26th April 2016

Here’s why you should consider using a MIPS helmet

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.

mips helmet

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.

These prices have been further massaged down to as low as £47.49 for the Giro Scamp kid lid, and £53.99 for the Bell Traverse and the Bell Draft – thanks to our price-tracking initiative.

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.

Shop MIPS Helmets

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4 comments on “Here’s why you should consider using a MIPS helmet

  1. Matt Hodges on

    So they have had to accept that helmets are pretty ineffective in most cases. That there is only anecdotal claims of protection and that there is no statistical evidence of overall reduction of brain injuries where helmets have been made compulsory.
    So now they have to invent a new gimmick to try and con us.
    How much good is a five millimetre slide going to do to reduce rotational brain damage? When your helmet hits the road at a glancing angle it will rotate your head sharply. A 5 mm slip in the helmet will do sod all to stop this.
    My Friend came off at high speed without a helmet. His head hit the ground and tore part of his scalp. This was sown back at A&E and he is non the worse but you can be sure that if he had been wearing a helmet all the clever sods would be saying that helmet had saved his life. The fact that his scalp tore and slipped several inches (not millimetres) meant the rotation of his head was minimal.

    Reply
    • Edinburgh Bicycle Coop on

      Hi Matt. We support your choice whether or not to wear a helmet, and there are certainly arguments for the pros and cons of both. Some cyclists feel safer riding with a helmet, reflective clothing and lights. Some cyclists feel more comfortable riding in everyday clothing without a helmet. We totally respect both points of view. In terms of the effectiveness of the MIPS system, there does appear to be evidence that it reduces injury for certain kinds of impact, but it’s something you’ll have to take up with the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm! Either way, we’re very glad that your friend is ok.

      Reply
      • Matt Hodges on

        Hi EBC.
        I support everyone’s choice whether or not to wear a helmet and your service in offering them for sale to those who want them.
        But having looked at lots of claims and counter claims I have come to the view that helmets provide at best only a marginal benefit in most cases where head injury would result. Unfortunately though they are treated as a magic shield that can make the rider invulnerable. One study showed that drivers gave helmeted riders less clearance than those without helmets. There is also the claim that helmeted riders take more risks. I don’t know how you could prove it.
        The emphasis on helmets does contribute to the perception that cycling is an especially dangerous activity and helps to deter people from cycling. They then lose the benefit of the healthy exercise that cycling provides.
        For me the big problem is that the debate is unbalanced. There is big money to be made from helmets so there is money to advertise them and make claims, even unsubstantiated claims. There is no money to put the opposite case.
        Keep up the good work of encouraging cycling with or without plastic hats.
        Matt

        Reply

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