Swedish equipment company POC has a new aero road helmet called the Ventral that sponsored pro team EF Education First-Drapac will be racing at Paris-Nice.
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While a majority of helmet companies have embraced the MIPS liner, POC has its own rotational-impact protection system called SPIN.
Instead of using a plastic liner like MIPS that moves slightly inside the helmet shell, POC's SPIN system consists of pads that sits against the head. POC claims that the sweat-absorbent pads offer a similar protection to MIPS, allowing the helmet to move a bit relative to the head in a crash. POC also claims that the SPIN pads don't block airflow like liners sometimes can.
POC CEO Jonas Sjögren said the new helmet was designed to make riders faster and safer while offering good ventilation.
POC worked with EF Education First-Drapac on developing the helmet.
"We’ve been partners with POC since 2014 and their innovation and support has been essential to the success and well-being of the team," said EF Education First-Drapac CEO Jonathan Vaughters in a press release. "The reality of modern road racing is that results can often come down to the thinnest of margins. The Ventral gives us strong aerodynamics and doesn’t compromise at all on safety."
POC doesn't make any specific aero claim on the Ventral, instead claiming that its unique design intentionally channels air through the helmet instead of around it.
Aero claims aside, the ventilation claims are easier to take at face value, as the front vents are huge for an aero helmet. POC claims that the Ventral's internal channels, exit ports and rear shape combine to smooth internal and external air flow at the rear of the helmet for better ventilation and reduced drag.
A medium CE helmet weighs a claimed 248g. Compare that to the 305g Giro Vanquish with MIPS or the 287g Specialized S-Works Evade without MIPS. The MET Manta helmet weighs a claimed 200g in a CE medium and a claimed 265g in a CPSC medium. [Different regions have different safety standards, which often result in multiple models for helmet brands and slightly different constructions and weights.]
EF Education First-Drapac will be racing with the Ventral, as well as POC’s other helmets, the Octal, Cerebel and Octal Aero.
The POC Ventral is available now for €299 and $290 in CE and CPSC models. The AS/NZS model will be available later, according to POC.