A lot has been in the news lately about concussion awareness. And for good reason. We are still learning about the potential long-term implications of head trauma. But the good news is that cycling helmet technology has come a long way from the old days of a half-egg of Styrofoam. One of the biggest changes has been the incorporation a new helmet technology knows as MIPS – or Multi-Directional Impact Protection System.
The MIPS technology was developed in Sweden in the 1990s. According to the MIPS website, this technology has been “scientifically proven to reduce rotational motion by absorbing and redirecting rotational energies and forces transferred to the brain from angled impacts to the head.”
To put it another way, the helmet can slightly rotate within itself and thereby lessen the impact the brain and reduce the likelihood of a concussion.
Basically, helmets with MIPS have two parts.
The outer part is similar to a normal cycling helmet. The EPS foam of the helmet body does a great job of minimizing the forces that occur during impact to lessen the chances of a blunt force injury.
The inner layer goes directly against your head. Statistics show that if you are in a crash, you are more likely to sustain impact at an angle. In this scenario, the outer layer absorbs the impact but the inner layer creates a slip-plane and moves 10-15 MM along with your head, reducing the rotational forces that your brain can be subjected to.
Check out the video below showing how MIPS works and how Specialized has incorporated the technology into their helmets.