While many other new helmets are focusing on aerodynamics, ventilation, weight, and style, Scott Sports has opted to put rider safety above all else with six MIPS-equipped MTB, road, and urban models for 2015.
While traditional EPS (Expanded Polystyrene System) helmets are really only designed for straight-on impacts, MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System) is said to provide additional protection for angled impacts that are more common in real-life crashes. MIPS is remarkably simple, consisting of a paper-thin, low-friction plastic liner that's attached inside the usual EPS foam shell. This mimics the thin cushioning of cerebrospinal fluid inside your head and allows for a small amount of shear, or rotational, movement between the skull and brain.
MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System) consists of a thin layer of low-friction plastic that allows the helmet to move very slightly on your head upon impact
According to Scott, this movement is very slight – just 15mm – but it supposedly occurs within the first 15 milliseconds of impact and reduces the impact force that's transmitted to the brain by up to 34 percent.
MIPS is incorporated into six Scott helmet models for 2015.
The Stego mountain bike helmet is aimed at the enduro scene with generous side and rear coverage plus an exterior that's intentionally smooth so as not to catch on the ground in the event of a crash. There are just a handful of forward-facing vents but the internal channeling behind them is very wide and leads to generously sized exhaust ports that suggest good overall cooling capacity.
The enduro-focused Stego features generous coverage on the sides and rear
Claimed weight for a medium size is 340g.
Next in the MIPS-equipped line is the ARX MTB Plus, which uses a more traditional XC-like shape and more generous venting relative to the Stego. The ARX MTB Plus uses the same height adjustable MRAS 2 retention system as the Stego, though, which features finer diameter adjustments for 2015.
The MIPS-equipped ARX MTB Plus (right) features cross-country styling while the Taal (left) brings MIPS safety to a relatively low price level
Claimed weight for a medium ARX MTB Plus is 280g.
The Lin brings MIPS safety even further downstream. Scott equips this model with a simpler VRAS retention system and there's less ventilation than on the ARX MTB Plus but claimed weight is the same at 280g for a medium size.
Finally on the MTB side is the Taal, which comes with an integrated bug net covering the forward-facing vents and the impact force-reducing MIPS liner but in a one-size-fits-all shell.
Scott will offer MIPS in a road model with the ARX Plus, which is essentially identical to the ARX MTB Plus but without the removable visor. Claimed weight for a medium size is 270g.
Scott is offering MIPS on the road, too, with the ARX Plus
MIPS is even incorporated into the urban-focused Torus Plus. The thicker exterior shell brings the claimed weight up to 450g (size medium) but Scott says that was a conscious decision to improve the day-to-day durability. Fixed strap splitters make for a quicker fit and venting is rather minimal but the matte grey finish with tweed accents is awfully stylish.
The Torus Plus urban helmet is pretty heavy at 450g but it's pretty stylish, too
Retail prices and availability for all of the new helmets are still to be announced.