New Helmet Safety Technology From MIPS - Eurobike 2017

Aug 31, 2017
by Mike Kazimer  
Eurobike 2017


Compared to a shiny new carbon bike, or an exotic, Italian-made coil shock, MIPS' new products aren't the most eye-catching items on display at Eurobike, but they're still worth a closer look, especially since we'll be seeing the the new technology incorporated into a number of helmets that have yet to be released.


MIPS 2018
The C2 liner gets a slipperier coating and revised attachment points for 2018.

When you think of MIPS, you probably picture the yellow plastic liner that's attached to the inside of a helmet. That liner is designed to allow the helmet to rotate 10-15mm during a crash, which MIPS says is enough movement to reduce the amount of rotational force that reaches the brain during an impact. The original design, referred to as C2, is still being used, but it's now being updated with a new coating that should make the liner even slipperier, along with a new shape for the elastomers that attach it to the helmet. It's a little detail, but the new elastomer shape is meant to help keep the liner from snagging on strands of hair when a helmet is removed.

MIPS 2018
No, it's not for sumo wrestling. This new E2 liner is designed for use in full-face helmets.

The E2 design is a new addition to the MIPS product line, one that's aimed at DH, moto, and snow applications. A plastic foil is sewn into a stretchy fabric sleeve, forming a liner that can be added to a full face helmet without needing to modify the helmet's shell. That fact means that if a company wanted to include the technology in one of their existing helmets no re-certification would be necessary, potentially saving a manufacturer up to $100,000 in re-certification testing fees.

MIPS 2018
MIPS 2018

A1 is the new design that MIPS will be working with helmet manufacturers to incorporate into lightweight road and mountain helmets – it's an even lower profile design than the C2 liner. A low friction layer is sandwiched between two layers of fabric, sort of like the filling in an Oreo cookie. The helmets pads' are then velcroed to the outside of that MIPS sandwich, where they're able to achieve the desired 10-15mm of rotational movement in the event of a crash.

MIPS wasn't able to say exactly who will be using these new designs, but expect to see some of the largest manufacturers release helmets that include the new technology in 2018.


30 Comments

  • + 27
 So with all the technology being put into bikes, carbon everything. . . etc and the best we can do to protect the most important part of your body is slipperier plastic?
  • + 16
 At least some helmet manufacturers like POC and Kali are trying different concussion protection technologies. I think this area is getting more attention.
  • + 7
 Market might not be there... seriously, people don't get as excited for new helmet tech (especially if look and feel doesn't change.) I do think a lot of people are starting to understand the importance of a really solid helmet, so we should see more tech continue to be developed.
  • + 8
 I am not a scientist but the subject looks extremely difficult and maybe even impossible to solve. Brain damage is something they all trying to prevent. The problem is that even if you will design a perfect deceleration function a helmet is still not thick enough to make a deceleration significantly smaller. And if you add bulk to the helmet it becomes safer but then angular momentum becomes your enemy. The truth is we all have an unstable jelly in our heads that gets damaged easily. And if you make the head to big other types of damage may occur. The best example here is NFL. The league is worth millions of dollars and yet the data is crushing. Almost all players of american football on all levels suffer from chronic traumatic encephalopathy. And there is a good chance all NFL will be shut down because of that. So you can imagine how hard they are working to make a better helmet for those guys. But there is no breakthrough I know of on the horizon.
  • + 2
 @goroncy: speaking of NFL. A neighbor just started working with this startup. Should be interesting to see where it goes. There are players using it now at college and NFL level. There are plans to expand into other sports where a helmet is needed. Let's see what happens: www.geekwire.com/2017/russell-wilson-richard-sherman-among-seahawks-players-wearing-new-high-tech-vicis-helmet
  • + 1
 @qpcr8tiv: Interesting. Good sign is they mention that the fit is important. This is what I also heard results from a German study that is not yet published will show. I think that there is a room to improve. Current helmets are designed to protect the skull not the brain so maybe some tweaks are possible.
  • + 0
 Watch some videos of how MIPS works, its a new tech thats in testing, but actually quite different from a basic helmet, so why bash them for trying to get the details right.
  • + 1
 @goroncy: The NFL will never be shut down. Sadly it makes too much money for that to happen. No amount of player injuries or any scandal could ever shut it down.
  • + 15
 Wait, helmet certification costs $100,000? Who gets paid? Given all the overlapping/disagreeing certifications out there seems like a total racket.
  • + 2
 Every certification is like that. To get CE or UL certification on electronics you are looking at $50000 each. The money is payed to the certifying body and the testing lab (often the same)
  • + 3
 Shouldn't the hard Velcro meet the soft Velcro in the low friction disc area under the pocket? Engineers know how to talk dirty yo
  • + 3
 If this new technology does away with the pointy parts on a MIPS helmet that dig through my skull when I try to wear them, then that's awesome.
  • + 1
 As far as I understand it, MIPS allows your head to move within the helmet shell. This seems to me like it'd solve for the glancing type contact with a fall. What about direct impact where MIPS isn't moving? It seems to me this wouldn't help much. (I'm sure it's available) Would like to see a review include data analysis on mountain bike (or any bike) crashes by types of head impact. Are they generally glancing type or direct type impacts -- and what type of impacts have the highest severity of injury. This would help support why MIPS is really important to have. If it's 50/50 then it's a legitimate case for MIPS.

I guess it's hard to pinpoint as you never know what kind of fall you're going to have so might as well get all the bells and whistles to protect your head. I hear 'Enduro' specific helmets with 'Boost' air vents coming up. Smile
  • + 1
 From what I heard its more designed to protect and reduce risk of injuries to your neck and brain resulting from torsional movements (Twisting).
  • + 4
 Yesterday, I asked for a MIPS toque and today it rains from the heavens!
  • + 1
 They talk so much about this rotation stuff, but they do testing on bald plastic dummies. The don't account for the fact that people have hair.
  • + 6
 me nope! ahahha
  • + 5
 Speak for yourself!
  • + 4
 Speak for yourself.
  • + 16
 That's incorrect. They've done testing on dummies with wigs to test that theory, and the results demonstrated that while hair does help, it doesn't provide the same amount of movement as MIPS.
  • + 1
 @mikekazimer: Source?
  • + 10
 But ...
1. Not all people have hair
2. People who have hair can ride harder since they have "double MIPS"
Big Grin
  • + 3
 @mikekazimer: But have they tested dummies with dreads? Gonna dread my hair soon and wondering if I will have SUPER MIPS then lol.
  • + 4
 @krumpdancer101: with dreadlocks you dont need a helmet at all ????
  • + 1
 @LucWicklund: key word: briefly, not mentioning sources :/
  • + 0
 @Nobble: Mike Kazimer is the source
  • + 2
 when they design something specifically for axial loading impacts I'll be more impressed.
  • + 3
 Check out 6D helmets.
  • + 2
 I want one for Sumo wrestling please.

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