Just over 4 years ago, POC was a relatively unknown name in the world of mountain biking. After tweaking a downhill skiing helmet for downhill mountain biking, POC began a fairly meteoric rise to the forefront of mountain – and now road clothing and protection. The big news recently was their entry into the completely different world of road biking with the AVIP line and Octal helmet. Still decidedly Swedish in their design, the brains at POC set out to incorporate four things into the road line – Attention, Visibility, Interaction, and Protection, all while offering high-performance gear worthy of the pro tour.
Check out the full AVIP road clothing line, the new Octal Aero, and new products for the dirt as well, next!
When we brought to you the launch of the new POC Octal helmet from Aspen, the Aero version of the Octal wasn’t quite ready for its photo debut. These are still early prototypes, but they get the point across.
Essentially the body of the Octal with a fully wrapped unibody aero shell, the Octal Aero uses the shell as a monocoque to offer the neccesary safety while keeping the wight as low as possible (215g). Since the helmet is basically just the standard Octal with an aerodynamic advantage, it should be every bit as good as the Octal – which is currently the favorite helmet in my garage. The fact that the shell is built in means if POC were to sponsor a pro tour team, they would be able to use the Octal Aero per UCI regulations. In addition to the orange, the helmet is available in Hellium White and a color called Garminum Blue…
In addition to the Octal helmet, the AVIP line includes a nearly full line of clothing built to be a layering system. Considering it is their first attempt at road kit, the products appear to be pretty impressive based on looks alone. Ride tests will come soon enough.
Jerseys come in 3 flavors – the Essential Jersey SS, Essential WO Jersey SS, and the Essential Jersey LS. Each jersey whether long sleeve or short sleeve is made from 4 way stretch fabric, with mesh underarms for breathability, and glued/seamless cuffs for comfort. The back of the jerseys offer a 3 pocket design with a specifically crafted My Info pocket – something that carries through the line. My Info pockets are a labeled pocket for storage of your personal information and cell phone in a clearly labeled pocket that is easy for first responders to find, should you ever need it (hopefully not).
At the bottom left is the Essential Spring Jacket – think of it as a heavier long sleeve jersey with a windproof front and brushed inner fabric for warmth. The Spring Jacket also offers three pockets along with the My Info pocket.
Offered in men’s and women’s the Essential Bib shorts offer unique seamless chamois for each sex with triple density foam in 4-12mm heights to provide proper support to the Ischial and Perineal regions. The shorts themselves are built from a warp knitted stretch fabric for compression and comfortable grippers on the leg. Like all the logos in the AVIP line, they and the tabs on the side of the shorts are reflective for more visibility.
If it’s windy or chilly but not pouring rain, the Essential LT. Wind Vest and Jacket offer shelter from the elements in an extremely light package (57g and 78g). Each are breathable and DWR treated for 500mm water resistance and have mesh underarms for breathability. Each piece is see through to let your team colors show through, but the jacket offers fluorescent orange wrists for additional visibility. There is also an Essential Wind Vest made from 4 way stretch fabric for days where the additional warmth will be needed.
When it’s really wet, don the Essential rain jacket which uses a 3 layer laminated, DWR treated fabric with fully taped seams, waterproof zippers, and velcro wrist closures for breathable waterprooting at 10,000mm. The armpits feature laser cut ventilation holes for extra venting and the back also features a zip My Info pocket at the back. No complaining about black jackets here – the Essential rain jacket will stick out like a sore thumb, which is the point.
Of course you can’t have a road kit without all the matching accessories. The AVIP philosophy continues through the accessories with attention grabbing pops of color and thoughtful design to keep you comfortable and focused no matter the conditions.
There is even a 100% Silk scarf and Essential cap modeled here by POC’s Peter Appleton.
Getting away from the attention grabbing colors of the AVIP line, blue certainly seems to be the “it” color for the season in mountain bike apparel from POC.
New this year on the mountain side of things are the Trail Light Zip Tee and Trail Vent Shorts (there’s now a Trail WO short for women as well). The Trail Light Zip Tee comes in men’s and women’s and in multiple colors – for men it’s Boron Blue (pictured), Thulium Blue (the blue on the shorts), and Sulfur Pink. The 100% Polyester jerseys use a full front zip, have a chest and three rear pockets, and are treated with Polygiene anti-odor to keep them fresh.
The jerseys will pair well with the new Trail Vent short which is made form 2 way stretch fabric and have massive vents on the side of each leg. The shorts have two pockets up top with one zippered for stashing your stuff and are offered in 28″-38″ sizes in even intervals.
The blue continues over into helmets with Martin Söderström’s new signature Crane helmet featuring his beloved wiener dog. There is also a new POCito Crane helmet that offers a light weight skate style helmet for kids.
Marking POC’s entry into a more “shoulder season” glove for mountain biking, the new Index Windbreaker glove offers a windproof fabric on the back of the hand along with a neoprene cuff on the palm side. The gloves are gusseted around the grip and are touch screen compatible.
These prototype shades were on hand which represent their entry into the interchangeable and vented lens category. There will be two different models – the DO Blade (bottom) and the DO Flow (top). The Blade features a single vented lens that is interchangeable and optimized for the road along with a dedicated sports frame with hydrophilic rubber temples and nose piece. The Flow on the other hand is optimize for mountain biking and also offers hydrophilic rubber inserts and nose piece but lacks the interchangeability of the Blade. Look closely and you can see me struggling to take photos with my bionic arm brace.
New on the pack side of things is the VPD 2.0 Spine Pack 15. A shorter pack that offers the integrated back protection of VPD 2.0, the trail specific 15 liter back pack is fully adjustable with a ton of features to keep you safe and prepared on the trail. The helmet pouch is built in and stow-able and while the pack doesn’t include a hydration pack, it is fully compatible with bi-directional hose routing.
Finally, POC has had some incredibly rad custom AVIP Cervelos built including this P5 and an Rca they had at the launch. No expense was spared, and best of all they are auctioning the bikes off with all proceeds going to support research in spinal injury rehabilitation. To keep up to date on the auction, head over to their site and sign up.