Soon after Lumos announced that their biking helmet was entering the Apple stores, the company has advised that a MIPS Helmet version is available for pre-order which includes their signaling and braking LED lighting.
This will add £20 to the helmet cost, bringing this version of the Lumos helmet to £169.99 for a helmet that provides additional visibility through its 48 individual LEDs in the front and back, built-in turn signals and brake lights.
So what is a MIPS Helmet?
First of all, MIPS stands for Multi-Directional Impact Protection System. It is the result of research carried out by Swedish neurosurgeon Professor Hans von Holst and Peter Halldin, a researcher at the Swedish Institute of Technology. Their goal was to achieve much better protection against rotational motion trauma, which is when the head is impacted at an angle rather than “head on” (straight radial impact). While angular impact is the most common cause of injury, it had been the least researched.
This eminent team discovered that a relative motion between two low friction layers in a helmet could reduce rotational motion injuries. The human head has such an inbuilt system, with cerebrospinal fluid floating between the brain and the skull, which deflects some of the energy of impact.
The result of this research – and subsequent testing and development – led to the innovation now known as MIPS with the company now supplying 60 different helmet brands and 302 helmet models with MIPS components. As they say on their website, “MIPS’ added protection system has been proven to reduce the rotational motion when implemented in a helmet by absorbing and redirecting energies and forces otherwise transmitted to the brain.”
How Does a MIPS Helmet Work?
MIPS adds a low friction layer that enables a relative movement of 10-15mm between the head and the helmet in any direction at the brief moment of an angled impact. The Swedish company has several different versions available, with the MIPS-A1 utilising a series of plates anchored between fabric layers and housed beneath the helmet’s comfort pads. Far more MIPS Helmets use the C2 product, which separates the shell and liner with a thin plastic Low Friction Layer or “LFL”, attached with 3-4 rubber elastomers combined with a low friction ink.
A mountain bike and any other full-face MIPS cycling helmet is more likely to use the E2 solution, which is a soft, cap-like insert that acts as a full-headed low friction layer. This liner comprises two multi-directional, stretch fabric layers sewn around a thin plastic foil.
The final MIPS helmet solution is the F2 which is mounted between the EPP foam line and the exterior shell allowing the liner to slide 10-15mm on impact.
The Swedish company provides this Vimeo clip on how a MIPS helmet works and protects your brain.