Not a day goes by when we’re not thinking about how to keep you safer while riding your bike. From daily commuting to weekend TJ’s runs — and every skate and scoot in between — you can count on us to keep your dome covered. That means we’re constantly seeking out the best and most researched technology for our bike helmets. MIPS technology is one such example.
But what exactly is MIPS? You might have seen or heard the term before, but did you know it originated in Sweden? Did you also know it’s super lightweight and barely noticeable while riding? There’s so much more to MIPS than meets the eye. Here, we answer some of your most common questions about this:
MIPS is an acronym that stands for multi-directional impact protection system. Try saying that five times fast! This backed-by-science technology protects your head from enduring a life-threatening head injury if you ever happen to take an unexpected spill at certain angles. That’s the benefit of MIPS. Research has shown that most bicycle accidents occur at an angle instead of falling straight down. This lifesaving innovation accounts for that.
It works a little something like this: MIPS helmets are built with a low friction layer that typically sits between the helmet’s padding and the EPS foam layer. This MIPS liner is super discreet and lightweight so cyclists barely even notice that it’s there. In the event of a crash, the brain protection system (BPS) allows your head to make a tiny 10-15mm multidirectional movement inside the helmet to reduce rotational force. That last part is critical.
The result of an angled impact is called rotational force. When your head suddenly hits a hard surface such as pavement, dirt, or even snow, a traumatic brain injury could occur because it’s more sensitive to this type of fall. Severe brain injuries can include bleeding, blurry vision, bruising, and losing consciousness. All riders — from road bikes to mountain bikes — are susceptible to injury. A bicycle helmet constructed with a MIPS brain protection system can save your life.
Many of today’s helmet brands — including names you’ve definitely heard of before like Bontrager to Giro and POC to Specialized — offer at least one helmet model designed with the protective MIPS layer. But how exactly did MIPS come about in the first place?
Let’s pedal down memory lane, shall we?
A researcher at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden, by the name of Peter Halldin and a Swedish neurosurgeon named Hans von Holst developed this innovative helmet technology. The research originally began by von Holst in 1996, but it wasn’t until 2001 when the company MIPS AB was launched. In 2007, the first equestrian helmet made with MIPS was introduced. Fast forward to 2019 when the company produced 14.2 million of these MIPS slip planes across 583 helmet models including cycling helmets, mountain bike helmets, and skateboard helmets.
Similar to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) label, all MIPS-certified helmets will have a yellow dot on it. If it doesn’t have the dot, don’t buy it.
The short answer is yes. This really shouldn’t be a hard sell because you only get one brain, right? Keep in mind that all helmets in the US must meet certain CPSC standards before they hit the shelves. Your standard non-MIPS helmet is certainly going to do an excellent job at protecting you. If you need some more convincing, an MIPS helmet goes one step further by offering protection against accidental spills at certain angles (the most common type of fall).
All types of riding, especially more intense types like mountain biking and cycling as well as daily commuting, can benefit from this extra protection. The layer is super lightweight (only 25-45 grams), and all helmets with this technology are designed to be well ventilated despite the additional thin layer.
If you’re looking for a new helmet, an MIPS model is definitely a safe bet. Prices range depending on the brand. According to Consumer Reports, you might find an MIPS helmet for as little as $25 and for as much as $400. Some kids' helmets are built with MIPS as well, which oftentimes accounts for the lower end of the price spectrum. The Thousand Chapter MIPS Helmet costs $135, which is fairly comparable to other caliber brands. It comes in three different colorways (Club Navy, Racer Black, and Supermoon White) and three different sizes.
The Chapter is designed with the thoughtful bells and whistles an everyday rider needs. We’re talking interchangeable visors to reduce glare and increase your field of vision, a multi-use magnetic tail light, and eight well-placed vents that capture airflow and pass it through the inner cooling channels. Add to this our integrated fit system to dial in a snug fit and a secret PopLock to securely leave your helmet behind with your bike.
Plus, every Chapter helmet is backed by our Free Accident Replacement guarantee. That means if you’re ever in an accident (we truly hope you're not!) and your helmet is damaged, we’ll replace it for free.
Don’t take our word for it! There’s a reason why real Thousand riders love and trust their Chapter helmet. We pour over every review to make sure that you’re satisfied with your purchase. Riders will often tell us that their head feels safe and they feel more confident while wearing a Chapter helmet. Other riders appreciate how lightweight our Chapter is while riding. Descriptions including “fits perfectly,” “quality,” “comfortable,” and “bright light” commonly pop up in reviews, too.
We’re blushing over your gushing! We’re constantly trying to evolve our designs to meet the needs of modern riders. So your feedback really does mean a lot to us and supports the process.
Seems protective, the magnetic clasp works well, a little bulky, and the light doesn't really work.
I love my new helmet! And the light for it is soooo bright! Cute, safe and so easy to lock up.
Really like the Chapter helmet with MIPS tech. Quality of helmet, straps and fit are great and helmet looks great. Initially ordered the wrong size and working with customer service was able to swap out for correct size. Liked helmet soo much bought my wife one too.
We bought these helmets for our weekend ebike rides. My wife loves hers and it looks great. I returned mine because my head is not sufficiently circular for this helmet. Seriously, the thing is circular. By the time i got the front-to-back adjusted, I could stick both thumbs in the sides and it wobbled. Still a great looking and safe helmet, just not for my head.
Great fit, easy adjustments, good instructions and love the magnetized light for the back of the helmet.
The MIPS helmet has a sophisticated look and is stylish. The magnetic latch is nice, and the adjustable head strap is useful. It would be nice if the visor could be easily snapped on and off. And, the rear light needs a better battery.
My sone likesvit. Im happy he has extra protection from the mips system
My partner and I both love our helmets!!
They look cool, are very safe, and even my college age kids LIKE to wear them. Excellent product - I highly recommend.
DESIGNED FOR ALL GENDERS AND BODIES
01. FIND A MEASURING TOOL
Find a flexible measuring tape or a phone charger (and ruler to measure it against).
Wrap the cord around your head just above the eyebrows.
03. FIND YOUR SIZE
Use the chart above to find your size. If you’re in-between sizes, size down.
Every head is different, but with our helmets' integrated dial fit system, it's easy to make small adjustments for a comfortable fit. Just turn the dial clockwise to tighten or counterclockwise to loosen. You can also remove some or all of the interior fit pads without affecting the safety of your lid to accomplish your preferred fit. More questions about getting the perfect fit? Contact us.
We hope you’re never in an accident, but if you’re ever involved in one and your helmet is damaged, let us know and we’ll replace your helmet for free.*
*Thousand offers free replacement with a helmet from a collection of equal or lesser value of the original purchase.
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