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  1. #1
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    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.

    Before surgery-


    After-


    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...

    Cheers!

  2. #2
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    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.
    I like bikes.

  3. #3
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    Healing vibe going out to you! Take care, get better, ride soon!

  4. #4
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    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?
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  5. #5
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    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.

  6. #6
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    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.

  7. #7
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    Thank you for the healing vibes! I can definitely use 'em.

    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. 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.

    I also have some great reference photos for next Halloween. Seems "zombie" is destined to be the costume of choice....

  8. #8
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    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:


  9. #9
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    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.

  10. #10
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    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.

  11. #11
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    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.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thor Lord of Thunder View Post
    This is a really useful thread to get people thinking about cutting corners on protection....we go fast and the consequences are high.
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thor Lord of Thunder View Post
    Hopefully your liquid diet can be fortified with some hopped up fermented grains....
    That's where I've been getting all my carbs!!


    @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. 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!

  13. #13
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    Ouch! Ouch! Ouch! I bet you did scare the he!! out of anyone that saw you.

    Heal fast, heal well.

  14. #14
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    Dude. Glad you are OK, relatively speaking. 'Tis merely a flesh wound...

    Heal up. And thanks for the write-up as well.

  15. #15
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    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.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoahColorado View Post
    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!

    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...

  17. #17
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    Sorry to read about your accident, hope you heal quickly!

  18. #18
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    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.

  19. #19
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    wishing you a speedy recovery
    Keep The Rubber Side Down

  20. #20
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    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.

  21. #21
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    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
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solo Bellimino View Post
    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.

    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.

  23. #23
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    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.

  24. #24
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    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)
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by sdemars View Post
    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.

    ....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...

    Cheers.

  26. #26
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    I have an awesome full-face and also a normal XC-style half lid. Living in Vancouver we have more than our fair share of big and technical climbs that culminate in some very technical descending. Many people have gone back to half lids in recent times, myself included. But like any reduction in protection, the added comfort is liberating and feels awesome... until you crash.

    As far as the Archi-Enduro goes I would expect that people buying it aren't looking for a 'light DH' helmet but rather as a way to get some additional protection over a half lid while maintaining climbing comfort.

    I'm curious, OP, in the context of the Archi offering more protection than a half lid wasn't it a success? If you had crashed wearing a half lid surely you would have been way worse off?

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by asin View Post
    I'm curious, OP, in the context of the Archi offering more protection than a half lid wasn't it a success? If you had crashed wearing a half lid surely you would have been way worse off?
    It's a little hard to say exactly what would have happened in a half-lid versus the Archi. I would assume the outcome might have been worse, especially since I wouldn't have been wearing the Leatt.

    I guess the thing is - seen through the comforting perspective of 20/20 hindsight - if you think you want the protection of a full face for when sh!t goes sideways, then wear one. If you don't, then wear a half-lid. The in-between area can prove to be ambiguous territory.

    In my mind "faux full face" helmets probably should all go the way of the old Giro Switchblade. There really is no common ground between sacrificing a little comfort in order to have proper face protection, and leaving your mug exposed to the cool trail breezes.

    YMMV, however. Wear what works for you. ...All I know for sure is that once in a lifetime is one time too many for an injury like that.

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    That is exactly why I do not use any products made in France, the moment I saw Urge being a french company I decided to buy a helmet elsewhere

  29. #29
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    Wow, I was looking for the reviews for this Urge helmet and stumbled here... Hope you recovered from this awful experience and riding full force nowadays...

    However, I'd like to ask you a question, as it seems to be you also riding in some extreme hot weather - what would be your suggestion for a good helmet in hot conditions for AM riding? What are you using today? And what was Urge's response?

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aba Grizzly View Post
    Wow, I was looking for the reviews for this Urge helmet and stumbled here... Hope you recovered from this awful experience and riding full force nowadays...

    However, I'd like to ask you a question, as it seems to be you also riding in some extreme hot weather - what would be your suggestion for a good helmet in hot conditions for AM riding? What are you using today? And what was Urge's response?
    104* today in SLC...although I rode early this morning in Park City, but yeah...H O T.

    Anyhow... Thank you. Yes, I recovered almost fully. Physically. The reconstructive surgeon that responded to the call from the ER turned out to be one of the best hand and face trauma doc's in the state. A whole lotta stitches later, and it's very hard to tell I was Walking Dead material a year ago.

    ...Mentally... Well, this one kinda changed things for me. At 45, I took stock of my ride priorities, and decided to take a step back to try some different stuff. I still spend a fair amount of quality time on dirt, but added trials and uni into my ride mix. The crash has been...oddly, a net positive experience for me. Sometimes you can lose sight of the forest for the trees, as they say. I prefer to think I see more forest now, at the expense of a few less trees.

    As for what I wear... After a full year (post-crash) of riding only a full face I tried going back to pedaling XC/AM in a half-lid helmet and... I just couldn't do it. My face apparently has a far better memory than most of my other broken body parts. So I continue to ride all non-DH (except trials and uni) in a Rockgardn Pearl full face. I find it well vented and very comfortable, even with temps in the low 90's. This morning I rode 11 miles @ 7000 to 9000ft in upper-70's to low-80 degree temps with 2000+ feet of climbing, and it never bothered me. For pure (i.e. lift-served) DH I ride an Arai VX Pro 3.

    As for Urge... No response. Which I can't say surprises me. However, as I alluded to earlier, I do think they might be well served to heed Giro's past with the old Switchblade , and think harder about the wisdom of offering a faux-full face helmet.

    Urge does have a pretty solid shell design, I feel. Although I had a concussion as a result of the impact, the Archi did adequately protect my gray matter...which, in the grand scheme, is a lot more important than having a pretty smile. As I pointed out earlier, I believe that the compromises made in the chin bar design make the Archi an "ambiguous" helmet, at least in context of it's ability to shield your face from serious harm in a lawn dart-type crash.

    As always, the responsibility of what happened was all mine. ...Bad luck, "user error", crappy rider, not enough coffee that morning, bad juju...whatever. I don't blame anyone or anything. Sh!t happens. I signed the MTB personal responsibility release form a long time ago. In blood.

    Cheers!

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    That Arai is a moto helmet? I thought there were compelling safety/engineering reasons for not wearing moto helmets for DH - basically that the higher speeds of a moto necessitate the use of harder foams and shell materials that might not be compliant/compressible enough to protect the user from crashes at bike speeds.

    Tech Tuesday: DH Helmet vs. Motocross Helmet: Which is Safer? - Pinkbike

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    Quote Originally Posted by SprungShoulders View Post
    104* today in SLC...although I rode early this morning in Park City, but yeah...H O T.

    Anyhow... Thank you. Yes, I recovered almost fully. Physically. The reconstructive surgeon that responded to the call from the ER turned out to be one of the best hand and face trauma doc's in the state. A whole lotta stitches later, and it's very hard to tell I was Walking Dead material a year ago.

    ...Mentally... Well, this one kinda changed things for me. At 45, I took stock of my ride priorities, and decided to take a step back to try some different stuff. I still spend a fair amount of quality time on dirt, but added trials and uni into my ride mix. The crash has been...oddly, a net positive experience for me. Sometimes you can lose sight of the forest for the trees, as they say. I prefer to think I see more forest now, at the expense of a few less trees.

    As for what I wear... After a full year (post-crash) of riding only a full face I tried going back to pedaling XC/AM in a half-lid helmet and... I just couldn't do it. My face apparently has a far better memory than most of my other broken body parts. So I continue to ride all non-DH (except trials and uni) in a Rockgardn Pearl full face. I find it well vented and very comfortable, even with temps in the low 90's. This morning I rode 11 miles @ 7000 to 9000ft in upper-70's to low-80 degree temps with 2000+ feet of climbing, and it never bothered me. For pure (i.e. lift-served) DH I ride an Arai VX Pro 3.

    As for Urge... No response. Which I can't say surprises me. However, as I alluded to earlier, I do think they might be well served to heed Giro's past with the old Switchblade , and think harder about the wisdom of offering a faux-full face helmet.

    Urge does have a pretty solid shell design, I feel. Although I had a concussion as a result of the impact, the Archi did adequately protect my gray matter...which, in the grand scheme, is a lot more important than having a pretty smile. As I pointed out earlier, I believe that the compromises made in the chin bar design make the Archi an "ambiguous" helmet, at least in context of it's ability to shield your face from serious harm in a lawn dart-type crash.

    As always, the responsibility of what happened was all mine. ...Bad luck, "user error", crappy rider, not enough coffee that morning, bad juju...whatever. I don't blame anyone or anything. Sh!t happens. I signed the MTB personal responsibility release form a long time ago. In blood.

    Cheers!
    Thanks for such elaborated answer.

    After converting of the Fahrenheit to Celsius - it's pretty like here. How's Rockgardn deals with a lots of sweating?

    Me myself thinking about getting some light vented full face. I thought about Met Parachute and maybe this Urge helmet. I don't ride DH, not even FR, just AM with some parts of rock gardens (we have pretty rocky terrain here in Israel). Don't know what to do. I thought about Specialized Dissident also, but it seems too hot for what I do. I'm clueless...

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    Quote Originally Posted by SprungShoulders View Post
    As for Urge... No response. Which I can't say surprises me. However, as I alluded to earlier, I do think they might be well served to heed Giro's past with the old Switchblade , and think harder about the wisdom of offering a faux-full face helmet.

    Urge does have a pretty solid shell design, I feel. Although I had a concussion as a result of the impact, the Archi did adequately protect my gray matter...which, in the grand scheme, is a lot more important than having a pretty smile. As I pointed out earlier, I believe that the compromises made in the chin bar design make the Archi an "ambiguous" helmet, at least in context of it's ability to shield your face from serious harm in a lawn dart-type crash.
    I think the issue here is the way the helmet is marketed. If you're an AM half-lid wearer looking for a helmet with a little extra then the Archi is still probably a great choice. I think we can agree that the Archi will provide more protection than an XC helmet.

    But it's not a full-on DH helmet. Urge's website offers slightly misleading information - they say the Archi 'offers the same protection as our DH helmet, the Down O matic'. We need to interpret this as 'it passes the same safety tests but it's lighter and offers much less coverage as compromises made for pedalling comfort'. They call it an enduro race helmet. It's pretty clear they're not pitching it as a light DH helmet so it's unfair to criticize it for not offering DH-level protection.

    I would never consider buying the Archi as my DH helmet. If anything it would be a third helmet that I'd bring out for suitable AM days where I know there's some epic descending. Last year I got a Kali Avatar carbon helmet that's actually lighter than the Archi and when I look at the coverage side by side it's pretty similar so I won't be switching anytime soon.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by asin View Post
    That Arai is a moto helmet? I thought there were compelling safety/engineering reasons for not wearing moto helmets for DH - basically that the higher speeds of a moto necessitate the use of harder foams and shell materials that might not be compliant/compressible enough to protect the user from crashes at bike speeds.

    Tech Tuesday: DH Helmet vs. Motocross Helmet: Which is Safer? - Pinkbike
    Great post. I wore my Suomy MX helmet once and found it unsuitable due to the lack of ventilation. It's also a bit heavier.

    But I don't have a Leatt collar, and so I won't kid myself-- I'm not as safe as the OP. I think the Arai VX is a much, much safer choice than the Urge Archi Enduro. But is it as good as a modern, high-end downhilll MTB helmet? I don't know about that, due to the foam issue highlighted by Pinkbike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ColinL View Post
    Great post. I wore my Suomy MX helmet once and found it unsuitable due to the lack of ventilation. It's also a bit heavier.

    But I don't have a Leatt collar, and so I won't kid myself-- I'm not as safe as the OP. I think the Arai VX is a much, much safer choice than the Urge Archi Enduro. But is it as good as a modern, high-end downhilll MTB helmet? I don't know about that, due to the foam issue highlighted by Pinkbike.
    PB didn't really delve into specifics. They took a broad sampling of MX helmet designs and EPS foam densities and strafed the entire genre with the same data. From http://www.araiamericas.com/assets/b...s/arai2012.pdf

    THE SOFT ARAI EPS LINER:
    Because an Arai shell is so strong, our EPS liners can be very soft (the key reason for an Araiís legendary comfort). Most lesser helmets donít have an Araiís shell strength, so their EPS liners must be made harder to help the shell do its job. And those harder liners can be why the helmets can get so uncomfortable after just a short ride.

    More importantly, Araiís exclusive one-piece EPS liner is like no other, comprised of as many as five material densities (depending on model), all molded into a single piece. Arai pioneered this one-piece technology more than 20 years ago, and is still, to our knowledge, the only helmet offering this liner and its benefits
    Kali, for instance, makes a point to mention their low-density EPS foam prominently in their ad copy.

    So, Arai at least, uses a hard shell, soft foam philosophy for both comfort and safety, rendering PB's blanket statement about MX helmet EPS foam density incorrect, at least in this specific case.

    ...Of course, new data have shown that it's brain ROTATION that is a big factor in concussion, which EPS foam - regardless of density - does nothing to mitigate. Technologies like POC's MIPS are designed to reduce rotational G's of the brain under real-world impact scenarios, and thus (theoretically) reduce the incidence of concussion.

    Unfortunately, CPSC and ASTM are unlikely to update their helmet specs anytime soon unless an overwhelming body of evidence comes to light concerning the role of rotational forces on the brain. With the NFL doing concussion studies, however, there might be some hope of safer bike helmets down the line. Who knows....
    Last edited by SprungShoulders; 07-09-2013 at 10:07 PM.

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    Wow this thread is super interesting. So much fascinating information!

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    Quote Originally Posted by SprungShoulders View Post
    PB didn't really delve into specifics. They took a broad sampling of MX helmet designs and EPS foam densities and strafed the entire genre with the same data. From http://www.araiamericas.com/assets/b...s/arai2012.pdf



    Kali, for instance, makes a point to mention their low-density EPS foam prominently in their ad copy.

    So, Arai at least, uses a hard shell, soft foam philosophy for both comfort and safety, rendering PB's blanket statement about MX helmet EPS foam density incorrect, at least in this specific case.
    There's also the matter of the shell being too hard. Energy absorption need not come only from the foam inside, but if the outer shell also deforms, that should be a lower amount of force on your brain than if the shell bounces off something.

    Hard shells make sense when you're dealing with motorsport speeds and the possibility of running into steel and concrete. Again, without doing any exhaustive scientific work, I would naturally suspect that a bicycling helmet *could* be better for bicycling than a motorcycling helmet. For argument's sake, if Arai were to launch a mountainbike helmet line, I would think their downhill model would not simply be a rebadged VX. I would expect some sort of design differences.

    Conjecture aside, the original helmet worn was inadequate for the task. The new helmet worn is a dramatic improvement. There's probably not any point in speculating what's the best, when a dramatic improvement is all that was needed. If the Arai VX fails to adequately protect you, it's probably due to misfortune or an accident that is a magnitude of order worse than the one before.

  38. #38
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    I rarely read anything in Bicycling Magazine, but this article from last month - Senseless - on helmet design and safety was fascinating.

    Highly recommended read, if you want to know a little more about the chunk of foam and plastic we entrust our gray matter to every ride.

    Cheers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ColinL View Post
    There's also the matter of the shell being too hard. Energy absorption need not come only from the foam inside, but if the outer shell also deforms, that should be a lower amount of force on your brain than if the shell bounces off something.
    So, you're saying a in-mold layer of flexible plastic measuring less than 1mm in thickness has more than an absolutely negligible affect on the energy absorptive qualities of a helmet, when compared to the underlying 20-30mm thick layer of closed-cell EPS foam?!

    No. The thin outer shell of MTB lids serves to allow the helmet to initially slide over a surface, thus counteracting foamís natural tendency to catch on the ground. That's it's only function (well...it also helps to protect the base foam from the degenerative effects of prolonged exposure to UV rays). Read the article cited above, or look it up online.

    That super thin, flexible shell is the reason that EPS foams in bike helmets tend to be very stiff, and thus - although protecting the brain from catastrophic injury - is also one reason they are not that great at preventing concussion. To much energy - linear as well as rotational - is transferred to you noggin, and you therefore end up in an MRI machine, having a $2000 picture of your noodle taken to send to friends and family.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by SprungShoulders View Post
    So, you're saying a in-mold layer of flexible plastic measuring less than 1mm in thickness has more than an absolutely negligible affect on the energy absorptive qualities of a helmet, when compared to the underlying 20-30mm thick layer of closed-cell EPS foam?!
    As a matter of fact, no.

    I was *wondering* -- not stating from a position of knowledge -- if the Arai VX motocross helmet you are using has an overly firm shell for bicycling use.

    Also I did not have the benefit of reading the article you linked before posting. I will read it today, it looks interesting but very long.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SprungShoulders View Post
    I rarely read anything in Bicycling Magazine, but this article from last month - Senseless - on helmet design and safety was fascinating.

    Highly recommended read, if you want to know a little more about the chunk of foam and plastic we entrust our gray matter to every ride.

    Cheers.
    Thanks for that. I'm actually in the market for a new helmet and was looking at a POC. Looks like I'll aim for the MIPS model.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColinL View Post
    I was *wondering* -- not stating from a position of knowledge -- if the Arai VX motocross helmet you are using has an overly firm shell for bicycling use.
    Apologies. ...And I would say it would IF the foam they used wasn't as soft as it is. As far as I can infer, hard shell + hard foam would equal very unhappy brain.

    Also I did not have the benefit of reading the article you linked before posting. I will read it today, it looks interesting but very long.
    It's longish, but it reads pretty easily. It's not particularly scientific, which it certainly could have been if it was published in a different venue.

    The article is an eye-opener, and really makes you wonder why as much R&D money as has been invested into helmet styling, ventilation, and fit hasn't also gone into improving performance for less than catastrophic impacts (which make up the majority of MTB crashes). I don't believe that only just now has medical science wondered if taking repeated whacks to the noggin is good for your brain or not.

    I blame the whole sport of cyclocross on riders with too many concussions from road and MTB. What other explanation could there be for hopping off a perfectly good bike, during a race no less, to WALK yourself and your ride over a log or hay bale.

    Cheers.

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    "Bones heal, glory is forever and chicks dig scars"

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    I've been using this urge archi-enduro full face helmet for riding all mountain/ aggressive trail. I had a nasty crash. It saved my teeth and face.

    This full face helmet is the most comfortable and better ventilation when climbing coming from bluegrass full face helmet, where it melt my head during long climbs.

    So I think that guys is very unfortunate to have facial trauma.

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    I just bought my wife a Cratoni Shakedown, which has a removable plastic chin guard. I distinctly remember some bell and arai MX helmets in the early 80s, when I was a wee man riding 50-60cc dirtbikes, which had a very similar chin guard that attached an open-faced helmet with plastic screws or snap buttons. Yes, really.

    Obviously that setup was nowhere near as robust as a molded full-face helmet, but it was better than nothing and it was much cooler.

    My wife does not go 40-50 mph during DH or enduro events. She rides mild XC trails, in fact. But she's worried about busting up her face, and this helmet addresses that. We need more light-duty full face helmets for XC and trail use. And we need DH racers to know that they are not adequate for that purpose.

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    I was searching helmets and came across this thread. After a messed up face from a crash I'm in the same boat. I don't think I'll be able to ride without a full face helmet.
    OP my question to you is do you think the Archi would be good for XC riding? I'll be getting a true downhill helmet for lift assisted riding.

    Crash Report on Urge Archi Enduro Helmet-20130803_215630.jpg
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    Quote Originally Posted by asin View Post
    I think the issue here is the way the helmet is marketed. If you're an AM half-lid wearer looking for a helmet with a little extra then the Archi is still probably a great choice. I think we can agree that the Archi will provide more protection than an XC helmet.

    But it's not a full-on DH helmet. Urge's website offers slightly misleading information - they say the Archi 'offers the same protection as our DH helmet, the Down O matic'. We need to interpret this as 'it passes the same safety tests but it's lighter and offers much less coverage as compromises made for pedalling comfort'. They call it an enduro race helmet. It's pretty clear they're not pitching it as a light DH helmet so it's unfair to criticize it for not offering DH-level protection.

    I would never consider buying the Archi as my DH helmet. If anything it would be a third helmet that I'd bring out for suitable AM days where I know there's some epic descending. Last year I got a Kali Avatar carbon helmet that's actually lighter than the Archi and when I look at the coverage side by side it's pretty similar so I won't be switching anytime soon.
    It's sad that a retailer gives better info then the manufacturer.
    From XSportsProtective:
    "NOTE: The Urge Archi-Enduro full-face helmet meets CPSC bike safety standards. As with most full face bicycle helmets, it has not been tested to the ASTM F1952 standard for downhill mountain bike helmets."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colonel Flagg View Post
    "Bones heal, glory is forever and chicks dig scars"

    -Bart Simpson
    I hate to nitpick, but the quote is actually from Captain Lance Murdoch to Bart.

    "Bones heal. Chicks dig scars. And the United States of America has the best doctor to daredevil ratio in the world!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    I was searching helmets and came across this thread. After a messed up face from a crash I'm in the same boat. I don't think I'll be able to ride without a full face helmet.
    OP my question to you is do you think the Archi would be good for XC riding? I'll be getting a true downhill helmet for lift assisted riding.
    Oh man... So sorry to see/hear that you had a similar face-planting experience. Heal up. The flesh knits relatively quickly; it's the bits inside your skull that take longer to get sorted. At least that's the way it was for me.

    Anyhow, here's my take on things. The Archi is indeed a bit cooler than a "real" full face, but no where near as comfy and cool as a standard MTB half-shell helmet. Sure, it would be fine for "XC", but if you're not really going to count on it's facial or impact protection qualities - or lack thereof (since it's CSPC-rated only, not ASTM F1952) - anyhow, then you might as well wear a half-shell lid with that same CSPC rating.

    ...The Archi looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, but it's not a duck.

    I tried riding MTB in a half shell helmet this spring, and my brain just wouldn't accept it. So, I ride a RockGard Pearl for everything MTB except lift-served DH, where I wear the Arai. Honestly, the Pearl is only slightly warmer in the face port area than the Archi was; it's actually MORE ventilated in the shell. I'm in Utah, and regularly ride in 90+ degree temps; the Pearl has been fine.

    Crash Report on Urge Archi Enduro Helmet-20130804_130039.jpg

    I do ride pure (bike) trials and street uni in a multi-impact half shell lid. The nature of those activities doesn't trigger the same self-preservation circuitry as does being on a MTB. As soon as I start moving with enough velocity, and/or the wheels start coming off the ground, I'm back in the Pearl.

    When all is said and done, you're brain will most likely end up telling your body what kind of helmet it feels comfortable riding in, and under what conditions. Listen to that little voice.

    Cheers!

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    Thanks for the input. After posting I continued my research and I found this MIPS | Take a look in the latest issue of Popular Science
    You may want to take a look. At this point I think I'll be looking for a MIPS equipped helmet despite the cost. Only have one brain.
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