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BRG takes stake in MIPS, will use helmet technology

Published August 25, 2014
A Swiss Giro distributor explains MIPS to a retailer Wednesday.

SCOTTS VALLEY, Calif. (BRAIN) — BRG Sports has made a minority investment in the Swedish company that developed the MIPS helmet technology, which is used by several helmet brands including POC and Scott Sports.

At Eurobike, BRG will introduce several helmets with MIPS technology under the Giro and Bell brands. MIPS stands for Multi-directional Impact Protection System.

A BRG spokesman said MIPS will continue to license its technology to multiple brands. "We are stakeholders, but they still have right to license MIPS to any of our competitors. We don't have any say in that," said Dain Zaffke, Giro's director of marketing. "We really believe in it. We believe it's a step forward in helmet design."

MIPS is designed to reduce head injuries due to rotational forces on the brain from angled impacts. MIPS is a multi-layer system between the head and the helmet shell; the layers can slide relative to one another, by just a few millimeters in a controlled manner, to absorb rotational forces, which the company said accounts for most injuries. The technology is currently used on bike, ski and motorcycle helmets by Airoh, Fox, Lazer Sport, One Industries, O'Neal, POC, Scott Sports, Sweet Protection, 661, Tec, Spectra, Marucci Sports, TSG, Red and Rossignol.

BRG's Bell and Giro brands have not previously used the technology.

In the U.S. the technology is probably best known for its use on POC's Trabec Race MIPS model, an enduro-style helmet that retails for about $230. Although Scott and POC have added MIPS to some road helmet models this year, MIPS is still relatively unknown outside the enduro/trail riding crowd. MIPS is also better known in Europe than in North America.

Zaffke said BRG planned a marketing campaign around MIPS, with the aim of reaching a wide market of consumers who are unfamiliar with MIPS, including road riders and urban riders. He also said Giro is "excited about" using the technology in its snowsport helmets, but the company has not launched a MIPS snow helmet yet.

MIPS will be included in five new Giro models available this fall: the Sutton MIPS urban helmet; the Feature MIPS and Feather MIPS, which are men's and women's XC-style helmets; and the Savant MIPS and Sonnet MIPS, which are men's and women's road helmets. All the models will retail for $95 to $110.

Bell will also offer MIPS on its Super, Super 2R and Stoker helmets. Prices were unavailable on the Bell models. 

Topics associated with this article: Eurobike

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