What Does MIPS Do? | Cycling Helmets, Concussion & Brain Injuries

What Does MIPS Do? | Cycling Helmets, Concussion & Brain Injuries

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(intense music) – A concussion are always a shaking of your brain tissue
inside the skull bone. But it doesn’t say where
you have hurt yourself in most of the cases. – If you’ve purchased or
looked at buying a new helmet over recent years there’s a
chance you would have seen something called MIPS. MIMPS, if you aren’t aware, is a product that was launched in 2007. And has since sold over nine
million of their devices. But, what is MIPS? What is it designed to do? And how was it developed? I’ve been invited out here, to Sweden, to find out exactly that. (mellow electronic music) As cyclists, most of us have had, or may have in the future, a crash. And that includes myself. We may experience what is
referred to as a concussion. The symptoms of concussion are visible. But what does having a
concussion actually mean? What really does it look
like inside the brain? To find out, we spoke to Hans. A neurosurgeon and co-founder of MIPS. – Concussion that is a general word for shaking the brain
tissue inside the skull. Concussion means a lots of things. But you have to be aware of the fact that around 80 percent of the
concussions are mild. While 10 percent is moderate, and the rest is severe head injuries. All these categories are
included in concussion. So when you get an answer
from your colleagues, or whatever, that you have
received a concussion, it doesn’t say so much. Concussion may, are always, a shaking of your brain
tissue inside the skull bone. But it doesn’t say where
you have hurt yourself in most of the cases. Now if you go with a mild head
injury due to a concussion and do perform a CT scan or an MRI scan then you probably don’t see anything. However, if you have the
moderate to severe head injury, that is also a concussion, then
you will see lots of things. But the vast majority of concussions are due to mild head injury
which you cannot define. That’s how I would look upon it. (upbeat music) – I am now joined by Peter
Halldin, the co-founder of MIPS. Who I’m going to ask a few tough
questions today, hopefully. And find a few answers
that I don’t yet know. So Peter, talk to me
about how MIPS started? What was day one? What did that look like? – Well it all started when I
first met with Hans Van Holst, brain surgeon, and he asked
me if I wanted to start a PhD. And I wasn’t really sure
if I wanted to do that. But I told Hans that
well I’ll give it a try. And we started reading about the anatomy and the human head and the brain. Hans wanted to know
about that but I didn’t. So I said to Hans, “So maybe
we can use the safety system “that we have in our head in the brain. “Where the brain can
slide inside of the skull. “In the cerebral spinal fluid.” So, and Hans said, “Well, I
think that’s a great idea.” So we started to work around that idea and figure out if it could be possible to use it in a helmet. And at that time we didn’t really know so much about helmets. How our helmets are tested
or how we fall from a bicycle or a motor cycle. But looking into real accident situations, looking into how helmets are tested today. Helmets are tested only
for pure vertical drop. Measuring only the linear acceleration. And we understood quite at once, well we had something great in this idea which could reduce the rotational forces otherwise transmitted to your brain. As your brain is more
sensitive to rotation. And you get this rotation when you fall at an angle to the ground. So it was, kind of, putting pieces to pieces
together in a puzzle. With the information that is told about. And from that we understood
that there is a big, great idea, and we can
probably make a big change. And reduce the number of injuries. You’ve mentioned today something
called rotational motion. Which is a phrase I’ve never heard before. What exactly is rotational motion? And how is the device that
you’ve created and designed reducing the injuries
that are caused by that? – I think, to understand rotation, you can take the boxer for example. They can stand hitting each
other round after round, from the straight hits. And then suddenly
they’ll get an upper cut, they get the rotation. And then that’s when they are knocked out. So the human head and the brain is much more sensitive for this rotation then a linear motion, kind of. So what we have done
within the MIPS helmet is when you fall to the ground at an angle the helmet will grab into the ground, and you get that rotation of the helmet. And as the forces are so high, the helmet will transmit
this rotation to the head. What we do in the MIPS helmet is that we have a sliding layer that can move in all directions,
10 to 15 millimeters. So what happens is that
we’re mimicking actually that you fall on ice. So if you fall on ice the
head will just continue in the direction it was supposed to go. Instead of grabbing in and rotate. That is what we have
in this sliding layer. So we have a very low coefficient
of friction surface here between this layer and the helmet. And then we redirect
the energy from rotation to translation. And that’s how we reduce
the rotational motion to the head and the brain. (mellow electronic music) – So how long has it taken
to finalize the design that you’re currently using? And are you constantly developing for new designs going forwards? Or is this now the design
that’s going to work forever? – We still develop new systems. We still learn about head injuries. Concussion, for example, is an injury which is
just a name for a symptom. Still there’s a lot of research
to be made to understand exactly what is damaged into the brain. But the only thing we know today is that concussion and
other sever brain injuries are caused by this rotational
motion of the head. And what we actually do, the only thing we do with the MIPS helmet, and the different MIPS products, is that we reduce the rotational energy transmitted to the brain. So it’s still if we don’t exactly know on what kind of
force I need to hit you with for you to get a concussion. We know that less impact is better for your head and the brain. And that is what we are
doing in the MIPS helmet. (upbeat electronic music) – I’m not quite sure if I
should describe this room as a test lab, as an office space, or as a multifunctional gym room. Because look at this, they’ve got everything you could ever need to work out at MIPS. Which I’m guessing they do
on they’re lunch breaks. They’ve got the weight bench. You’ve got some sort of stepping
machine, rowing machine. And then there are loads of
balance boards and gym balls. Loads of cords. And then the important bit,
which is all the bikes. They’ve got another room over there which is full of mountain bikes as well. A couple of spin bikes as well. And then when you’ve
finished working out at MIPS there’s really cool room
where you got to go to. There’s only one place to go. That’s the massage room. It’s two minutes to four, so I’m a little bit early for
my four o’clock appointment. But I can’t wait to have a massage. (mellow electronic music) Down there is there
MIPS global test center and I’m going to go down and meet the head of product
development, Marcus Seyffarth. Who’s going to talk me through
the product testing protocol. And he’s also going to
demonstrate exactly how it works. And apparently he’s
going to be using a head which bears an uncanny
resemblance in shape and size, to mine. (mellow electronic music) Right, I’m in the test lab now. And I’m joined by Marcus the first, who is head of product development. I’m calling Marcus, Marcus the first, because he’s one of five
Marcus’ here at MIPS. And you’re going to talk us
through the test protocol, how you test the helmets. And you’re going to show
us a few tests, aren’t you? – Yeah, yup. So we’re at the MIPS
headquarters in Stockholm. This is the Halldin test
rig that we’re using whenever we test helmets
for production and approval. We also use it for creating
new products, of course. And I’ll just show you
a couple of the tests. Quickly, what we’re
testing for is rotational. So we’re testing towards an
angled anvil, a 45 degree angle. A bike helmet we’re testing at three different impact locations. We’re testing it, if my hand is the anvil, we’re testing it in this test
point, which is the front. To make sure that the MIPS,
which is omnidirectional, can move in all directions. But we’re making sure
that it’s moving freely in this direction by this test. We’re testing in this direction which we call this the lateral. Of course, testing that
MIPS brain protection system moves in this direction. And then finally we test
it in a, what we call, pitched impact. Pretty much a head on crash. – The sort of thing
you’d see in real life. – Exactly. So, an impact in this
location of the helmet. Where most of the cycling
accidents, I would say, happen. – Okay, can I pick up your test head? ’cause I remember from a minute ago, this thing weighs a ton. Apparently it’s the size,
well it is the size, it’s a 58 cm head this one, isn’t it. Which is my own actual head size. And it’s meant to be
actual weight as well. In which case, I can’t
believe how strong my neck is. Because that is not light is it? – That’s 42 kg. – Right. – We have different test heads
for different helmet sizes. So of course, we have a medium size, we have a child size,
extra large size as well. All equipped with accelerometer
system inside of them to gather the data. But also a gyro, to make sure that we have to
helmet positioned correctly before setting up every test. – Okay, right, I’ll give you that. – Okay, you can place
it inside of the helmet. So, when we test we try and have it as you would use the helmet normally. So you would tighten the
chin strap comfortable. You wouldn’t? – I have mine very comfortably. You know, flapping around
down there somewhere. – Position it so that the
nose to the rim of the helmet is in a good way, normal. We would have this small tool to make sure that it’s correctly aligned according to the
specifications of the helmet. Every helmet actually has a
specification for that distance. Once that’s done, fit
system tightened securely, put it in the test rig. And the test rig would
know from my scanning, what height, what impact
location, and everything. The instrumentation has a
connection to this application that tells us what’s the
actually location of the head. So that when testing we can
have the exact same set up when testing the original helmet and the MIPS version of the helmet. Once I have the readings, the numbers that I would like it to have, I just put the lever on
that keeps the head in place and the helmet in place
during the free falling part before the impact. The lever release is just
50 cm above the anvil. Then I’m good to go. Off to the computer press
the button to raise it up and then drop it. (intense electronic music) – Right, so the test was over there, and the results are here, is that right? – Yes. So all the test data zoom
through the cable to the computer and then onto this program. So basically what we see here
is the linear accelerations. And as you see on the video,
is the slow mo from the impact. So this is 1,000 frames
per second slow mo. We could do it frame by
frame if you would like to do a quick analysis. Also compare the two versions
side by side, and all that. – Okay. – And in the graphs there, you can see the yellow
green and white lines are the different x, y, z, parameters. And between these lines
it’s five milliseconds. So as you can see it’s
quite short amount of time. – Yeah, considering it takes
100 milliseconds the blink, roughly.
– Exactly. – That’s, the impacts over, before you even realized
it’s happened basically. – Yeah, so basically that’s, it’s a very short amount of time that you have to
potentially save your life. – So this impact would be
over in maybe 8 milliseconds. I can show you some other
parts of this as well. We could see the angular acceleration and the angular velocity. Same components that you have,
the green white and yellow. The angular velocity is what
we see correlate to strain and the tearing of the
brain tissue mostly. – And it’s exactly that that the MIPS system is
designed to irradiate, isn’t it? – Exactly. So this number would be the
peak, or the combination, what we look at into comparing the MIPS and the non MIPS helmets. And you can see that for the MIPS helmets you could have a lower value. – Okay, a minute ago you mentioned that when you’ve done many, many tests, like you have here, you start to notice that a non
MIPS helmet sounds different. But also that you actually
have to catch the helmet in a different way. That it bounces much higher up in the air. It’s no longer a low catch because the energy is being absorbed. The energy is still within the helmet and it’s still being
fired off somewhere else. – Yeah, exactly. I mean, since we’re
basically redirecting energy, the slip plane that
MIPS, you get the energy, instead of you get a
high bounce, you get– – Yeah, so not only would
you feel it in your head if you had the accident. You’d also visibly see it,
that it’s been less severe. The energy has been
absorbed by your system. – Yeah, exactly. (mellow electronic music) – Do you think there’s enough information and education out there about the effects of concussion
and the brain injuries that rotational motion can cause? – The most important is
that people wear a helmet. So, I mean, that is
definitely the most important. That you have a helmet
when you’re riding a bike. Even if your riding just to
work, or a short distance. We can see that most accidents,
or a lot of accidents, occur yes for these short, when you’re just going to
the store buying whatever. To put on the helmet. I’m wearing a helmet everyday. It’s like when you put a
safety belt in the car. It’s a natural thing for me. In other countries in Europe, helmet use are not that frequent, as maybe we have in Sweden. But when you understand how
sensitive the human head and the brain is, then of course you want to have a helmet and you want to have a
safe helmet as possible. As helmet are tested today
for pure vertical impact, that is not how you fall. You fall at an angle. And it can get the rotation. And we know that the brain
is much more sensitive for the rotational motion. So, therefore hopefully, helmets will improve
in the coming 10 years. And hopefully most helmet will have a rotational protection system in there. (upbeat electronic music) – When it comes to choosing
a helmet for myself I base it on a few things. I base it on the aesthetics of the helmet. How does it look when I’m wearing it? How comfortable is it? Is it light weight? Is it well ventilated? I’ve certainly never
really stopped to consider is it actually protecting my head? Because I always just assumed that a top of the range
helmet was doing just that. And I’ve definitely for
one second never thought about rotational motion. Because it wasn’t something
I’d ever heard of until today. But going forwards, I now understand, that it’s really this
that’s causing the damage to our brains when we do
have one of these accidents. (intense electronic music) this snow globe simulates
rotational motion transmitted to the brain. And most helmets are tested
with a vertical drop test, like this. If you look inside the snow globe, you’ll see the snow hasn’t moved. Imagine that’s now your brain matter and us tart to factor in angular velocity, such as we experience
when out on our bikes. And it’s then that you
start to see the impact of such a crash or an accident. And that’s why the MIPS
system has been designed. Is to limit the effects
that this is having and to prevent brain injuries. If you learned something today
give this video a thumbs up. And for more videos right now, click just down there.

75 thoughts on “What Does MIPS Do? | Cycling Helmets, Concussion & Brain Injuries”

  1. Wow, GCN this must be a first. This really good video with Chris was uploaded and I enjoyed it very much a couple of weeks ago but when I heard it mentioned on the GCN Show I thought that it was a mistake but no…. what happened here? Loved Opie and this subject but do we really need it twice in a month or has someone in the GCN offices maybe got concusion?! 😜

  2. A very important subject covered really well by Chris. Well done 👍 only thing that spoilt it was 3 adverts in 15mins and a 4th at the end. That's a bit much.

  3. I never liked the look or idea of MIPS. Looks so rudimentary and uncomfortable 🥵 I understand the premises of what it does but that’s why I went with POC’s SPIN systems technology. Same premise but absolutely comfortable and invisible to the feel

  4. Yes, most of us don't think about the specifics of rotational motion or how a helmet actually works… until we experience it first hand. I survived a crash (my first and only so far!) this summer because of my MIPS helmet. Cracked a couple of vertebrae and the first rib, which shows how much force there was. But no concussion = freaking amazing! It was $30 more for the MIPS version of the helmet – a no-brainer (pun intended).

  5. Why is this being reposted as a new video. Some have said it was edited, but I have watch/WASTED 8:25 minutes and I swear I have NOT seen anything new. If there is new info buried somewhere in the last 10 minutes, then make a NEW video with ONLY the NEW info. I love GCN but I don't approve of this OLD stuff being presented as new. 🤨

    GCN – please reply to all these posts complaining repost!

  6. surely the mass of the brain relative to the skull can be known as well as the distance from skull to brain as it floats in the protective fluid , therefore we can calculate accurately how far said brain will bounce around. the goal is to create an isolate gyroscope for the head ( and ultimately the brain ) to ride inside of as it collides with another mass, moving or not.

    considering the skull is connected to the spine and upper body, a full skeletal model inside a mold would need to be implanted with millions of microchips and then subjected to countless real world inertia tests at all possible speeds and angles

    then we would have a truly perfect as possible helmet

  7. Interesting video, I crashed 18 months ago, in a helmet without MIPS and I am still dealing with the repercussions of TBI. After the broken bones healed, first thing I did was get a MIPS helmet!

  8. Last April I had a high speed crash with multiple rotational impacts while wearing a MIPS helmet. Every part of my body sustained injuries except for my feet and head. I was checked by the emergency room staff and did not receive a concussion or worse. In fact I didn’t even have headache. It’s my belief that the quality MIPS helmet I had made a difference.

  9. This is the first time this video has been uploaded… all of you guys are just confused because you have concussion.

  10. I though Si and Dan were drunk at the end of the last GCN Show when they said that this video was coming out this week..but no, the whole GCN HQ is drunk! 😂

  11. Great vid, completely agree with what MIPS are doing however, when they test why are they not using a full weighted body not just the head because surely this increases the impact speed, pressure and other aspects such as rotation???

  12. As someone with a TBI, I truly appreciate every effort made to make sure no one else has to live with a TBI. And MIPS is a great step forward for cyclists and maybe horse riding.

  13. Recently bought and then returned a MIPS helmet that I very much wanted, because it was the wrong size and didn't fit properly. I had assumed that S, M & L nomenclature was a standard among brands, and didn't even try it on when I purchased it. In one brand I am "Large" and in the other I am a "Small." Must go by mm size only! Now I have a non-MIPS helmet that fits properly. I think it's a great advancement and will purchase one in the future, I expect. I wonder if a non-MIPS interior system that allows some movement is advantageous, if not quite as much so.

  14. As I said last time you posted this and then mysteriously it was pulled a few days later, GCN really shouldn’t be promoting merchandise when there is no scientific evidence that this is effective (or actually harmful) compared to a standard helmet or no helmet

  15. Bought a new MIPS helmet this week. I'm surprised even many cheaper helmets had MIPS. I think it'll eventually become standard on most helmets…at least until the next technology.

  16. Don't you think any usual helmet will have micro movement as mips considering the helmet is not glued to the head?

  17. When the snow globe is dropped downward in the direction of gravity I think it's just as strong, but it is down so you don't see the snow go further down. Even though there is a force there. When it's on the side the snow is moved off gravity so it moves. I think it's the same force. I think MIPS is a fallacy. A slider outside the head cannot stop the brain from moving in any direction. To the side or straight down. The reason the boxer might go down is cause he just got 3 whacks. A sideward punch probably alters his balance or he simply didn't see the punch coming and wasn't putting arms up. . SIDE OR STRAIGHT – THE FORCE IS THE SAME. As the skull completely encases the brain. With a side hit there's still part of the brain that hits the skull perpendicular. I think it's a brain illusion. I think the brain is moving in a multitude of directions at the same time. Due to gravity, head turning, cycling, a fall of any direction, or spinning and rolling like a diver. And what about what the heads hits. It may not be straight and flat, as we saw this week. Pro cyclistis crashing into each other and storm sewers. Every hit is different and in a different direction. I think a helmet can protect the outside of the head, but it can't affect the brains twisting and turning.

  18. Having been hit by a car 4x now, I think road safety. But I left the rattle cage MIPS behind just as quick as wave cell became available. Try it, you’ll like it. And you’ll leave the rattle cage behind as well.

  19. I am still waiting for any form of creditable, independent study to support the value of this technology. Having worked with both acute brain injury and the resultant damage caused by it, I still cannot understand the science they use to justify why this technology is “real world” effective.
    The fluid filled space inside the skull that supports the brain is minute. The mechanism of injury to brain tissue is the brain being slammed against the inside of the skull due to rapid deceleration of the head itself. The neck and spinal column absorbs some of this transfer of energy but in general, a blow to the head with enough force to cause the coup-contacoup injury that results in concussion or more serious head injuries has nothing to do with rotational forces.

  20. Their testing protocol seems just as invalid as the first time this video was posted. I’ve never seen anyone falling off their bikes at these extreme angles.
    We know we have a real problem in the industry when marketing hogwash starts to permeate into rider safety equipment. Unbelievable.

  21. Don't eat the MIPS lies. While the concept of rotation in impact is sound, their product and advertising is misleading. The brain scans, for instance, in ads and on the wall in the video are a cartoon. They talk and advertise like it's real, but no one has ever taken a scan of someone in a crash. Next, they say MIPS absorbs energy – and that is hogwash. True, the test results show a change, but not what they are claiming. Too much info to write here, but study the football helmet testing and see what little we actually know. The tests look fun, but they don't represent actual crashing as they claim. For instance, when I crash, my body is usually attached. They would do better to study video of real crashes and understand what is actually happening on impact. I spoke in depth with MIPS and other manufacturers using it – they can't answer the difficult questions. They go back to the feel-good story, but it's supposition. They have no business spouting supposition as if it were science. Does it help? Perhaps marginally, but the company needs to be honest. They have no data to back the claims. I've asked. Finally, after sweating in my MIPS for a month, it sticks. If sweat defeats it, why have it? The real purpose of MIPS is to extract money from your pocket. It adds $20 to the retail price, but costs only pennies. Please, let's have honesty. Though not perfect, I think 6D has a better solution for rotation, and they are much more honest in their claims. GCN, you need to do a better job of challenging claims and presenting all sides.

  22. there's a ton of helmets and head protective wear. Why not design some protective clothing instead? Smth that wont allow u to get severe scratches and bruises after falling on pavement.that's what would be really revolutionary.

  23. The final example with the snow globe is a very bad one: the snow does not move when dropping down because it's all at the bottom already. Instead, the brain is not all on one side of the skull.

  24. If concussion is a general term does that mean the scientific term is “shaking the brain to shit inside the skull”? Lol

  25. I realize that MIPS is supposed to be safer, but I will never buy another helmet with it. I absolutely hate it. It makes the helmet less comfortable and it feels hotter. I hate it.

  26. Thank you for the informative video, GCN. I appreciate that you take the time to bring us information about any new bike technology – especially any that may reduce injury. It is disappointing that so many of your viewers are so quick to post negativity. Some of them seem to think that you're investigative journalists, others seem to think you're neurologists, while others just want to troll. For anyone interested in independent testing of the MIPS technology on helmets – they can go to the Virginia Tech website, they have a helmet lab for testing all types of helmets and have tested 86 different bicycle helmets to "evaluate a helmet's ability to reduce linear acceleration and rotational velocity of the head resulting from a range of impacts a cyclist might experience." Please ignore the negativity and know that you have many fans who think you're doing a fantastic job! Here's a link for the Virginia Tech Helmet Lab and specifically the bicycle helmet testing: https://www.helmet.beam.vt.edu/bicycle-helmet-ratings.htmlhttps://www.helmet.beam.vt.edu/bicycle-helmet-ratings.html

  27. Like Chris, I picked my helmets by look and feel but if the MIPS helps then all the better. I think I have one MIPS helmet and 2 non MIPS. I wear them equally as much.

  28. is anyone compiling injury crash data of MIPS helmets vs non-MIPS helmets? If MIPS works, the evidence should show up in reduced number and severity of head injuries.

  29. I was hit by a pick-up truck last week when it pulled out in front of me. I was doing about 25 mph when my head bounced off the hood/bonnet. I was wearing my MIPS helmet and had no head injury! I'm not saying that no other helmet would have protected me but it does work!

  30. My new helmet has this and I wondered about the theory. Good to know. Makes me laugh at the reviews for the helmet though, more than a few complained about the cheap plastic liner and pulled it out.

  31. How accurate are the tests assuming they only have a head and helmet with no body that would affect the impact. There is no doubt a helmet will help, but what is the best design and style etc? This test only give results based on one test. It’s also not great to hear people say they choose a helmet based on how it looks before how it performed? This video shows no evidence that mips is any better or worse than any other system?

  32. Interesting video, just had to buy a new helmet after a crash which smashed it up and it's a no-brainer (sorry) to get one with mips as the price differential isn't that great anymore and it's available on helmets lower down the range. My question is what's the difference between the MIPS system and having a cap on underneath (or indeed lots of hair)? Wouldn't both of those things also allow the head to move independently of the helmet in a similar way?

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