New for 2018.
POC has been keeping a lid on the Ventral SPIN for quite some time. We got to try on the pre-production model several months before the release and were quite excited. For most of our staff, the POC Octal is the "go to" helmet of choice for any sort of riding, so we were counting the days for the release of the Ventral.
The fit is the same as the Octal, so if you own an Octal, go with the same size. If you haven't worn a POC helmet, the best comparison is probably Giro's sizing. S=S, M=M, and L=L. Ventilation on Ventral is pretty incredible. Although there are less vents on the sides of the helmet, it definitely feels more ventilated while riding. The large front vents act like a forced air intake and the channeling inside the helmet moves the air directly across your head and out the back. This channeling is very visible and if you look in the mirror while wearing the Ventral, you will see your hair or skull, and the daylight behind it.
One of our only complaints with the Octal was that POC's sunglass holder tabs just didn't work. Well, we must not have been alone in our gripe, because it has been updated with a new material, and it now works very well. Every pair of glasses that we tried in it from Oakley, Tifosi, Bolle, and POC stayed put, even with a pretty violent head shake.
What is SPIN?
MIPS is sooo 2017. POC decided that the MIPS concept could be done better, so they developed their SPIN Technology. It's quite different from MIPS, but effectively provides the same benefit: allowing the helmet to rotate slightly during an angled impact, so that the helmet does not grab and suddenly turn your head with a violent shear force. SPIN does this without a plastic layer between the pad and the helmet, like MIPS uses. Instead, the pads are directly attached to the helmet, like most non-MIPS helmets. What's different is that the pads are a proprietary construction that almost feel like a gel substance. You have to feel it to really understand it, and POC is nice enough to provide a large sample pad on the product tags. Once you roll the pad around in your fingers, you'll get it. It's very obvious that the pad is nice and soft, but when "rolled around" in your fingers, it allows for a lot of shear. We like!
POC's published weights:
Small 257 grams
Medium 280 grams
Large 300 grams
Note: Weight is not everything and BALANCE of the helmet can make a heavier helmet feel lighter when on your head. The Ventral seems to be very well balanced and feels very light on the head.