I love to have fun and ride hard, so I’ve had my fair share of crashes over the decades. After a particularly crazy ride in the boulders, I found myself in the ER with a dozen of stitches in my arm. As I lay in the hospital bed, I pulled out my smartphone and started to research safe helmets, and I came across the MIPS technology. According the research behind MIPS, most brain injuries occur when the brain rotates inside of the skull. Designed to keep the helmet in the proper place when riding, the MIPS helmet allows your head to move around a bit inside your helmet when you hit the dirt to prevent jarring injuries.
Sounded like a plausible explanation to me, so I figured I’d try wearing my normal (non-MIPS) helmet looser to see if I get the same affect. This potentially cost saving experiment on the average helmet was a dud—I found that our non-MIPS helmet slid around on my head too much while riding, and that it would probably end up in the wrong location on my head in the event of a crash. So, if the science is correct, then the MIPS helmet seems like a way better method.
After my faulty do-it-yourself-MIPS-helmet experiment, I found the POC Trabec Race MIPS helmet and decided to test it out. When I tried it on right out of the box, I felt like I had a huge mushroom on my head. Compared to my non-MIPS helmet, the POC Trabec Race MIPS was really big and also squeaked when I vigorously moved my head. Very annoying.
After logging 20 hours riding and breaking-in the helmet, the squeaking has diminished but it is still there. While looking for the source of the annoying squeaking, I found that the sound comes from friction between the inner plastic mechanism between your head and the main helmet. In addition to the consistent squeaking, the visor is also slightly annoying because it gradually slides down into the lowest position over my eyes, limiting my vision. To fix this problem, I first tapped the visor in place at the highest setting. I have since replaced the tape with Velcro under the upper visor tabs to prevent the visor from falling down over my eyes. This fix seems ridiculous considering the helmet carries a $200 price tag.
Bottom line, I feel very safe in this helmet, but the helmet does feel slightly large.
I look forward to trying the new SCOTT Stego MIPS helmet when they are finally released.