POC Tectal Race SPIN ReviewJune 24, 2018
- Outstanding coverage
- Comfortable padding
- RECCO reflector
- Visor is fiddly to adjust
The POC Tectal Race SPIN was rated by two of our testers as not only the most comfortable helmet in the test on any length of ride but the most comfortable they have ever worn. The Tectal Race SPIN has soft padding at the front of the helmet that runs approximately ¾ of the way towards rear of the helmet to cradle a head comfortably. Padding also did a good job of absorbing moisture on high-temperature days but came up short on high-exertion days when the humidity and perspiration peaked. Adding to the comfort level are adjustable side straps that laid flat on testers’ faces while avoiding all contact with ears. The chin strap, composed of a thicker webbing, sat comfortably under the chin.
With 16 moderate-sized air vents spaced fairly far apart, the POC Tectal Race SPIN provides very good ventilation. The nine large vents in the front contribute to air intake while three vents at the rear let it out. However, one tester stated that his only complaint was the lack of a channel or similar feature on the cushioning pads to keep the sweat out of his eyes.
The POC Tectal Race SPIN size medium measures 18 inches from front to back and 16 inches from ear to ear to provide the most generous head coverage of all the helmets in the test. Additional head protection comes from SPIN, POC’s technology to reduce the forces applied to the head during an rotational impact. Similar to MIPS, it allows the outer layer of the helmet to slightly rotate, imitating the way in which the skull protects the brain. What differentiates SPIN from MIPS is that it does not add weight or thickness to the helmet’s lining because the technology is actually incorporated into the padding. So the pads of the POC Tectal Race SPIN protects against rotational impact by absorbing it—as well as head sweat.
POC has also added a unique safety feature: A RECCO reflector. These are most commonly seen in the ski industry for avalanche recovery but POC is part of the push for them to be used beyond the ski season. The logic is sound, but the practice is working to catch up. Over 800 ski areas and rescue groups use RECCO detectors (mostly hand-held units) and with more ski areas opening up to mountain biking use those detectors could als be used in the summer. And with RECCO’s new helicopter mounted detector, the SAR 1, RECCO claims searchers can cover one square kilometer (247 acres) in approximately 3-4 minutes.
Topping off the Tectal Race SPIN’s impressive feature list is an ample, goggle-friendly visor. Although it is adjustable, our testers found it to be fiddly and laborious because the screw that holds the visor in place is so small and it has to be loosened to adjust the visor. Once adjusted all the way up, goggles easily perch on the helmet brim. A goggle clip in the back secures the strap.
Per our testing team, fit was top notch and simple to set up. The Tectal Race SPIN offers several adjustable features for a customized fit. The size adjustment dial at the back of the helmet is large, glove-friendly, and easy to use on the fly. It cinches down comfortably and securely and allows for a fast adjustment to either tighten or loosen. Side straps are adjustable with a Y-shaped splitter to ensure they avoid contact with ears and lay flat against the cyclist’s face.
Despite the POC Tectal Race SPIN’s outstanding head coverage and sturdy straps, the size medium weighs in at 13.5 ounces (382g), making it the second-heaviest size medium helmet in the test. One tester who is experienced with testing POC helmets stated that it felt a touch heavier than other POCs he has worn.Continue Reading
Marie Malinowski is a Minneapolis-based mountain biker, bike commuter, backpacker, and trail runner who covers our cycling accessories categories.