POC has launched the Otocon range, two full-face helmets for enduro riders.
The brand says its aim for the Otocon was to achieve a balance of light weight and optimum ventilation, combined with a host of advanced safety features. The helmets were developed with input from the Ibis Cycles Enduro Factory racing team, who will be using the helmets at this season’s Enduro World Series.
There will be two models in the range – the Otocon and the Otocon Race MIPS. The Otocon will be priced at £240 / €269.95 / $350 / AU$425 and the Otocon Race MIPS at £300 / €329.95 / $350 / AU$500.
Availability for the Otocon is from the end of March and the Otocon Race MIPS from late April.
POC says the Otocon Race MIPS represents the epitome of its ‘Whole Helmet Concept’.
The Whole Helmet Concept is an amalgamation of digital and structural safety features that, POC claims, will protect riders during and after an impact.
The Otocon Race MIPS uses two different liner materials that POC says are optimised for function and protection – the upper zone is constructed from EPS (expanded polystyrene) foam and the lower zone is made from EPP (expanded polypropylene). The brand says the transition between EPP and EPS in the helmet is structurally enhanced with an injection-moulded cage for extra strength and stability.
Aramid bridges (thin finger-like portions of very strong, woven material) are moulded to the helmet liner. POC says these are designed to improve structural stability and penetration protection.
POC says the peak is designed to break away from the helmet in a fall or when striking an object, enhancing neck protection. According to POC, it can then be reattached easily.
The Otocon Race MIPS also features a ‘bad weather peak’, which was designed based on feedback from the Ibis Enduro team. This is a separate clip-on extension, which the brand says has been designed for use in poor conditions, aiding riders’ visibility by helping to block out mud and rain.
The Otocon Race MIPS features MIPS Integra, a system that first debuted on POC’s Kortal Race MIPS mountain bike helmet in 2021.
MIPS is a system designed to reduce the rotational forces on the brain in an impact.
The Integra variation was developed in partnership with MIPS and is significantly slimmer because the low-friction layer is in-moulded to the inside of the energy-absorbing layer of the helmet. POC says this results in “an almost invisible package”.
POC is slowly phasing out its in-house SPIN (Shearing Pads INside) technology in favour of MIPS after the Swedish brands announced their formal partnership in 2019.
NFC Medical ID and Recco reflector
As well as structural safety, POC has also built in additional smart features. The Otocon incorporates an NFC Medical ID. POC says this supports user safety and protection by storing a rider’s medical profile and emergency contact details in the helmet, allowing easy access by other riders, medical teams and first responders.
The Otocon also features a Recco reflector, which can help rescue services easily and quickly locate you if something goes wrong, provided they’re using the technology.
POC says the Otocon’s ventilation channels have been inspired by its road helmet line, “allow[ing] for unrestricted and maximum airflow”.
The Otocon features removable cheek pads, providing even more ventilation if required, for example between enduro race stages. POC says the helmet can also be used without pads and will remain secure.
There is also a removable grille in the chinpiece to protect against mud and other trail elements. It can also be removed to maximise ventilation.
POC has paid particular attention to making the Otocon lightweight. The brand says the Otocon features a polycarbonate outer-shell construction, which is claimed to deliver a balance between lightweight performance and durability.
Compared to the Giro Switchblade MIPS which comes in at 975g in a size medium and the Bell Super DH MIPS which comes in at 850g in a size medium, the Otocon represents a significant weight saving.
POC Otocon claimed weights
|Otocon Race MIPS||590g||680g||750g||850g|
A focus on fit
POC says it has kept a keen focus on fit. The Otocon features Race-Lock, which the brand says is a new integrated fit-adjustment system, inspired by its skiing helmets.
The integrated fit adjuster at the back of the helmet is said to allow for a 360-degree fit.
POC says the construction and position of the Race-Lock mean it will never interfere with a rider’s neck, allowing for the broader range of movement needed in enduro and gravity riding. This essentially means you can move your head more before the fit adjuster comes into contact with your neck.
The Otocon also features a new strap-retention system, which is an anchor system more in tune with trail helmets than conventional full-face helmets. It enables an extensive range of adjustments, the brand says it’s more secure, and it also allows the helmet to work with or without cheek pads.