Ausgabe #048 Issue #048 Review

POC Kortal Race MIPS in review – Back to the future?

With the Kortal Race MIPS, POC introduce a new half-shell helmet to their range, offering state-of-the-art features and a striking design. For the DeLorean amongst helmets, POC rely on the latest MIPS Integra system to reduce rotational forces in the event of a crash. Are the new features worth the asking price?

The POC Kortal Race MIPS is an evolution of the POC Tectal, though the Tectal remains in the brand’s portfolio. The visual difference between the two helmets couldn’t be more striking, as if you had placed a coupé from the 1980s next to the latest 2021 model, except for the fact that the newer Kortal exudes the 80s charm of a DeLorean with its angular lines. The Kortal Race MIPS will set you back by a whopping € 250 and features the well-known MIPS system, which is claimed to significantly reduce rotational forces in the event of a crash. However, it is the first helmet to feature the new MIPS Integra system, which is completely integrated into the helmet shell and doesn’t require the familiar internal yellow liner. This makes the system even more discreet, leaving it almost invisible. In addition, the Kortal Race MIPS comes with an integrated NFC Medical ID chip and a RECCO reflector, both of which make it easier for you to be found and identified in the event of a crash. The RECCO system uses technology from the skiing and snowboarding scene to help locate missing persons much more easily with the help of a special sensor. With the NFC chip, you can store personal information such as your address, emergency contact details and allergies via an app. Rescue services can access the information directly from your helmet at the scene of the accident without any data needing to be stored in a cloud.

The angular shape of the POC Kortal Race MIPS looks stylish and the interior ensures a comfortable fit. The helmet complies with the Dutch NTA8776 safety standard which means that it’s been crash tested at higher impact speeds than those for standard bicycle use. It is available in grey, turquoise, black and white, as well as the fluorescent orange AVIP version. According to POC, the helmet is suitable for everyone with a head size of 51–54 cm in size S, 55–58 cm in size M and 59–62 cm in size L. The Kortal Race is also available without the MIPS Integra system for € 50 less, though it still comes with a Recco Reflector and NFC Medical ID chip. We’d recommend going for the flagship model, because you can’t put a price on your own safety. A more interesting alternative would be an attractively priced variant without the Recco Reflector and NFC Medical ID, but with MIPS. Unfortunately, that’s not an option.

Is something missing?
The new MIPS Integra system is completely integrated into the helmet shell and padding, making the safety system difficult to recognise since it does without the familiar yellow lining.
The breakaway visor protects you and the helmet
Velcro fasteners hold the visor in place while riding, but it can easily come off in the event of an impact. This protects you from injuries and you can simply reattach the visor if it’s undamaged.
Dirt trap
You’re bound to get the hair on the back of your head dirty on muddy days thanks to the ultra large vents on the rear of POC Kortal Race MIPS which let mud through.
The DeLorean amongst helmets
1980s lines on the outside, the latest technology on the inside: hidden beneath the striking shape of the POC Kortal Race you’ll find the latest MIPS Integra system and high-tech sensors that allow you to be located in the event of a crash.
Extra security inside
Safety features such as the NFC Medical ID and RECCO reflector are there to aid rescue services in case of a crash.
Goggle parking space
The visor can be adjusted and locked in position at three points. There’s enough space to park your goggles underneath.

The so-called breakaway peak is adjustable, locking into position at three points and offering enough space to park your goggles underneath. It was also designed so that the visor can pop off in the event of a crash, protecting both the helmet and the rider from worse consequences. To this end, the sides are held in place by Velcro fasteners. Smart! If the breakaway visor comes off and isn’t damaged, you can simply clip it back on. The vents on the helmet are extremely large, especially at the back of the head. Although they ensure good ventilation, it also meant that our tester Nils often had flies and large chunks of mud stuck in his hair. The padding is relatively thin, though we didn’t find that to be an issue. It’s comfortable to wear and the helmet sits securely on your head. We did however find the padding to be slightly scratchy around the forehead and at the seam. The size can be adjusted to suit the circumference of your head using the dial on the back of the helmet and the height of the cradle can be adjusted using three locking points. The chin strap can only be adjusted in length, though it sits comfortably and doesn’t stick out.

Tops

  • integrated MIPS system
  • RECCO reflector and NFC Medical ID
  • high-quality finish and modern design

Flops

  • price
  • large vents let in mud at the back of the helmet

The high-quality POC Kortal Race MIPS impressed us with its striking design and offers all the latest protection technology. The additional NFC chip and RECCO reflector are useful safety features that only a few companies in the bike industry are currently using. At € 250, it isn’t cheap but the built-in tech justifies the price. You’ll have to decide for yourself whether you really need all these features.

Tester: Nils
Test duration: 5 months
Price: € 250
Weight: 397 g (sizeM)
More information: pocsports.com

Words & Photos: Nils Mai

About the author

Nils Mai

Nils does not just belong on a list of the most stylish MTBers on the ground and off the jumps, he’s also a bona fide tech geek. A former enduro and 4X racer, Nils studied construction mechanics before joining our team, where this young gun is proving himself to be true all-rounder. Given that he can weld a bike frame with skill, it’s no surprise that alongside editor, he’s also got the keys to our workshop. If all this wasn’t enough, his former positions as outdoor editor at komoot and bike guide on Mallorca have mapped out a virtually unrivalled trail atlas in his head and taught him the intricacies of understanding riders of all abilities. Nowadays you’ll find him tearing up his new home trails around Stuttgart or pulling up at Europe’s best riding locations in his self-built van.