Ahead of Eurobike, Swedish protectives brand POC has lifted the curtain on its 2017 range of cycling gear, including a new helmet and clothing series designed to satisfy the needs of cross-country mountain bikers. POC's updated range also sees new additions to the Fondo line, plus tweaks to its protective backpacks.
At the time of writing, pricing and availability have yet to be announced – we'll update as more information comes to light.
- POC Octal road helmet review
- POC Tectal helmet review
- Best mountain bike: how to choose the right one for you
Octal X helmet
It has always been POC's stated mission to make the safest equipment out there, which is why it too the brand so long to venture into road helmets.
Things have now come full circle, with the original Octal road lid first offering heavy influence to the Tectal trail helmet and now the Octal X, aimed at cross-country riders. Aesthetically the Octal X is near-identical to the standard Octal – no point in fixing what ain't broken about the fantastic ventilation, low weight, and unibody shell construction.
Under the hood though, POC has added its aramid bridge technology, which the brand says spreads impact forces. POC also says the shell has been extended to cover more of the helmet liner to make the lid more robust with minimal added weight.
The Octal X is claimed to weigh 210g in a size M-L, which is actually 13g less than the AS/NZS 2063 certified Octal we tested in 2015. At launch the Octal will be available in CE, CSPC and AS/NZS 2063 versions and seven colours; Hydrogen White, Carbon Black, Adamant Orange, Reson Blue, Thaum Red, and Unobtanium Yellow.
Resistance MTB gear
POC debuted its Resistance MTB gear at last year's Interbike, with fabrics offering protection against impacts, penetration, friction, UV and abrasion for enduro and downhill riders. The range has now been expanded include gear for XC riders.
The Resistance Pro XC apparel is a whole new line incorporating jerseys, jackets, zip tees, bib shorts, gloves, shorts, and warmers. POC unsurprisingly says that the Pro XC line has been designed around performance – taking into account aerodynamics, fit, weight and practicality – and it also features safety-oriented details with areas of Cordura fabric to minimise abrasions in a crash. In addition to the pro cut gear, there’s also a more relaxed fitting XC Tee and XC shorts too.
Updated for 2017, meanwhile, is the Resistance Pro DH jersey, which features strategically placed Cordura reinforcements on the arms, low friction Vectran patches on the elbows, mesh ventilation and DWR treatment in areas prone to water and dirt accumulation. The Resistance Pro DH pants and DH shorts feature integrated stretch and water repellency, and POC says its ceramic-coated Super Fabric, used throughout the shorts, should provide penetration and impact support.
Also updated for 2017 is the Resistance Pro Enduro apparel. The Resistance Pro long sleeve jersey and Enduro Tee feature Cordura patches, a full-length zip, DWR treatment and mesh panels for added breathability.
The Pro Enduro baggies feature reinforced stretch fabric, which has been pre-shaped to comfortably allow for pads and cut for pedaling efficiency. There’s also the Resistance Pro Enduro rain jacket, designed for when things get wet with a 5000mm water column and sleeves reinforced with Vectran.
Fondo road kit
POC’s Fondo road kit was also launched last year, but has been expanded with notable additions for 2017.
The new Fondo Gradient collection celebrates three of the most iconic climbs in cycling: Passo dello Stelvio, Alpe d’Huez and Muur van Geraardsbergen. The jerseys themselves are made from a breathable and high wicking polyester fabric, and feature raglan sleeves for flexibility and comfort. There are also full-length front zippers, mesh at the underarms and side panels for added breathability, and elastic hems for a comfortable fit. The jerseys also feature three rear cargo pockets and an additional mobile phone zip pocket and are available in a women’s-specific fit.
Also new for 2017 is the Fondo Elements jersey. The Gabba-esque jersey is built around a windproof membrane and ‘strategically placed ventilation’ and removable windproof arms – essentially arm warmers designed to be worn with the top. Surprisingly there is no mention of waterproofing in any of POC’s materials.
POC has also given its range of protective backpacks an overhaul for 2017. The updated Spine VPD bags (which are available in 13l and 8l sizes) and vest put an emphasis on light weight, combined with certified back protectors. They use POC’s unique twin-strap closure, which forgoes a waist strap for a second sternum fastening for a light and secure retention system.
Both bags and the vest feature EN 1621-1 back protectors and offer side and internal pockets in an effort to properly balance weight. POC also says the 13l bag provides a carry system for a second helmet. The range should be a hit among enduro racers.