When it comes to cycling helmets, you often have to choose between aerodynamics or ventilation. Traditional aero cycling helmets achieve their low aerodynamic drag by removing or reducing the vents on a standard helmet. In this review we’ll be looking at a helmet that claims to offer both aerodynamics and ventilation, the POC Ventral SPIN aerodynamic helmet. Using computational fluid dynamics, the Ventral SPIN routes air through multiple large front vents and out vents in the back. As with other POC products, the Ventral SPIN has distinctive styling and color schemes that echo the brands minimalist design language. Safety features such as the SPIN (Shearing Pad INside) and wrap around head retention system also add an extra layer of protection.
The POC Ventral SPIN offers aerodynamic performance combined with sleek styling and optimized ventilation design.
|Measured weight (in g)||290 (size M)|
|Likes|| + Sleek styling|
+ Optimized air channels for great ventilation
+ Trim aero profile
|Dislikes||– Premium price|
– Lacks reflective elements
– Bulkier than other aero helmets
|Where to Buy (US)||POC|
POC packs the Ventral SPIN helmet in a sleek white cardboard box with minimal graphics. In the box you’ll find:
- Ventral SPIN helmet
- Fabric storage bag
- Instruction manual and tags attached to helmet
FIT & FINISH
While the Ventral SPIN looks quite similar to other helmets in POC’s lineup, this is an aero helmet that was designed from the ground up. The grippy pads on the front vents do a good job of stowing sunglasses and preventing them from rattling against the helmet. Visually the helmet shares the same brand language as the Octal and Ventral Air variations with a more streamlined design. POC has retained the front vents but sculpted them to be less tall with a smoother profile along the top of the helmet. Unlike other aero helmets which typically only have a few vents, the Ventral SPIN also has an aggressively vented rear. The blunt trailing edge and softly curved top profile of the Ventral SPIN gives it an aero appearance. On the rear, a contrasting black surround houses four large vents that funnel air out of the interior channels of the helmet. POC claims this optimized design reduces the turbulence typical helmets cause and thereby reduces the aerodynamic drag.
Visually the Ventral SPIN has the high-end pro cyclist look, particularly in the Apophyllite green and contrasting black accents of our helmet. When it comes to visual design, it is all about the details, and it’s clear POC has paid attention. Depending on what primary color you choose, the Ventral SPIN comes with either white, black, or color matched straps. This subtle color contrast gives the Ventral SPIN a premium look compared to most helmets which only offer different exterior shell colors. Additionally, POC even ensures the head retention system colors have the same contrasting color as either the straps or the accent color. We’ve only seen this type of attention to detail with the Thousand Heritage helmet so it’s great to see on the high-performance end of the spectrum.
Another unique aspect of the Ventral SPIN, is the SPIN part of the name. POC has integrated their in-house SPIN (Shearing Pad INside) pads technology. As the acronym spells out, instead of traditional foam pads, the Ventral Spin has special gel filled pads that can provide rotational force absorption in an impact. This functions similarly to MIPS, a technology POC was one of the first to integrate to road cycling helmets, but with a more compact design. It also means that the inside of the helmet is unrestricted by any MIPS liners and the helmets ventilation is improved. While we can’t validate if SPIN or even MIPS offer real safety improvements, having the secondary safety feature does bring a sense of peace of mind.
Even though POC has addressed some of the complaints about bulkiness by trimming the Ventral SPIN to be slightly more narrow and less tall, it’s still not as sleek as other aero helmets on the market. The thick foam design means the Ventral SPIN still has the mushroom type appearance and is taller than other aero helmets such as the Bollé Furo MIPS. We also found that the front lip of the helmet sits low as well, causing oversized sunglasses such as the POC AIM and Bollé Chronoshields to rub against the helmet on bumps. Otherwise, the Ventral SPIN is quite comfortable and easy to get dialed in. The head cradle can easily be adjusted via the dial or multiple height levels and doesn’t have any pressure points. We also particularly like the curved buckle and side strap connectors which feel comfortable while keeping the straps flush against your head.
In terms of ventilation, the Ventral SPIN clearly has more vents than your typical aero helmet. The five large front vents and internal channels do a good job of keeping air flowing through the helmet. However, we still found the helmet to be warm especially when climbing on hot days. Compared to a fully ventilated road helmet like the Smith Trace, the Ventral SPIN is on the warmer side.
Overall, we found the POC Ventral SPIN to be a unique and stylish aero helmet. Even though the helmet is still on the bulkier side, the optimized air vents and streamlined shell give it an aerodynamic advantage. The unique color schemes and color matched details such as the straps and head retention system also mean the Ventral SPIN has a clean and euro look that makes it stand out on the road. However, the style and details of the helmet comes with a hefty retail price that puts it at the high-end of the market. Nevertheless, if you’re looking for an aero helmet with minimalist design and unique color schemes the POC Ventral SPIN is a strong contender.
Disclaimer: The product for this review was provided by POC. The views expressed on this website are solely those of the authors and are here to help people make an informed choice before a purchase. The authors or the blog itself does not get any monetary compensation from the product manufacturer or third-party websites/vendor links that are posted here.