1500g. Its chin bar is designed specifically to prevent the "scoop" effect, and to offer max protection for you face and jaw. Items #1 and #2 on my list from now on.
It's definitely a bummer to be taken down for a while just as the season is heating up, but... It could have been a lot worse. I'm really grateful for all the support, excellent medical care, and being able to largely walk away from a crash like this only slightly worse for wear. When I can eat solid food again, I plan to celebrate with a nice Squatters Burger and some beer on nitro tap. :D
I also have some great reference photos for next Halloween. Seems "zombie" is destined to be the costume of choice....
Terrible accident! I hope you don't suffer too much while you are healing.
So in your opinion does the 661 Comp Shifted suffer the same lack of protection:
Hope you heal up fast sorry you had had to be a test specimen for the rest of us. Thank you for posting this I was just about to pull the trigger on on of these for some jump/drop trails we have here that require a good deal of pedaling. Though it might also suffice for the few visits ill be making to bike parks this year.
Wow...kudos for getting yourself out of there to where you needed to be. Takes some calm nerves to do that when you're bleeding and not sure how bad the injury is.
This is a really useful thread to get people thinking about cutting corners on protection....we go fast and the consequences are high. I've been thinking I need to start wearing a mouth guard on top of everything else....going to buy one today after seeing those photos!
Hopefully your liquid diet can be fortified with some hopped up fermented grains....best of luck with your recovery.
Thank you for sharing this.
Glad you were able to get taken care of so fast and so well!
Hope it all heals incredibly well for you.
I'd be grateful if you came back and shared any info concerning Urge's reaction to this.
I'd be interested in pics of the helmet also, if you ever get the notion to... I own one as well and have been riding with it for over half a year now.
I still think this is a great helmet for certain applications and until there are more after-action reports like this one, I don't think we really know if this might have been a freak issue with your helmet or if this is truly a fault of the design overall.
I'm curious about the whole "stick" element. From your description, it sounds as though a stick made it's way up inside the helmet and into your oral cavity.
I wonder if a regular Full-Face helmet might have deflected the stick right up into your nasal cavity or even your eyes.
Of course... the problem the rest of us deal with is being removed from the incident such that we can't really say ourselves if this helmet was worse for you in this situation or might have actually saved you from more injury.
Thanks again for sharing, hope your healing is without any extra problems.
Exactly. It really doesn't matter if whatever you're hitting is big, medium, or small...new or familiar. If you go fast, the margin of error is small; it takes only a fraction of a second for a killer run to go completely pear-shaped.
Originally Posted by Thor Lord of Thunder
That's where I've been getting all my carbs!! :D :thumbsup:
Originally Posted by Thor Lord of Thunder
@happyriding, regarding the 661 Comp Shifted.... No, I don't believe it would behave the same as the Archi did. If you look at the Urge's chin bar, to tapers to a point (relative to the bottom of the helmet); indeed, at the apex of the chin bar it dips down even further, making it an even more efficient "scoop". Compare that to the 661, where the top of the chin bar is parallel to the lower edge/bottom of the helmet along its length. And where the Archi dips down at the front, the 661 goes is sculpted upwards, protecting your mouth and nose.
Also, see the ridges molded into the helmet around/along the chin bar? That stiffens it, preventing the type of flex that almost certainly contributed to my face impacting the ground. The Urge chin bar doesn't have any reinforcements; I can literally flex the chin bar with my hands. I'd bet you can't substantially deform the 661's chin bar by just squeezing it.
Again, thanks for all the healing vibes everyone. :thumbsup: I'm really glad this thread has proven to be of some worth and interest. The experience has been an eye-opener for me, definitely. Cheers!
Ouch! Ouch! Ouch! I bet you did scare the he!! out of anyone that saw you.
Heal fast, heal well.
Dude. Glad you are OK, relatively speaking. 'Tis merely a flesh wound...
Heal up. And thanks for the write-up as well.
Oh my! Thats terrible! I often just opt for an XC lid, even at resorts - won't be doing that anymore! My girlfirend and family thanks you.
In regards to the MTB vs. Moto helmet debate, this is an interesting read.
Glad you're okay - well, more okay than dead. :)
Thanks for link to the Moto vs. DH Helmet article. Good read! :thumbsup:
Originally Posted by NoahColorado
One reason I chose the Arai, aside from the emphasis they placed on designing the chin bar to minimize scooping (it's also design to break away from your face, if you ever hit it hard enough to shatter), is the fact that their layered CLC helmet shell is flexible, not rigid. They meet the debated SNELL penetration test be designing the material to flex first, absorbing a good deal of the initial impact energy. They also use a multi-density EPS foam liner, similar to what Kali uses.
Thankfully I have decent insurance through my employer. Just so everyone can put spending a couple hundred bucks - which by no stretch is insignificant - on a good DH lid in perspective, the bill for this little incident is gong to run about $15K (full-billing, not out-of-pocket). And that's with no broken bones or significant head trauma ( thankfully my face absorbed most of the impact ;) ).
Good safety gear is really inexpensive insurance. Sure, it's not like a personal force field or anything, but given that even a single trip to the ER will most likely run $500+, the costs are - relatively speaking - minimal, especially amortized over the life span of the gear and how often you ride.
Keep the rubber side down! Cheers...
Sorry to read about your accident, hope you heal quickly!
I use the Archi-Enduro and really like it but limit it's use to days where my wheels are going to be on the ground. It's good for cheek and jaw protection, plus provides a bit more head protection. For me it's the perfect alternative to the egg shell helmets sold as All Mountain nowadays.
Face plants are dangerous and I've seen some pretty good facial injuries even with regular full face helmets. As mellow and flawy as Arcylon is, ramps are ramps and once airborne anything can happen, usually quickly.
wishing you a speedy recovery
Kind of crazy to think that it was probably a good thing you didn't try catching yourself with your hand or shoulder. A broken wrist/separated shoulder is way worse--I guess depending on how cool your scars end up being. Your stoked you got a plastic surgeon to do the work. I had a normal E.R. doc at St. Marks stitch my face up after my facialization and it turned out horrible.
I really do love Arcylon, but with that pedal up it's tempting to skimp on protection or travel.
Damn! Well, seeing it was not complete helmet failure, i don't think I will change my mind on getting one. Would have been good to also post a picture of the crashed helmet
Not much to see, actually. The chin bar didn't break, it collapsed in, and then rebounded. You could see some faint stress marks at the points at which it flexed, and that was it. No issue at all with the cranial protection. Got my bell rung a bit, and the closed cell foam on the inside of the shell was split from absorbing the impact, but all in all it did it's job. Lots of scratches, and the visor was torn off. That was the extent of it.
Originally Posted by Solo Bellimino
In order to purge some demons, I tossed the helmet a couple months ago. The pain associated with it was too great for it to take it's place on a hook on the wall of my shop, where a couple other destroyed helmets now reside. ...Helmets that gave their lives to save mine.
As mentioned, the design of the face port / chin bar is what I feel is suspect, not the helmet construction.
YMMV. Hopefully you never are in a situation that tests the helmet's effectiveness in the way I did. I think in most "normal" crashes it'll do fine. However, with the benefit of 20/20 retrospective hindsight, I believe that if you're going to be riding something that you think necessitates a full face, then wear a "real" full face. The design compromises made with the Archi, IMHO, defeat the purpose of the protections afforded by having a chin bar in the first place.
FYI, I wear a RockGardn Pearl now for all my trail riding antics, and it's very well ventilated (even ridden in the Utah heat), as well as DH certified. I never felt (after I started riding again) that it was any hotter or more uncomfortable than the Archi.
I sometimes feel a little self-conscious rocking a FF on, especially, easier trails, but all I need to do is look at the pics in this thread, and think back six months, and those thoughts quickly vanish. If I ever land on my face again without the benefit of a full-on full face, it'll be way too soon in this lifetime!
Again, YMMV. I'm just one data point on the curve. :D
Those pics are absolutely brutal to look at. I looked when you first posted this thread; but, just skimmed past this time.
I say wear all the protection you can while still feeling comfortable. Good for you for wearing a full face all the time. Even if you feel a little self concious on "easier trails"... you want to go home after a ride in one piece. And you have already experienced the effects of a crash where your protection was compromised. Wear what makes you feel safer. As a working father and husband, I tend to err on the side of more protection. I just can't afford to mangle my body and risk not being able to provide for myself and the ones I love. I also enjoy being able to get up and continue riding after taking a good digger. Options are slow it down or be smarter about the way I push the envelope.
Chances of you replicating the same accident again are slim. However, so is having two houses burn down in less than a year... which happened to my good friend this past year.
Hope you have healed well. Your report would absolutely make me consider whether or not that helmet was a smart buy.
The difference between that Archie and a real fullface could have been getting your bell rung a bit and riding the next day instead of the damage, hospital stay and recovery you went through.
So glad I came across this - painful as it is to see and read. Unlimited thanks to the OP for telling this story. I'm just getting away from endurance XC and into Enduro and park riding. I know I need a different lid, now I REALLY know to go all the way with the FF. Hope all is well and you're 2013 is better than last year!
(just hit "Add to Cart" on a real DH lid)
LOL. Cheers sdemars; all's well. Thank you. :thumbsup:
Originally Posted by sdemars
....Those pics are still hard to look at, even almost a year after the fact. I actually remember the sound of the experience more than anything. And that metallic taste of blood...
Definitely hit the "Checkout" button with the full-on DH helmet in your cart, especially if you're gonna be doing anything at relatively high speed where your wheels are free from terra firma for any length of time and/or distance. Compromising just isn't worth it, for the perhaps one time in a thousand where sh!t goes sideways.
Have fun with enduro and park-style riding! It is a blast. As for 2013... Much better. :) So far... I even got most of the feeling back in my face during the last eleven months. I don't think my upper lip will ever fully come back, but oh well. I'm just grateful I don't look like a cast reject from the "Walking Dead". ...At least not any more so than I did before the crash...