Thursday, August 29

Safety first... with colorway coming in close second

Before I left for the Breck Epic, I got an email from someone I didn't know.  He said he worked with POC, and that they were partnered with the Breck Epic, and would I like to try some POC stuff?

Yeth and please and thank.

I've been living through a helmet conundrum lately.  The Specialized Prevail was my go-to helmet for as many years as I can remember now.  Looking back through the archives to figure it out, I've been wearing one since 2012 after many years of being a Giro-man.

When the Prevail II came out, I figured it would be my next helmet.  I went into Bike Source to try one on... good enough.  Bought it, went home, tried to stick my goofy prescription glasses in the vent holes... no dice.  There was nowhere to accommodate my glasses front or back, and so the helmet went back in the box to be returned.

Now what?

I had a black and a white functioning Prevail back in early '18.  Somehow, the last Tour de Charlotte kinda compromised both of them.  The white one got dented when I stood up too fast and doinked my head on a steel girder while crawling under a bridge on a trail work day.  The black one got crushed in a garage door at the lunch stop during the race.


You might wonder why my current Prevail is a gawdawful special edition color dipped High-Viz.

It's because by the time I figured out that the Prevail II wouldn't work, there weren't a lot of options on eBay in my size for the OG Prevail.  I bought what I could find at the time.

I know I am not long for this earth... and its Prevailability.  When this one dies, I'll need another option, but what?  Whenever I would go into an unfamiliar shop, I'd try other brands.  I really wanted to try a POC, but I never got my hands on one.

So would I like to try a POC Octal X Spin?  The answer was obviously "yeth."

It's basically the ubiquitous road Octal but with an extended shell covering more of the helmet liner so it's harder to beat the shit out of it.  It's got POC's own SPIN (Shearing Pad INside) technology capable of resisting roll, yaw and pitch impacts.

It's also equipped with a Recco reflector which makes you searchable to rescuers... and you can read all about the boring safety stuff if you click through the links.

It's a helmet.  It's made to be safe.  That makes sense.

How about function and fit?

I received the helmet halfway through the Breck Epic, so I've got probably fifteen hours of ride time with my head part stuffed in it.

The Eye Garage works as advertised:

I popped my dumb prescription glasses up in there multiple times and never noticed them slipping or threatening to fall to the ground.  Mebbe it's something you don't care about.  I do.

Ventilation.  I was immediately aware of the airflow first thing in the morning on Stage Four.  Those large front vents really let the air in to cool things down.  Enough so that I wished I woulda left my hat on to avoid the unexpected ice cream headache.

Fit.  I gave the helmet the highest compliment I could when Chris asked me what I thought about it after a couple days.

"I never noticed it."

No hot spots or unwanted wobble, decent sweat control, easy to operate (with gloves) buckles and adjustments... just nothing to bitch about at all.

Still, I'll give it my official Seal of Semi-Approval.

Only Semi?

Well, the color options are black (the complete absorption of light), pumpkin orange, or Enduro™ blue.  I don't wear blue helmets, orange and pink don't play well together, and black is just black... but it's way better than the worst helmet color ever, which would be red.  Hands down.

That's my only nit to pick... well, that and the fact that I'm worried because now that I've found a new helmet, I'm overly concerned that POC will completely redesign the Octal X Spin before I can gather a stockpile.  Oh, and also that I still wear a Specialized helmet at work.  My glasses store in the back vents, so I'm gonna have to work on the muscle memory thing.

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