POC win award for downhill helmet

Designed to reduce rotational forces on brain

Swedish company POC have won an international design award for their Cortex DH full-face helmet.

The £400 ($US599) downhill lid features cutting-edge technology that is said to better protect riders from impacts.

Developed by a neurosurgeon and a researcher at Sweden's Royal Institute of Technology, MIPS (Multi-Directional Impact Protection System) places a low-friction layer between a helmet’s outer shell and its inner protective liner.

This means a MIPS-equipped helmet cushions a rider's head, much like the human scull and cerebrospinal fluid protect the brain.

During a vertical impact, it's up to the Cortex DH's in-moulded foam liner to absorb the energy, just as with any other helmet. But when the impact comes at an angle, MIPS allows the foam liner to move within the carbon shell and, POC claim, absorb more energy than a fixed liner.

POC are the first company to incorporate this technology in a bicycle helmet, and it has earned them a product design award from iF (International Forum Design) of Hannover. This year the organisation handed out 778 awards following submissions from 39 nations.

"The issue of rotational violence to one’s brain when crashing is major,” said Stefan Ytterborn, founder of POC. “The load transmitted to the brain due to the rotational violence is severe and is especially crucial to prevent at high speeds [of] downhill mountain biking."

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