Review: POC Trabec Race Helmet

Helmets Pro Reviews

Editor’s Note: This review is part of the Mtbr All Mountain Helmet Shootout.

Overview

There is a helmet out there that looks different from the rest and has really influenced the All Mountain / Enduro scene with a line of helmets with style, colors and a reputation for safety. Swedish based POC produces the Trabec in three flavors, the Trabec Race and Trabec and the Trabec MIPS. 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 340 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.

Fit, Pads and Retention System

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.

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. The Trabec Race has more aramid fibers than the Trabec so it is stronger and should provide more protection. However, US helmet law actually prohibits claiming protection characteristics so we don’t have any information on how much more the ‘Race’ model offers. Helmets can only state that they pass specific government tests.

Ventilation

The helmet has 16 large air vents with an internal air channel, which help with air flow, but it can still feel a bit warm compared to a highly ventilated cross country helmet. It is kept purposely rounded, without any extraneous pointed sections, so that during a crash it will roll better, and nothing will get caught or pinched in debris or terrain obstacles on your terra firma encounter. The visor is removable and will break away in a crash, and has an adjustable tilt, which is nice in variable light conditions, and allows you to either put it down for maximum coverage or up out of the way for more expansive viewing.

Although it doesn’t look like it has a lot of vent holes, In our heat test, it measured on the upper 20% of the helmets so we’ll say that venting is sufficient. It doesn’t have big forward facing vents but the key to its ventilation properties is inside the helmet, there are channels above the head where air can flow through.

Continue reading for more on the POC Trabec Race and the full photo gallery.

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About the author: Francis Cebedo

The founder of mtbr and roadbikereview, Francis Cebedo believes that every cyclist has a lot to teach and a lot to learn. "Our websites are communal hubs for sharing cycling experiences, trading adventure stories, and passing along product information and opinions." Francis' favorite bike is the last bike he rode, whether it's a dirt jumper, singlespeed, trail bike, lugged commuter or ultralight carbon road steed. Indeed, Francis loves cycling in all its forms and is happiest when infecting others with that same passion. Francis also believes that IPA will save America.


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  • comentatorbot_or0234 says:

    I was worried ventilation would be an issue but bought it anyway. Ventilation is not an issue and I live in a hot climate.

  • rob black says:

    I’ve been running a Trabec Race for a season now and I’ve been more than happy with it. It’s definitely not the best ventilated helmet out there but it’s very comfortable and I like the extra protection. One problem is with the band that fits around the head. it has a tendency to loosen sometimes so it needs constant attention. An adjustment dial would be a welcome addition. It also looks like a big mushroom on my head but I’d rather be safe than fashonable while bombing down a trail. I’d get one again but would definitely spring for the MIPS.

  • Ryan says:

    I’ve had the Trabec Race for just over a year now and absolutely love it. I feel very well protected, it fits way more comfortably on my head than others, and I can easily adjust how snug I want the helmet…which isn’t too tight because it fits so well and stays in place even as I plow through rock gardens and large roots on my rigid 26″.

  • Peter Creagh says:

    I wear my Giro Fuse ski helmet when cycling and this has the same wrap around the head but with more vents being a cycle helmet. If I see one where I live I would definitely buy one if made in my size.

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