10 things to know about MIPS in bicycle helmets 

MIPS is a new buzzword in bicycle helmet design. We bring you a guide to the new Multi-directional Impact Protection System.

 

>> Browse Evans Cycles full range of MIPS helmets here <<

 

If you are looking at buying a new bike helmet you may well have seen mention of MIPS. We bring you a guide to understanding what it’s all about…

 

1) What is MIPS?: MIPS stands for Multi-directional Impact Protection System. It is described as a “slip-plane” technology. This works inside the helmet and is designed to reduce rotational forces that can result from certain impacts.

 

 

2) Rotational forces? What are these?: When bike accidents happen, two main types of force – linear and rotational – occur. Most impacts to the head are a combination of both. MIPS helps to combat the rotational impact in these types of accidents.

 

3) So you get better protection?: We asked leading helmets brand Giro for their take on MIPS. The Giro website states: “MIPS can provide better protection in certain impacts.”

 

Paul Caswell, of Zyro, which distributes Giro and Bell helmets in the UK, explains: “All Giro helmets are designed to reduce as much energy as possible while meeting and exceeding stringent safety standards. And the goal of Giro’s MIPS-equipped helmets is to reduce rotational forces.

 

 

“Giro believes that helmets equipped with this technology can reduce the amount of rotational force that may be transferred to rider’s brain in certain impacts.”

 

This film helps explain the mechanics of a crash and why rotational impact energy management is important.

 

 

4) Who invented MIPS?  The technology was developed by scientists at the Karolinska Hospital and the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm in Sweden. It’s actually a concept based on two decades of academic research.

 

5) Using MIPS: Brands such as Giro have spent years collaborating with the designers behind MIPS. Using the MIPS research and development and Giro’s own extensive trials, the brand believe that helmets equipped with this technology may provide an additional measure of protection in some impacts.

 

This video explains much more:

 

 

6) Is MIPS the future of cycle helmets? Paul thinks so. He says: “MIPS equipped helmets can provide more protection in certain impacts, so why would anyone not want a potential added level of safety and protection when out riding their bikes?”

 

 

7) Will it become standard?: It could be that all future safety standards for cycling helmets incorporate some sort of rotational impact energy management test. Both Giro and Bell believe that MIPS is the right partner for their rotational impact protection system in their helmets.

 

8) Is MIPs for everyone? Yes, of course. MIPS is relevant for all ages and abilities. There are MIPS helmets for kids, men, women and across road, urban and mountain biking.

 

 

9) Does MIPS cost more?: Paul says: “There is an upcharge for MIPS in the helmets but MIPS is not a retro compatible addition to helmets. Each MIPS system has to be specifically tailored to each helmet it is fitted in.”

 

Take a look at this film on the making of the Synthe MIPS to understand more:

 

 

10) MIPS is not just for cyclists: Many new ski helmets include MIPS as well.

 

>> Browse Evans Cycles large range of MIPS-equipped helmets here <<

 

 

Comments

Mark Porter 4/04/2016

I have had an accident in a mips protected helmet (bell super 2r) and whilst the theory is all sound I think the research needs some more thought. It did not feel like I was wearing a helmet and the first thing I did after the crash was remove the strap and take the helmet off. I just wonder if by rotating your head you actually remove some of the imediate direct force directed on your brain. If I was not wearing a helmet it would have been a mess! But I think possibly a rotation of my own head might have reduced the imediate jarring on my hole brain as it’s not only your skull but most importantly the contents that I’d important to protect. It certainly helped my skull…..

Reply
    Steve Waters 15/03/2018

    I agree with Amanda. Mark raises a smile effectively challenging 20 years of scientific research based on his subjective experience of one impact. And his own interpretation of it. MIPS won’t stop your head rotating but it diffuses the onward transmission of rotation to the “sponge inside the box” which is your brain. Your hole brain in Mark’s case. Once MIPS helmets have been in common use for a decade we should see some studies of large numbers of injured cyclists, comparing nature and extent of head injury with different helmets.

    Reply
Steve W 6/04/2016

Not everyone agrees that MIPS is necessarily good thing…
http://www.bhsi.org/mips.htm

Reply
Robert Ferik 25/05/2016

I am not agree with STEVE W. I think MIPS Technology is necessary for helmets. MIPS technology also suitable for all age rides and for all gender too.
http://bestmotorpart.com

Reply
Rob 5/02/2017

As cyclist and a motorcyclist, it occurs too me that if mips is such a wonderful idea then why isn’t it incorporated in motorcycle helmet design ?

Reply
    Fredrik 14/02/2017

    There is a similar concept among motor cycle helmets, known as SuperSkin, which has been shown to reduce the rotational forces in oblique impact tests (PhillipsHelmets. 2015). Another example is the 6D helmet that consists of two layers of EPS linked with “dampers” that allow energy absorbing shear between the layers (6D Helmet. 2015).

    Reply
    Pia Melin 4/07/2017

    There are ongoing negotiations with mc helmet brands and has been for some time.

    Reply
    Peter Harris 9/12/2017

    Mips and other forms of rotational energy dispersion are , off the top of my head, used by 6D, Leatt, Bell, Fox,Shoei, and MSR.

    When you consider the millions of dollars involved in retooling and developing, that is quite a vote of confidence.

    Reply
Louise 15/07/2017

Does anyone know how this technology relates to SuperSkin by Lazer Helmets? Are they similar, and which came first?
Thank you!

Reply
David Kleman 17/07/2017

https://www.folksam.se/media/Folksam_Bra_Val_2017_Cykelhjalmar_Forord_Rapport_A4_ENG_VUXNA_NY_tcm5-34299.pdf

Here is an objective test of different helmets including ability to reduce rotational strain on the grey matter of the brain.

Reply
    Amanda 6/11/2017

    So nice to get evidence and not just opinion 🙂

    Thanks

    Reply
Anthony 19/03/2018

I have only just started riding and purchased my first helmet (a MIPS), after being given a brief explanation of its potential benefits. There are always positives and negatives with everything in life, but with knowing the positives of my purchase, it has given me the confidence to enjoy my rides.

Reply
GENE DEHART 9/04/2018

This is more of a question that I have not seen anywhere,. CAN I EXPECT A MIPS HELMET TO GENERALLY PROVIDE LESS COOLING/AIR FLOW TO THE HEAD THAN THE NORMAL OPENINGS IN MANY NON-MIPS HELMETS?

Reply
    Mark Gregory 10/04/2018

    I have both the Mips and non Mips version of the Giro Synthe and can’t notice any difference in cooling/airflow to the head between the two versions.

    Reply

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