Fortunately, we don’t get to truly test the protective properties of every helmet we review. But for me, the Coron Air Spin, a POC full face helmet, was one of the lucky, or rather unlucky, ones. On a recent trip to ride my favorite steep slopes in La Thuile, Italy, I managed to squarely head check a tree while wearing this minty colored melon bucket. I was excitedly trying to clear a set of roots on my third descent when I fist-bumped a tree mid-air and ponged into the next adjacent spruce trunk.
After untangling myself from a patch of smaller trees I did a self-assessment and determined that I was okay to slow roll to the bottom of the trail. Then, despite me feeling A-okay, a friend went over the concussion checklist with me to be sure. All clear! I made it out with a few minor cuts and a gnarly bruise where my ankle was caught between the top tube and handlebar. Ride on.
While I can’t say for sure that this POC full-face helmet saved me from a concussion on its own, I can say that my head and neck didn’t hurt after a full speed stop that was entirely absorbed by my dome and an innocent tree.
The fit and functionality inside and outside the POC Coron Air SPIN (available from Amazon) are spot on, as you might expect from a helmet developed with professional enduro racers like Martin Söderström and Robin Wallner. The seemingly solid fiberglass shell has fourteen intake vents and six exhaust vents, providing ample airflow on hotter days. I have ridden in this lid through temps exceeding 80° F (26.6° C) and it provides every bit as much airflow as the top competition. The cheek padding is removable should you need to wear it while you climb, and there is ample space to nest your goggles beneath the visor once the descent is over. While the visor only has one position, there is a simple breakaway system to allow it to pop off in a crash instead of breaking. That same breakaway capability means that the visor won’t dictate the direction of your head and neck as you slide across the soil.
It’s available in this flat minty color that POC calls Apophyllite Green/Uranium Black, or in all black, all white, or yellow and black, in three different sizes. The size X-large/XX-large that I tested fits better than most full face mountain bike helmets I have tried, and weighs a little less than some similarly rated lids at roughly 1215g. It’s tight enough that I know it will stay safely on my skull when I crash, without being so tight that I notice it consistently. It’s like a glove, from above.
The overall construction of this helmet is sturdy and clean. There is no EPS foam along the edges to get dinged up, and all of the surfaces are smooth and cleanable. I have genuinely treated this lid like junk, throwing it around and using it as a battering ram, and it won’t let me make it ugly despite my best efforts. Heavy sweaters will be stoked on the removable padding that can be washed as needed.
Now down to the important piece. How does this sexy hunk of head gear protect you brain? According to POC, “The shell is paired with a multi-impact EPP liner that delivers excellent crash protection and durability. Our patent-pending silicone pad technology SPIN (Shearing Pad INside) is another aspect of our whole-helmet approach included in the helmet.” All of that fancy tech landed the POC Coron the EN 1078, CPSC 12.03, and nASTM F1952 safety certifications. I’m certainly happy that I was wearing this helmet when I hurt that innocent tree.
The cheek pads that pull out to cool you off during transition climbs are actually intended first and foremost to make the helmet easier to remove in the case of a head or neck injury.
The final piece of engineering worth mention is what POC describes as “ear chambers designed for less effect on balance and hearing.” The lower jaw vent opens up the ear pockets slightly, but the overall wall of sound at speed in this helmet is lower and less distracting than in some of the competition. I’m not sure how that all equates to balance, but being unencumbered by gear is always a plus.
- Price: $275/€290
- Available from Amazon and other online retailers