The intricate history of MIPS helmets with a review of their revolutionary design and testing procedures.
We live in an interesting time with evolutionary designs like the concept behind MIPS helmets. In this day and age the evolution of technology is leading an explosion of advancements in the medical field. Public awareness of sports related brain injury has sky rocketed over the past decade. Mild head trauma was once considered an inconvenience to the health care community but is now the forefront of a revolution in concussion prevention strategies. This revolution has made its way into the motorcycle community led by MIPS AB. A company fueled by passion to provide the utmost protection against rotational force; the root of brain trauma.
In 1995 Swedish neurosurgeon Hans Von Holst began to question the general construction of helmets. Sparked by the number of helmet wearing patients that landed on his operating table, Von Holst kickstarted what would become years of research and development related to head trauma for the World Health Organization in Geneva. Teamed with Royal Institute of Technology researcher Peter Halldin, the two experts set out to develop a new technology that would offer better protection than ever before. Through the combined years of testing, expertise, and evaluation of the brain anatomy and physiology a new protection system was born. This system is what we now recognize today as the Multi Directional Impact Protection System, or MIPS. The revolutionary technology found in MIPS helmets today.
Formally founded in 2001, the five biomechanical specialists behind the company MIPS AB set out to provide MIPS in an accessible way to extreme sports athletes and the general public alike. Their technology focused on providing protection that had never been offered before; protection against rotational force.
Over the years MIPS AB has led the way in ground breaking studies involving injury prediction and the simulation of real world head and neck injuries. They have published several leading research articles presenting improved methods for helmet testing and understanding head injury. MIPS AB continues to lead the world in research and development of innovative brain injury protection.
What is a MIPS helmet?
A MIPS helmet comes specially equipped with the MIPS brain protection system. Many of the leading motorcycle helmet brands today offer a selection of helmets with MIPS for riders of all calibers. The MIPS brain protection system is a low friction layer that separates the shell and the liner. The low friction layer allows the helmet to slide relative to the head, protecting the wearers head against rotational force caused by angled impacts. The relative motion MIPS allows acts similarly to the protective cerebrospinal fluid surrounding the brain. By mimicking the brain’s own protective strategies a MIPS equipped helmet offers effective protection against rotational force at any angle.
Protection against rotational force is especially important for motorcycle riders because when you crash your head usually hits the ground at an angle, creating rotational force that leads to strain on the brain. The traditional motorcycle helmet design does little to provide protection against rotational force. This is why many helmet brands like Bell, Fox Racing and Troy Lee Designs are now collaborating with MIPS to offer better protection than ever before.
A helmet equipped with MIPS is typically a little more expensive than the similar counterpart. So are MIPS helmets worth it? Absolutely. Updated testing procedures have shown that helmets with MIPS perform significantly better by greatly reducing strain on the brain than helmets without adequate protection against rotational force.
MIPS Test Methods
The current motorcycle helmet test methods are outdated and lack crucial elements of a real world crash scenario. Helmets are often tested by a vertical drop onto a flat surface, even though most real world impacts occur at an angle in motorcycle crashes. Early on the experts behind MIPS AB set out to develop new helmet testing methods that would provide an improved evaluation of test impacts. Today MIPS helmets are tested using two different methods that simulate a real world impact to validate their safety.
By stepping outside the boundaries of standard helmet testing MIPS is able to offer revolutionary technology you can rely on. The brilliant minds behind MIPS are pushing the world to challenge what we once thought of as a safe helmet design and pioneering new methods to protect riders against brain trauma.
Look for the little yellow logo.
Top selling MIPS helmets on J&P Cycles.