The Swedish based POC gravity sport protection company recently released the trick Trabec mountain bike helmet, which comes in two flavors, the Trabec Race and Trabec. 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 comfortable and extremely safety engineered Trabec Race helmet, offers extra Aramid reinforcements than the Trabec, and weighs around 380 grams and costs $180.
The major components of a helmet, are the outer shell, the foam liner, the retention system and the padding. The hard shell helps spread the impact over a larger surface (specifically to the liner), accentuates sliding and prevents object penetration. The EPS foam helps prevent or reduce brain injury by managing the energy of an impact through its own compression or destruction. Its main duty is to slow the stopping process so that the head slows down during its inertial of the impact (deceleration), by cushioning and redirection.
The Trabec Race is a pretty comfortable helmet, with enough padding in the proper places, and a good form fitting inner shape, that has adequate room to accommodate varying head geometries. It’s not the most fashionable looking helmet, and it looks sort of blocky and chunky perched on top of your head, but safety is its preeminent point, not fashion. The helmet offers excellent protection, coming deeply over the ears, and drooping far down onto the neck in an enduro type styling. The additional coverage certainly adds a great sense of reassurance for protection in case of a crash, and the hidden features such as the Aramid reinforcement and extra thickness of the liner, and the shell seams in non vulnerable areas, make for an extensive safety dominated package. The liner uses a web or grid of Aramid filaments molded inside the EPS foam, acting very much rebar in concrete or the skeleton inside a body, to works in a synergistic manner to offer strength, resistance and durability, and keeping things together throughout an impact. The thickness of the liner is close to 4 cm in places, which gives it the bulbous height and shape, but it creates a greater amount of material to envelope your noggin for protection. I liked the simple color scheme for the helmet, and the White kept the head from baking in the sun, although the lighter toned chin straps did stain after some usage. The three-piece shell, is comprised of the main upper piece which starts just over the ears and covers the top of your scalp, the rear piece which covers the back of your head, and then a long sliver piece that rolls around the entire bottom of the helmet.
Note: Aramid fibers are a class of heat-resistant and strong synthetic fibers. They are used in aerospace and military applications, for ballistic rated body armor fabric and ballistic composites.