Endura's Xtract II is a well-priced road-styled helmet that's also fine for general use. As a lower or mid-range model it's decently cool, perfectly adjustable and looks a little more interesting than some rival products.
I'll leave it for others to judge its metaphorical veracity but, literally at least, I have a big head. Which means it's tricky to find any helmets that fit and almost impossible to find helmets to test. However, when Endura says its Xtract II helmet fits large to extra-large bonces, it is quite right and I could happily squeeze my noggin in this with nothing more than a few pressure lines to tell the tale.
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The Xtract II is Endura's lower-mid range road helmet and features quite a chunky design, which I think does a decent job of mimicking higher-end modern road helmet trends. It certainly looks decidedly less vent-happy than a typical budget leisure or mountain bike design. The raised bars running from front to back also remind me slightly of an old-school hairnet helmet, which gives it an endearing retro-made-modern feel too.
Its quite cool looks are matched by being quite cool on the bike, with the air vents making up in size and efficiency what they lack in number. All-round comfort is enhanced by the antibacterial padding inside, which isn't overly thick but just about does the trick and features a bug net across all five forward-facing vents to catch critters. Spare padding is provided so you can wash and dry the sweaty innards without having to take a break from your bike or ride lid-less.
Construction is typical moulded polycarbonate shell covering an expanded polystyrene core, with the exposed polystyrene on display inside. There are some nice features, though.
The twist wheel micro-adjustment system is easy to use – even with my big head, I still tightened it a little…
…and the compact chin strap has twin strap dividers so you can get fit around your ears sorted perfectly.
These considerations work their magic on the bike, and while the Xtract II didn't initially seem quite as plush as more expensive options, it quickly starts to feel more than comfy enough and very stable.
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There were no worries about fit, with the helmet staying in place very securely. However, although it does come in under 300g, it still feels like it could be a little bit lighter.
As I mentioned earlier, heat build-up isn't a problem with the large vents working well, and even small things, such as the little rubber ring to retain excess strap length, all contribute to make this feel like a well-resolved product.
The only other problems, as far as I can see, are that this is still a fairly standard helmet so you don't benefit from any added extras such as advanced tech like MIPS or cellular construction, although you are covered by Endura's Crash Replacement Policy, and once you extract your head from the Xtract you'll find it's a prime offender in cases of extreme helmet hair or – for baldies like me – pressure impressions verging on tribal markings.
Stu tested the Abus Macator recently and thought it was a decent enough road-cum-leisure helmet, which is both a bit lighter and a bit cheaper than the Xtract II at £44.99. The Giant Rev Comp Road is an all-round fab entry-level road lid at £49.99 but does look just a little cheap.
> Buyer’s Guide: 9 of the best cheap cycling helmets
If you've got £64.99 to spend and you're not desperate to have road styling, the Smith Signal MIPS has added safety technology, but is relatively heavy. So Endura is in the right ballpark, value-wise.
The Xtract II is a very good road-styled helmet that puts in decent performance for general use duties, too. While it does feel slightly basic initially and falls down a little on weight compared to rivals, you'll forget all that on the bike and come to value its good venting and stable performance more than any adverse first impressions. It looks pretty good, too, and comes in red or black.
Good entry-level road helmet that looks interesting and offers fine performance
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Make and model: Endura Xtract Helmet II
Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Endura doesn't have much to say about the Xtract II helmet on its website, other than: "All Round Protection.' But the wider Xtract range is Endura's entry-level, value-orientated road series.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Endura lists these features:
Lightweight, versatile design
One hand micro-adjustment fit system
Antibacterial, fast wicking removable padding
Large vents for increased breathability
Compact chin strap with twin strap dividers
Covered by Endura's Crash Replacement Policy and Endura Product Guarantee
Certified to CE Standard EN1078 + A1 02/2013
Rate the product for quality of construction:
Pretty nicely made – you do see exposed polystyrene inside the helmet, but the outer shell offers good coverage. The strap and tightening system is very good.
Rate the product for performance:
Very stable and cool on the bike.
Rate the product for durability:
Obviously, if you drop your helmet it's time to replace, but this is a fairly chunky, sturdy design.
Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
It's under 300g, so not too bad, but I can't help feeling it could be lighter.
Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
Feels a little basic at first but that disappears with use.
Rate the product for value:
Fair value. The Abus Macator is a bit cheaper than the Xtract II at £44.99 and also a bit lighter. Meanwhile, the Giant Rev Comp Road helmet is a fab entry-level road lid at £49.99 but does look just a little cheap.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very good on the bike and particularly good as a road riding helmet.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Styling, fit and good venting.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
No one problem but a few areas that could be a bit better – weight and initial comfort probably foremost.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
The Abus Macator is a bit cheaper at £44.99 and also a bit lighter. The Giant Rev Comp Road is £49.99 but does look just a little cheap. If you've got £64.99 to spend and you're not desperate to have road styling, the Smith Signal MIPS has added safety technology, but is relatively heavy. So the Xtract II is in the right ballpark, price-wise.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
The Endura Xtract II helmet is a very good road cycling helmet with decent all-round performance. It might fall down a little bit in some specific areas, but for road riders who want to look the part without paying big bucks, it's a very fair entry-level lid.
Age: 39 Height: 6'0 Weight: 16 stone
I usually ride: Islabikes Beinn 29 My best bike is: 25-year-old Dawes Galaxy
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb, Leisure
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