POC has just released the Otocon range, featuring two full-face helmets designed for enduro riders. The brand's goal with the Otocon was to create a helmet that's lightweight, well-ventilated, and packed with advanced safety features. They worked closely with the Ibis Cycles Enduro Factory racing team to develop these helmets, and the team will be using them in the upcoming Enduro World Series this season.
Safety is a top priority for POC, and they claim that the Otocon Race MIPS embodies their 'Whole Helmet Concept'. This concept combines digital and structural safety features to provide protection during and after an impact.
The Otocon Race MIPS features two different liner materials for optimal function and protection. The upper zone uses EPS foam, while the lower zone is made from EPP. POC enhances the transition between EPP and EPS with an injection-moulded cage for extra strength and stability.
Aramid bridges, which are thin finger-like portions of strong woven material, are molded into the helmet liner. POC explains that these bridges are intended to improve structural stability and protection against penetration.
POC designed the peak of the Otocon Race MIPS to break away from the helmet in case of a fall or impact, providing better protection for the neck. POC states that it's easy to reattach after such an incident.
Additionally, the helmet includes a 'bad weather peak,' inspired by input from the Ibis Enduro team. This is an extra clip-on extension created for use in adverse weather conditions. Its purpose is to improve riders' visibility by helping to shield against mud and rain.
The Otocon Race MIPS comes with MIPS Integra, a system that was first introduced in POC's Kortal Race MIPS mountain bike helmet in 2021. MIPS is a system designed to lessen the rotational forces on the brain during an impact.
The Integra version was created in collaboration with MIPS and is notably slimmer because the low-friction layer is molded inside the energy-absorbing layer of the helmet. According to POC, this results in a package that is "almost invisible."
POC is gradually moving away from its in-house SPIN (Shearing Pads INside) technology and adopting MIPS following their formal partnership announcement in 2019.
In addition to safety features, POC has added some smart elements to the Otocon. One of these is the NFC Medical ID, which enhances user safety by storing a rider's medical information and emergency contacts in the helmet. This allows quick access for fellow riders, medical teams, and first responders.
The Otocon also includes a Recco reflector, designed to aid rescue services in easily locating you in case of an emergency, as long as they are equipped with the compatible technology.
POC mentions that the Otocon's ventilation channels take inspiration from their road helmet line, ensuring free and maximum airflow. The helmet includes removable cheek pads, offering additional ventilation when needed, like during breaks between enduro race stages. POC highlights that the helmet can be used without pads and still stay secure.
Additionally, there's a removable grille in the chinpiece to shield against mud and trail elements. This grille can also be taken off to enhance ventilation.
POC focused on keeping the Otocon lightweight. They used a polycarbonate outer-shell construction, aiming to achieve a balance between being lightweight and durable. In comparison to the Giro Switchblade MIPS (975g in size medium) and the Bell Super DH MIPS (850g in size medium), the Otocon stands out as significantly lighter, offering a notable weight savings.
POC emphasizes a strong focus on fit with the Otocon. They introduced the Race-Lock, an integrated fit-adjustment system inspired by their skiing helmets. The adjuster at the back of the helmet provides a 360-degree fit.
According to POC, the Race-Lock's design ensures it won't interfere with a rider's neck, allowing for the wider range of movement required in enduro and gravity riding. This means you can move your head more before the fit adjuster touches your neck.