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.
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.
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.
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.