The latest Virginia Tech helmet safety rankings have been released and MIPS equipped helmets have claimed the top four spots.
The latest rankings score Bontrager's MIPS equipped Rally helmet as the safest tested followed by the Troy Lee A2 MIPS , the Lazer Century MIPS and the Lazer Cyclone MIPS - the winner from the last round of tests. The Bontrager Specter Wavecel is the next safest helmet, however this is a road focussed helmet; the highest-ranking mountain bike helmet without MIPS is the POC Tectal Race that uses POC's (soon to be discontinued
) proprietary Spin system.
2019 saw a battle of rotational protection systems as Bontrager's Wavecel
was released to claims that it was 48 times more effective than EPS foam at preventing concussions and that it prevented concussions 99 times out of 100. In April, Virginia Tech ranked the Bontrager Specter Wavecel as the safest helmet, but its rankings from May and the latest results posted yesterday have MIPS helmets back on top in terms of safety.
Of the 29 helmets that scored five stars out of five, 24 had MIPS with Wavecel and Spin making up the rest of the spots. However, with only Bontrager helmets able to use Wavecel and only POC helmets able to use Spin, these results may be more skewed than they first seem. All 29 high ranking helmets had some form of rotational protection. The highest-ranking mountain bike helmet without rotational protection was the POC Tectal that scored 4 stars out of 5.
Virginia Tech's ranking prioritizes concussion reduction and is formulated using a drop test that measures a helmet's ability to reduce linear acceleration and rotational velocity of the head. Some helmet manufacturers have grumbled that this doesn't paint a full picture of a helmet's efficacy but Virginia Tech is certainly the most prominent independent body that tests the safety of bicycle helmets. Virginia Tech recommends any helmet that scores 4 or 5 stars.
Read the full rankings here