The Trabec helmet was tested on multiple rides in the Netherlands, temperatures between 15 and 25 degrees, and in a number of longer trails in Spain, Pyrenees and mountains in the Alicante provinvce. The rides in Spain were invariably between 2 and 3 hours, riding at temperatures between 30-35 degrees celsius.
The first thing that struck me (for obvious reasons) was the look of the helmet. Whereas most bike helmets (certainly road helmets that many mountainbikers also sport) look like tarted up alien space ships wearing lunatic Manga hairstyles with their gazillion vents and shiny shizzle paint jobs, the Trabec has almost a minimalist design. I like to compare POC with Apple, in the sense that they may high-end, high-value, high price and great looking products.
The Trabec has a simple cut, the vents, 16 in total are placed evenly, the colour is simple (there is a wide variety of colours and designs in the Trabec line), only the back of the head with a ton-sur-ton effect and a matte finish. Nicely done.
Comfort is an essential part of protective materiaal. Because you need to want to wear the gear. It shouldn’t bother you or impair the freedom of movement you need for action sports. It needs to fit well to maximize protection.
The Trabec is a lightweight, well fitting helmet. It’s easily adjustable and fit me quite wel. On the most bumpy rocky trails it remained snug, no shaking, even though I wore the chinstraps quite loose. The EPS lining has extra strips of soft padding held in place by velcro so that you can take the padding out and wash or change it. Helps against the detrimental effects that sweat can have to foam lining.
The air vents work really well; my head kept cool, and that’s saying a lot seeing the temperatures I experienced on the trail.
Obviously the main point of a helmet is the protection it offers. And POC has a reputation to uphold on that front. It pays a lot of attention to material and technology used. And in the Trabec that attention shows.
The helmet itself has an EPS (Expanded Polystyrene) lining. This material is great at absorbing shocks, but does so by compressing and plastic deformation. As a result the deformation is permanent. So it won’t deal with multiple impacts too well. There are other linings that POC offers, namely Expanded Polypropylene (EPP), which does not deform permanently. Those can be found in heavy duty helmets such as Cortex DH Mips, with a higher price card.
Aramid bridges have been molded together with the EPS lining, just beneath the outer shell, providing more strength and durability to the helmet while keeping weight down. You can check out the POC site for more information on the materials used.
The visor itself is adjustable and helped shield my eyes from the soon and protect my face from branches.
The very afternoon we published the videoreview I went riding again and got the test of the helmet I needed (was’t looking for it per se). I managed to take a tumble at about 40kph off the side of a hard packed track with deep rain gutters. I flew into some underbrush and felt my head knocked around a few times. The fall tore off the TomTomBandit I was wearing on the side of the Trabec and which was rolling at that moment. It wasn’t as heavy as crash can get by far, but if what I felt is any indication to the quality of the POC gear, things are looking good. Because I immediately realized I was fine, nothing heart, nor problems, just a fe scratches in unprotected areas; I continued the rest of the ride. Check out the footage of the crash beneath.
So in conclusion I would say that I really like the helmet. I think it looks good, and fits well and it gives me the feeling that I am really well protected. This helps me relax more, in turn improving my performance and lessening the chance that I will fall and smash my head. So in a way, it works before the fact.
The retail price of the Trabec is € 160,-,
In my opinion a fair price. I would certainly recommend this helmet to a friend.