Enduro Full Face Review
POC Coron Air Spin Helmet
In case the name is new to you, POC is a Swedish company that aims to reduce crash related injuries in action sports. The Coron Air SPIN is POC's full face helmet targeted at the enduro market. The intent is for a highly breathable and cool full face that you could wear all-day, even on long pedally transfer stages. The Coron comes in three sizes; XS - S, M - L and XL - XXL, and in four colours: hydrogen white, uranium black, sulphite yellow and septane green / zink orange. Interesting colour names, which begs the question is solid hydrogen white?
- Certified for downhill and enduro use
- Fibreglass shell construction
- Integrated with patent pending SPIN (Shearing Pad Inside) pads
- Emergency removable cheek pads for added security in the case of a head or neck injury
- Ear chambers designed to support improved balance and hearing
- Multi-impact EPP liner
- All internal padding can be removed for washing
- XS-S: 1120g
- M-L: 1170g
- XL-XXL: 1240g
The main technological feature in the POC Coron is their SPIN (Shearing Pad INside) technology. This is POC's version of MIPS, which uses a patent-pending silicone pad system. I think the idea here is that the pads are a bit like Jell-O; in the event of a crash with severe rotation the pads themselves shear and slip allowing the helmet to rotate independently of your head in any direction, reducing torque transmission. I didn't crash in the Coron, and I couldn't find much data on the difference between SPIN and MIPS, but the helmet pads seem to slip easily inside the helmet foam. The upside of SPIN vs. MIPS for me was how secure the Coron Air felt on my head. Some of the MIPS helmets can feel a bit jiggly, whereas the Coron feel snug and planted.
POC claims the Coron has specially formed ear chambers that are designed to minimize the negative effect on balance and hearing associated with wearing a full-face helmet. This might be a bit of a stretch. I can't say I noticed any improvement in balance or hearing, but the fit was comfortable with ample ear clearance. This could be useful for mounting speakers inside the helmet if that's your thing.
The Coron shell seems to be ventilated intelligently with good entrance and exit ports for air flow and the chin bar space in front of the mouth is generous. One would think that all those features combined for a goofy looking helmet, but I really like the look of the Coron Air. The white of the test unit looks a little "rental bike" but I've grown to appreciate it, as well as the other colour ways available.
Riding in the Coron Air is comfortable. For my head, the fit of the medium is excellent. There is good contact around the head, without compromising air flow. You almost feel the wind in your hair as you pick up speed. The pads inside are on the slimmer side for a good fit, and they do an adequate job of soaking up sweat.
The only issue I had with the Coron Air was after a minor drop of the helmet onto the floor in my bike room. The helmet is rated for multiple impacts, but this fairly minor impact resulted in some cracking of the paint on the shell. It's a small niggle I know, but other helmets I've owned have held up a bit better under similar circumstances. The foam inside is still secure, and the paint cracks seem mostly cosmetic. The other thing I've noticed, which could be a function of SPIN technology, is that the head can move forward inside the helmet a little more easily than some other full face helmets I've worn. The concern here would be in a chin bar first impact, the mouth could possibly hit the chin bar a little more easily. Then again the chin bar is generously spaced away from the face, so this may not prove to be an issue.
Overall I found the Coron Air very comfortable to wear. The fit was excellent, and for a full face helmet I thought the ventilation was excellent too. Protection wise I felt comfortable wearing the Coron in the bike park and I like the styling and the bold and simple graphics.
While it was great for descending, I'm a sweaty bastard climbing so I don't think I could do a long hot day pedaling around in the Coron comfortably. For enduro racing I'll probably stick to a good convertible helmet where I can maximize ventilation. If you are a little less sweaty, the Coron is a great lightweight full face helmet with excellent protection and ventilation in a reasonable weight package. Popping the cheek pads out on long climbs makes the Coron even more comfortable. Pricing seems reasonable at $325 CDN making the Coron worth a serious look.