France-based Urge Bike Products
is on the forefront of two exciting movements in the bicycle industry — the enduro mountain bike helmet movement and the linen mountain bike helmet movement. What, you haven’t heard about one or more of those movements? I guess we’ve been living under the same rock then. I just want to be clear here, the linen helmet thing…not made up. Urge showed off their first 100% natural-linen-fiber helmet at Euro Bike in 2009 and they are set to launch a production model that is comprised of 50% linen. As they continue to develop this technology they hope to move to a full-linen production model. What’s up with this kooky linen business? It’s wicked eco-friendly. Urge tries to move in the direction of more environmentally conscious production every year. Urge is part of SSB (South Shore Bicycles), SSB applies this same eco-friendly philosophy to the production of their disc brake pads, which are made with a nickel-free process (nickel mining is highly polluting). The pads are also made more durable to reduce the need for replacement…which reduces consumption. And, of course, this translates into better value for the disc brake pad user. SSB is one of the first companies in the bicycle industry to become part of the 1% Group
, an association of companies that donate 1% of their profits to environmental causes. SSB donates its 1% primarily to the MBF (Mountain Biker Foundation), a European mountain bike group that develops mountain biking and promotes protection of the environment.
More photos of Urge’s products after the break.
The Archi-Enduro, a helmet geared toward enduro and super-D events. It weighs in a little lighter than the Down-O-Matic.
The Enduro-O-Matic, an enduro-specific helmet with a super lightweight visor (under a gram). This is what Chris Akrigg
The Dirt-O-Matic is a slope style, BMX, dirt jump helmet with a “cap style” visor.
The Down-O-Matic (Urge could use a little help in the helmet naming category) is a straight up downhill helmet. It’s what Fabien Barel wears.
Another version of the Endur-O-Matic, one more in line with my own aesthetics standards. I walked into a Dunkin Donuts the other day wearing my pink helmet. The guy behind the counter asks “Can I help you mam?” I walked up to the counter, pulled the collar of my winter jacket down (revealing my Hugh Jackman sideburns), took off my sunglasses (uncovering my John Houseman eyebrows), and replied (in my more James Earl Jones than Michael Jackson voice), “Ya, I’d like a large regular coffee.” The poor dude was completely rattled, floundering in a sea of uncomfortableness…with no hope of being thrown a life preserver of recovery. Just one reason why pink helmets on men are awesome.