The Effect of MIPS, Headform Condition, and Impact Orientation on Headform Kinematics Across a Range of Impact Speeds During Oblique Bicycle Helmet Impacts

Ann Biomed Eng. 2022 Jul;50(7):860-870. doi: 10.1007/s10439-022-02961-w. Epub 2022 Apr 19.


Bicycle helmets are designed to attenuate both the linear and rotational response of the head during an oblique impact. Here we sought to quantify how the effectiveness of one popular rotation-attenuating system (MIPS) varied across 3 test headform conditions (bare, covered in stockings, and hair), 3 oblique impact orientations, and 4 impact speeds. We conducted 72 freefall drop tests of a single helmet model with and without MIPS onto a 45° angled anvil and measured the peak linear (PLA) and angular acceleration (PAA) and computed the angular velocity change (PAV) and brain injury criterion (BrIC). Across all headform conditions, MIPS reduced PAA and PAV by 38.2 and 33.2% respectively during X-axis rotation, 47.4 and 38.1% respectively during Y-axis rotation, and 22.9 and 20.5% during a combined ZY-axis rotation. Across all impact orientations, PAA was reduced by 39% and PAV by 32.4% with the bare headform while adding stockings reduced PAA and PAV by 41.6 and 36% respectively and the hair condition reduced PAA and PAV by 30.2 and 24.4% respectively. In addition, our data reveal the importance of using consistent headform conditions when evaluating the effect of helmet systems designed to attenuate head rotations during oblique impacts.

Keywords: Brain injury; Oblique impact; Rotational.

MeSH terms

  • Acceleration
  • Bicycling / injuries
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Craniocerebral Trauma* / prevention & control
  • Equipment Design
  • Head Protective Devices*
  • Humans