The Swedish based POC gravity sport protection company has some new treats for 2013, including a new freeride helmet, revamped gloves, and new DH VPD armor.
The new Crane helmet is for multipurpose usage, and it will be at home with freeride, BMX, dirt jumpers and bike park users. The helmet uses an EPS sandwich construction that combines one softer and one stiffer density foam, to keep it lightweight and increase the energy-absorbing properties. The outer stiffer liner together with the vacuum formed thicker polycarbonate shell (1 mm thick) makes it 50% more resistant to dents, compared to normal in-mold helmets. The inner foam against your head is for small and quick falls/crashes or lower energy impacts, while the outer and more dense layer is for more serious or high-energy ones.
The two layers work in synergy together to give a progressive stop of the head at impact, and the slightly thicker shell compared to normal in-mold designs offers increased durability. There is a lot of attention to detail, including the bottom edging and molded in straps. The design also offers a low profile and lightweight system, with decent breathability for this helmet type. The Crane will retail for $120 and will be available in Spring 2013.
They have revamped their VPD 2 lineup of armor for 2013, and have added a full on downhill and freeride version called the VPD 2.0 DH. It comes in elbow, knee and long knee versions, and it utilizes the VPD absorption material, but it has the added protection of a hard cover. The extra cover should be useful for those that play hard and ride at the maximum speeds through the gnar, and will offer greater protection when you hit hard.
The normal soft version of the VPD 2.0 has been renamed the Trail, and is meant for All Mountain and lighter duty usage. They should be available this winter, with pricing of $110 for the elbow, and $130 long knee and $120 for short knee, while the Trail models should be $10 less. The Trail model comes in a short and long knee, elbow and shin pad versions.
They keep improving their Hydration pack, which has a removable VPD 2.0 back protector, which would be useful in those rollover crashes. The pack also has a nice height adjustment strap systems, which is great for a custom torso fit.
POC has tweaked their glove lineup for 2013, and they’ve added a touchscreen compatible thumb for smartphone interfacing on their full fingered gloves. The Index DH glove gets a small section of VPD 2.0 across the knuckles for added protection, and it’s lightweight and malleable, until the material is hit, at which point it becomes hard and tough for maximum energy absorption. The palm area is reinforced, with additional stitching and thicker material, for durability and crash safety. The Index Air get is lighter, more vented and breathable, with a single piece perforated palm, and comes in a pull on and adjustable closure version. Both the Index DH and Air have small silicone dots on the index and ring finger for additional dexterity. The fingerless Index Air 1/2 gets an innovative pull on design, which has two loops that you grab with the opposing hand to get them on, which means not having to use your teeth to squeeze them onto your hand. All the gloves look very comfortable and well made.
Although the Trabec Race Mips isn’t new, I always like to look at this All Mountain helmet and go over its innovative design aspects and safety features. The helmet extends down the back of the neck, and it uses Aramid filaments combined with an In-mold Expanded PolyStyrene (EPS) foam liner for maximum protection. The three-piece outer polycarbonate shell has optimized sections that don’t have seams in the most vulnerable areas, and its bonded to the reinforced core, for strength and lightweight. The MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System) design uses a plastic cage that allows the outer shell of the helmet to rotate independently of the liner, which is supposed to help in oblique falls.