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POC Tectal Helmet

2018 TECTAL_Hydrogen white
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First Ride: POC Tectal Helmet

Review by Nick Zuzelski // Photos by Carl Gray


Building off their previous trail bike lid, POC has released the all new Tectal helmet aimed at the rowdy trail bike crowd. With a good list of features and updated looks, it wasn’t hard to set down our old trusty lid and trade up for some time in the Tectal just in time for this season’s trail rides. Read on to find out how we've been getting along so far.

POC Tectal Highlights

  • Size Adjustment System
  • Adjustable Visor
  • Increased temple and back of head coverage
  • Built in Recco reflector
  • Aramid fiber grid for protection and durability
  • Four color-ways (Uranium Black tested)
  • 17 vents
  • Claimed weight of 340g
  • MSRP: $190 USD


Initial Impressions

After unboxing the helmet we adjusted the visor using the finger screw mounted over the forehead and threw it on our head. The visor has a decent range of adjustability and our preferred set-up ended up being somewhere in the middle.The overall sizing felt true to our tester's measurements with an M/L sized shell. To get the perfect fit, we used the Fit Adjustment System – a small dial located at the back of the helmet that controls the tension of the helmet’s headband. Using this dial, you can either loosen or tighten the headband to your liking. The knurled dial has fairly distinct indexing clicks that help with adjustment. The Tectal also features a very comfortable strap setup that manages the nylon straps around your ear, cheeks and neck. Using plastic “y” pieces, the straps are keeps twist free, flat and very comfortable against the face. For this tester, the Tectal has been the most comfortable half shell helmet to date, mostly thanks to this feature.


On The Trail

The Tectal started out comfy and stayed that way after many miles on the trail. The Fit Adjustment System is easy to use once the helmet is on, and it helps achieve a secure and snug feel – this keeps the helmet very stable on rough trails and when things get rowdy. You can feel the headband evenly tighten 360-degrees around the crown of your head when you turn the wheel. Other helmets we have tested only partially tighten around your head, and you can really tell a difference with the Tectal’s system. The small adjustment wheel and neat, compact design help keep interference with your hydration pack to a minimum, even while your head and neck are tilted back during certain riding positions.


Ventilation is good and we can’t say it feels any hotter than any other helmets we have used during hot summer days. The helmet’s many vents do their job when cruising along on the trail and you get some airflow going. The pads inside attach using Velcro and are easily removed for washing when things get dirty and sweated out. POC has even included an extra set of pads for future replacement.

While preparing to travel with the helmet, we did experience an issue with the visor removal. On our first test sample, the visor hardware was stuck in the helmet’s threaded boss, likely because of a too liberal application of Loctite at assembly. While trying to unscrew the bolt, the threaded boss began to spin inside the helmet and became unremovable. POC promptly sent out a replacement helmet and we did not experience this issue with the new lid. Hopefully the Loctite flow is kept under control in the factory for these visor bolts in the future.


What's The Bottom Line?

The Tectal checks a lot of boxes, which positions this helmet as one of our favorite half shells tested to date as far as fit, comfort and looks go. In the name of safety, the lack of MIPS technology leaves us wondering why POC has forgone this technology on this new helmet - something that seems to be present in many helmets in this price bracket these days. At $190, the Tectal comes in fairly pricey for a non-MIPS lid, which arguably could be a deciding point depending on your personal opinion of this new technology. This helmet loses a little ground here in our overall rating because of this value to feature ratio. Regardless, the Tectal helmet still comes out with a great list of features that make for a helmet we don’t mind wearing all day on the trail.

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Nick Zuzelski began riding motocross at a young age, a sport that would eventually lead him to the world of downhill. As a Colorado native, racing downhill, dual slalom, or a chill dirt jump session was never far away, and he eventually worked his way up the ranks to the Pro level. Now residing in Eastern Pennsylvania, he recently changed it up from the Rocky Mountain dust to East Coast loam, world class dirt jumps, and rocks... lots of rocks. If a trail has fast flow and some fun gaps, he is grinning ear to ear and getting after it. Living by the assumption that basically everything feels better with a short stem and wide bars, you can count on him keeping it real with a laid back attitude and flat pedals most of the time. Mechanical Engineer by trade, rider by heart, he enjoys riding it, finding out how it works, and making it better.


Product POC Tectal Helmet
Riding Type Cross Country, Trail
Rider Unisex
Number of Vents 17
Construction Unibody shell, EPS liner, outer PC shell
Adjustable Padding Yes
Certification EN 1078, CPSC 12.03, AS/NZ 2063:2008
Bag No
Size XS/S, M/L, XL/XXL
Colors Hydrogen White, Uranium Black, Unobtanium Yellow, Adamant Orange, Thaum Red, Reson Blue, Harf Green
Weight 0 lb 12 oz (340 g)
Miscellaneous Aramid fiber grid for protection and durability
Size adjustment system
Adjustable visor
Recco reflector
Matte finish on all colors
Price $190
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