Review: POC Tectal Race SPIN Helmet

Oct 18, 2018 at 10:37
by Mike Kazimer  
POC Tectal Race review

The Tectal Race SPIN helmet is POC's top-of-the line trail helmet, featuring the extended rear coverage that's become the norm over the last ten years, 17 generous vents, an adjustable visor with aluminum mounting hardware, and an elastic goggle strap holder. It's also equipped with POC's SPIN system, which uses gel filled pads that are designed to help reduce the rotational impact forces that occur during a crash.

POC aren't known for having bargain basement prices, and that trend continues with this helmet – with a retail price of $220 USD it's one of the more expensive options in this category There are three sizes available (XS-S, M-L, and XL-XXL), which should accommodate head sizes from 51-62 centimeters.
POC Tectal Race SPIN Details
• Polycarbonate shell, EPS liner, SPIN padding
• Adjustable visor
• Recco reflector
• Certifications: EN 1078, CPSC 12.03
• Weight: 378 grams (size M/L)
• MSRP: $220 USD
www.pocsports.com


POC Tectal Race review
It's those blue pads that make up POC's SPIN system.
POC SPIN
A look inside the SPIN pad. There's a silicone filled bladder, topped with a thin layer of foam.


Construction Details

At the heart of the Tectal Race SPIN is an EPS foam liner, which is reinforced with aramid fibers in order to help the helmet maintain its shape in the event of a crash. Even if the foam does break apart in an impact, those fibers, along with the polycarbonate shell, are intended to prevent the helmet from splitting into multiple pieces.

Reducing rotational impact forces has become a priority for helmet manufacturers in recent years, and to that end POC have incorporated technology originally used on their ski helmets into the Tectal. It's called SPIN, which is the acronym for Shearing Pad INside. There's no slippery plastic liner or viscoelastic bumpers to be seen; instead, POC uses helmet pads that have a silicone bladder inside 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 rider's 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.

It's worth noting that at the moment there still isn't any sort of safety certification that deals with rotational impacts. Efforts are underway to create one, but there's still no clear timeline as to when that will be finished and implemented.


POC Tectal Race review
The Tectal has extended rear coverage, and an stretchy rubber loop to hold goggle straps in place.
POC Tectal Race review
There was plenty of range to position the visor exactly where I wanted it.



Performance

I usually have a couple helmets to choose from before heading out on a ride, but over the course of the last year the Tectal Race SPIN has become the one that I grab the most. Why? The fit. It sits perfectly on my oval-shaped head without any pressure points or unwanted shifting around, and on the rare instances when I've needed to tweak the fit, the rear ratchet dial is easy to use. There are a few MIPS-equipped helmets out there that feel a little tippy due to the way the foam liner sit on that plastic slip plane, but with POC's SPIN system the pads felt just like regular helmet pads, which is a good thing. Plus, I found that the silicone bladder makes them more comfortable than regular foam pads – they're a little more squishy, and they don't pack out over time.

The Tectal isn't the absolute lightest option out there, but it also doesn't feel like you've somehow stuck your head into a bowling ball either – it feels just right, and reassuringly solid. The same goes for the amount of ventilation. The Specialized Ambush still tops my chart when it comes to airflow, but I'd say the Tectal sits slightly ahead of the Bell Sixer, and even on hot summer days I didn't have any overheating issues. It's really the way the Tectal fades into the background that's earned it a spot on my list of favorite helmets. Once it's on I don't need to think about it again, which means I can pay more attention to not crashing into trees, instead of fiddling around with unruly straps or visors that get in my field of view.

How about that goggle strap? Well, I honestly didn't find it to be all that necessary. I don't usually have any trouble with goggle straps slipping, and if anything that strap is more of an inconvenience for riders that spin their goggles around so that they face rearward for the climbs. For the non-goggle wearers, I suppose it could be used to hold an enduro banana, or maybe an energy bar. Snacks are important.


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Pinkbike's Take
bigquotesThe Tectal Race SPIN is extremely comfortable and well constructed, with all of the features that you'd expect to find on a top-tier half shell helmet. It's certainly not cheap, but if you're going to splurge on any one mountain bike accessory, it might as well be a helmet. Mike Kazimer









71 Comments

  • + 44
 For all of you who spent all your money on the previous non-SPIN Tectal helmet you can hack-upgrade it by ordering a set of replacement SPIN pads for ~30 EUR. Fit is the same and the SPIN pads are possibly even more comfortable.

Probably not supported by POC since you don’t need to buy a new helmet ...
  • + 29
 I'm going to buy them. Rectal is the best helmet I have ever owned.
  • + 31
 @WAKIdesigns: a read "Rectal spin" -ouch
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: Yep. Rectal helmet, Capt. Harris approved...

www.youtube.com/watch?v=pobCoKFEfXk
  • + 3
 @optimumnotmaximum: that's what happens to you when you eat at Taco Bell...
  • + 2
 Tectal helmet, first helmet designed with gick heads in mind...
  • + 1
 Brilliant.
  • + 10
 @WAKIdesigns:
came here Just for the Rectal comments. was not disappointed.
  • + 1
 I was just going to ask that question. Thanks! May see if I can pick up some of these Spin pads.
  • + 1
 Or if you keep crashing and destroy two helmets in one season (thanks POC for helping avoid brain injuries) you can swap your SPIN liner from your original Tectal Race into a regular Tectal (because it is the only one left in stock on XL) and still get the benefits of SPIN.
  • + 1
 Where did you but the replacement SPIN pads? I don't see them listed anywhere on their website.
  • + 1
 @sdurant12: www.pocsports.com/eu/tectal-race-spin-pads/70285.html?dwvar_70285_color=Strong%20Blue&cgid=#q=pads&lang=en&start=1

Also need to add that the POC Tectal is the best helmet I ever owned and it's acutally well worth the money in my view. Also great that they didnt go for the MIPS which i my view many times fit bad and also have sharp edges. Also thanks for a great review @mikekazimer agree with it fully.
  • + 1
 @sdurant12: I was in the same precarious situation. But then I just reached below and used google force. It was strange as it was my very first time but with concentration I was able to find it.

May the force pm you the link.
  • + 1
 @oskare: Not available in North America apparently :>(
  • + 16
 I'm dumb. Actually, I'm quite stupid and possibly borderline retarded. So, please. Please! Could someone explain to me the purpose of this short visor. Thanks.
  • + 14
 Look fast
  • + 3
 Stab in the dark...There is some debate as to whether a visor can cause additional rotational injury to the neck. Think about a face plant where the head is turned by the visor. Perhaps POC knows something others don’t? Anyways the Bell Super DH is amazing and the best helmet value on the market. Fits well, breathes well and has 2 layers of foam which obviously makes it safer.
  • + 1
 For some reason all of the photos they show the visor at the upper most position, when it is down it appears quite normal and gives good shade angles
  • + 13
 Rectum? Damn near killed em!
  • + 9
 INCESTCON - INternet Commenter Exasperates at STupid and Convoluted acrONyms
  • + 9
 Title merged with product name threw me off...
  • + 11
 I keep reading Rectal Ace Spin Helmet
  • + 10
 @TheMountainBikeAdventure: aka RASH technology
  • - 2
 I hate to admit it but I wrecked my POC Colon.
  • + 2
 I have this exact helmet and found a much better price online. Fits me great as well and head really feels like it's inside the helmet like a skate helmet. I love it. I do run the visor up high like Mike shows. Otherwise it's in my view.
  • + 2
 Great products, but unfortunately their helmets simply don't fit my head shape. I read all kinds of reviews before shopping for a new helmet. I might as well have skipped them all, because exactly one helmet actually fitted my apparently strange shaped head (Scott). The POC ones fitted the worst of all for both me and my father in law.
You should therefore never buy helmets via internet.
  • + 4
 I spent 2 years looking for a helmet with perfect fit. I´ve tried dozens; TLDs, Giros, Bells, Specializeds, Foxs, Scotts, almost everything but Tectal as I always skipped it for its price. Then found Race version in 40% discount with 30 day return so I pulled the trigger.

After first try I couldn´t believe how good it was. It screams quality a looks rad but most importantly I am finally feeling comfy when riding. Of course it has some cons but fit (for me) and coverage are not them.

Happy you have found your own too!
  • + 2
 Used to love the little strap for holding my sunnies when I wasn't wearing them (never once used it for goggles). Way more secure than feeding the sides into vent holes. Seriously miss that feature on my A2.
  • + 5
 No sunglasses holder.
  • + 1
 How would you compare the airflow / cooling between the Tectal and the A2? trying to decide between the 2 and airflow is one of my biggest priorities
  • + 2
 @drake88: negligible. I honestly can't tell a difference. I wouldn't use that as a deciding factor in this case.
  • + 1
 Got an A2 as well. I use an AMS ( or any brand ) enduro strap to quickly hold my sunnies on my top tube, works great.
  • + 3
 I don't know if anyone else has this problem, but when I tried one on, the helmet itself fit fine, but had absolutely zero space for the earstems of my glasses.
  • + 2
 This was an issue on my older POC Trabec, but not as bad on this one, but it's still a tight fit depending on what glasses you are using.
  • + 2
 I get my helmets at garage sales for 5 bucks. Frankie's mom bought him a state of the art helmet for his massive melon that he never used. Now they sit on my head and deflect branches.
  • + 2
 That’s good if you have the same sized head as frankie. Frankies mom tho...
  • + 4
 Interesting comments about it fitting an oval head - I've always thought POC was more suited to round heads?
  • + 1
 I have a big oval head and the Tectal fits amazing. However I also tried on an Octal road helmet too and it didn't fit at all (it was much too round).

Not sure why they are so different fitting but they are.
  • + 1
 Must be. It doesn't "feel like you've stuck your head into a bowling ball," it just looks like it.
  • + 1
 POC suits an oval noggin.
  • + 1
 @Atmos: Also old Trabec has round fit. Tectal is like unicorn from POC.
  • + 2
 In the past POC helmets have never fit me. The new one fits like it was custom molded to my head. I feel like it would stay on without the strap. I have a new fave.
  • + 2
 @Noahcolorado Is that what your buddy Randy is wearing at rampage? He seems like the sort of Cat that would wear a Rectal Spin
  • + 1
 I'm right between the M/L and the XL/XXL size. Can anyone comment if they run large/small? For reference I was absolutely swimming in the L Octal, but I have no room to spare in the M, which I love.
  • + 1
 They run small compared to Smith and Giro. I wear a M/L in those brands but wear a XS/S in the Tectal
  • + 1
 I wear a M in giro so i ordered a M/L Tectal and it was too big. I purchased the xs/s thinking it would be way too small and it fits me perfect. I would size down.
  • + 4
 @Macdo159: it sounds like they run big, not small; that or I'm not good at reading.
  • + 1
 I’ve got a M/L and it fits better than my M super 3 did, which I thought was perfect!
  • + 1
 @obpcarpinteria: What Giro did you wear? It fits as well as the Giro? I
  • + 2
 Am I the only one who is reminded of Dangerous Dan Cowan when I see this lid in white?
  • + 1
 Their trebac was the only helmet that could fit my head. This new one isn't as large in some dimension and doesn't fit me. Sad.
  • + 2
 When did helmets get so ridiculously expensive? Bad enough bike are dentist pricing now melmeta and that visor is useless
  • + 1
 Melmeta is too damn expensive!
  • + 2
 I actually find the rubber strap very useful for holding gloves when climbing. Much better than sticking them in my pockets.
  • + 1
 My head is 58.5cm...right in between the medium and large sizes. Do these helmets run big? Might just order both and see which one fits better and return the other.
  • + 1
 One of the best looking lids in a very competitive market. Nicely done POC!
  • + 2
 When are they going make helmets with camera cutouts in the front?
  • + 0
 Incredible. POC keeps their stratospheric pricing in place despite dumping MIPS, which they had to pay to license, for a proprietary in-house technology. No thanks.
  • + 2
 "Certifications: EN 1078, CPSC 12.03"
So its not Randy certified? Next.
  • + 1
 The visor looks completely useless on this helmet and looks like an add on, no thanks.
  • + 0
 I fit absolutely perfectly between two sizes. If there were two more clicks in the ratchet it would be the perfect helmet for me.
  • + 2
 .....
  • + 1
 Visor is not over the bars. This is 2013.
  • + 1
 Are there many POC in Sweden, or are you mainly 'Woods?
  • + 2
 Rectal!
  • + 1
 One must wear that rectal helmet to stay safe when they bust their ass...
  • + 0
 amazing helmet
  • - 3
 What does Randy use? That's all that matters! #WWRD
  • + 0
 This Rectal helmet is not Randy's style.
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