If you follow WorldTour cycling, particularly the American team EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale, you are by now familiar with POC’s unique blend of style and function. In our opinion, the product designers at POC have consistently demonstrated that you can be colorful without being obnoxious. On the contrary, we have found the bold look of POC to be a refreshing stray from the norm in professional cycling. The new POC Ventral aero helmet elaborates upon this tradition of unique design by improving every aspect of performance.
First, the Ventral’s aerodynamics and ventilation are maximized by vents that lead air through the helmet instead of around it and by a subtle trailing edge which minimizes turbulence. In response to the current drive to understand and prevent brain injury in sport, safety is optimized with POC’s new SPIN technology which allows the helmet to rotate to absorb both linear and oblique impacts. When we received the press release for this new helmet, we saw that POC claims their new Ventral aero helmet to be the “fastest, most aerodynamic, ventilated, lightweight, and safest helmet [they] have ever developed.” Those are a lot of bests, and needless to say, our interest was piqued. We have since received and ridden a Ventral in a variety of conditions and are happy to mark those claims as substantiated.
The first thing we noticed was how quiet this helmet is. The substantial forward vents and rear foil do in fact direct air cleanly through the helmet and the lack of drag is definitely noticeable. This ventilation also makes for a very cool ride and less head sweat dripping onto your glasses when you hit a sunny, exposed climb. It’s light-weight and noticeably so, which, combined with the minimal drag the Ventral generates, means you end up focusing more on the ride and less on slight discomforts and noise often caused by cycling helmets. There’s a reason the UCI had to pass a rule that requires racers to wear helmets; a loud, bulky helmet really does detract from the experience, and we think the people at POC get this. We fortunately did not get a chance to test this helmet’s SPIN rotational impact technology, but we have seen the science behind concussions and think that helmet’s that are designed to rotate on impact are the safest bet. One final functional detail we thought was a nice touch is eye garage: two high-friction pads located on the inside of two forward vents that help keep your glasses in place when storing them in your helmet’s vents.
We would be remiss if we didn’t mention style when reviewing an item from POC. Their bright color and edgy style have been a highlight of the World Tour peloton for the last few seasons. The Ventral fits right in with the rest of POC’s product line as a tastefully unique looking piece. If you get a chance, try one on and indulge yourself with a shameless look in a mirror: we guarantee you’ll feel faster.
284g (medium) $290; pocsports.com