A bike helmet should always be worn whenever you are using your bicycle. However even within the mike helmet world, there are many different options out there with varying degrees of safety. When you are shopping for your helmet, you likely will stumble upon the acronym “MIPS”.

So what is MIPS? MIPS stands for multi-directional impact protection system. It is a specialized technology that has been engineered to reduce strain on the brain in the event of an impact.

There is no industry-wide test for rotational impact to bike helmets, so there are few opportunities for you to validate manufacturer and retailers claims about how safe their bike helmet is. 

This is an example of a MIPS bike helmet

Why can MIPS help you?

Although not a pleasant subject, it is essential to understand why a MIPS bike helmet could help you in the event of a crash.

If you hit your head in a fall, the impact creates a rotational motion in the brain. Although our body has natural defenses to such movement, this rotational force can severely increase the risk of brain injury.

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What makes up a MIPS helmet?

The MIPS technology works to reduce the risk of this rotational movement of the rider’s brain.

The system has a two-layer design: an outer later made from impact-absorbing EPS foam, with a lower friction inner layer that sits atop the head.

In the event of a crash, the outer EPS foam layer will absorb the impact, while the inner layer allows for 10 to 15 millimeters of rotation in any direction, reducing the rotational motion and redirecting the energy that would otherwise cause the brain to rotate.

This relatively small rotation has been shown to reduce the force on a cyclist’s brain dramatically. 

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Thanks to stringent testing and research, the MIPS technology helps to give cyclists another layer of protection.

Cycling can be dangerous and if there is any way to help reduce the severity of any injuries caused by a crash, you should make the most of the technology.