Falling from a bike can have grave implications when proper protective gear isn’t used.
Regular riders would know that getting a proper helmet is necessary for a safer biking experience. This has led to the rise of a wide variety of helmets on the market, including the MIPS units.
They are said to be a safer option, reducing the chances of brain injuries. However, as they are often pricier than regular units, people often ask, “do I need MIPS bike helmet?” That’s why we are here to tell you everything about these helmets, and without further ado, let’s get started.
What Is MIPS Technology in Bike Helmets?
MIPS stands for the Multi-directional Impact Protection System, invented by Hans von Holst. His students at the Swedish Royal Institute of Technology perfected the MIPS technology to protect the brain against rotational forces.
In this technology, the helmet is usually composed of two parts so that during impact, the lower layer can move 10-15mm using the slip-plane system. This is said to be effective in acting against angled impacts which saves the rider from getting severe brain injuries or concussions.
Furthermore, the outer shell of a MIPS unit works to reduce the linear impact just like any other helmet. And the technology was initially adopted in bike helmets, as accidents often lead to significant injuries due to the rotational impact.
How Does A MIPS Helmet Work?
As we have just told you, MIPS bike helmets are usually made up of two components and are usually present as an inner layer, featuring a yellow color. This is also known as the slip liner, and it can move in different directions slightly, making the system multi-directional.
It has been discovered that in case of bike-related accidents, most people sustain head trauma due to an oblique impact. However, as the inner liner of a MIPS is flexible, it can absorb the force coming from any direction.
In turn, the system also works to reduce the rotational motion of your head. This may minimize the chance of getting a concussion or brain injury by almost 10% compared to non-MIPS helmets.
Thus, some people believe that MIPS helmets can be more efficient based on the design tweaks made by particular brands.
Does Every Brand Sell MIPS Bike Helmets?
Even though the availability of MIPS helmets has expanded in the last few years, they aren’t available from all brands. That’s because a brand has to run the design of its MIPS helmets through many international standardized tests to launch it on the market successfully.
On top of that, a brand may want to check in with the original makers of the MIPS technology to make sure that any design changes won’t affect its safety. Having said that, MIPS helmets are easily available from top brands like Bell, Giro, and Thousand, among others.
Overall, around 120 brands currently produce MIPS helmets for biking, alpine racing, snowboarding, and other physical activities.
How Do I Know If My Helmet Has MIPS?
The easiest way to check if a helmet has MIPS technology is to check the product description from the brand. Usually, helmets come with identifiers like a brand mark and serial number to help you search for their specifications.
Other than that, a MIPS helmet is easily recognizable due to the yellow inner layer present inside the larger shell. However, some brands might have a yellow “MIPS” logo on the body of the helmet for easy identification.
MIPS Vs Spin Bike Helmet, Which Is Better?
The MIPS technology and the SPIN (Shearing Pad Inside) system work similarly as both try to negate the rotational force.
SPIN is prominently available from POC Sports, a favored brand of many when it comes to biking helmets. It’s said to have better padding than MIPS helmets which can take shock absorption to the next level.
However, we wouldn’t really place one over the other as the level of protection is relatively similar. Hence, the final decision should be based on the comfort and fit you’re getting from the product.
MIPS Vs Non-MIPS Bike Helmet, Which Is Better?
To tell you the truth, it’s still hotly debated among bikers whether it’s really necessary to spend on MIPS helmets. Even the makers of MIPS technology believe that you shouldn’t just pick a helmet based on its claim of having MIPS. Instead, a better way would be to compare the performance ratings of a MIPS and a non-MIPS helmet before purchasing.
Is MIPS Worth The Extra Money?
The upfront cost you pay for a MIPS helmet may seem a bit too much, especially for amateur riders. This may drive them to go for lower-quality MIPS helmets that cost less.
However, on checking some of the high-quality non-MIPS helmets from renowned brands, we found the price difference to be not more than $20-30. Hence, if you think that a MIPS helmet would be better suited for your riding, spending the extra money would be worth it.
Do I REALLY Need MIPS Bike Helmet?
There’s no easy answer to this question as it’s not mandatory to wear a MIPS helmet while riding a bike. Therefore, we can’t really say whether you will need this variant of the helmet while riding.
Rather, it would be better to go through the different features of MIPS helmets to check if they meet your expectations. Even though we wouldn’t term it as the safer or better option, the meticulous testing done on the helmets does guarantee their quality.
Hence, we recommend them, especially while riding on bumpy trails.
The bottom line is that you should opt for a helmet that comes with adequate safety measures while being comfortable. Also, remember to measure your head to get the right fit, and we prefer lightweight helmets with breathable liners for relaxed long rides.
Until next time, take care, and ride safely!