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POC introduced a few new products at Crankworx 2011, including a fresh version of the Trabec Race Helmet. What makes the new Trabec lid special is that it features the Multi-Directional Impact Protection System (MIPS) found in their line of Cortex DH helmets.

2012 POC Trabec Race Helmet with MIPS Technology

For those that aren't familiar with MIPS technology, here's a rundown from POC: "In a helmet with MIPS technology the shell and the liner are separated by a low friction layer. When a helmet with MIPS technology is subjected to an oblique impact, the low friction layer allows a small rotation of the shell relative to the liner. Experimental tests have shown a significant reduction of the forces to the brain.

MIPS System Test Results

Accident statistics show that the most common accident occurs in an oblique impact to the head, resulting in a rotation of the head and brain.

The brain is more sensitive to oblique impacts than radial impacts. However, the helmets are dropped vertically onto the impact surface, according to the helmet test regulations, resulting in a radial force to the head. This is why helmets today have good protective properties for vertical impacts while the protection is not optimized for oblique impacts."

MIPS Protection System - More Mountain Bike Videos

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The following images show how the MIPS technology is integrated into the Trabec helmet:

Several plastic tabs hold the yellow MIPS liner in place, while still allowing a small amount of rotation  relative to the outer shell.

Here, the MIPS liner has been removed. Note that helmet straps are attached to the outer shell.
Padding and an adjustable fit system are attached to the MIPS liner. To ensure the helmet doesn't rattle, outside dimensions of the liner are very, very similar to the inner dimensions of the outer shell (combined with the tabs that hold everything in place, of course).
The Trabec helmet featuring MIPS will retail for $200.

Also new for 2012 is an entirely reengineered line of Visco-Elastic Polymer Dough (VPD) pads. The VPD padding has been improved so much that POC has actually progressed the technology to a VPD 2.0 designation. The material is highly dampening, using a modified polyurethane foam that is soft, comfortable, and adapts to create an individual fit for each user. However, when exposed to impact, the material stiffens to absorb energy.

The major improvement over the original VPD is 30% better energy absorption - the rate at which air molecules are transferred within the padding. Slower energy transfer equates to less soft tissue damage.

Introducing VPD 2.0, which we pulled from set of knee pads. VPD 2.0 padding features holes for venting, making them much more breathable compared to the original VPD pads.
Edges of the VPD 2.0 pads are tapered for better articulation, and pads are lower profile than the previous models.
VPD 2.0 will be available in elbow, knee, long knee, and shin pad options (not shown).
Also available is a new VPD 2.0 jacket, which features padding on the shoulders, elbows, chest, and spine. Note that the chest and left shoulder pads had been pulled from the jacket when we took this picture, which raises another good point - all of this stuff is washable.
All items shown here are expected to be available Spring, 2012.

Retail pricing for the VPD 2.0 line of pads:
  • Knee - $120  
  • Long Knee - $130  
  • Elbow - $110  
  • Shin - $90  
  • Jacket - $300  
  • Hip Shorts - $100  
To see more of POC's bike products, cruise over to and view the 'Wheels' collection.
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bturman bturman 8/17/2011 12:11 PM

4 comments newest first

Expensive-worth while...ugly-good looking... Who cares about any of that. We should be very very grateful that there are companies working hard to further protection quality for mtn bikers. Ever since body armor fell out of line with what is considered fashionable there has been a big gap to fill for those that don't want to sacrifice form for function. Kudos to POC and Dainese and Troy Lee and all the other progressive companies out there for making our sport better.

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to each their own. poc actually stands for 'piece of cake'

they are HUGE in the ski industry and I'm seeing more and more of their helmets and pads on bikers. they seem to be onto something.

mips is pretty interesting, especially since no one else uses that technology. makes sense to me and the test results are positive. hmm...

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