POC Brings SPIN Helmet Technology to Mountain Biking

Aug 16, 2017
by Mike Kazimer  
POC SPIN

First seen in their ski helmets, POC's new SPIN (Shearing Pad INside) technology is designed to help reduce the rotational impact force that occurs during a crash, and it's now being applied to their mountain bike helmets.

What's SPIN? It's one of those “Why didn't I think of that?” concepts – rather then relying on a plastic slip plane, or on visceoelastic bumpers stuck to the inside of the helmet, POC uses a silicone bladder inside each pad that's designed to allow the helmet to move slightly rather than stick in place during an impact. The location of the pads inside the helmet were chosen to make sure that a riders head only contacts the pads, and not the shell itself. According to POC, the pad's movement helps to dissipate the force of a rotational impact, potentially reducing the severity of the impact on the brain.


POC SPIN
POC SPIN
The silicone bladder inside each pad is intended to allow the helmet to move smoothly on a rider's head in the even of a crash.


For 2018, SPIN will be included in POC's Tectal Race all-mountain helmet, their Coron Air full face helmet, and the Octal X cross-country helmet. We reviewed the Tectal back in 2016, and after wearing the SPIN equipped version for the past two months I'd say that the fit and performance haven't been altered at all by the new technology. It's still the same comfortable helmet it was before, it's just that now it has another feature designed to keep your head even safer in the event of a crash.


Tectal Race Spin
The SPIN-equipped Tectal Race will retail for $220 USD.
POC SPIN
For 2018 the Coron Air gets a significant update, and now weighs 950 grams, with a price tag of $275 USD.



95 Comments

  • + 91
 Tough time for POC on front page, with fiasco that appears to be Rissveds, Swedish Cycling, POC, and World Champs. Never been much of a POC fan - and although they aren't the main fault in my mind, they should have stepped up and said yes she can ride her own stuff - as Swedish company we want to see our company represented at highest level, not sit out over contractual issues... Yes that's way simplified I know. Just think they could have taken lead in this and told Swedish Cycling absolutely not to withholding a Olympic champ from competing for their home country.
  • + 2
 All of the props!
  • + 1
 Link? Smile

[Edit - found it!]
  • + 7
 @jamesdunford: maybe share it?
  • + 11
 POC is one of the few - only that I know of - companies that publishes something about their testing methodologies and the standards that they meet. Fox gear is great, and I use it all the time, but for all I know it meets no safety standards at all. Whatever your feelings are, POC the brand has something to offer and it would be a shame to blindly jump on the fruit cart of popularity that rolls through town every so often and ditch your POC gear.
  • + 6
 @kgbdhbiker: the timing couldn't be more unfortunate for that release. However the only thing POC can be blamed for is to get involved with such not serious player as Swedish Cycling Federation. I mean they must have had second thoughts, there is no way they could be that naive to think: oh world's best athletes will just turn their back against their sponsors and wear our stuff. They cannot say much now, there's too big shit storm going on, too many idiots are out on a witch hunt and look for blood for cheap excitement. I agree with you, that would sound well to people, but it would achieve nothing. SCF wouldn't send Jenny or anyone else anyways as they would say: POC checked out - we have no money. Also they would have to admit that they made a bad move by accepting SCF's offer in the first place.

Anyways what's most important, Jenny claims POC innocent in the whole mess. You can read her statement on her Facebook page: www.facebook.com/jennyrissveds
  • + 4
 @WaterBear: Leatt provide their testing results. Comfy helmet too (trail/half shell DBX 3).
  • + 2
 On her Instagram Jenny said that Poc were actually trying to get her out of this mess so probably they signed a contract with some sort of punishment clause and cant really back out of it. However I don't think they are completely innocent. what were they expecting when they signed it. for all Swedish athletes to break previous contracts? We don't really have all the info and things are probably more complicated but I honestly think if Poc don't want to end like the bad guys some statement on their part is in order. Hopefully the honest kind of statement not the generic no one is at fault kind.
  • + 3
 LOL you guys serious? You really think POC had no idea whatsoever about this, you cant be serious,they were 100% clear what was going down. They told Rissveld what she wanted to be told. Stop being so gullible.
  • + 1
 @fercho25:

"probably they signed a contract with some sort of punishment clause and cant really back out of it"

Ever crossed your mind that they maybe shouldnt sign such deal in the first place?
  • + 0
 @reqq: no it did not crossed my mind please tell why it should have with all the knowledge that you clearly have on Swedish comtractual law.
  • - 1
 @WaterBear: POC does not meet any more safety standards than ANY other helmet manufacturer. They are only better at marketing it. I will never buy a POC product after more than once seeing the guy driving the suv with the POCUSA license plate driving along texting.
  • + 1
 @nonk: But those safety standards are completely antiquated and there is no requirement for constant improvement (unlike basically every other industry).

Meeting and exceeding standards is not the same as meeting alone.
  • + 2
 Kali Protectives had a big article here on PB a few months ago.@WaterBear:
  • + 1
 @WaterBear: Also look at 6D helmets they have published comprehensive results.
  • + 29
 Can't wait to see how WAKI spins this one. Hater of MIPS and lover of POC.
  • + 6
 depends if waki has been drinking or not.
  • + 34
 I'm more than positive. May consider buying these and fitting them into my Rectal
  • + 3
 Does he work?
  • + 15
 yup, he's been drinking
  • + 8
 @WAKIdesigns: no my rectal
  • + 7
 @WAKIdesigns: did not disappoint
  • + 3
 I really do own and wear POC Rectal Race. Their MTB line started out as overpriced, overmarketed, overcomplicated quite regular stuff. But these days it's really great stuff at good price point. I have all outfit from them and spent like 70% of what it would cost if I chose TLD which I like a lot too. If POC would send some stuff at me I'd not hesitate to become their hashtag whore. And I can't say that about Fox, IXS, Met, 100% or other makers of swag.
  • + 13
 @WAKIdesigns: tectal. the spelling is tectal, you crazy swede. no body wants to hear about your rectal issues besides your doctor and maybe your wife (depending what she is into)
  • + 3
 Wait... so one companies slip tech is pointless garbage and the others is amazing... just because you can maybe retrofit it to your current helmet?
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: I own a PINK Tectal and love it. NO one else likes it. I use it as my "recording lid"
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: I'm no marketing guru, but chances of POC sending you stuff cannot be very good anymore. #PoopOnCommand #poopfaster
  • + 1
 @ecologist: really? That's a bummer... I thought that buying all their stuff, writing random sht online in a cryptic way is a better way than picking up the phone and calling them... especially that I know who to call...
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: You must have found the POC on sale, you are on the largest crackpipe ever to say you spent 70% less than TLD.
  • + 1
 @stikmanglaspell: no I wrote that I spent 70% of what TLD costs, that means in English as my second language that I spent 30% less... POC clothing used to cost more than TLD, at least in Sweden
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: You were perfectly clear conveying what you meant in English. I think Stik assumed you left an 'f' off the word of when you in fact did mean of not off.
  • + 20
 Surplus breast implants = a safer head?
  • + 18
 exactly: tits on tops
  • + 15
 Boobs do make good pillows, so solid logic is solid.
  • + 6
 I do prefer being safe when receiving head
  • + 5
 @cyrways: everybody needs a bosom for a pillow...
  • + 4
 these implants help save peoples' brains and mammary.
  • + 3
 @inonyme: "TITS" is a better acronym for a MIPS clone for sure Smile
  • + 4
 @cunning-linguist: mines on the 45 !
  • + 15
 Missed opportunity to call it SPIM, or just MIPS backward.
  • + 1
 Yes! POC Tectal SPIM rolls right off the ol tongue.
  • + 11
 I'm pretty certain my (non SPIN equipped) POC tectal saved my life on Thursday in a head to tree accident for whatever that's worth to others. It's also the most comfortable helmet I've owned hands down.
  • + 6
 You alright man? Concussions are no joke...
  • + 2
 you can't be sure, but I'm glad you can write this.
  • + 3
 Yeah, I'll go ahead (pun time?) and second that... I augered into a desert rock pile, head-first, from about 7 feet up a couple years back. My Trabec Race (non-MIPS) took one for the team, and my neck is a bit jacked, but I'm here typing; as much as I've loved Fox, TLD, etc over the years, I dunno if any of those lids would have held up as well. If not my life, it certainly saved me some gnarly lacerations, along with an almost-certain concussion. The POC fits so well and was constructed in such a way that it did what helmets are supposed to, dissipated the crash energy before transferring it to my brain. Money well spent
  • + 2
 @Jvhowube: I was concussed, but have no lingering symptoms as far as I can tell. My face on the other hand is even uglier than before. I'll take the scars over a dirt nap any day.
  • + 7
 So I curious about the Coron Air. They seem to have put new technology in it, but this years model of Coron retailed at $450 USD, what did they sacrifice in it to get it down to $275?
  • + 1
 Profit margin per unit most likely. You might make sure you're not comparing apples to oranges, too - maybe one model has MIPS and the other not.
  • + 7
 The new model has a fiberglass shell instead of carbon, hence the price reduction. It still meets all of the pertinent safety standards.
  • + 0
 @mikekazimer: that's funny, because carbon is not much more expensive to use than kevlar/glass fiber and in "you know that I know" terms shell isn't made completely out of CF as it would be dangerous. Good marketing story inflated margin I sense...
  • + 0
 @WAKIdesigns: I'd just stop the Commenting from you today dude.. you can get more props for Bla Bla Bla another day, but today you seem to keep digging a neg prop hole that isn't going anywhere LMAO.. PS I'm sure I'm not the only one who is tired of seeing all your over glorified opinions.. gets old fast! Try Positive stuff.. and don't take everything so personal as if your battling for the company's product, I don't Hate you at all, just annoyed at the bickering! lol~ Peace Love and Happiness in the mind... you shall find!
  • + 2
 @mikekazimer: Are you sure this is the right price tag, cause this is no POC price!
If its true Im in
  • + 1
 @mikekazimer:
Carbon is marginally more expensive than fiberglass with a slight weight and greater strength advantage. In economies of scale, however, it is probably not that significant. Margins on these products are YUGE.
  • + 4
 Am I the only one to wonder if any testing has been done to validate this vs. MIPS or the thousand of other helmet technologies that keep popping up? Sounds cool, but show me the data! I don't see anything in this article besides "yup, should work, here's an image showing it slipping".
  • + 4
 in terms of MIPs and other rotational protection systems, there hasn't been much testing done as it is very hard to replicate real life conditions with actually having a human slam their head into a tree. most of this tech is proprietary too, so its hard for others to get their hands on. ive been surprised at how rapidly MIPs has been adopted, as there isn't that much science to back it up besides tests done by the actual companies that market it, and i've seen some pretty strong arguments from experts in the field that the movement that occurs between the scalp and the skull already provides rotational impact protection, and that MIPS and similar systems could possibly increase the damage from such an impact. don't get me wrong though, getting anything but the best of the best in head protection is a terrible idea! a hit to the head in an inferior helmet could change the course of your life in a second....
  • + 6
 @jmrbauer: Exactly. And there is another massive variable too which you didn't mention; helmet fit. I have spent time in a biomechanics lab testing helmets on dummy heads in impacts and I can tell you that even when the fit is WAY tighter than anything I would ever tolerate, the entire helmet moves relative to the head no matter what when there is any sort of moment created at impact. 1000 fps video doesn't lie. However, as MIPS has penetrated the market, it's marginally more expensive or in some cases (when on sale) even cheaper than helmets without it. So what I'm saying is I'm not against wearing a helmet with that little yellow logo on it, but I really don't expect it to do anything beyond what a regular helmet does.

Next time you're out at the bike park or on a group ride take a look at how tight most people are wearing their helmets or just try to rotate your own helmet on your head and you'll see what I'm getting at.
  • + 2
 @jmrbauer: while I totally understand that, we as the people buying this shit should at least be pushing companies to develop a standardized test that at least works for comparison purposes. A test's validity to real-world can always be questioned, but at least show some data. There's nothing in this article besides a photo!
  • + 1
 Every time there's helmet testing the people who do poorly argue that the testing was flawed. No one agrees on testing methods.
  • + 2
 @tsn73: THIS. this has been my feeling and my reasoning all along. glad to read that I'm not crazy, I knew I shouldve been a biomechanical engineer. wooooo!!
  • + 2
 @tsn73: Thanks man. That's an excellent contribution.
  • + 2
 @tsn73: it is hard to argue with a fact that MIPS does something good. It's just simple: less friction = more redirection of the force thus less force acting on the head. BUT how much does it help is another story. Just like the fact that size and surface of the helmet is a factor in severity of injury. What I don't like most about MIPS in particular was their fear mongering campaign and infographics not presenting actual scale of protection. You can't just show 3d models of two brains one with green and blue spots and another with a large yellow and red area without explaining what do these colors mean. I can't say whether it was poor marketing or deliberate misinformation but if you say you are sooo scientific about the whole thing then put your money where your mouth is and do the fkng homework.
  • + 3
 @WAKIdesigns: In theory you are right, less friction is good to minimize the angular rotations the head experiences at impact; that's why it's good marketing - it just intuitively makes sense. Whether or not that produces any measurable difference when executed in the final product, when subject to an actual head impact in the field, is the tough part.

Their laboratory test methods were to drop a helmeted Hybrid III dummy head, without neck or body, onto a quickly moving conveyor-platform with and without MIPS. They measured the linear/angular accelerations in the dummy head with and without. Those helmeted heads bounced up and rotated due to the friction from the moving platform

Aare, M. and P. Halldin, A New Laboratory Rig for Evaluating Helmets Subject to
Oblique Impacts. Traffic Injury Prevention, 2003. 4(3): p. 240-248.

Then they took the measured angular/linear accelerations from the physical tests and pumped that into the Chalmers University finite element model of the brain. The fancy "heat maps" show the theoretical strains in the brain for both cases.

Really what it comes down to is how realistic were those drop tests? Is the data valid since there was no neck and torso? How realistically tight was the helmet fit for the dummy head? These are not easy questions to answer.

At the end of the day the "slip shell" theory, MIPS layer or POC's implementation isn't going to make a helmet's response to linear acceleration any worse so it's ok to proceed with it. And the diagnosis of concussion is so sketchy still that it would be very hard to ever observe whether or not this concept works in the field or not. And so it truly is brilliant marketing - and again I will mention, I don't hate MIPS - my 4 y/o son has it in his helmet - but I chose the helmet for him because it fit him the best, not because it had MIPS. If the same model would have been available right next to it without MIPS for significantly less money I would have gone with that one.
  • + 2
 @tsn73: that's a load of good info right there. Thanks man. I think what is really important here is what you touch upon and what POC rep told me: "a good helmet without MIPS is better than a crappy helmet with it". And that is especially important for kids helmets. Parents want the best of their kids always, but sometimes they just buy marketing pulp instead of safety with all the best intentions. Most people don't dig the engineering part of the world, they have no clue about forces, vectors, friction and stuff. So what happens here is that MIPS became what organic is for food or even worse, what ECO is for cars driving on ethanol. A badge of added value making you feel better about your choice but in reality not much changes. This is what it boils down to, isn't it?.
  • + 1
 @tsn73: that's a big ol 10-4
  • + 7
 MIPS is losing ground. Between this and Kali's LDL system there are no more logical solutions on the market than MIPS
  • + 1
 Now* not no
  • + 5
 Spin doctor Rectal Colon boob job helmets! I'm just gonna cut up some old dr scholl's and velcro them inside my helmet and call it even.
  • + 4
 Marketing meeting: we got a new product we want to call it SPIN, any idea for an acronym? "Shearing Pad INterior?" Not great but good enough, next...
  • + 2
 I'm in for the replacement pads, got a Tectal earlier this summer after a get off, mild concussion, unconscious event with an IXS Schleyer (which I really liked too) but must say the Tectal is by far the most comfortable and best made helmet I could find and definitely the best helmet I've ever owned (or found for that matter)...will add the updated pads if they make them available though.
  • + 5
 Looks like a good deal for a neat looking full face
  • + 2
 I have to say I'm not convinced by this 'slip plain technology' most helmets move more due to people's hair than anything they add to the design
  • + 1
 Seems logical. Makes sense for snow. How does that do with holding heat? Seems like that could be a pretty warm helmet to ride in as those pads hold heat. Thoughts?
  • + 1
 Making sure there made with curved not angled tops for gopro sticky's should be the 1st priority then work on the concussion bit !
  • + 1
 Where.....qestion is when is already gone? Is it over or new helmet is coming to the market any news ?
  • + 1
 Can somebody give a readers digest version of the Swedish Cycling debacle? It confuses me. . .
  • + 1
 Love my POC pads, but i've not found a POC helmet big enough for my fat melon. Frown
  • + 2
 Getting around a MIPS patent?
  • + 1
 Just another version of a slip plane. I'm curious about the science behind it actually working. They didn't go much into that unless I glossed over it.
  • + 1
 Exactly. This is said to accomplish the same goals without infringing on any patents.
  • + 1
 @mikekazimer: Hopefully it wouldn't cannibalize POC's own sales, but they could offer pad retrofit kits for competitors' helmets.
  • + 2
 Holy damnit Christmas, $220 for a half-cut helmet? Eek
  • + 4
 Thought they were too much, bought one on sale, haven't bought a different brand of helmet since then (for both snow and dirt). Best helmets I've ever tried.
  • + 4
 @riish: Giro for life. Perfect fit, lightweight, nice features, good color options, not overpriced.
  • + 1
 Haven't thought about Christmas even once this year. Thanks man!
  • + 1
 Looks and sounds like it will be sweaty.
  • + 1
 Anybody know when these will be available?
  • + 1
 lets see how long it takes them to sell his off to bell
  • + 1
 Good to hear I'll be able to retrofit my tectal with these pads.
  • + 1
 Where do I get one?
  • + 1
 piece of crap
  • + 1
 Sold I love poc
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