The brain trust at POC pretty much rewrote the book on mountain bike protection only a few short years ago, and with the Octal Helmet, POC is about to do the same thing for road riders. In keeping with its history of innovative designs, POC built the Octal to maximize protection, while maintaining a feathery weight. And while weight was a consideration, protecting your head in the event of a crash was paramount. The handful of awards it's already racked up are just further proof that POC isn't messing around, and people are taking notice. Part of the key to the Octal's protection comes from the way that POC placed protective EPS foam around the wearer's head. As compared to many other featherweight helmets, the Octal provides greater coverage by extending down to cover the back of the head, as well as the temples. As a result, it gives the sensation that it's sitting around your head, rather than being perched on top of it. You might think that this combination of low weight and increased footprint are a recipe for a helmet that's fragile, but the oversized vents have allowed POC to maintain ample thickness of the EPS foam all the way around your head. It has the added benefit of lending the Octal incredible airflow, which is all the more noticeable when you're working up a sweat. In addition to the shell shape, there are a host of less noticeable, but no less impressive, details throughout. Take for instance the low-profile click wheel retention strap. It's highly refined, no doubt due to POC's extensive experience in the snowsports arena. Showing similar refinement, the straps are molded directly into the shell. And one detail that's easy to overlook until you use it is the Eye Garage. Basically, the sides of the vents where you'll store your glasses have unassuming gripper panels, which help to ensure that your glasses don't go anywhere, even on rough roads. It's the type of feature that makes it clear that no detail was overlooked. So while the Octal may be...