Helmets are helmets, right? Just find one that fits and has some style and off you go.  But, POC has made the market appreciate supreme protection first and foremost doesn’t mess around when it comes to safety and protection. So, it’s no wonder they are one of the first manufacturers to release a MIPS MTB helmet. After a wicked-hot summer of testing, the  Trabec Race MIPS helmet delivers all-mountain performance and protection.

POC Trabec Race MIPS Features:

  • MIPS system
  • Size adjustment system
  • Adjustable visor protects your eyes from rain, sun, mud?and tree branches
  • Aerodynamic ventilation channel system – 16 vent slots
  • The fit is designed to be around the head versus on top, for superior protection
  • Aramid fiber grid for protection and durability
  • MSRP: $220
POC Trabec Race MIPS

The MIPS liner is the star of the show here.

Protect that noggin with the Trabec Race MIPS

When it comes to mountain bike lids, the market is crowded. And, especially the “all-mountain” helmet market with tons of new extended-coverage helmets coming online this year alone. The Trabec MIPS is a unique player in the market, however, primarily due to the MIPS system. This system utilizes an inner plastic foating cage to help absorb impacts much in the same way fluid protects the brain inside the skull. Here’s what MIPS has to say:

The secret behind MIPS’ unique patent comes from the human brain, which is now into its 150,000th year. The brain is surrounded by a low-friction cushion of cerebrospinal fluid. MIPS imitates the brain’s way of protecting itself by giving the helmet its own low-friction layer between the outer shell and the liner, to absorb much of the energy created by an oblique blow to the head. The combination of the brain’s own protection and MIPS therefore ensures maximum protection.

The Trabec Race MIPS arrived in the heat of the summer and has been worn exclusively since arriving. This summer was the hottest on record in Utah, so I’ve certainly been able to put this through the ventilation test. And while it may not be as ventilated as some helmets, the vents it does have are effective at keeping things cool in Sahara-like conditions.

Testing the POC Trabec Race MIPS Helmet

I found the fit of the Trabec to be quite comfortable. My head size is about average with an oval shape measuring 57cm in circumference. The M/L size seemed slightly snug at first, but on the trail, that snug fit translated into a rock-solid fit and no pressure points. The pads have not packed out over time and the fit remains secure with no additional adjustments over time.

The straps are standard thickness for added security, but I’ve come to like the lightweight straps utilized by other manufacturers. Exit points of said straps are such that you never have to worry about them getting twisted, unlike other systems. The simple buckle and strap adjustments are easy-to-use to achieve the best fit possible. There is no dial-a-fit retention system, but the simple double-winged retention system is easy enough to adjust, when needed — most of the time that is a one-and-done thing anyway.

Jason Mitchell Testing the POC Trabec Race MIPS Helmet

Once dialed, I’ve found the Trabec Race MIPS to move with my head in seamless motion. It’s not sloppy and nor does it have some sort of a delayed reaction feeling that some helmets have — just a comfortable “one with my noggin” feeling. And while the helmet may be slightly heavier on paper, out in the trails, you don’t notice it one bit.

Since the back of my Subaru is a regular gear closet, it’s also great that this helmet features an Aramid fiber grid that’s molded into the shell. Between banging around the back of my car and clipping low-hanging branches all summer, the helmet looks no worse for the wear. In fact, it shows no signs of damage at all.

The Good

  • Once on, the extra weight and size goes unnoticed
  • Large vents keep things cool — even in 95 degree temps
  • Extra peace-of-mind is awesome
  • Retention system keeps the lid in place
  • Extra durable exterior shell
  • MIPS system makes sense and will help in case of a hard crash
  • No twisted straps

The Bad

  • High price of safety (but who wants to cut corners with noggin protection?)
  • Hard to find compatible sunglasses (hint, use ones with curved temples)
  • Hard to find middle sizes at most retailers
  • Looks bulky

Bottom Line: POC Trabec Race MIPS Helmet

If the ultimate protection is what you seek, the Trabec Race MIPS is built to be the most protective helmet on the market. But, it’s got more style and function than that with excellent breathability, twist-free straps and all-day comfort. While there’s no getting around the large size of the Trabec Race MIPS, it becomes immediately invisible while riding — a testament to the overall design and function of this highly-protective lid.

Buy Now: Available at CompetitiveCyclist.com

About Author

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Jason quickly developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 -- sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.

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