For some years now, the POC bike helmets have been an integral part of the professional peloton and the amateur and hobby scene. At the beginning, the look was unusual - you thought of Super Mario Brothers, as you looked like one of the mushrooms in the popular video game that gives you growth. Products from the Swedish manufacturer POC don't make you taller but they do make you safer. Keller Sports Pro Martin tested the POC Ventral Air Spin NFC bike helmet and the POC Aim Glasses bike goggles for you.
The POC Ventral Air Spin NFC bicycle helmet
The POC Ventral has been specially designed for racing bikes, in addition to the more affordable POC Omne bicycle helmet model. In the model and designation logic of POC, these helmets are each available as "Air" models - these have large vents and openings and therefore offer correspondingly good ventilation on warm days.
POC also integrates the "Spin" system into its helmets on request - a safety feature that was co-developed by POC. The basic assumption here is that falls with the bike only rarely lead to a straight impact of the helmet, but most helmets are designed with this principle in mind. For the majority of cases - these are oblique and lateral impact scenarios - SPIN is supposed to offer a solution.
Certain parts of the helmet's inner workings are "floating", while silicone padding ensures that a large part of the impact energy can be dissipated and thus is not transferred to the head in full force. None of us want to try out the effectiveness of this technology in practice, but an additional safety padding gives a good feeling in any case.
The NFC technology in the POC Ventral Air Spin NFC bicycle helmet
Completely new on the pitch is the NFC technology of the POC Ventral Air Spin NFC. Using an NFC radio chip (NFC stands for "Near Field Communication"), personal and medical data can be stored on the helmet. Creating a profile and uploading it to the helmet is extremely easy via an app on the mobile phone.
In case of an emergency, rescue workers can discover the NFC symbol on the helmet and view the relevant personal data to ensure ideal treatment and care. The spread of the technology is not yet widespread, and rescue organizations must first become aware of such features before they can use them.
However, an additional feeling of safety is created when allergy information, blood group, relatives and informants can be stored easily and quickly accessible on the helmet.
The POC bike helmet: The basics
Despite all the "rocket science", the Ventral Air Spin NFC naturally masters the basics brilliantly. Thanks to a great and simple system, the fit is easily adjustable, for any head shape you can find the right width without creating pressure points. Adjustments are made via a central rotary wheel on the back, which is easy to use in any situation, even when wearing bike gloves.
A special feature of the Octal and Ventral helmets from POC has always been the good ventilation, although the Ventral helmet has also been designed with good aerodynamics in mind - an attempt to square the circle. The aerodynamics are not quite at eye level compared to dedicated aero helmets, but in combination with the ventilation it is an unbeatable combination.
If you switch from a "conventional" bicycle helmet to the POC Ventral Air Spin NFC, it actually feels a bit unfamiliar at first because so much air gets on your head. There is no draught or any kind of unpleasant effect, it is simply more air blowing through the hair and thus creating a pleasant climate on the head. You will sweat anyway and still - but another place is responsible for this effort.
Seamless fit of the POC helmet
Another feature of the first hour at POC is the so-called "Eye Garage" - a parking place for your glasses if you want to take them off your eyes for a short time. Two rubberised support points on the outer ventilation slits of the helmet ensure that the valuable glasses are held firmly in place and do not slip. And speaking of goggles: under the motto "Seamless Fit", POC cycling glasses and helmets are designed to complement each other in such a way that both fit and functionality complement each other perfectly.
Of course, we are not reinventing the wheel here, but it is a pleasure to see that developers have thought about little things - for example, the transition between helmet and goggles, which at POC is coordinated in form and material.
The POC Aim Glasses cycling glasses
The cycling goggles, which in this case fit so nicely with the helmet and thus form a unit, are called POC Aim Glasses. A large lens ensures a correspondingly large and unrestricted field of vision - in practice, you only see the suspension points of the temples at first, otherwise your eyes can wander unhindered across the entire width.
The "Clarity" technology - developed together with the Zeiss company - provides a bright image, the tint of the Uranium Black version is well suited for sunny and bright conditions, increases the contrast and thus leaves nothing undetected - an important feature of sunglasses that you want to have with you even when you are riding your racing bike at high speed.
Even - or especially - with products that are already close to the ideal state, it is exciting to see that new developments and further stages of evolution are still possible. With the POC Ventral Air Spin NFC bicycle helmet, the new safety features offer added value, even though hopefully it will never have to be redeemed.
With a great blend of ventilation and aerodynamics, the POC Ventral Air Spin NFC is among the absolute top products in its category, tested and proven by riders on the World Tour. The look of the helmet may polarize here and there, but it definitely makes you stand out from the black and gray standard mash. Those who want it more colourful will find a good choice in the Ventral, while the Ventral "NFC" is only available in the tested black.
The POC Aim cycling glasses form a well-functioning unit with the Ventral. Especially the huge and unrestricted field of vision of the glasses paired with the brightening "Clarity" technology offers safety and confidence while sitting in the saddle.
Credits: Martin Granadia