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review

Rapha + Poc Omne Air helmet

8
£140.00

VERDICT:

8
10
Comfy, slim lid with stylish Rapha colourway and Poc's advanced safety tech
Wonderfully comfortable straps (if they fit you)
Good for sunnies stashing
Limited strap adjustment
Heavier than some rivals
Runs slightly warm
Weight: 
306g
Contact: 

At road.cc every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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The Rapha + Poc Omne Air Spin is a very good slim-profile helmet with an incredibly comfy strap system (if it fits you), ports for stashing sunnies, and safety tech for dealing with rotational forces in the event of a crash. There is limited strap adjustment around the ears, though, so you might find you're unable to get the fit you require.

Rapha's signature styling coats this edition of Poc's most affordable road lid, the Omne Air, with three colours on offer: grey, navy, and a quite creamy off-white (which Poc calls Birch).

> Buy this online here

The Omne Air is designed for daily commuting and weekend rides as well as gravel adventures. It's race proven in off-road events, too – this is the helmet worn by EF Education-NIPPO's Lachlan Morton during his Alternative Calendar races.

According to Poc, the variable optimised-density EPS liner offers ideal impact force absorption with its thicker protection in specific zones.

The helmet also features Poc's patent-pending silicone pad crash safety technology called SPIN, for Shearing Pad INside, which is an alternative to MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System). The gel-like pads are positioned in critical locations throughout the helmet, and are claimed to minimise rotational forces transferred to the brain in the event of an impact.

2021 Rapha Poc Omne Air helmet - inside.jpg

There are no snag points for catching your hair, as was the issue in some earlier MIPS-integrated designs. It certainly seems a well-integrated, comfy safety solution – as far as I can tell of course, I've not crash-tested it – but it does meet UK/EU (EU Regulation 2016/425) standards.

Ten generously sized vents keep things reasonably cool. Airflow is directed effectively through the five front-facing vents and the five internal channels before then exiting via five vents at the rear which are positioned in a three-up, two-down formation.

2021 Rapha Poc Omne Air helmet - back.jpg

This vent system kept things pleasant throughout the test period, but I have been testing in autumn; the nippy morning air didn't seem to bother me as much as usual and so this suggests to me it runs hotter than other lids such as my Kask Valegro. It'll be interesting to see how this lid really copes when we make it round to the summer again.

Sunglasses can be tucked away easily and securely when not in use in two of the front vents. There are no grippy silicone strips inside here like those found on Poc's higher tier Ventral SPIN, but nevertheless I've not experienced any slippage issues.

2021 Rapha Poc Omne Air helmet - front.jpg

The clever design of the helmet straps makes this the comfiest setup I've ever tried. Basically, where the two straps join, a shaped piece keeps them further apart before cutting in (similar to Specialized's ​Tri-Fix web splitter). This creates a much better fit around the ears compared with traditional helmet strap designs which can scrape uncomfortably against the ear in my experience.

2021 Rapha Poc Omne Air helmet - clip.jpg

However, the ear adjustment piece only allows forward/backward movement and not any up/down adjustment; while I was able to find a comfy fit, this design is limiting and could prove unsuitable for some head shapes.

A 360-degree retention system enables you to fine-tune the fit. As well as the micro-adjustable dial that allows you to tighten the band encircling the head without any pressure points, the height can be toggled between four heights, for a comfy, secure fit throughout.

2021 Rapha Poc Omne Air helmet - tension system.jpg
2021 Rapha Poc Omne Air helmet - inside 2.jpg

This £140 helmet weighs in at 306g. It's cheaper than Giro's Helios Spherical helmet (£229.99), which has MIPS protection included but comes in at a lighter 274g. On the other side of things, Bontrager's recently released Circuit helmet, with its WaveCel advanced safety tech, comes in heavier at 335g but cheaper with a £134.99 price tag. But the even cheaper (£119.99) Lazer Sphere MIPS weighs less than the Omne Air (280g) and also works well with glasses.

So the Omne Air Spin isn't the best value for a mid-market option, but it's not bad.

> Buyer’s Guide: 19 of the best high-performance cycling helmets

Overall, the Rapha + Poc Omne Air Spin is a comfy, functional lid that also delivers on protection with the SPIN technology. Its slim profile fitted me snugly and makes it aesthetically pleasing too. You can get lighter MIPS/MIPS-alternative helmets at this price point and a little lower, but the Omne Air Spin is still pretty good value for money. However, if you often need to lower the spot where the two straps join together in other helmets, you might find this one doesn't have the right adjustability for you.

Verdict

Comfy, slim lid with stylish Rapha colourway and Poc's advanced safety tech

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Rapha + Poc Omne Air helmet

Size tested: M/54-59cm

Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

Rapha says: "As worn by EF Education-NIPPO riders at alternative calendar races, the POC Omne Air is optimised for road and gravel riding. Featuring POC's renowned 'Whole Helmet Concept™', it is designed to provide all-round, multipurpose protection without compromise on comfort or weight. With thicker core protection zones, the density of the EPS liner is optimised for added protection while carefully placed ventilation channels direct cool air over the head to regulate temperature. A 360° size adjustment system with a three-point cradle at the back of the head and straps moulded into the helmet liner makes for a secure, precise and comfortable fit on any ride.

NB. This helmet is certified to US (CPSC 16 CFR Part 1203) and UK/EU (EU Regulation 2016/425) safety specifications. It is available to all customers apart from AUS & NZ. Please make sure your selected product complies with local regulations."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Poc lists:

LS_

Weight

S: 285g M: 305g L: 350g

SPIN Technology

Patent pending SPIN (Shearing Pad Inside) pads

Construction

Optimized-density EPS liner offers ideal impact force absorption

360° Adjustment

Make it easy to find the perfect fit

Straps

Precision straps molded into liner for extra comfort

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10

Slim-profiled helmet fits snugly, can stash sunnies, and cleverly designed straps don't cut in around the ears; there's no up/down adjustment of the straps here, though, which limits the head shapes and sizes it'll fit.

Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
6/10
Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
 
8/10

The SPIN safety tech is well integrated and doesn't compromise on comfort. As long as you don't need any up/down adjustment of the straps, they're wonderfully comfy too.

Rate the product for value:
 
6/10

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

It's a comfy, functional and stylish helmet that has well-integrated SPIN safety technology for dealing with rotational forces in the event of a crash.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The looks, the strap system (it worked very well for my head shape) and sunnies-stashing capability.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Runs slightly warm.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

Priced at £140, it's in the right ball park for its performance. It is quite a lot cheaper than Giro's Helios Spherical, which features MIPS tech (£229.99), but a bit more expensive than some with a similar safety tech spec such as Bontrager's Circuit WaveCel (£134.99) and Lazer's Sphere MIPS (£119.99).

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

If it fits you, the Rapha + Poc Omne Air Spin is very good: a great-looking, comfy lid with a slim profile. You can store your glasses when not in use, and Poc's SPIN safety technology is included. However, it seems to run slightly warm (but next summer will be the true test of that) and there isn't any up/down strap adjustment around the ears, so it's unlikely to suit all riders.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 24  Height: 177cm  Weight: 62kg

I usually ride: Road bike  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, Gravel riding, indoor turbo and rollers, track

Anna has been hooked on bikes ever since her youthful beginnings at Hillingdon Cycle Circuit. As an avid road and track racer, she reached the heady heights of a ProCyclingStats profile before leaving for university. Having now completed an MA in Multimedia Journalism, she’s hoping to add some (more successful) results. Although her greatest wish is for the broader acceptance of wearing funky cycling socks over the top of leg warmers.

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