POC’s Tectal Race, Octal X, and Coron Air helmets use a simple form of rotational impact protection. – By Daniel Sapp
The SPIN system looks like MIPS, but it’s actually less complex. Rather than using an elastomer-suspended structure that rotates upon impact, SPIN uses specially developed pads placed in critical locations in the helmet. Those pads shear or move in any direction to produce the same effect. Filled with medical-grade silicone, the pads also seem more comfortable than standard helmet pads.
The Tectal Race SPIN, Octal X SPIN trail and cross country helmets, along with the Coron Air SPIN, a downhill-certified, full-face helmet, are the first helmets in POC’s line to incorporate this technology. While the new pads are removable, and the new Tectal Race and Octal X helmet shells had very few changes from current models, the team at POC noted that older helmets cannot and should not be retrofitted with the new SPIN pads, because helmets must undergo testing with the appropriate pads in them to be certified and verified for safety.
I was curious about the SPIN technology, and after getting one of the new helmets in my hands, I think that POC is on to something. The test numbers show equal or greater protection than MIPS, and the pads simply feel comfortable to the touch. Comfort, which has always been a strength of POC, has certainly been taken to an even higher level with the SPIN pads. While I haven’t had time riding in one of the new helmets yet, I am looking forward doing so.