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FOLLOW-UP REVIEW

POC Axion Spin and Tectal Race Spin - Long Term Follow-Up

Words Dave Tolnai
Photos Dave Tolnai
Date Nov 19, 2020
Reading time

It was nearly a year ago that I reviewed two helmets from POC - the Tectal Race Spin and the Axion Spin, which you can see here if you're wanting all the details.

To summarize:

Tectal Race Spin - Great helmet, great fit, slightly slippery straps.

Axion Spin - Same great fit, held back by what I thought might have been a pre-production problem with the fit gizmo.

I had spent a few months with each helmet when I wrote that review. Both have hung around (for different reasons), and it seemed like it was worth writing a brief follow-up.

POC Tectal Race Spin

This helmet has been on my head for at least 90% of all bike rides I've completed in the last year. It's a great bloody helmet. All of the positive attributes remain, and the biggest issue I had (slippery straps) feels like a total non issue. I still feel really positively about this helmet and (high praise coming) I no longer feel the need to look for new helmets when I snoop around Cam's room full of bike stuff. There's just no need.

The helmet has a tonne of mileage, and a few weeks back the spin pads started to fall apart. It isn't unusual for pads to give out, especially after this amount of use, but it left me feeling disappointed that I might have to start auditioning other helmets. But then, with a bit of research, I discovered that POC has a pretty great parts supply available from their website. New spin pads for 35 CAD! Which, of course they should, but still, it's really fantastic that Poc makes these, and other, parts easily available to extend your investment in a 240 CAD helmet. The new pads showed up, plugged right in, and hopefully I now have (at least) another year of trouble-free use ahead of me.

POC Axion Spin

While the Tectal Race hung around because I used it all the time, the Axion hung around because it was a nearly brand new helmet with one glaring issue. But, since I was poking around for new POC parts, I thought I would see if I could fix the problem I had with the Axion spin. Buried in the fit gizmo was a tiny little black star wheel that seemed to be the root cause of my challenges. It seemed to not be sized correctly to engage with the outer housing, and therefore wouldn't stay put. In reading some later reviews of the helmet, my suspicions were confirmed that this was only a problem with my sample helmet, not the later production models. Well, more good news from POC, they'll sell you the whole adjustment system for $15! So I ordered up one of them, too.

When it showed up, it was pretty easy to pop the old fit system out, and pop a new one in. I also decided to see if I could make the old one work by cannibalizing the new one for the parts that I needed, and just by swapping in the new star wheel, everything worked fine. A new helmet for 15 bucks!

So, all of my caveats from my original Axion review have been solved. This is a great helmet with most of the features of the Tectal Race but for $70 less. Once you're riding, you'd be hard pressed to feel a difference between the two. The visor is a little bit cheaper, and there is no goggle strap, but beyond that, they're more similar than different.

Conclusions

I still really like these helmets. The readily available spare parts make them that much better and go a ways towards justifying their premium price tags. All helmet companies should do this. Troy Lee Designs has a similar assortment of stuff available, but it seems like most other major helmet companies don't (or least don't advertise the fact or make it easy). It's somewhat crazy that a manufacturer offering easily accessible spare parts to keep things rolling along is a feature to get excited about, but here we are. I've spent enough time riding in helmets with partially de-laminated pads to think that I can't possibly be the only person that feels the same way.

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Comments

Vikb
+4 Metacomet Pete Roggeman Velocipedestrian pdxkid
Vik Banerjee  - Nov. 19, 2020, 5:42 a.m.

I love it when you can buy spares for $$$ gear for a reasonable time after the purchasing the item. Good job POC.

Reply

metacomet
+2 Pete Roggeman pdxkid
Metacomet  - Nov. 19, 2020, 6:24 a.m.

Long Term Follow-up reviews rock.  It is something So simple, but easily offers the most value to the reader/user (kind of like readily available replacement parts).

Reply

brad-sedola
+1 mrbrett
Brad Sedola  - Nov. 19, 2020, 11:26 a.m.

POC was great with me. I had a little tear in the MIPs liner of my Trabec back in the day. They sent me a whole new helmet because they revised the design. Granted that was before their last buy out, but it sounds like their customer service is still stellar. Moves like that get customers for life.

Reply

mrbrett
+1 DanL
mrbrett  - Nov. 19, 2020, 2:13 p.m.

I wanted to share a similar experience with POC. I had some pads delaminating, and the customer service rep responded to my "where can I buy more pads?" with "give me your address, and they're in the mail."

10/10, would buy POC again. Good stuff.

Reply

DanL
0
DanL  - Nov. 20, 2020, 9:38 a.m.

Same with Dakine - it's this that keeps me with those companies - great to hear it from POC as you can see where the money is at all times

Reply

jwellford
0
jwellford  - Nov. 19, 2020, 4:27 p.m.

Glad to read this: I got a Tectal Race Spin a couple weeks ago and have been liking it a lot. Funny enough, I too found POCs parts and ordered new pads already because the only thing I don’t like about the helmet is how much moisture the pads hold on to, which is fine when riding but a bummer when you have to put your helmet back on after a break and it’s cold outside. I’ll bring the second set with me on long days when I can swap pads out at the car. Also nice that I can toss the pads in the laundry and not worry about having them ready for tomorrow’s ride.

Reply

Kenny
0
Kenny  - Nov. 19, 2020, 6:56 p.m.

Yeah been wearing a tectal spin race for just over a year and it's awesome. 

Would love to see POC come out with a lightweight full face.

Reply

RatherBeRiding1
0
Alan Taylor  - Nov. 21, 2020, 12:56 p.m.

My trs beck race, prior to the Tectal Spin, fit great, never needed the spare liner pads and fit really well. The reasons I bought the Tectal. The Tectal does not fit well, is really noisy when traveling down the trail, and did not come with spare pads and they failed. Not a POC fan anymore. Was a fairly expensive helmet that is at the bottom of my closet.

Reply

davetolnai
0
Dave Tolnai  - Nov. 25, 2020, 4:01 p.m.

Ya, the key to any helmet is good fit.  If it doesn't fit you, doesn't matter how fancy the helmet is.  Curious by what you mean by "noisy travelling down the trail"?  Like...it bounces around?  I certainly haven't noticed anything with mine.

Reply

Kenny
0
Kenny  - Nov. 25, 2020, 7:07 p.m.

Yeah, interesting

Mine fits awesome and part of why I like it so much is because it is so quiet compared to helmets with MIPS liners.

Reply

mitch-mason
0
Mitch Mason  - Nov. 24, 2020, 11:54 p.m.

Had a similar problem with a bell Super DH(pads/liner started delaminating). My LBS said they couldn’t get a new padding/Liner. So my $400 super DH was essentially useless. I kept riding it and eventually smashed my head into the ground and replaced the whole helmet but I do wish I could have bought new pad/liner. Maybe I wouldn’t have crashed if the liner was still in tact.

Reply

davetolnai
0
Dave Tolnai  - Nov. 25, 2020, 4 p.m.

It's crazy that we've been trained to accept such crappy parts support for so long.  I didn't even think to look for small parts.  The Poc rep pointed me at it!  Same with bike small parts.  For how long was it a struggle to find bearing kits and all of that?  Now, companies are finally catching on and making these things easily available.  I think it's a huge selling point.

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