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Back protection for road riders? POC steps up

Published September 11, 2014

LAS VEGAS (BRAIN) — The Swedish brand POC continues to expand its cycling product line, with dozens of new clothing, helmet and eyewear products for road and mountain bikers being shown this week at Interbike.

This year the company paid the most attention to the road, with a new line, called Raceday, that emphasizes style and performance more than its first road line, AVIP. AVIP's primary focus remains safety, in part by using swatches of bright colors to increase visibility on the road

The Raceday jerseys, bibs and race suits include aerodynamic fabrics and cuts developed in Volvo's Swedish wind tunnel. The line also includes a lightweight climber's jersey and a light rain jacket. Unlike the AVIP line, Raceday line includes "more muted" colors, POC spokesman Brian Holcombe said. The new muted colors also carry over to POC's road helmets.

"Not everyone wants to wear a bright orange helmet, even if POC's studies show they are significantly more visible on the road," Holcombe said.

However, he said, "the company's mission is still to save lives and reduce the impact from crashes."

That's why the AVIP line continues and now features a one-of-a-kind product: a short sleeve road cycling jersey with a removable back protection pad. The Backprotection jersey was developed for those who ride in urban areas with high vehicle density, Holcombe said. But he said show visitors have suggested it might make sense for gran fondo riders or cross-country mountain bike racers, as well. The $200 jersey's padding is made of Koroyd, the same material Smith uses in its new bike helmets. The material is light, flexible and breathable, and the back protector meets the Level 1 European motorcycle back protection standard.

Both the AVIP and Raceday clothing lines also feature four new chamois liner designs. The clothing's sizing system was redesigned this season to be more in line with other high-end cycling clothing lines' sizing.

POC, which is owned by the publicly traded outdoor equipment brand Black Diamond, also is showing some new, lighter weight pads for mountain biking and a new padded liner for its mountain bike shorts.

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