What a handsome devil huh? Yep, that’s trek7k trying out the POC Trabec Race helmet at Interbike back in September. I managed to get my hands on one a few months ago and I’m ready to share my review. The Trabec represents a first in the XC/AM helmet market for POC which is already well known in DH/DJ circles. With a new helmet like the Trabec it’s only a matter of time before POC becomes a household name in the XC world as well.
In case you’re wondering, POC hails from Sweden and their mission is “to do everything we can to possibly save lives and to reduce consequences of accidents for gravity sports athletes, by developing and renewing what personal protection is all about.” Ok, so maybe some of that was lost in translation but clearly it’s a bold statement. The Trabec helmet is proof that POC is serious about its mission.
The Trabec helmet is made from EPS (Expanded Polystyrene) but with a twist: an embedded aramid fiber grid adds a second level of protection. Think of the construction as a mix of a skeleton with a tough outer shell. The aramid filament is the skeleton while the hard polycarbonate shell is optimized with zero seams in the most exposed areas.
The Trabec Race has a familiar singletrack/enduro style to it, with good coverage that doesn’t just ride on top of the rider’s head. Developed without compromising functionality or performance, the inside of the helmet features a channel system with 16 vent holes for ventilation.
Moving further inside the helmet, the intelligently placed molded pads are comfortable and help wick moisture away. To make sure everything stays in place, POC utilizes a helmet stabilization system similar to Giro’s Rocloc . There are two pads at the back that pull your head toward the front of the helmet while the strap and buckle system holds the helmet in place to prevent rolling. The pads at the back are also height adjustable to best suit your head shape.
I found that I could wear this helmet for both trail and DJ riding. Of course the Trabec isn’t a full-fledged DJ helmet but for me it worked great on Joyride’s indoor progressive jumps and pump track. The helmet felt good – a bit snug on the sides but nothing too bad (everyone has a different head shape so you may not have the same experience). Adjusting the helmet was easy enough with gloves off; with gloves on the adjusting tabs are a bit smallish.
Since it’s still cold here I can’t say how the helmet vents perform in the sweltering summer heat, though I did get some test rides indoors at around 65 degrees. At these temperatures the Trabec felt reasonably comfortable, and when I was moving I could definitely feel some air circulation from the 16 vents. I didn’t get sweat pouring down over my eyes due to a overly soaked cushion either, so in that way that’s a big plus. The visor is adjustable and can be removed and re-attached easily. Indoors I typically rode without the visor.
So what do I think of the Trabec Race? Well for POC’s first stab at an XC/AM helmet, clearly the guys and gals did their homework and did a good job. It may not be the lightest but it certainly offers great protection and is durable – I tossed mine in and outta the car and into the house without noticing any dings or dents.
Ok, so how much does this baby cost? Well, how much is your noggin worth? The Trabec is priced at $175 which is a premium price but in return you’re getting premium protection – just do a few searches for crash videos on YouTube to remind yourself how painful and expensive a brain hemorrhage can be.
Check out the Trabec Race and other cool gear on POC’s website. Thanks to POC for providing this helmet for review.