For me, this is the first introduction of a helmet of this brand and it made me curious to see more of POC. I have to admit that my choice of helmet so far has been mainly determined by color and less by functional specifications … shame on me, from now on that will be different.
First some facts
POC has developed the Tectal for trail and enduro rides, so a bit more risk of falling than a cross-country ride, which means that the helmet has be able to handle a crash. POC uses a Progressive Core shell: the rigid exterior of the helmet handles the larger impacts and the softer inside takes on the smaller impacts.
POC uses the aramid bridges system inside the helmet. This system ensures that the helmet is held together if you fall and that your head stays well protected when you hit the ground.
The material on the inside is expanded polystyrene, or EPS, which is nothing more or less than pepper foam. Nothing wrong with that. Many brands use this because EPS has a high shock absorption capacity.
The inner lining is of the Polygiene. The material is equipped with Polygiene Odor Control Technology. This prevents bacterial growth, without interfering with bacteria naturally occurring on your skin. This keeps your helmet fresh, even when you are sweating. That it works has been proven during my week’s cycling.
On the back of the helmet is the word ‘RECCO’. The Tectal has an (invisible) RECCO reflector. For the Netherlands it’s not important, but interesting for trips in the mountains. When you go missing the reflector allows you to be detected by a rescue team, using a detector.
The RECCO system is used in mountain areas around the world and the reflector in the helmet is a welcome addition for mountain bikers who regularly look for adventure in the mountains.
First impression POC Tectal
My first impression of the helmet: tough and at the same time solid. The name POC is very visible on the helmet; POC brands all its products very clearly. A print on the back shows what material the helmet is made of. In my opinion, this could have been placed inconspicuously on the inside because it doesn’t add anything to the outside.
The color, harf green, doesn’t really speak to me, and I’m not the only one. During rides I heard more than once: ‘Great helmet, but that color!’ Fortunately, the Tectal is available in 7 colors, so you can choose your preference.
The green is not matte but shiny, and because that you immediately notice any little damage on it. The first low-hanging branch I came across caused scratches on the helmet. The hard material from the outside is wrapped around completely, so the EPS is covered and protected against damage even when you do not wear the helmet.
The helmet fits very comfortably. With many other helmets, you really feel them on your head, they can be burdensome. But while I’m riding with the Tectal, I almost forget that I’ve got it on. That is surprising to me because the helmet also covers the vulnerable back of your head. The inside material only touches your head where it is necessary and that makes it feel airy and helps the helmet ventilate well. Really good on the hot days (25 degrees) during my vacation. Even on rainy days, this causes it to dry faster as well.
The fit of the helmet is, of course, adjustable and with this helmet, it is also possible to adjust the height. Less useful is the effect that when you adjust the height (making the helmet smaller) the adjuster wheel at the rear of the helmet is very difficult to reach. This wheel is intended to make the helmet looser or tighter, something you always do when taking the helmet on and off.
The helmet does not appear to fit well with glasses, at least not the pairs I tried on. With 3 out of 4 glasses, my ears started to feel painful quite quickly because there is little space for the legs of the glasses. This is not a problem with my other helmets, so I can say with certainty that the glasses aren’t the issue. You do not feel this right away when you put on the helmet, but after about a quarter of a mile, this will be quite annoying. Adjusting the fit does not solve the problem. So take good care of purchasing the Tectal, make sure the glasses you plan to be riding with feel really good.
You can adjust the length of the strap below the chin, but you can not adjust it on the side (at your ears). I actually didn’t need to adjust them at all. With other helmets, I’m always, always getting crazy with tailoring, the length of these straps to fit me. So I was really happy with this fit.
The Tectal is a comfortable, good protective helmet that you hardly feel you have on. Having said that, for the same price of the Tectal, I would rather protect my head with a helmet that has MIPS, something that the Tectal does not have and what makes me surprised considering the retail price of € 200, -. Presumably, POC has had more feedback about it, as it was announced before the end of 2018 that POC will be introducing a new technology: SPIN, similar to MIPS.