POC combines its legendary safety with intelligent design to produce a stellar road helmet
POC is well known for prioritizing safety, which sometimes produces products with a “quirky” design or aesthetic. From their brightly colored AVIP line to enhance rider visibility to their history of producing helmets that indeed look safe and not sleek, the brand has adhered to a steadfast mission of protecting cyclists first and foremost.
POC released the Ventral Air Spin in April with an MSRP of $250, creating a slimmer successor to their high-end Ventral with a promise of enhanced airflow at lower speeds. The Ventral Air Spin includes POC’s patent-pending solution to dispersing rotational forces; silicone pads that allow independent oblique helmet movement upon impact.
We’ve been testing the POC Ventral Air spin for two weeks on the roads in Austin, Texas, for this First Look.
Out of the box impressions
The minimal weight and impeccable fit and finish of the Ventral Air Spin were the most striking attributes out of the box. Our test sample came in a stunning “Hydrogen White Matte” (there are seven colorways) and close inspection revealed clean and even seams and edges on the unibody shell and excellent quality elsewhere. The verified weight of our L size sample is 10.8 ounces.
The Ventral Air Spin is noticeably trimmer in all aspects than my Octal, addressing the common perception that POC helmets are among the bulkiest. The helmet’s 21 ports and their area seem in line with other premium road helmets, and the rear vents are massive. The Ventral Air Spin visibly provides more coverage on the back of the head than helmets from other brands.
The Silicone Pad INside (SPIN) system is designed to dampen rotational forces upon impact and the pads line the interior from the brow to the rear retention system, about three-quarters of the helmet’s length.
Grippy pads on the outermost front air vents provide an “eye garage” to secure sunglasses. One curious omission; the helmet strap bridge isn’t adjustable in the amount of drop.
On the roads
The Ventral Air Spin fit my more-oval-than-round head well. The cushiness of the silicone SPIN pads was evident, and rotating the helmet on the head under hand pressure revealed the ability to independently rotate. These pads were very comfortable while riding, and they didn’t interfere with the fit or airflow, differing from other systems used to mitigate rotational forces. The rear retention system adjusted in height to produce an ideal fit. The nonadjustable strap bridge didn’t cause any issues for my head dimensions. I never once felt any pressure points or hot spots from the helmet or the straps.
Summer in Austin, TX is incredibly hot and humid no matter the hour; the airiness of the Ventral Air Spin was obvious even when coasting at lower speeds. I would rate the Ventral Air Spin as one of the best venting helmets I’ve tested to date at speeds typical of endurance training and climbing. Even the slightest breeze at stop signs was perceptible, regardless of direction.
The eye garage securely held me sunglasses at dusk, even on rough gravel roads.
First Look conclusions
The POC Ventral Air Spin proved to live up to its name with awesome venting and an inconspicuous technology to absorb rotational forces. The quality is excellent, and the unibody construction, optimized EPS liner densities, and the SPIN all reflect POC’s continuing commitment to safety. The slimmer aesthetic is a bonus.
The POC Ventral Air Spin is a serious contender for anyone in the market for a premium road helmet; a 2019 Design and Innovation Award in the Road Equipment category helps to support this claim.