What is MIPS – Helmet technology that can save your life?
Photo by Road.cc
E-bikes let you ride farther and faster than you would on a normal pedal bike, and offer a great choice for anyone. But it is easy to get carried away with the feeling of freedom they give you, and it is important to remember the risks associated with riding any bike before setting off. Electric bike accessories such as lights are part of that, but for safety, electric bike helmets are by far the most important.
The most common injuries
A number of studies of accidents involving electric bikes for adults have shown that the most common injuries include head injuries. These injuries vary from a minor cut to brain damage, but perhaps the most important statistic is this one: Wearing a helmet can reduce the risk of head injury by as much as 85%.
With that in mind, you can see why electric bike helmets are probably the most important safety step for any rider. In fact, because you tend to travel faster on an electric bike for adults, they are even more important than helmets for those riding traditional bikes. However, with so many options on the market, you may wonder what the best helmet for ebike actually is.
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Mips electric bike helmets
As bike technology has advanced, other aspects of the industry have continued to evolve too, and that includes safety gear. For helmets, the big breakthrough was the introduction of the Mips system. Mips is a safety solution designed to offer better protection to the head than a normal helmet, in particular, to protect against the rotational forces that come with the most common types of head impact.
Medical studies refer to these impacts as oblique, but essentially it means a glancing blow rather than straight on. Not only does this do physical damage to the head, but also produces violent rotational forces that spin the head to one side very quickly. It is this combination that makes bike accidents such a risk, as they can lead to brain damage.
To combat this, the best helmet for ebike use is definitely the Mips system. Designed using decades of research of head injuries from bike, ski and snowboarding accidents, it is a second ‘helmet’ inside the first that is free to rotate several degrees independently from the outer helmet. This minimizes the risk of those rotational forces on the brain by allowing them to twist the outer helmet without forcing your head to move as well.
This, in combination with additional padding, offers superior protection to standard helmets. But why should electric bike helmets in particular use the Mips system?
Riding electric bikes for adults
Understanding why electric bike accessories need to be more robust means looking at how we use them. We already mentioned the fact that you are likely to be going faster in most situations on an electric bike, and that alone means in an accident the forces involved are higher. But there is more. Electric bikes allow you to go further, so you are also doing more miles, increasing your exposure to risk as well.
Whether you are riding a mountain ebike for adults on some woodland trails or going down the road on your commute to work, there is a risk. A vehicle does something stupid and hits you, you fail to avoid the large tree at the side of the trail, these things happen. Most of the time it’s a bruised ego and not much else, but electric bike helmets are essential because that risk is always there.
With their ability to better protect your head and brain, Mips helmets are the ideal electric bike accessories to keep you safe.
Which is the best helmet for ebike riders?
So, Mips is great technology that reduces the chances of serious injury if you have an accident on your electric bike for adults. The next question then, is which one, because a quick search will tell you there are hundreds of them to choose from.
First, it is important to remember that any helmet that has the Mips bright yellow logo on the box has the same basic system to protect your head fitted. Some manufacturers include additional safety features or other design changes to improve wearability or other aspects, so they are not all the same. They do all offer the same Mips protection though.
We always recommend sticking with known brands though, because while Mips is a great system, it is only part of the protection a helmet provides. The outer also needs to do its job too, and so a proven helmet from a known brand is the choice when it comes to electric bike helmets. There are options for most budgets, with more expensive options tending to have better padding or more features. That basic Mips protection you are looking for is there even with the cheapest one though.
Why it matters for enjoying your bike
Safety is important, obviously, because if the worst happens you want to be protected. But there is more to having the right helmet, and that is enjoyment. Swinging a leg over an electric bike for adults, whether heading off to the mountains, cruising by the beach or heading off to work, gives a sense of freedom that few other forms of transport can match. As the speed builds and the wind blows, you can’t help but feel alive.
However, if at the back of your mind you are always thinking about the ‘what ifs’; What if that car doesn’t stop, what if I fall on that step down and so on, then you lose that sense of spontaneity and joy that biking brings. A helmet doesn’t mean you can be reckless of course, but it does stop you worrying about every part of your ride, and lets you just soak in the experience and enjoy your electric bike, just as you should.