Two of the greatest and most popular helmets on the market today are the POC Tectal Race SPIN and the Fox Speedframe Pro MIPS. If you are in the market for an excellent, high-quality, top-tier helmet, these will be your top two!
Both helmets are designed for aggressive trail riding and could possibly even be in the enduro range.
When looking for a new helmet, you will want one that is comfortable, light, well ventilated and most importantly, safe. Features we recommend looking out for include anti-rotational systems (such as MIPS and SPIN), which reduce the rotational energy from angular impacts, protecting you from brain damage. We also recommend looking for an adjustable visor that has upwards of 3 integrated notches, comfortable padding, and extended rear coverage to keep protected.
POC Tectal Race SPIN Mini Review
- SPIN Technology
- Good looking
- Well Ventilated
- Fiddly visor
POC creates some very good looking apparel designed to suit the rider, not just the budget. The POC Tectal Race SPIN is an excellent looking, high-end helmet designed for riders who want a well-ventilated helmet with deep coverage. While this is typically a juxtaposition in helmet design, POC has achieved a helmet with the coverage of an enduro helmet while ventilating, similar to a cross country helmet.
Fox Speedframe Pro MIPS Mini Review
A good quality helmet for riders who want a helmet they can ride with comfortably all day. Perfect for the trail rider and enduro rider alike, who aren’t phased by the additional weight from the extra protection it provides.
- MIPS Technology
- Looks good
- Reasonably comfortable
- Well ventilated
- Limited Goggle compatibility
- Not as padded as you would expect
- Only 3 positions for the visor
It is hard to go a day in the park without seeing the Fox logo somewhere. Whether it is knee pads, clothing or a helmet, Fox certainly knows how to manufacture durable and attractive protective wear. The Speedframe is Fox’s top-of-the-line open face helmet. It has plenty of features and has become very popular with trail and enduro riders.
Design and Construction Comparison
Both helmets are constructed of EPS foam, with an external polycarbonate layer protecting the foam from damage. The EPS is lightweight and crushes under impact to reduce the energy from direct impacts to the rider’s head.
The POC Tectal has been constructed in-mold, which means the outer shell is molded to the EPS foam to create a stronger, lighter, more durable lid.
The Fox Speedframe has an additional foam layer, forming what Fox calls the dual-density Varizorb EPS foam. The dual-density foam means that energy at high and low speeds can be absorbed, reducing the energy transferred to the rider’s head as it comes to an abrupt stop.
Another handy little feature the Speedframe has is the Fidlock magnetic buckle. I’ve found this system to be incredibly easy and wouldn’t want to go back to a standard buckle! The two pieces snap together easily if you hold them close enough. You get a few complaints from people who aren’t used to the system, but it really only takes a few goes to get used to it!
The POC Tectal Race SPIN has POC’s technology named Shear Pads INside (SPIN). These are internal liners which are filled with medical-grade silicone and allow the helmet to move relative to the head. What this does is reduce the energy transferred to the rider’s head in both angular and direct impacts. Basically, it just reduces the possibility of concussions, a skull fracture, or brain damage.
The Speedframe uses a combination of EPS foam and MIPS instead, which is the more common technology. It effectively does the same thing, but the MIPS system uses a plastic liner, which allows the outer shell to move relative to the plastic liner- and hence the rider’s head. Both technologies work well, and there are no scientific results to determine which is better!
The Tectal has a Recco reflector, which helps the rider be located if necessary. It is often used in snow sports when a person goes missing, as it requires just a detector and the Recco Reflector to find the missing person. Very handy technology to have if you often go riding on your own, or in remote areas.
Both helmets have decent coverage around the back of the head and over the temples. This keeps the head well protected if you do happen to crash.
Comfort, Ventilation and Weight Comparison
The fit of the Tectal is superior to that of the Proframe. The padding in the Tectal is soft to touch, and the SPIN pads provide long-lasting comfort.
The Proframe is the first helmet to make use of the BOA retention system to tighten the helmet. Typically used on cycling shoes or snowboarding boots, it has made its way to tightening helmets, and the reviews are conflicting. Some riders find that the fit isn’t quite right, while others find that the even tightening of the system works brilliantly.
The Fox Proframe has slightly better ventilation than the Tectal. The Fox Proframe has 19 vents with internal channeling, which creates an efficient cooling system. The Tectal has 17 vents, and while it still vents very well, it isn’t quite up to the standard of the Proframe.
The weight of the two helmets is effectively the same at 378 g for the Tectal and 400 g for the Speedframe (both size medium). These are both a fair bit heavier than the Specialized Ambush (around 330 g), but they aren’t particularly heavy either. Unless you have been riding with a super light helmet previously, you likely will not notice the weight at all!
With both helmets, you can wear and store goggles and glasses. The POC Tectal actually has a rubber band at the rear of the helmet, which hooks over your goggle strap to keep them in place. It seems like an overkill to me, as I haven’t encountered any need for this. But great if your goggles are somewhat slippery, I suppose. Goggles and glasses are work particularly well with the Tectal if you use POC’s eyewear too!
The inner pads are removable and washable in both helmets (see how to clean a helmet here), which is great if you are worried about odor build-up!
If you are just looking for a helmet that will keep you protected during a crash, then either helmet will more than do the trick. However, if you want something that is super comfortable, well ventilated and looks good, the POC Tectal Race SPIN is likely the way to go.
The POC Tectal Race SPIN is superior to the Fox Speedframe in terms of comfort and weight. It also has a visor that is fully adjustable (even though it can be slightly more time-consuming), which is a big bonus.
However, the Fox Speedframe does have better ventilation. This is often the deciding factor for me, as having a cool head while climbing exceeds having a lightweight and heavily padded lid any day!
So, it entirely depends on what is important to you. Here we have highlighted the strengths and weaknesses of both helmets so you can find the helmet best suited to you and your style of riding!
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