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POC Ventral SPIN Review: The Best Road Bike Helmets of 2020 – Cycling Helmet Reviews

Best Road Bike Helmet of 2020 for Serious Racers

  • Comfort, Fit, and Adjustability 100% 100%
  • Weight 70% 70%
  • Ventilation 90% 90%
  • Aerodynamics 100% 100%
  • Safety Tech and Additional Features 100% 100%

Price$289.95

Weight: 280g

Vents: 14

Fit System: Proprietary 360 Degree Retention System

Safety Tech: SPIN

What We Like: Unparalleled Combination of Weight, Safety, Ventilation, and Aerodynamics

What We Don’t: Price

We have been highly impressed with just about every piece of POC gear to come through the doors here at Gearhacker. POC is well known for pushing the envelope when it comes to innovation in safety technology for cyclists, and the POC Ventral Spin road bike helmet is a perfect example of this. The Ventral Spin is POC’s attempt to make a full-on aero helmet into something that you would want to ride with every day, and we have to say that this helmet lives up to its lofty aspirations.

The POC Ventral Spin is also available in the Ventral Air Spin Variant. This helmet aims to keep all that is great about the POC Ventral Spin and add a bit of extra ventilation.

Compare to Similar Products

See Our The Best Road Bike Helmets of 2020: Cycling Helmet Review!

POC Ventral SPIN

  • Comfort, Fit, and Adjustability 100% 100%
  • Weight 70% 70%
  • Ventilation 90% 90%
  • Aerodynamics 100% 100%
  • Safety Tech and Additional Features 100% 100%

Pros

Unparalleled Combination of Weight

Safety

Ventilation

Cons

Price

Weight: 280g

Vents: 14

Fit System: Proprietary 360 Degree Retention System

Safety Tech: SPIN

Giro Synthe MIPS

  • Comfort, Fit, and Adjustability 100% 100%
  • Weight 70% 70%
  • Ventilation 80% 80%
  • Aerodynamics 90% 90%
  • Safety Tech and Additional Features 90% 90%

Pros

Highly Adjustable

Well Ventilated

Aerodynamic

Great Sale Prices

Cons

MSRP is Nearly as Expensive as the POC Ventral Spin

Weight: 268g

Vents: 26

Fit System: Roc Loc 5 Air

Safety Tech: MIPS

Lazer Z-1 MIPS

  • Comfort, Fit, and Adjustability 90% 90%
  • Weight 60% 60%
  • Ventilation 100% 100%
  • Aerodynamics 60% 60%
  • Safety Tech and Additional Features 90% 90%

Pros

MIPS

T Pro

Highly Adjustable

Magneto Eyewear Doc

Cons

Heavy

High MSRP

Weight: 284g

Vents: 31

Fit System: ARS Advanced Rollsys System

Safety Tech: MIPS, T Pro

Giro Aether MIPS

  • Comfort, Fit, and Adjustability 100% 100%
  • Weight 70% 70%
  • Ventilation 80% 80%
  • Aerodynamics 90% 90%
  • Safety Tech and Additional Features 100% 100%

Pros

MIPS Spherical

Roc Loc 5+ Air Fit Retention System

Cons

Staggering Price Tag

Weight: 267g

Vents: 11

Fit System: Roc Loc 5+ Air

Safety Tech: MIPS Spherical

Smith Trace MIPS

  • Comfort, Fit, and Adjustability 90% 90%
  • Weight 70% 70%
  • Ventilation 60% 60%
  • Aerodynamics 90% 90%
  • Safety Tech and Additional Features 100% 100%

Pros

Top of the Line Safety Features

Improved Ventilation Over Smith Overtake

Cons

Still Not the Best Ventilation

Price

Weight: 280g

Vents: 18

Fit System: VaporFit

Safety Tech: MIPS, Koroyd

Giro Foray MIPS

  • Comfort, Fit, and Adjustability 80% 80%
  • Weight 60% 60%
  • Ventilation 70% 70%
  • Aerodynamics 80% 80%
  • Safety Tech and Additional Features 80% 80%

Pros

Premium Features at a Budget Price

Cons

Doesn’t Vent or Fit Quite Like the Giro Synthe

Weight: 298g

Vents: 21

Fit System: Roc Loc 5

Safety Tech: MIPS

Bell Stratus MIPS

  • Comfort, Fit, and Adjustability 80% 80%
  • Weight 60% 60%
  • Ventilation 70% 70%
  • Aerodynamics 70% 70%
  • Safety Tech and Additional Features 70% 70%

Pros

Premium Features in a Mid Priced Helmet

Cons

Lacks Some of the Safety Features of the Bell Z20 MIPS

Weight: 296g

Vents: 18

Fit System: Float Fit

Safety Tech: MIPS

Kask Valegro

  • Comfort, Fit, and Adjustability 80% 80%
  • Weight 90% 90%
  • Ventilation 100% 100%
  • Aerodynamics 70% 70%
  • Safety Tech and Additional Features 50% 50%

Pros

Lightweight

Great Ventilation

Cons

No MIPS

Issues With Octo Fit Retention System

Weight: 234g

Vents: 37

Fit System: Octo Fit

Safety Tech: In Molding, MIT

Kask Protone

  • Comfort, Fit, and Adjustability 80% 80%
  • Weight 80% 80%
  • Ventilation 70% 70%
  • Aerodynamics 90% 90%
  • Safety Tech and Additional Features 50% 50%

Pros

Highly Adjustable

Aerodynamic

Cons

No MIPS

Falls Short of the Giro Synthe’s Adjustability and Ventilation

Weight: 248g

Vents: 20

Fit System: Octo Fit

Safety Tech: In Molding, MIT

Bell Z20 MIPS

  • Comfort, Fit, and Adjustability 90% 90%
  • Weight 50% 50%
  • Ventilation 80% 80%
  • Aerodynamics 70% 70%
  • Safety Tech and Additional Features 80% 80%

Pros

Float Fit Race Retention System

Ventilation

Cons

Weight

Nowhere to Stash Sunglasses

Weight: 305g

Vents: 18

Fit System: Float Fit Race 

Safety Tech: MIPS

Kask Mojito X

  • Comfort, Fit, and Adjustability 70% 70%
  • Weight 100% 100%
  • Ventilation 60% 60%
  • Aerodynamics 60% 60%
  • Safety Tech and Additional Features 50% 50%

Pros

Solid Performer in Every Category

Cons

Doesn’t Vent or Fit Quite Like the Giro Synthe

Weight: 220g

Vents: 26

Fit System: Up & Down Fit System

Safety Tech: MIT, In Molding

Comfort, Fit, and Adjustability

The POC Ventral Spin road helmet uses a lightweight retention system that wraps around the entirety of the head, rather than attaching to the temples. Like the Roc Loc Air fit system on the Giro Synthe, this makes for a highly adjustable helmet that will be extremely comfortable for almost all head shapes.

The POC Ventral Spin does not have any vertical or fore/aft adjustment. Instead, this is handled by putting the helmet on with the adjustment open, settling the helmet where you want it on your head, and then using the 360-degree fit system controlled by the large rear dial to hold it perfectly in that place.

While it might seem like a minor aside, POC helmets are known for having some of the nicest straps around, and the POC Ventral Spin lives up to this reputation. The large, Y shaped ear straps are not only comfortable but also feature three-way adjustability to make sure that they sit flush and comfortably against your face, keeping in line with the helmets aerodynamic theme.

Finally, the padding that makes up the SPIN system itself, which we will cover in the safety section, is also quite comfortable.

Weight

Could a helmet really be comfortable, aerodynamic, well ventilated, and lightweight? More or less, yes. The POC Ventral SPIN weighs in at only 280g, which is quite impressive considering all of the other boxes that it checks.

Ventilation

Historically, there have been aerodynamic cycling helmets and well-ventilated cycling helmets, but rarely if ever has there been a truly well ventilated aerodynamic cycling helmet. However, the POC Ventral Spin set out to rewrite this narrative and appears to have done so. Aero helmets of old focused on moving air around the helmet and off the back of it as efficiently as possible, thus the large, smooth, teardrop-shaped time trial helmets that had virtually no ventilation.

With the Ventral Spin, POC has taken a different approach. Rather than move air around the helmet as efficiently as possible, the Ventral Spin is designed to move air through the helmet as efficiently as possible. Naturally, this makes for a helmet with much better ventilation than aero helmets of old. Behind each large vent in the front of the helmet is an air channel ushering air across your head before being ushered out of large exhaust ports in the rear.

If there is a downside here, it is that the POC Ventral’s ventilation only really shines while moving, and it can get warmer than some of the coolest helmets on long hot climbs. At speed, however, the POC Ventral is just about as cool as any helmet in our review.

Safety Tech and Additional Features

Rather than MIPS, POC uses its own proprietary SPIN technology to help absorb rotational impacts. SPIN, which stands for Sheering Pad Inside, refers to the actual pads within the helmet. These SPIN pads are filled with silicone gel, which allows them to move and twist when external forces are exerted upon the helmet. This achieves the same effect as a MIPS liner, but without introducing a foreign object between the helmet’s shell and pads. It also alleviates the issue of feeling and hearing the helmet bounce around on the MIPS liner, which is a frequent issue with MIPS helmets.

The POC Ventral Spin also covers more of your head than most road helmets, which also earns it a few extra points in our book.

Finally, two of the front vents have a rubberized coating to help hold sunglasses in place should you wish to store them on your helmet for long climbs.

Aerodynamics

Admittedly, we do not have a wind tunnel at our disposal to test the POC Ventral Spin’s aerodynamics. However, we more or less buy the explanation that POC gives for the helmet’s design. The helmet was made according to the Venturi Effect. Essentially, for our purposes, this just means that a smaller object will create less drag than a larger object. So, rather than direct airflow around the helmet (a larger object), the POC Ventral Spin directs airflow through the helmet and around your head (a smaller object). This is done via large front ports which are backed up by air channels that lead the air to large exhaust ports. 

Meanwhile, the outside of the helmet is extremely smooth, helping direct air that does flow around the helmet to the back, where great pains have been taken to release this air with the least amount of turbulence possible, thus creating the least possible amount of drag. We are also fans of the smooth outer shell because it will be less likely to grab the road in the event of a crash, which can whip your neck and head.

The Bottom Line

The POC Ventral Spin is another innovative helmet from POC with high ambitions that blew us away. All in all, we think the POC Ventral Race Spin is the best all-around road bike helmet on the market for serious racers. We put the qualifier, “for serious racers” because there had to be a downside, and that downside is price. The POC Ventral Spin retails for $290 and because it is so new, it is difficult to find below this price. A better value can be found in the Giro Synthe, but for racers who want the best and aren’t afraid of breaking the bank, the POC Ventral Spin is our top pick.

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