Consider the bar for raised for safety in mountain bike helmets with the Kortal MIPS Race. The new POC helmet, which is arguably the safest mountain bike helmet made, is for trail and enduro riders who push their limits.
The big innovation is MIPS Integra, a new invisible, in-molded update of Mips. Silicone-filled pads (similar to those POC used in its SPIN system) slide on a low-friction layer built into the helmet’s EPS foam, reducing rotational forces on your brain in a crash. The in-molded layer lets helmet pads move in any direction on impact and the new design eliminates Mips signature yellow plastic layer that was uncomfortable, pulled hair, and also restricted helmet vent design.
But that’s not the only “new” in the Kortal Race MIPS. The helmet’s visor, which can be raised high enough to perch goggles on the brim of the helmet beneath, snaps off if it’s hyperextended, lessening the chance of neck injury. Aramid bridges between the helmet’s oversized vents keep it from disintegrating on impact. The helmet exponentially surpasses standard bicycle safety standards. A RECCO reflector inside the helmet helps rescuers find you in the backcountry. And if you have a crash bad enough that you can’t speak for yourself, rescuers can access your medical information, name, birthdate, emergency contact, and more through a scannable chip.
After two weeks of testing, we can also confirm that the helmet is the most comfortable mountain bike helmet POC has ever made. Eight vents in the front, three on top, and five oversized exhaust ports in the rear kept my head cool. And the in-molded Mips system synced seamlessly with POC’s helmet harness. Gone are the days of my POC helmet riding forward and rattling around on a rocky downhill. The Kortal Mips stayed planted in place, and was so free of rattle, it felt like it had suspension. [$250, na.pocsports.com]
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