MIPS, or ‘Multidirectional Impact Protection System’ was developed to enhance the fundamental design function of a bicycle helmet – to protect the brain in the event of an impact. Many of the world’s most respected helmet manufacturers now incorporate Mips into their creations. One of these companies, Giro, explains why with an illuminating animation.
All you need to know about MIPS
- Mips is an acronym for Multidirectional Impact Protection System
- Mips is a slip plane technology.
- Slip plane means that the helmet is constructed in two layers, designed to infinitesimally slide against one other in the event of an impact.
- The helmet’s top layer is the impact-absorbing EPS polystyrene shell common to most bicycle helmets.
- The second layer is a flexible nylon liner that comfortably hugs your head.
- In the event of a crash, a Mips helmet’s EPS shell absorbs linear impact, while the inner layer slides up to 5mm to reduce rotational impact.
- Mips can therefore reduce the transfer of energy to the brain, which could otherwise cause concussion and other brain injuries.
- Mips therefore goes a long way to addressing the most frequent criticism of first-generation helmets – that they are primarily designed to absorb the energy of a vertical head-on impact, and are less effective when it comes to protecting you from the most common kind of impact – side-on hits.
Lower Price Mips Helmets
Given the resources that went into their development, it’s no surprise that Mips helmets commanded a three-figure price when they were originally launched a couple of years ago.
Their swift acceptance in the States means Mips helmets are now made in sufficient numbers by America’s top helmet companies such as Giro and Bell to bring the starting price of a Mips helmets down to a more approachable £60.
The Last Word
You wear a helmet to mitigate the worst consequences of suffering a bicycle accident – brain injury. If you want to maximise protection while still retaining the airy comfort of the modern bike lid, consider Mips.