POC Unveils Octal AVIP MIPS Helmet

Reviews & Tech

08/22/2014| 0 comments
by Mark Watson
POC Octal AVIP MIPS bike helmet with Eye Park for sunglasses RoadCycling.com

POC Unveils Octal AVIP MIPS Helmet

Swedish company POC has announced it will unveil its new Octal AVIP MIPS road cycling helmet and what it has coined the Eye Park at the Vuelta a España 2014. Noteworthingly, the new helmet features the Multi-directional Impact Protection System, which adds additional brain protection in accidents. The POC Eye Park eyewear device has been developed jointly with Team Garmin-Sharp cyclists.

The POC Octal AVIP MIPS road cycling helmet features the integrated MIPS system. 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 during crashes, thereby helping to reduce the severity and effects of concussions, which may lead to severe and permanent brain damage.

In 2010, POC, which has since been acquired by American company Black Diamond Inc. (Symbol: BDE), was the first helmet manufacturer to introduce a helmet with MIPS - The Receptor Backcountry MIPS. Today, POC is referring to MIPS as being a well-known and recognized helmet safety technology and for 2015, the new Octal AVIP MIPS will be one of eight helmets from POC featuring the award-winning system.

"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," explained POC 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 award-winning POC Octal helmet, which has been used by Team Garmin-Sharp this season, but has been further developed and equipped with MIPS and weighs 215 grams. Because of its characteristic design, Octal provides more coverage and additional protection for the temples and back of the head and the EPS liner is also strategically thicker in the most exposed areas.

Contrary to bike helmets from competing brands such as Giro, Bell and Specialized, the POC Octal AVIP MIPS road cycling helmet includes an ICEdot Crash Sensor dock. When paired with the ICEdot app on a smartphone, the system is able to detect motion, changes in forces and impacts. In the event of critical forces, the ICEdot device triggers the app to sound an alarm and initiate an emergency countdown. Unless the countdown clock is stopped, the app will then notify your emergency contacts and send GPS coordinates of the incident so that appropriate follow up actions can be taken.

As a part of POC's acclaimed AVIP (Attention Visibility Interaction and Protection) concept, the Octal MIPS helmet will be available in high visibility colors and comes with a reflective sticker kit for additional safety.

The Octal AVIP MIPS has been developed in collaboration with the Garmin-Sharp cycling team that is owned by Slipstream Sports. When asked to comment on POC's latest helmet announcement, Slipstream Sports CEO and former professional cyclist Jonathan Vaughters told Roadcycling.com "Our partnership with POC gives us a range of helmets to choose from depending on the conditions and situations. With the Octal AVIP MIPS, we are excited to be the first pro tour team using a helmet with MIPS in a race."

The Octal AVIP MIPS will make its debut in the professional road cycling peloton with Team Garmin-Sharp on August 24, during stage 2 of La Vuelta a España 2014.

In addition to the introduction of the first MIPS-equipped helmet at the top level of professional road cycling, POC is also going to unveil what it has named the Eye Park, which has been developed together with the Garmin-Sharp team. Utilizing magnets on the helmet and POC's sunglasses, Eye Park allows cyclists to push the sunglasses upwards just enough to see the road clearly in low- and variable-light conditions, but without having to fold the glasses at high speed to store them in rear pockets.

"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," explained Team Garmin-Sharp rider Nathan Haas.

According to 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 listen, innovate and create. It's that simple."

Both the Eye Park and the Octal AVIP MIPS bike helmet will be presented at the Eurobike and Interbike tradeshows this fall and will be available in bike shops in early 2015.

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