Helmets are serious business. They can make or break your kit…as well as your head. Since their mandatory entry into the cyclist’s repertoire of accoutrements in the early ’90s, manufacturers have been trying to find that perfect balance of style and safety. I didn’t know any of this when I bought my first bike, and fitted myself with a white, decidedly Doris kid’s helmet – the Giro Raze.
It took 2 long years for me to repent for my sins…walking into a bike shop in 2016 post purchase of a new bicycle, to enquire about some fancy new headwear. Perhaps this time sans visor.
Well didn’t I walk out so proudly with my new purchase. Doris be gone, I thought to myself smugly as I cut the excess off my chin strap and burnt the cut end like a true pro.
The Giro Savant. Lean, mean and complete with MIPS for extra protection of my brain! (Just between you and I, I don’t think it’s protected anything).
I was eating ice cream at the time of taking the photos for this blog entry, so I figured it deserved to be included. Murray River Salted Caramel with Hazelnut…in and around my mouth. So good.
The same day I bought my new helmet, I was too excited to wait to take it for a spin, so as soon as I got home, I kitted up and rolled out. It was perfect – a gorgeous day for a Nudgee ride and boy, oh boy, I felt slick in my new helmet with taut chin strap and no visor in sight.
You might be wondering where the pain and suffering promised in the title of this entry comes into play. It was not until the end of my bicycle ride that a dark cloud began forming, and prompted this post a year later. Let me paint the picture for you, green text style.
>try to take off
>helmet doesn’t move
>feel burn of a thousand suns
>helmet has acquired hair
The motherfucking be-all-end-all of helmet safety technology fucking MIPS had ripped out a good chunk of my beloved hair. Apparently, in order to give my mediocre-as-it-is brain maximum protection, I must sacrifice an approximate 3443357853 strands of my hair per ride. A year later of this near-daily sacrificial ritual and I swear my hair is thinner.
There are constant remnants and reminders of this suffering nestled and wrapped so tightly, almost smugly, around those bastard yellow clips.
I curse, on the daily, the sales guy that enthusiastically pitched this fucking “sophisticated and optimised safety technology” feature to the young, naive (fucking stupid) April that stood before him that day.
After some careful and extensive research:
I’m ditching the fucking MIPS as soon as I can justify the stupendous price I paid for the privilege of ripping out my own fucking hair. The careful and extensive research legitimate researchers have done on MIPS has proven that they actually aren’t that effective. Slip panes in general serve almost no purpose considering helmets are not permanently glued to one’s head, and tend to roll around incessantly anyway (crooked helmet syndrome anyone?).
So do yourself a favour, and if you are as stupid as me and considering getting sucked into this “sophisticated safety technology” then tell the sales guy, kindly of course, that you would sooner get fucked up the ass with Pickle Rick than subject your head to that kind of abuse.