By Colin Dennis
Less is certainly more when it comes to the POC Octal Raceday Road Helmet. Swedish ingenuity and design has produced a lightweight and comfortable road helmet that features fewer, but larger air vents to make the Octal Raceday a firm favourite with both pro-teams and club riders alike.
Saying that, the Octal Raceday Helmet is a lot of money, but you also get a lot of helmet for the money. At £225 we’re nearing the price for a new lightweight replacement rear wheel, and although the Octal is very light for a road helmet, does it measure up to the opposition?
On looks alone, the POC Octal Helmet easily stands out from the peloton, few other helmets out there are as distinctive. The large, and numerically short air vents are wonderfully chamfered and turn the Octal Raceday into a prime number. Not only are the large vents ment toincrease air flow, but to also increase aerodynamics.
Out of the box, the Octal looks bigger than it actually is, but the Octal Raceday is a compact helmet with years of POC snow sports know-how and POC's truely unique looking design built into it.
Sitting protectively low around the front of the temples and again, low around the back of the head, nothing is left to chance here, head protection is paramount over style, but the fit is also important to any cycling helmet. If it's not comfy - you're just not going to wear it.
Thankfully, the POC Octal comes out top on all these important elements.
I think I have a funny shaped head that’s not particularly helmet friendly. My bonce is long and slim and few helmets fit my head comfortably and securely. I choose helmets by how they fit my head, then I worry about how they look. Compact helmets work best for me, I often feel self-conscious when wearing helmets, and hate looking like a mushroom.
The POC Octal Raceday Road Helmet is quite a revelation as far as I’m concerned. Clearly all the research and development of years of head protection in extreme sports has produced a road cycling helmet that you can fit and forget – with a little adjustment, of course!
The internal headband cage is easily adjustable by turning the small dial at the rear, it clicks loudly into place so you know it’s adjusting properly. Nothing wishy-washy about it.
Another well thought out element to the Octal Helmet is the tough but smooth, ribbon-like straps. They disappear and anchor insde the helmet to produce a very athetically pleasing look.
The straps are also very pliable and don’t irritate the skin surface at all. This I reckon, is a continuation from the freezing cold extreme snow sports where POC have excelled over the years, and it certainly works for me!
In summary: Head protection for road cyclists and racers probably doesn’t come any better - or more expensive.
If you can afford one, then I would say yes, go buy a POC Octal Raceday Helmet. It’s an extremely comfortable helmet to wear, easily and securely adjustable, and the large vents are terrific at keeping your head cool (skull cap recommended in winter though)
The POC Octal Raceday Road Helmet is so light and well-fitting, you won’t know you’re wearing it.