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Old 08-07-20, 07:31 PM
Me duelen las nalgas
canklecat's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Texas
Posts: 12,270

Bikes: Centurion Ironman, Trek 5900, Univega Via Carisma, Globe Carmel

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(My photo/file server is offline so all I have are some frame grabs from my bike video cameras, mostly walking around after I forget to turn off the camera during stops.)

Hi-viz yellow Bell Formula MIPS, possibly the single best buy of all currently available helmets. Most of the features of the Z20 and Stratus at a fraction of the price. It was only $75 when I got it a couple of summers ago, a little more now. Still worthwhile.
Fully hardshell polycarbonate wrap around under the bottom edge that's often bare soft EPS foam on helmets costing under $100. Clever sweat drip channel that diverts most sweat away from the forehead. Comfortable. Attention to detail. Built and looks like a much more expensive helmet.
Doesn't cover as low on the rear/occipital region as I'd like.

POC Omne Air SPIN, white with hi-viz orange rear.
Better ventilation than the Bell. More conventional looking than the POC Octal and Ventral (which look like Lego mushroom heads). The Omne, Ventral and Octal have similar profile shapes but the vent shapes make a big difference in the looks. Thicker EPS foam and polycarbonate shell than many helmets. Covers lower on the rear/occipital region for better protection.

Like all POCs, overpriced for what you get compared with Bell, Giro and others. Although to cut costs the Omne Air SPIN is made in China to POC's Sweden HQ specs. For awhile just before the pandemic it was available for as little as $75, a bargain. Still a fair value at the $150 MSRP.
Lacks the Bell's attention to detail. Exposed soft EPS foam along lower edge. Heavy. Size runs larger than spec -- my noggin is 59cm, right on the margin of medium/large and I can usually wear large, but this POC model in large is too big. But I mostly use it in winter with a knit cap or bandanna.
Brow is thicker and lower, protrudes into my upper peripheral vision when I'm in the drops. Completely unsuitable for bikes with aero bars -- you wouldn't be able to see ahead with craning your neck up uncomfortably. But it's perfect for riding the hoods, touring bikes, hybrids, commuters, etc.

It's really a commuter helmet but with far better ventilation than the typical Bern or Nutcase hipster/skater helmet.

I wear the POC a lot more often in summer on my road bike than I planned to because the venting is so much better than the Bell. But I wear the Bell for hard workout rides or group rides when I'm in the drops and must have good peripheral vision.

POC Omne Air Spin

A cheap $20 Base Camp aero helmet that's surprisingly good. No longer available. I was wary of it but a couple of users reported it held up well in crashes and showed photos of the damaged helmets. It appears to be comparable to any mainstream brand helmet.

The design appears to borrow from a discontinued Giro rounded profile aero helmet. No tails, fins, etc., more of a road/aero helmet than a TT/tri-bike helmet. Came with a good tinted visor with secure magnetic clasps. Detachable press-fit plastic shell to cover or uncover some minimal vents, similar to a Lazer Z1 model. No MIPS, no fancy features, looks pretty much like a standard helmet from a decade ago. Zero complaints for what it is.

Some of my fastest times were wearing this helmet and a Pearl Izumi aero jersey. Just the change in kit was good for a consistent 0.5 to 1 mph over my usual 20-30 mile routes and a favorite 6 mile time trial segment.

Only reason I don't wear the Base Camp helmet more often, besides the inferior venting for summer, is that I'm more comfortable with helmet mirrors due to an old neck injury. While I have bar end mirrors on my road bikes, I feel like I'm riding blind without a helmet mirror. So I reserve the aero helmet only for specific occasions when weather and wind conditions are perfect and it's a day/time when I can expect little or no traffic on my favorite time trial routes.

Base Camp aero helmet and Pearl Izumi semi-aero jersey. That small change from my usual kit is good for another 0.5-1 mph over distance on my favorite 6 mile time trial segments.
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