Swedish brand to debut new helmet, sunglass system at Vuelta a España
Expanding a partnership that spans the ski and mountain bike markets, POC, a leading manufacturer of helmets, apparel and accessories, pulls the lid off the new Octal AVIP MIPS road cycling helmet this week at the Vuelta a España. The new helmet, available at retail in early 2015, features award-winning MIPS technology, which reduces rotational violence during crashes, resulting in reduced occurrences of concussions.
The new helmet is a MIPS-equipped version of the award-winning Octal. Additionally, POC will debut the new Eye Park, a patent-pending eyewear device that has been developed together with the Garmin-Sharp Pro Cycling team.
The Octal AVIP MIPS is the Swedish-based manufacturer’s first foray into the road cycling market with the MIPS system and represents POC’s eighth helmet utilizing the technology. POC debuted the first-ever MIPS ski and bike helmets, in 2010 and 2011, respectively. MIPS stands for Multi-directional Impact Protection System and was developed by brain surgeons and scientists to help reduce the rotational forces to the brain in the event of an angled impact.
“The aspect of the rotational forces to the brain during a crash is something that has been long neglected in road cycling. The Octal AVIP MIPS represents an important step forward in our growing line of products for road cyclists,” states POC CEO and founder Stefan Ytterborn. “Applying, utilizing and transferring findings and technologies from one discipline to another, promoting POC’s mission of doing the best we can to possibly save lives and reduce the consequences of accidents, is substantially encouraging.”
The Octal AVIP MIPS is based on the same platform as the award-winning Octal helmet and weighs 215 grams (medium). The Octal provides more coverage and additional protection of the temples and back of the head than many road helmets and the EPS liner is strategically thicker in the most exposed areas.
The helmet’s fully wrapped unibody shell construction functions as a monocoque and enhances its safety properties and construction integrity while maintaining a low weight. As a part of the AVIP (Attention Visibility Interaction and Protection) concept, the Octal MIPS will be available in high visibility colors and comes with a reflective sticker kit and an ICE tag, which will provide emergency personnel and first responders with medical information, even if the rider is unconscious following a crash.
“Our partnership with POC gives us a range of helmets to choose from depending on the conditions and situations,” states Slipstream Sports CEO Jonathan Vaughters, whose Garmin-Sharp team was instrumental in the new helmet’s design. “With the Octal AVIP MIPS, we are excited to be the WorldTour team using a helmet with MIPS in a race. As with all POC helmets, it offers a high level of protection without compromising performance.”
The Octal AVIP MIPS will make its debut in the pro peloton during the second stage of the Vuelta a España. In addition to POC’s introduction of the first MIPS-equipped helmet at the top level of professional road cycling, the Swedish brand will also debut the all-new Eye Park.
Utilizing magnets on the helmet and sunglasses, Eye Park allows riders to push the glasses upwards just enough to see the road in low- and variable-light conditions.
“The idea was born at a training camp in Mallorca. I shared a thought I had about using magnets on the helmet and eyewear, to avoid having to take your glasses on and off and put them in pockets or the team car. POC listened and here we are,” states Garmin-Sharp rider Nathan Haas. “Having a responsive sponsor like POC as part of team Garmin-Sharp is so imperative to our performance because their mission to make safer and smarter products isn’t just talk. POC listens, innovates and creates. It’s that simple.
Both the Eye Park and the Octal AVIP MIPS will be presented at the tradeshows this fall and will be available in early 2015.
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Logo courtesy POC