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I've been looking to buy a new mountain bike helmet. New helmets are touting the potential benefits of MIPS slip plane technology. However, I tend to do a lot of night riding and mount lights on both my helmet and bars.

Will using a MIPS helmet with a headlight + battery pack cause problems with the helmet while supporting the light, causing the helmet to move around on the slip plane due to the extra weight?

This would also be a reasonable question to ask about with respect to mounting a GoPro or some other camera on the helmet.

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Yes... and no.. technically they are. While MIPS uses a slip plane, it is not going to roll around all willy nilly with every head movement. It takes a lot of force to get it to move, as it is suppose to. Nor should you ride while making bobble-head like movements anyway :P

Many new helmets come with a either built in or removable camera/light mount that have MIPS technology... The Giro Montaro for example is a MIPS helmet that boasts full accessory compatibility as well as many other that do.

However..

The kicker is - Having a camera or light mounted may prevent the MIPS from doing what it is suppose to.

Vents are necessary, but make sure they are smoothly faired into the helmet shell, and avoid any helmet with unnecessary fashion ridges on the outside, or snaps for visors, or any other feature that could cause the shell to snag. This is an easy item for a consumer to assess, as long as you keep in mind that you want your head to slide on impact. It should be evident that you don't want to add any accessory or cover to the exterior of a helmet that adds to its sliding resistance. That includes lights and cameras. Many of the ones we see have mounts that are much too strong to break away easily when you need to slide. ASTM is developing a standard for the force that should trigger an accessory to break away. Bell already has its own internal standard. In the meantime you are on your own to figure it out.

Sourced from: BHSI

Basically if you don't want to read that, mips prevents your head from catching and rolling your neck in layman's terms. So that the helmet rotates rather than you neck. Having a large camera or light on top can catch on the ground and prevent it from doing what it is made to do. So while they are advertised as being compatible, what they don't tell you is in the event of a crash, accessories may be what causes injury and prevents the MIPS from moving correctly.

Also that link is a good source of information on MIPS technology in general and points out a lot of flaws with the system. A worth while read if you have a few minutes.

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    Remember Michael Schumaker's skiing accident a few years ago? The gopro mount on his helmet focussed the force of the impact, rather than allowing the helmet to spread it out. – Criggie Jul 15 '16 at 22:58
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Answer: No - in my experience, a MIPS helmet is too bouncy with extra weight of a light.

I have a new Giro Mips helmet and just did a night ride last night using my Cateye helmet mount light. The light is not usable on this helmet, because its too bouncy.

Possibly a newer lighter version or one with the battery and cable system would work. My helmet mounted camera definitely would not work.

I will have to switch back to my old helmet when riding at night now which includes most of my winter fat bike riding. Too bad I hadn't thought of this - I wouldn't have bought the Mips.

  • Is your new helmet equivalent to your old helmet, save for the addition of MIPS? – Paul H Sep 24 at 20:58

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