POC Trabec Race MIPS review£199.99

Stylish protection technology

BikeRadar score3/5

POC’s Trabec helmet is headed into its second season, while the Race MIPS is a new model launched last fall. It’s the company’s top-of-the-line trail lid.

It offers coverage in line with most contemporary trail helmets, and sports a broad-brimmed visor and POC’s adjustable internal retention system.The bells and whistles of the lid drive its price up from the ‘base’ Trabec model, which is a simple EPS helmet.

The MIPS adds a Kevlar liner, for puncture resistance between the polycarbonate shell and EPS liner. It also boasts ‘MIPS’, a third-party technology comprising a plastic cage that allows the outer shell of the helmet to rotate independently of the liner. This is said to protect you better from ‘oblique’ impacts, with the twisting meaning less force reaches your skull.

The helmet weighs 389g, and with many manufacturers now using lightweight straps, the extra heft is apparent. This might add to confidence, but the weighty feel seems to be exacerbated by the fact that the MIPS liner isn’t as stable as a conventional helmet’s retention system. Ours jostled and jiggled around quite a bit.

Despite the Trabec’s rather small-looking vents, we were quite happy with ventilation. It’s hotter than a svelte, highly aerated helmet but was more than tolerable, and temperature comfort is one feature we’re happy to trade for more claimed protection, especially when riding an all-mountain bike on true all-mountain terrain.

A window to what's inside: kevlar to better protect from puncture: a window to what's inside: kevlar to better protect from puncture
A window to what's inside: kevlar to better protect from puncture: a window to what's inside: kevlar to better protect from puncture

The Kevlar lining is claimed to be more resistant to punctures

POC made their first ‘bike’ appearance in the US several years ago. Prior to that they were better known on the snow scene for their ski racing helmets.

Last year, however, might qualify as the Swedish manufacturer’s official arrival to the world of cycling. The brand became well-known for their Cortex DH and Trabec helmets, not to mention their VPD 2.0 protective armor.

They’re a flashy brand, too. That’s a subjective measure, of course, but many riders will appreciate that each helmet has at least three color options, while the basic Trabec has six and the Receptor Flow half-shell dirt jump lid 10.

POC haven’t followed the norm with their product designs, either. The Cortex DH downhill helmet is a multi-impact model, which bucks the conventional one-and-done EPS construction of most contemporary bicycle and motorsport helmets. Despite their use of EPP (expanded polypropylene) and the multi-impact design, POC’s multi-impact helmets adhere to all the conventional safety standards.

As the Trabec Race MIPS shows, POC seem happy to search for better technology to protect riders’ heads, and we can only commend them for this.

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