POC is a Swedish company, founded in 2005, with roots in winter sports and mountain biking, specialising in helmets and clothing. They're making a concerted effort to get into the road cycling market with the launch of a two helmets and a full range of clothing, including bibs, jerseys, gilets, jackets and more.
Let’s start with the helmet, because that’s what POC is really known for. And because it’s one of the most distinctive helmets we ever seen. Well since POC’s mad Tempor time trial helmet that is. /content/news/62798-poc-release-tempor-time-trial-helmet
POC have approached the design with a polycarbonate wrapped unibody construction, with thicker EPS (Expanded Polystyrene Foam) in key areas. This design has allowed them to use just 20 extremely large vents with a larger open surface area at the front to boost air flow. It’s also a very light helmet, with a claimed weight of 200g putting it in the company of some of the lightest lids on the market currently.
Part of POC’s mandate with the helmet has been to choose colours that it reckons boosts visibility on the road. They’ve chosen high visibility colours for the helmet and included reflective details as well. An ultralight adjustment system and micro-dial retention system keeps the helmet in place and the padding is said to be able to reduce the temperature of the contact area touching the skin.
A personal bugbear is helmets that don’t allow you to pop your eyewear into, so the Octal’s ‘eye garage’ has been expressly designed so you can place glasses on the front of the helmet.
The Octal Aero is an aerodynamic version of the regular Octal, with a fully wrapped unibody shell. It retains all the same features as the standard helmet. Weight increases to a claimed 215g.
POC have also been busy on a range of road cycling clothing, starting with the Essential Bib Shorts.
They’re made from a warp knitted stretch fabric with a four panel design and ergonomically shaped. The bib straps are made from mesh. They’ve even developed their own seamless insert, with a coolmax open cell foam to improve ventilation. Various densities of foam from 4mm to 12mm allows them to place extra padding where it’s most needed, and less where it isn’t needed.
The Essential WO Bib Shorts are a women’s specific version of the same bib shorts, and the key difference is they’ve been shaped to fit the body better, and a dedicated insert.
To partner with the shorts is the Essential Short Sleeve Jersey. It’s been made from a 4-way stretch fabric with mesh underarm panels and seamless cuffs to improve fit and comfort. A woven stretch fabric with a compact 3D structure is used in the shoulders and is claimed to offer some aerodynamic advantage.
Details include a full-length zip and three rear pockets. A women’s version is also available with a specific cut and range of colours. There’s also a long sleeve version of the Essential jersey too, which should be just ideal for autumn.
The Essential Wind Vest is a gilet made with a windproof fabric on all the front facing surfaces. Everywhere else they’ve used a breathable 4-way stretch fabric. There’s reflective details, full-length zip and elasticated hem.
The Essential Lt. Wind Vest has a DWR treated ripstop fabric that is also breathable and windproof, making it an ideal choice for changeable weather conditions. The British summer, then...
For more adverse conditions is the Essential Lt. Wind Jacket with a long sleeve design.
For even more adverse conditions there’s the Essential Rain Jacket. It’s constructed from a 3-layer laminated DWR treated fabric that is fully waterproof. Ventilation ports have been laser cut and all the seams are taped, so it’s properly waterproof. Even the zippers are waterproof. Only available in hi-vis bright orange.
The Essential Spring Jacket’s windproof and breathable 4-way stretch fabric makes it a good contender for chilly autumn mornings. The high stretch of the fabric offers a good fit and there’s three rear pockets for carrying tools and food.
A fingerless mitt, the Essential Road Glove is a thinly padded minimalist gloves. A pull tab makes them easier to pull on and off, and silicone prints on the palm improve grip on the handlebars.
There’s also socks, a silk scarf, cap, leg and arm warmers to complete the wardrobe.
POC are serious about getting their products out there, having revealed they’re sponsoring a pro team in 2014. Wonder which team that’ll be then? They’re already sponsoring Ryder Hesjedal...
More at www.pocsports.com. We'll update with prices and availability when we get that info.
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.