Rapha gives POC’s Omne Air Spin three new colourways, along with a new ‘wide’ fitment. It also features the same excellent fit, SPIN safety system and great ventilation. It’s costly, but your head will be thankful for it, and you’ll look good, too
- - Great fit, no matter your head shape
- - Rapha-exclusive two-tone colour ways are stunning
- - Cradle adjustment is simple and effective
- - Fairly lightweight
- - Good ventilation
- - Two different widths available
- - No padding underneath the strap connector
This POC Omne Air Spin Rapha, as POC prefers to label it on its site, is — as you can probably guess — a Rapha-ified version of the standard POC Omne Air Spin.
Confusingly, the helmet is available either through Rapha's website for £140.00 / $150.00 / €160.00 / AU$249.00 (the same price as the regular model), or through POC’s own portal, although in the UK, POC prices it higher at £150.00, and it's not available in Australia. No, we’ve no idea why there’s a price difference for UK customers, but if you're after this particular Rapha-styled helmet, we’d obviously suggest buying the helmet through Rapha, not POC.
Improving upon the standard Omne Air Spin and Omne Eternal Spin helmet, at least from an aesthetic perspective, the Rapha version offers three new two-tone colourways: Off-White, Carbon Grey, and Navy. The main body of the helmet makes up the colour, with a small black Rapha logo on each side, while the back portion of the helmet is black, with the centrepiece — displaying the POC logo — is plain unpainted plastic.
Compared with the colourways available from POC, which admittedly are already pretty decent, the Rapha version just takes things up a notch on the visual stakes. It really does look stunning, whichever one you go for. But looks aren't everything, so we've been using it to see how it compares to the best road bike helmets on the market.
Fitment and comfort
Regarding sizing, this is where the collaboration between POC and Rapha gets slightly weird again. While the helmet is available in Small (50-56cm), Medium (54-59cm) and Large (56-61cm) via either portal, Rapha also offers a ‘wide fit’ option, which comes in Small (55-58cm) and Medium (59-61cm).
If you have a long oval shape head (which the majority of heads in the Western world tend to be), then you need the ‘regular fit’. If you have a head that’s both wide and round, then you want the ‘wide fit’, and you can only get that fitment through Rapha, so that’s another reason to get the helmet via the Rapha site.
The helmet on test is the standard ‘regular fit’, which for my head, worked particularly well, although the shape still veers more towards the more common standard oval, which for me meant a slight gap at the sides versus the front and rear. But it’s fairly minimal, and the 360-degree three-point cradle adjustment enabled me to get a comfortable, secure fit without any headache-inducing pressure points on the front of my head, as some helmets do.
One small criticism of the chin strap is that the POC Omne Air uses a conventional side release buckle, which admittedly works just fine, but it’s slightly uncomfortable against the chin due to a lack of padding on the underside. I’m surprised more high-end helmet manufacturers haven’t adopted the Fidlock magnetic slide release buckle, which in my opinion is easier to operate without risking pinching the skin. At this price, you might expect it, too.
Safety and performance
On the inside, the helmet features POC’s SPIN (Shearing Pad INside) silicone pad technology system, designed to absorb the angled or rotational impacts commonly experienced in crashes and is similar in concept to the more commonly known MIPS. It forms part of POC's Whole Helmet Concept, and POC’s own take on the safety system is that it is "designed to reduce and better distribute forces from oblique impacts," with silicone pads that allow the head to tilt or turn in an impact.
The SPIN system certainly isn’t noticeable — it feels just like regular cushioning pads. I’ve worn the helmet over longer rides, and it’s never felt anything but good to wear.
On the outside, the POC Omne Air features an optimised-density EPS liner for "ideal impact force absorption". The exterior aesthetic is quite minimalist, with a relatively low profile, meaning it sits neatly on your head without looking bulbous in any way.
The POC Omne Air has UK/EU (EU Regulation 2016/425) certification. A label on the inside of the helmet displays the EN1078:2012/A1:2012 CE rating, which means it’s been appropriately safety tested to the relevant European CE standard.
POC claims a relatively low weight of just 305g in a medium, although on two sets of our scales, both analogue and digital, it came in at between 310-320g. Still, that’s pretty good given the decent amount of protection on offer. Certainly, I found it to be light enough to not really notice it there.
The Omne Air features multiple vents to channel air over the head. The cooling system looks quite generous — the helmet is labelled ‘Air’ for a reason, after all — but you don’t really notice the air rushing in. It offers just the right amount of air, whether you’re riding in warmer or cooler weather — 5-18 degrees C (41-64F) as tested, that is. I’ve not been able to test the helmet in summer temps as the helmet arrived at the start of Autumn, though, so the jury is out on whether it performs as admirably when the weather gets hot.
You also get an 'eye garage' built into the helmet, allowing you to store your glasses safely when they’re not in use, and it works.
If you’re interested in POC Omne AIR SPIN, and you want a slightly unique take on the same helmet, then the Rapha + POC Omne Air might be up your street. As with the standard Omne AIR SPIN, Rapha’s version features the same excellent SPIN safety system, high level of comfort and low weight. It’s also got good ventilation, though you could easily wear this on cold winter days without getting brain freeze.
Rapha’s treatment adds some really nice two-tone colourways, which I think alone make this version tempting (for no extra over the standard version). Rapha also offers a wide fitment in two more sizes, opening up POC’s helmet to a bigger audience of those who don’t have a conventional head shape.
As we mentioned at the beginning of the review, get the helmet through Rapha, and you’ll save £10 on POC’s ‘online exclusive’ Omne Air Spin Rapha price tag.
Tech specs: POC Omne Air Spin helmet
- Price: £140.00 / $150.00 / €160.00 / AU$249.00
- Rotational safety: SPIN
- Weight: 305g (medium, claimed), 310-320g (actual, measured on two scales)
- Aero: No
- Sizes: Small, medium, large (regular fit), small, medium (wide fit)
- Colours: Off-White, Carbon Grey, Navy
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