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  1. #1
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    Help Me Buy a High End Trail Helmet. POC, XAR, 661?

    I am currently using the Specialized S3 for trail riding. While it is really light, I don't feel like it is protective enough - not to mention it is a little uncomfortable.

    I want to buy a very light trail lid with good back of the head coverage. The three that look interesting are POC race, XAR and the sixsixone recon. I don't know much about the 661, but it is lighter than the others at 300gr.

    Any thoughts or experience would be much appreciated. Also, let me know if I should be looking at anything else?

  2. #2
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    Re: Help Me Buy a High End Trail Helmet. POC, XAR, 661?

    I guess it would depend on the shape of your head. I came from a Fox Flux then switched to a POC Trabec. I really really like the fit of the POC. It sits well comfortably in my head and forehead, I like how the straps and adjustments snug up, it's well ventilated and xcolor options are great. Really comfy helmet and pretty light too!

  3. #3
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    I got the Kali Avita, I was looking for the same things in a helmet, and this one fits my head better than the others. I forget I have it on after a ride until I try getting in the car, offers better back of head protection as well.
    http://kaliprotectives.com/bike/avita-pc
    They also make it in a carbon version, though mine is pretty light @ 300g.
    http://kaliprotectives.com/bike/avita-texalium

  4. #4
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    Help Me Buy a High End Trail Helmet. POC, XAR, 661?

    Quote Originally Posted by surfstar1 View Post
    I am currently using the Specialized S3 for trail riding. While it is really light, I don't feel like it is protective enough - not to mention it is a little uncomfortable.

    I want to buy a very light trail lid with good back of the head coverage. The three that look interesting are POC race, XAR and the sixsixone recon. I don't know much about the 661, but it is lighter than the others at 300gr.

    Any thoughts or experience would be much appreciated. Also, let me know if I should be looking at anything else?
    As always with helmets, it is all about the fit.

    POC fits my head. Fox Flux and most Giros do not. Kali basically fits, but sits way too high with no back/side coverage. Want to try the Bell Super.
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  5. #5
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    If you're looking high end, the POC Trabec is nice and MIPS technology is great. Fit and finish are awesome but doesnt fit my head so well.

    The new Troy Lee Designs helmet looks great as does the Urge Enduro or All-M. The Lazer Oasiz is another nice trail helmet. These are all more boutique models that you probably wont see too many of at the trailhead but are the brands I think of when think of high end MTB helmets. I think Rudy Projects just came out with a 'trail' helmet as well.

  6. #6
    Ninja Master Powers
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    Plus 1 on the TLD A1. I replaced my flux with it and just bought one for my son.

    Pricey but at least to me worth every penny.

  7. #7
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    Re: Help Me Buy a High End Trail Helmet. POC, XAR, 661?

    You should definitely try before you buy.
    Xar fits me the best. Poc and Lazer doesn't. Troy Lee fits me very well, but sits very low onmy forehead and obstructs the proper position of my glasses.
    Try them with your glasses on...

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  8. #8
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    The Xar is as little coverage as any helmet I have put on my head. It LOOKS like it should come down far in the back, but that is because in fact in comes up so high on the sides.

    I have a Xen and it is similar in this regard, but I find the Xar even more so.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  9. #9
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    Help Me Buy a High End Trail Helmet. POC, XAR, 661?

    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta View Post
    The Xar is as little coverage as any helmet I have put on my head. It LOOKS like it should come down far in the back, but that is because in fact in comes up so high on the sides.

    I have a Xen and it is similar in this regard, but I find the Xar even more so.
    Yup. Check how much of the head clamp devices you can see at the back of the helmets. Gives you a good idea how far down the back really goes.
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  10. #10
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    +3 on the TLD A-1. Great venting, light, good visor. I totally forget I'm wearing it. Also, it probably fits an oval shape better than a round, I say that because I'm considered a long oval in men's hats and the A-1 fits like a glove.

  11. #11
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    I just moved off a fox flux to a catlike leaf and you completely forget you have it on, vents really well and is super comfortable.

  12. #12
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    I am currently using RS-16 OPEN FACE HELMET BLACK for my riding. It is one of the best, open face helmet until now. It's perfect on my head. You can also try different open face helmets.

  13. #13
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    Thanks everyone for your input as it was very helpful. I ordered up the 661 Recon Stealth. I like the coverage and the price. I will let you know how it goes.

  14. #14
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    Although I love the look and fit of my Recon, I've noticed that it channels the sweat into my eyes. I also have a Giro Hex that I use regularly, but that channels the sweat down the bridge of my nose, so I use it more. I wonder if it's just the shape of my head that makes it do this. Any other Recon owners have this issue?
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  15. #15
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    My hubby just purchased the TLD all mountain helmet. And loves it.

    Help Me Buy a High End Trail Helmet.  POC, XAR, 661?-13tld_a1_cyclops_gold_leftfrnt.jpg

    Here are the specs
    https://www.troyleedesigns.com/products/0404-07
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclelicious View Post
    My hubby just purchased the TLD all mountain helmet. And loves it.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	13TLD_A1_CYCLOPS_GOLD_LEFTFRNT.jpg 
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    Here are the specs
    https://www.troyleedesigns.com/products/0404-07
    Me too! Gotta love the colorway!

    Quote Originally Posted by Naturally Aspirated View Post
    Although I love the look and fit of my Recon, I've noticed that it channels the sweat into my eyes. I also have a Giro Hex that I use regularly, but that channels the sweat down the bridge of my nose, so I use it more. I wonder if it's just the shape of my head that makes it do this. Any other Recon owners have this issue?
    I'll offer this: I believe that many helmets, including the A-1 have air (cooling) channels that extend down the forehead. While it does make for a cooler helmet there is no provision for water collection or channeling. My Urge Enduromatic has a huge padded area in the front that absorbs most of the sweat and keeps it out of my eyes quite well, however it's hot as Hades, which is why I went to the A-1.
    In the past I have used a "sweat gutter" type device when running and it was very effective at just this problem, so I would suggest something like this as a possible solution.

  17. #17
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    Hey, Checkout the Giro Feature. Great weight, very comfortabe and great 'back of the head' protection.

    Plus its a good bit cheaper than the POC.

    Help Me Buy a High End Trail Helmet.  POC, XAR, 661?-giro_feature_matt_black_mtb_helmet.jpg

  18. #18
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    Help Me Buy a High End Trail Helmet. POC, XAR, 661?

    Quote Originally Posted by jamjunky View Post
    Hey, Checkout the Giro Feature. Great weight, very comfortabe and great 'back of the head' protection.

    Plus its a good bit cheaper than the POC.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    If it fits. If the Feature fits you, the POC will not, and vice versa.
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  19. #19
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    I recently switched to a Specialized Tactic 2 as my main lid. There are many new helmets out that meet this enduro/AM style and I tried on at least a dozen different models when shopping. The Troy Lee is clearly sweet but expensive. I do crash and I do need to replace my helmets about every year, maybe 2 years. IMO Lazer's Rollsys system is the most comfy I have found and use a clash often. A nice thing about the Rollsys is that you can tighten the knob to release some sweat build up. I never ride without a HALO headband though. I hate getting sweat on my glasses. My biggest pet peeve about the newer helmets is how/where the straps connect to the back of the lid. I like them to be separated and not just 2 straps that split out from the same spot. When I put on my helmet I don't want to have to fumble any straps around.
    Bicycles D'opinion/ COMMENCAL /Principat D'Andorra

  20. #20
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    Just got my Bell Super in. Feels great so far, but I haven't hit the trails yet.

  21. #21
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    MET fits my head best. Bell would be a distance 2nd. All others like Giro, Specialized just didn't sit or feel right. Fit is everything when it comes to a helmet.

  22. #22
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    Step 1: Go to the bike shop
    Step 2: Try on helmets
    Step 3: Pay for it
    Step 4: Enjoy
    No, YOU don't understand. You're making an ass of yourself for all of eternity.

  23. #23
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    Help Me Buy a High End Trail Helmet. POC, XAR, 661?

    Quote Originally Posted by wmac View Post
    Step 1: Go to the bike shop
    Step 2: Try on helmets
    Step 3: Pay for it
    Step 4: Enjoy
    Step 2.5: find one that fits
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  24. #24
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    My LBS/Internet retailer just got their first Bell Super Mountain in and I tried it on since I am in the market for a better coverage helmet. The Giro Feature fits but feels crappy on my head. The TLD A1 feels good and as mentioned above, rides lower on your dome and is sized as a Med/Lg in the same shell where the others are specifically Sm, Md, Lg. It's very comfortable but that hideous Gold Flake color makes me feel like I should be wearing a Grill on my teeth and chroming all the parts on my bike. The Bell Super Mountain is a real nice combination of fit/feel/finish for my head (intermediate oval) and isn't far off the mark that the TLD A1 sets but at $40 more in it's price point. I'm buying the Bell as soon as possible. Gotta love the GoPro adapter that comes with, too! They also have a great range of colors.

  25. #25
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    I pulled the trigger on a Bell Super Enduro today. No one local had one to try but I have owned a Bell before and it fit well. Of the other 3 I was looking at none of those could be tried on locally either so its a gamble either way.
    I like to fart when I'm in front of you on a climb

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by surfstar1 View Post
    Thanks everyone for your input as it was very helpful. I ordered up the 661 Recon Stealth. I like the coverage and the price. I will let you know how it goes.
    I love mine.
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    I'm satisfied knowing that what I wear during my "day" job makes me more of a man than you'll ever be.

  27. #27
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    I tried and returned a Flux that I could never get to fit comfortably. The straps were especially uncomfortable. There is a thread around here that deals with modifing the strap system that I wish I saw before returning it.
    I wound up getting a POC Trabec Race that is rhe most comfortable helmet I ever bought. It even comes with extra pads, a helmet bag and a sticker to lighten the financial load, but I got it at an end of season sale last year for $90. There are bargains around if you're patient.
    My wife thinks it looks great on me, which is an extra bonus, but I fail to see how a helmet that looks like that can look good on anyone. Who cares, as long as it works if I need it.
    I also love the Troy Lee and the Bell Super, but haven't tried them on yet.

  28. #28
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    I've been in a 661 recon for about 2 years now and its a little rough around the edges so I'm shopping as well.
    -Fox flux
    -Fox Stryker
    -Specialized tactic II
    -TLD A1
    -Bell Super Mountain

    I'm going to try and find a Bell super mountain to try on, my only concerne is the weight, just want to make sure its as comfy as my last bell and I don't notice the extra 100 grams over some of its competitors.
    Hardrock 29er, Niner EMD9, Cannondale F29, Camber Expert, 650b Nickel all gone.
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  29. #29
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    I love my POC as the fit and comfort is perfect. However there's a big but coming, it is huge compared to other helmets so if you want something lowprofile the Trabecs are not for you.

  30. #30
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    Help Me Buy a High End Trail Helmet. POC, XAR, 661?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vegard View Post
    I love my POC as the fit and comfort is perfect. However there's a big but coming, it is huge compared to other helmets so if you want something lowprofile the Trabecs are not for you.
    Compared to which other model helmets? I have not noticed much difference.
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  31. #31
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    Low profile as in not so mushroom-y? I know what you mean. The only thing that made me realize how silly and self-conscious I was being when I thought about that is the realization that no woman, in the known universe has EVER had this thought, "I sure would like to give that guy a trail-side BJ, but, boy, that helmet sure is a turn off. I would definitely blow him if he were wearing something less mushroom-y."

    I'd be willing to bet this has crossed, or will cross, some woman's mind, "I'd blow that dude if he weren't in a coma from a MTB crash. He should have worn a better helmet,"
    No, YOU don't understand. You're making an ass of yourself for all of eternity.

  32. #32
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    I too picked up a Spec. Tactic II
    Very light, well vented and after a few min of having it on it remains as comefortable as my ball cap.
    Help Me Buy a High End Trail Helmet.  POC, XAR, 661?-spec_tactic_blk_13_z.jpg

    I tried on a few others and they all fit and tightened differently so try before buy when ever possiable..they are all differnt
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  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by surfstar1 View Post
    i am currently using the specialized s3 for trail riding. While it is really light, i don't feel like it is protective enough - not to mention it is a little uncomfortable.

    I want to buy a very light trail lid with good back of the head coverage. The three that look interesting are poc race, xar and the sixsixone recon. I don't know much about the 661, but it is lighter than the others at 300gr.

    Any thoughts or experience would be much appreciated. Also, let me know if i should be looking at anything else?
    poc!

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by DWill View Post
    Plus 1 on the TLD A1. I replaced my flux with it and just bought one for my son.

    Pricey but at least to me worth every penny.
    I got the TLD A1 as well. Its got an amazing fit to it. Love it.

  35. #35
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    Looking for an online shop that has the Bell Super in stock and ships to Europe. Any idea?
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  36. #36
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    Help Me Buy a High End Trail Helmet. POC, XAR, 661?

    I'm leaning toward the Bell Super. Anyone seen these for below retail $125?

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpeedStarr View Post
    I'm leaning toward the Bell Super. Anyone seen these for below retail $125?
    I just happen to catch mine at BikeNashbar when they were having a 20% off just about anything sale. It was $99 making the purchase even better! I think I was lucky as many outlets still show them backordered or limited inventories. I doubt there will be a whole lot of discounting right out of the gate.

  38. #38
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    There are a lot of really nice helmets out there, but there is only one not made in China or some other third world country: Uvex. And their XP-CC is excellent. Good rear coverage, very light, easy to adjust and five-stars from MB Action... made in Germany. Might make no difference to you. Does to me.

  39. #39
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    Help Me Buy a High End Trail Helmet. POC, XAR, 661?

    Thanks for the info. I will check Nashbar.

    I have some Uvex glasses too. The are great. I'll check out the helmet too.

  40. #40
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    I bought the Uvex XP CC based on this thread. Arrived yesterday. This is my first helmet so I don't have much reference points. Very light. Fits well (I am a 58/7.25), adjustable though not sure what the height adjustment is good for (seems to make no difference to me). Only negative I can think of is that it looks a bit flimsy/plastic, but again I have no reference and assume that all these type of helmets feel/look that way.

  41. #41
    Tire Geek O_o
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    What if there is not a single bike shop that carries any of the afore mentioned helmets? That is a very real problem outside the US. It s*cks.
    http://32spokesmtb.com - Promoting MTB & cycling from Mexico to the World!

  42. #42
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    Just a heads up that chainlove has been having a few of these pop up recently for ridiculously discounted prices. Might be worth watching the site if you have the time.
    Hey guys, lets go play bieks!

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