While modern technology means bikes are becoming lighter and faster, the technology around protecting riders is following suit and is constantly finding new ways to keep cyclists as safe as possible, should the worst happen.
An obvious way to protect the head against injury from a bike accident, is a helmet, and if you’re in the market for a new one, chances are, you’ve probably come across the term ‘MIPS’ once or twice. In this post, we’ll be exploring exactly what ‘MIPS’ means and does, and how this exciting technology is helping to limit the injury to the brain in bike crashes…
The Multi- Directional Impact Protection System or ‘MIPS’ for short, is the technology that was developed by scientists from The Karolinska Institute and The Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. The system, which is based on the brain protection your brain already has (a layer of cerebrospinal fluid between the brain and the skull), is designed to protect the brain during crashes, from any angled impacts to the head.
In a bike crash, the head can experience two kinds of forces – linear and rotational. Most helmets are designed to tackle linear forces, but MIPS technology focuses more on rotational forces, which is when the head hits the ground at an angle. When this happens, the head rotates quickly and then comes to a sudden stop, which causes the brain to experience a high level of strain, and this can result in various types of brain injury. The cerebrospinal fluid in the head is the body’s primary defence method, and as we mentioned earlier, this is what the MIPS technology is based on. MIPS’ Slip Plane technology means that an extra layer is present within the helmet, which allows the helmet shell to rotate independently around the head during an angled impact, therefore redirecting some of the force the brain may otherwise experience – pretty cool ay?
MIPS helmets are becoming more lightweight and cost effective, so it’s no wonder big named brands like Giro, Bell and Fox are all starting to roll out helmets with the exciting technology inside!
Here are just a few of our favourites!
Regardless of whether you’re on technical descents or long climbs, the Giro Montaro MIPS helmets are there for wherever your ride takes you. Not only does this lid have impressive cooling power, it’s also fitted with hydrophilic, antimicrobial pads that can absorb up to ten times their weight in sweat – pretty cool stuff! With the added benefit of full goggle integration, the Montaro really does offer it all…
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Need a helmet that is going to keep up with your heart-pounding trail rides? Look no further than the Bell Super 2 MIPS. With uncompromising comfort and ventilation, you’ll be charging up the climbs. You’ll love all of the technology is loaded with – a breakaway mount, and an upgraded TAG fit system that makes dialling in fit easier than ever, just to name a few!
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If you’re looking for the pinnacle of performance from a mountain bike helmet, the Fox Rampage Pro Carbon Seca MIPS helmet is an obvious choice. Using their 40-year history of design and engineering excellence, Fox has added bike-specific functionality for even better performance. With it’s lightweight yet luxury interior appeal, this lid continues to show up on the podium season after season!
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Of course, these are just a few of our favourite MIPS helmets, but make sure to check out our other lids here!