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Does anyone here have experience with MIPS helmets, in the sense that you have actually gone down with them on and hit your head and concussion was prevented because of the design? I may do a few road races next year, and am interested in purchasing one.

It must be stated that I had a massive concussion/mild TBI from a crash with a "regular" helmet on about a year and half ago that took over a year to recover from (probably would have died without the helmet though)!!! I am trying to prevent another one if at all possible, but I know that research on MIPS efficacy is mixed.


Thanks for input!



 

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What you're missing on, is that MIPS is not a standard way of making helmets. Indeed the corporation that owns the patent and tradmarking basically does nothing to police the usage of "MIPS" WRT actual implementation and design. Depending on what make and model and year of helmet you compare....and depending on the particular crash scenario...your results skew significantly, because manufacturers are out to make a cheap product they can get a nice markup out of.

MIPS and Sliding Resistance of Bicycle Helmets

You best hope in terms of raw safety for your noggin, is to get a cheap BMX bowling-ball-style helmet with minimal venting from a reputable manufacture labeled as MIPS. That is your only real sure shot at having a "MIPS" helmet that will actually will work as advertised.
 

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Does anyone here have experience with MIPS helmets, in the sense that you have actually gone down with them on and hit your head and concussion was prevented because of the design? I may do a few road races next year, and am interested in purchasing one.

It must be stated that I had a massive concussion/mild TBI from a crash with a "regular" helmet on about a year and half ago that took over a year to recover from (probably would have died without the helmet though)!!! I am trying to prevent another one if at all possible, but I know that research on MIPS efficacy is mixed.


Thanks for input!



How to heck is anyone going to know if a concussion was prevented as compared to another helmet? That's like asking if people have had success preventing pregnancy with some new birth control device. I probably wouldn't use it based on a stranger on the net saying it worked once.
 

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It is equally likely that MIPS reduces efficacy as it is that it improves it.


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I don't think you will find good data until after MIPS is used in football helmets in a wide spread way. We would need lots of real world impacts to know if they have a beneficial effect. If football helmets are used, we will get data on teams that use them and teams that don't. That said...

I went with one, after looking at the research. One big reason I did is that (from the clinical research I looked at) rotational forces result in the most severe damage (including brain stem in very severe situations), and the most diffuse damage to the brain. Every part of the brain, iow.

I only buy helmets that fit well. As in contact with as much skull as possible, don't shift when bumped with a hand, and they won't fall off unstrapped when I put my head down vertically (so upside down). Much of what you read will say that helmets already move on the head, are a bit loose fitting. In Marc's link, they say they are not "coupled closely to the head, and will slip anyway." Mine never were loose and did not slip. My MIPS does not shift under a straight on hit with my hand, but will shift ever so slightly under rotational force. As it is supposed to. And unstrapped, it stays on my head when I put my head down vertically.

Let me put it this way. I do not see how my current MIPS helmet would be worse than my old helmets in the rare crashes I have endured. It will stay on, the material will break, forces will be dissipated. And if the rotational effect is there, I may get additional benefit for certain types of crashes.

And I bought one that is rounder than my older helmets, especially on the back of the head. Which is supposed to help, as more oblong helmets can "catch" and impart rotational forces as the brain keeps moving. I also went with one that has more coverage, since I am a bit more risk averse as I age. A bit heavier because of that, but so be it.

I think they will be marginally more effective in higher speed crashes on the road, and glancing type blows off objects which would be more common on singletrack. I might be wrong, but as I said, I don't see how they would be worse, given the fit of the one I bought.
 

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I don't think you will find good data until after MIPS is used in football helmets in a wide spread way. We would need lots of real world impacts to know if they have a beneficial effect. If football helmets are used, we will get data on teams that use them and teams that don't. That said...

I went with one, after looking at the research. One big reason I did is that (from the clinical research I looked at) rotational forces result in the most severe damage (including brain stem in very severe situations), and the most diffuse damage to the brain. Every part of the brain, iow.

I only buy helmets that fit well. As in contact with as much skull as possible, don't shift when bumped with a hand, and they won't fall off unstrapped when I put my head down vertically (so upside down). Much of what you read will say that helmets already move on the head, are a bit loose fitting. In Marc's link, they say they are not "coupled closely to the head, and will slip anyway." Mine never were loose and did not slip. My MIPS does not shift under a straight on hit with my hand, but will shift ever so slightly under rotational force. As it is supposed to. And unstrapped, it stays on my head when I put my head down vertically.

Let me put it this way. I do not see how my current MIPS helmet would be worse than my old helmets in the rare crashes I have endured. It will stay on, the material will break, forces will be dissipated. And if the rotational effect is there, I may get additional benefit for certain types of crashes.

And I bought one that is rounder than my older helmets, especially on the back of the head. Which is supposed to help, as more oblong helmets can "catch" and impart rotational forces as the brain keeps moving. I also went with one that has more coverage, since I am a bit more risk averse as I age. A bit heavier because of that, but so be it.

I think they will be marginally more effective in higher speed crashes on the road, and glancing type blows off objects which would be more common on singletrack. I might be wrong, but as I said, I don't see how they would be worse, given the fit of the one I bought.
MIPS is snake oil. Well, we know a lot more about snake oil than we know about MIPS... I agreed with the vast majority of your post, it is an excellent post. I'd love to see the scholarship you reviewed and I'm certain it's good quality stufff, you know the difference. It's been a while since I looked at the research. But what was out there didnt support any clear advantages. Manufacturing consistency alone, even if the idea is supported, is enough to justify the snake oil bit. One manufacturer, patented, and only one favorable article, and it isn't in any way scholarly? MIPS is snake oil. Maybe it gets promoted to psaudo-science in the next few years? Maybe it bets respect? But it doesn't earn it now.
 

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I'd love to see the scholarship you reviewed and I'm certain it's good quality stufff, you know the difference. It's been a while since I looked at the research. But what was out there didnt support any clear advantages.
I was referring to research on brain injury/trauma, not MIPS as protective. The only MIPS data I know about is lab tests.

As I said above, I don't see how my MIPS helmet (which fits perfectly and is positioned correctly on my head) will be worse in any crash than a non-MIPS, it might be better.
 

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I imagine MIPS would be pretty effective in a road helmet. Since there is a lot of speed involved chances are there wil be a rotating force on your helmet at impact. If your helmet is oriented in the right direction for the MIPS to actually rotate! Anything you can do to increase the duration of an impact moment will significantly reduce trauma caused by an impact. The rotation MIPS allows would do just that. Thats just my take on it anyway.

Obviously if your head hits straight on the ground with no rotational force being applied a MIPS helmet will act like any other. Or pretty much any axis that the MIPS of your specific helmet isn't designed to move in.

I can't imagine MIPS reducing how effective a helmet is but whether its more effective depends on the specific type of impact.
 

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When you hit the ground hard, the first thing that happens is the initial blunt impact between your head and the ground. This is where most of the the damage will be done.
Damage due to secondary event such as your head twisting and sliding on the ground is probably not too important. If I were you, I'd look for an mtb/bmx style helmet that covers as much of your head as possible, including back area (MIPS or no MIPS).
 

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I was referring to research on brain injury/trauma, not MIPS as protective. The only MIPS data I know about is lab tests.

As I said above, I don't see how my MIPS helmet (which fits perfectly and is positioned correctly on my head) will be worse in any crash than a non-MIPS, it might be better.
Thanks, I haven't looked for non cycling data. Brain trauma studies that are General about rotation may not have any useful relationship to a specific design and construction. The theory makes sense on some level, but has nothing supporting it besides a worthless magazine article and a huge investment by Bell. Is it worse? Who knows. Is it better? Who knows. I'm certainly not claiming it's worse, I'm simply saying we have no idea whatsoever if it has any effect, positive or negative. Could it be worse? Sure. It could be poorly made and have structural problems due the rotational allowance. Just playing with that, again, who knows? Bell is all-in on a product that has no eveidence supporting its efficacy. Zero. Nada. Zilch. Is your nuggets safety their priority in that business decision?

When you hit the ground hard, the first thing that happens is the initial blunt impact between your head and the ground. This is where most of the the damage will be done.
Damage due to secondary event such as your head twisting and sliding on the ground is probably not too important. If I were you, I'd look for I an mtb/bmx style helmet that covers as much of your head as possible, including back area (MIPS or no MIPS).


This is a great point. It addresses the slide factor as well as the rotational factor. It is thought that slide may be more important than rotation in some of what I read. This idea really dismisses slide.
 

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gazing from the shadows
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When you hit the ground hard, the first thing that happens is the initial blunt impact between your head and the ground. This is where most of the the damage will be done.
You seem focused on the head. I am more worried about the brain.

The problem of impact is not your head hitting the ground, it is your brain hitting your skull, or in the case of torsional forces, your brain tearing from being twisted IN your skull. And the bleeding and swelling that results from that brain damage, which causes more damage.

A broken skull is just a broken bone. A broken brain, even if it doesn't kill you, can change you forever. In some horrifying ways.
 

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You seem focused on the head. I am more worried about the brain.

The problem of impact is not your head hitting the ground, it is your brain hitting your skull, or in the case of torsional forces, your brain tearing from being twisted IN your skull. And the bleeding and swelling that results from that brain damage, which causes more damage.

A broken skull is just a broken bone. A broken brain, even if it doesn't kill you, can change you forever. In some horrifying ways.
https://www.ted.com/talks/david_cam...oncussions_and_what_might?language=en#t-21856
 

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I have to say I agree with Q3 (Qui...)

My worst crash to date (put me out of commission for close to 5 weeks) did not involve a MIPS helmet, but did involve sliding. In my case I caught a milled section of path (some idiot milled a section out of a paved trail and didn't sign it or mark it). I was going at a moderate clip and endo'd it hard (taco's the front wheel, cracked 3 ribs, bruised a kidney) and slid down the pavement for a bit...I have the road rash to prove it.

The ER doc was, frankly, surprised that I didn't have a concussion. For my damage, I had to have hit hard. But a properly fit and adjusted helmet that was being worn properly kept me from getting scrambled.

Is MIPS the next big leap....I doubt it. By now there should be more info on it if it were. Perhaps in the future we'll see something that combines a conventional helmet with something like the Hovding...but until then, I'm wearing a quality helmet, properly fitted and fitting...just in case.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
You seem focused on the head. I am more worried about the brain.

The problem of impact is not your head hitting the ground, it is your brain hitting your skull, or in the case of torsional forces, your brain tearing from being twisted IN your skull. And the bleeding and swelling that results from that brain damage, which causes more damage.

A broken skull is just a broken bone. A broken brain, even if it doesn't kill you, can change you forever. In some horrifying ways.
Yep, been there, done that. I probably got back to 95% after my mild tbi last year, but I have been forever changed by it. That's why I'm looking for a better helmet in the event that I do race again on the road.

Perhaps it's just best to not contemplate racing on the road again--another brain injury would not help me in my life. I have to admit to doing some cx training races this fall and loving it! Gravel is also a big thing around here.

Thanks for the good input people!
 

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For my damage, I had to have hit hard. But a properly fit and adjusted helmet that was being worn properly kept me from getting scrambled.
This deserves more emphasis. There are many safety devices that aren't properly adjusted. How many people even know that you can adjust a car seatbelt for shoulder height, or have ever adjusted their car headrest height for their head?

I see many riders with loose helmets. A properly fitted and adjusted helmet, MIPS or non-MIPS, will protect you from most reasonable impacts. A loose helmet will slide off your head and smash your skull into the pavement. Having suffered a brain injury about 15 years ago (skiing) that was likely exacerbated by the poor design and lack of proper occipital protection of my ski helmet, I am very careful to cover my noggin properly whenever I venture out. Do I think MIPS works? Probably not, but wearing any helmet properly surely does.
 

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How could it reduce efficacy?
QQQ makes an excellent point about rotational force and shermes post dots his I and crosses his T. My point is that the connection between the idea, the evidence, and the MIPS helmet is non-existent. Improves? Maybe. Reduces? Maybe. Who knows? We have no evidence that an important idea is being translated into a viable product. None. How, specifically, does it improve outcomes? It doesn't, at least you can't claim it does and support the claim. At least as far as I can tell. How could it hurt efficacy? Who knows... maybe the allowance for rotation makes compromises an otherwise ideal fit? We have no way of knowing because there isn't any research making the connection between the idea and the product. The helmet is built on a hunch. It's capitalizing on an important idea with a questionable response. Maybe it's the next most important safety innovation? We have no idea. And that's important. But Bell is all in. Because it sounds like a good idea. And it sounds like an idea people will pay more money for. An innovation, at the very least, in overpricing. QQQ says, and it's a brilliant comment, that if football teams start using it in their helmets we will have the data because we will have control groups, test groups, video, and lots of n. Now? No reliable data.
 
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