The POC Trabec Race MIPS is a helmet for safety. Yes, the Trabec Race offers a reasonably comfy fit and surprisingly good ventilation, but protection is its primary emphasis: a lot of technology in the Trabec claims to cushion your head better than traditional polycarbonate/foam makeups.
The Trabec Race proved to be a comfortable necessity. In testing, it felt solid and hefty. And while yanking it off after every ride felt wonderfully liberating, I didn’t cringe when strapping it on again.
Initially, I was reluctant to wear this on a genuinely warm, aerobic ride, because just looking at it, I assumed the POC would feel insufferably hot. But it actually battles heat and sweat pretty well. Sixteen broad, oval vents dump heat (and let you poke a finger in to remedy an itchy scalp). An abbreviated liner extends from the forehead to the top of the head, but leaves the back framework uncushioned. This lack of padding may help heat escape. And although my black test model might not be the most heat-shedding version of the Trabec Race, I found its heat control to be perfectly adequate on 85°F days at Hartman Rocks, near Gunnison, Colorado.
Concussion specialists warn that helmets can only prevent catastrophic smash-ups—they can’t keep the brain from moving inside your skull—but POC is trying to build a helmet that can. The Trabec Race features MIPS technology, which uses a double-wall construction to deflect impacts to the head: when an object strikes your helmet, it moves an inner “slip” layer that reduces rotational forces to the brain. Additionally, aramid fibers reinforce the EPS foam to make it unusually tough and impact-resistant. The full-coverage design hugs the ears and covers half the forehead and the crown of the head, keeping most of your vulnerable zones beneath armor. Does MIPS work? I can’t say, having avoided collisions while testing the Trabec Race. Does it seem like a smarter design, capable of protecting the brain better than yesteryear’s models? Yes. But about the visor: Supposedly the visor is adjustable (and technically it does have about 1 cm of range) but it wasn’t really useful, and bounced back down to the standard position before long.
At first, I thought I was going to have fit troubles with the Trabec Race. I put it on, cranked the rear cinch, and succumbed to a crushing headache within an hour. On subsequent rides, I loosened the strap and with the plastic band just barely brushing my head, I enjoyed total comfort with the Trabec Race. That setting also allowed the shell to slip and slide around a bit, but not enough to seem unsafe.
At 12 ounces, it’s lighter than you might expect, given the thick-walled build. Yet true weight-weenies will notice (and object to) the load, which feels tolerable—but palpable.
Few helmets cost more—but can you fix a price on healthy brain function?