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