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SPIN is Swedish company's simplier take on MIPS helmet safety feature

Swedish helmet and apparel company POC is a brand focused on safety, whether it’s visibility with very bright clothing or its unique helmet designs, and its latest quest in the pursuit of rider safety is SPIN, a new technology that is designed to reduce rotational impacts during a crash and lessen the impact.

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If you’re thinking it sounds a bit like MIPS, then you’d be right. POC was one of the first companies back in 2008 to utilise MIPS technology, which added a plastic liner to allow a small range, up to 15mm, of rotational movement during an impact, but POC has this year decided to develop a new solution that it claims is simpler, lighter and allows a better fit.

- Cycling helmets — everything you need to know

Love or hate it, there are a lot of safety claims backing up MIPS and most helmet companies have gradually adopted the technology, usually with a small increase in price. If there’s one complaint against MIPS is that it often impacts the fit of the helmet as it takes up a bit of space - I’ve found some helmets a tighter fit once upgraded to MIPS.

POC hasn’t dropped MIPS, yet, but it has spent two years developing its own version which aims to offer the same benefits but without the drawback of limiting fit.

SPIN, short for Shearing Pad INside, involves silicone-filled pads placed at strategic places inside the helmet intended to allow a small range of rotational movement so the helmet can move relative to the head. POC says it reduces the amount of force transmitted to a user’s head and brain in the event of an oblique impact. It reckons that angled impacts are the most common and its research shows that this sort of impact can cause serious head injury with a much lower impact force.

“Rotational impact protection is necessary to counter the forces involved in oblique impacts, which are a common cause of head injury. SPIN pads are integrated inside a helmet and add an extra layer of rotational impact protection by shearing in any direction, allowing the head to move relative to the helmet, reducing the force transmitted to the brain,” explains the company.

“Without SPIN pads the remaining rotational impact energy would require nature’s impact defence system, Cerebrospinal fluid, to react. However, by using SPIN pads another layer of protection is introduced as SPIN pads are able to shear in any direction and reduce the energy and force transmitted to the head.”

Compared to MIPS, SPIN is claimed to be lighter and allow for a closer fitting helmet because it eliminates the plastic layer inside the helmet and uses rather conventional looking pads. POC has produced this video to demonstrate how the pads are intended to work.

The new technology was first rolled out in POC’s snowsports helmets at the beginning of the year, and for 2018 it is adding it to several of its mountain bike helmets. There’s no news on rolling out SPIN to its road helmets at this stage, but it’s surely only a matter of time.

 

David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.

53 comments

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burtthebike [1280 posts] 5 months ago
4 likes

But if helmets are already incredibly effective, saving thousands of lives a year, why do they need upgrading?  Unless they aren't and they don't.

Also, you might like to consider hiring a proof reader:

"SPIN is Swedish company's simplier take on MIPS helmet safety feature"

Or at the very least, run things through the spell checker.
 

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Forester [125 posts] 5 months ago
0 likes

Basic cheap helmets do not inspire confidence, so any improvements or trickle-down deveopments are worth encouraging surely.

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drosco [428 posts] 5 months ago
1 like
burtthebike wrote:

But if helmets are already incredibly effective, saving thousands of lives a year, why do they need upgrading?  Unless they aren't and they don't.

Also, you might like to consider hiring a proof reader:

"SPIN is Swedish company's simplier take on MIPS helmet safety feature"

Or at the very least, run things through the spell checker.
 

Why can't those of us who are interested in helmets and their development be allowed to read about them without being lectured about why you believe they don't work? Could you just maybe leave us to make our minds up?

Avatar
simonmb [571 posts] 5 months ago
2 likes
burtthebike wrote:

But if helmets are already incredibly effective, saving thousands of lives a year, why do they need upgrading?  Unless they aren't and they don't.
 

But what if they are, yet POC believe they can be improved further. Ford's Model T was pretty effective in its day. Thankfully car designers felt they could push the envelope a little further.

 

Avatar
ClubSmed [539 posts] 5 months ago
3 likes
burtthebike wrote:

But if helmets are already incredibly effective, saving thousands of lives a year, why do they need upgrading?  Unless they aren't and they don't.

 

For the same reason that although the last model groupset that you ran was increadible effective you still decided to upgrade it. Just because something is effective does not mean that it should not or could not be improved upon. I think you are confusing the work "effective" with the word "perfect".

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burtthebike [1280 posts] 5 months ago
1 like
Forester wrote:

Basic cheap helmets do not inspire confidence, so any improvements or trickle-down deveopments are worth encouraging surely.

Actually, the cheap helmets are probably more effective because they are optimised to pass the tests and nothing else, whereas the expensive ones are optimised for style and aerodynamics and all those vents weaken it.

Avatar
burtthebike [1280 posts] 5 months ago
2 likes
drosco wrote:
burtthebike wrote:

But if helmets are already incredibly effective, saving thousands of lives a year, why do they need upgrading?  Unless they aren't and they don't.

Also, you might like to consider hiring a proof reader:

"SPIN is Swedish company's simplier take on MIPS helmet safety feature"

Or at the very least, run things through the spell checker.
 

Why can't those of us who are interested in helmets and their development be allowed to read about them without being lectured about why you believe they don't work? Could you just maybe leave us to make our minds up?

Sorry, but I really didn't think that was a lecture, and thought I was being incredibly restrained.  And I don't think I mentioned why I believe they don't work.

Of course you should make your own minds up, but perhaps that process might work better if you are acquainted with the facts rather than just the propaganda?

Avatar
burtthebike [1280 posts] 5 months ago
3 likes
simonmb wrote:
burtthebike wrote:

But if helmets are already incredibly effective, saving thousands of lives a year, why do they need upgrading?  Unless they aren't and they don't.
 

But what if they are, yet POC believe they can be improved further. Ford's Model T was pretty effective in its day. Thankfully car designers felt they could push the envelope a little further.

A perfectly valid point, but I think you rather missed mine, which is that they don't actually work in practice, despite all the "helmet saved my life" stories, the propaganda and the continual threat of helmet laws.  We are continually told that helmets are incredibly effective, but all the reliable data shows that they aren't, so perhaps we ought to be looking at what really works, instead of wasting time, effort and resources into improving something which has completely failed to imporove the safety of cyclists.

The Model T worked perfectly well, and was capable of improvement, but you can't say that about cycle helmets.

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ktache [646 posts] 5 months ago
0 likes

I appreciate POC's ethos.  I like my trabec race MIPS, if I need to replace it anytime soon I will be buying the Tectal SPIN.

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simonmb [571 posts] 5 months ago
0 likes
burtthebike wrote:

We are continually told that helmets are incredibly effective 

 

Simon says: No one who speaks with authority claims helmets are simply incredibly effective. There is evidence that helmets are incredibly effective in some circumstances. I wear mine in case I get involved in such a circumstance.

When you say helmets don't work in practice you're as wrong as those who say they're incredibly effective. 

And anyone who says that anything isn't able to be improved upon has no understanding of product evolution. 

 

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Rich_cb [530 posts] 5 months ago
0 likes
burtthebike wrote:

Of course you should make your own minds up, but perhaps that process might work better if you are acquainted with the facts rather than just the propaganda?

Everybody likes facts.

Did you know that prior to 1995 very few people wore helmets?

Very interesting fact.

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Rich_cb [530 posts] 5 months ago
0 likes
burtthebike wrote:

Of course you should make your own minds up, but perhaps that process might work better if you are acquainted with the facts rather than just the propaganda?

Everybody likes facts.

Did you know that in the decade after 1995 the KSI rate for cyclists dropped dramatically?

Very interesting fact.

Avatar
drosco [428 posts] 5 months ago
0 likes
burtthebike wrote:
drosco wrote:
burtthebike wrote:

But if helmets are already incredibly effective, saving thousands of lives a year, why do they need upgrading?  Unless they aren't and they don't.

Also, you might like to consider hiring a proof reader:

"SPIN is Swedish company's simplier take on MIPS helmet safety feature"

Or at the very least, run things through the spell checker.
 

Why can't those of us who are interested in helmets and their development be allowed to read about them without being lectured about why you believe they don't work? Could you just maybe leave us to make our minds up?

Sorry, but I really didn't think that was a lecture, and thought I was being incredibly restrained.  And I don't think I mentioned why I believe they don't work.

Of course you should make your own minds up, but perhaps that process might work better if you are acquainted with the facts rather than just the propaganda?

Seriously, this is a really interesting article, yet the first comment is yours attempting to debunk the whole thing. Honestly, it's been done to death.

Avatar
ConcordeCX [564 posts] 5 months ago
5 likes
Rich_cb wrote:

Everybody likes facts. Did you know that prior to 1995 very few people wore helmets? Very interesting fact.

Rich_cb wrote:

Everybody likes facts. Did you know that in the decade after 1995 the KSI rate for cyclists dropped dramatically? Very interesting fact.

Oh, dear. You don't understand elementary statistics, do you?

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Rich_cb [530 posts] 5 months ago
0 likes
ConcordeCX wrote:

Oh, dear. You don't understand elementary statistics, do you?

I actually understand statistics very well.

I've simply posted two facts.

Are the facts wrong?

Avatar
davel [2055 posts] 5 months ago
4 likes
Rich_cb wrote:
burtthebike wrote:

Of course you should make your own minds up, but perhaps that process might work better if you are acquainted with the facts rather than just the propaganda?

Everybody likes facts.

Did you know that in the decade after 1995 the KSI rate for cyclists dropped dramatically?

Very interesting fact.

So between 1995 and 2005, cyclist KSIs decreased from say 1550 to what: 900? A pretty significant decrease of 42%?

But wait: overall road KSIs fell from 49,621 to 32,201 in the same period: a decrease of 35%.

http://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/SN02198/SN02198.pdf

So what are the facts for the decade:
-35% decrease in all road KSIs
-42% decrease in cyclist KSIs
-70-80% of all cyclists weren't even wearing a helmet (your other graph)

Conclusion: it's completely disingenuous to link the cyclist KSI decrease with helmets, isn't it?

Avatar
Rich_cb [530 posts] 5 months ago
1 like
davel wrote:

Conclusion: it's completely disingenuous to link the cyclist KSI decrease with helmets, isn't it?

Nope.

Cyclist KSIs fell at a faster rate than overall KSIs.

That indicates there was a cyclist specific factor at play does it not?

Now let's try and think of some cyclist specific factors.

Any suggestions?

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alansmurphy [1485 posts] 5 months ago
2 likes

"valid point, but I think you rather missed mine, which is that they don't actually work in practice, despite all the "helmet saved my life" stories"

Don't they? So when the metal pole smashed my quite solid shoulder through my skin fracturing and dislocating it and smashed the shit out of my helmet... You think it offered me no protection?

Avatar
burtthebike [1280 posts] 5 months ago
4 likes
Rich_cb wrote:
davel wrote:

Conclusion: it's completely disingenuous to link the cyclist KSI decrease with helmets, isn't it?

Nope. Cyclist KSIs fell at a faster rate than overall KSIs. That indicates there was a cyclist specific factor at play does it not? Now let's try and think of some cyclist specific factors. Any suggestions?

The first thing I was taught about stats is that correlation does not equal causation.  In Australia when they brought in the helmet law, deaths to cyclists fell, but deaths to pedestrians fell by slightly more, but that didn't stop the helmet proponents claiming that helmets were effective, even when pedestrians weren't wearing them, so the cause of the fall in cyclists' deaths was almost certainly not due to helmets.  In fact, because there were fewer cyclists, the rate of cycling deaths went up, not down.

Same thing happened with motorcycle helmets in the UK.  After the introduction of the law, motorcycling deaths fell, but deaths to all road users fell, apart from cyclists, pedestrians and rear seat passengers in cars.  So although the helmet campaigners claimed a victory for road safety, the cause of that fall in motorcycling deaths is highly unlikely to have been the helmet law.

Ice cream causes drowning, and the sales of ice cream and the figures for drowning are the same shape.  But of course that is nonsense, and it is coincidence that more people buy ice cream and go swimming when it's hot.

Simply posting two sets of data and implying that they are related is disingenuous.

Avatar
The Hoggs [3496 posts] 5 months ago
4 likes

Regardless of scientific tests saying they do or don't work and all the people saying it saved my life or those saying it won't save you if a ton of metal runs over you etc etc......

After nigh on 30yrs of attending RTC's involving bikes and seeing the mess a head makes when it's scraped along the ground I will happily wear one.

Avatar
The Hoggs [3496 posts] 5 months ago
5 likes

Just to add it won't save my life in a high speed collision or being crushed by a lorry

Avatar
davel [2055 posts] 5 months ago
2 likes
Rich_cb wrote:
davel wrote:

Conclusion: it's completely disingenuous to link the cyclist KSI decrease with helmets, isn't it?

Nope.

Cyclist KSIs fell at a faster rate than overall KSIs.

That indicates there was a cyclist specific factor at play does it not?

Now let's try and think of some cyclist specific factors.

Any suggestions?

A few*, but stop the implications - make an actual argument.

This is the 2nd or 3rd time I've seen you post these two graphs together while waiting for others to join the dots for you. You want to make the implication without having to make a specific claim, because you know you don't have the evidence to back anything specific regarding helmet use in that decade up. You've never qualified it by conceding that other factors were at play across ALL ROAD USERS - you post the graphs, and drop the mic.

Road KSIs fell off a cliff in 1995. They decreased by over a third, suggesting major, major factors in general road safety improvement. The vast, vast majority of road users not KSId in that decade (even cyclists!) weren't wearing helmets, never mind cycling helmets. In this same period we're looking at an increase of helmet use from roughly a laughable 15% to a less-than-stellar 30%. Cycling helmets in this overall decrease are just noise.

But what are you claiming of that increase? That helmet use increasing by 15% caused the decrease of cycling KSIs by 42%? No, that would be silly - but you make the implication each time you post those two graphs and sit back. You're not daft, you know that you don't have enough material to lead to a conclusion, but you call BTBS out for posting figures and extrapolating an argument, so you need to do better.

So what's your implication now, seeing as we've discounted the bulk of that KSI decrease via 'general road KSIey improvements'? You're still attributing that greater KSI decrease (42% vs 35%, so a decrease of 7%) to helmets? Are you suggesting that an increase of 15% in helmet use results in a decrease of 7% in KSIs?

* My own fact is that Indurain won his last TdF in 1995. It's obvious that the sportier UK riders decided to devote their next decade of riding to Big Mig, 2 years for each TdF win, and, seeing how effective his brain-sappingly boring riding style was, decided to emulate that. Fewer accidents and collisions: fewer KSIs. Oooh, easily, let's say, 6.85% fewer.

Avatar
simonmb [571 posts] 5 months ago
1 like

Nothing science-based about my next statement, and even I don't fully understand it, but I'm just back from Amsterdam and spent four days cycling the city - and comfortably riding sans helmet. First day back home - on goes the helmet. I couldn't even contemplate cycling without a lid here. The same thing happened in and after Copenhagen. Anyone else had the same experience? Do they / did they have the same helmet debate on Dutch and Danish cycling forums?

Avatar
ConcordeCX [564 posts] 5 months ago
2 likes
davel wrote:
Rich_cb wrote:
davel wrote:

Conclusion: it's completely disingenuous to link the cyclist KSI decrease with helmets, isn't it?

Nope. Cyclist KSIs fell at a faster rate than overall KSIs. That indicates there was a cyclist specific factor at play does it not? Now let's try and think of some cyclist specific factors. Any suggestions?

A few*, but stop the implications - make an actual argument. This is the 2nd or 3rd time I've seen you post these two graphs together while waiting for others to join the dots for you. You want to make the implication without having to make a specific claim, because you know you don't have the evidence to back anything specific regarding helmet use in that decade up. You've never qualified it by conceding that other factors were at play across ALL ROAD USERS - you post the graphs, and drop the mic. [...]

http://theconversation.com/dont-feed-the-trolls-really-is-good-advice-he...

 

Avatar
hawkinspeter [1210 posts] 5 months ago
2 likes
Rich_cb wrote:
davel wrote:

Conclusion: it's completely disingenuous to link the cyclist KSI decrease with helmets, isn't it?

Nope. Cyclist KSIs fell at a faster rate than overall KSIs. That indicates there was a cyclist specific factor at play does it not? Now let's try and think of some cyclist specific factors. Any suggestions?

The most obvious factor would be the number of cyclists on the roads. Increased helmet use is often associated with fewer cyclists - compare the cycling culture in Australia vs Amsterdam. I would posit that the decrease in cycling KSIs can be attributed to a decrease in the number of cyclists and maybe the decrease in cycling can be attributed to the increased peer pressure to wear a helmet (e.g. "you've only got one head", "it saved my life" etc.).

Avatar
Rich_cb [530 posts] 5 months ago
0 likes
davel wrote:

A few*, but stop the implications - make an actual argument.

This is the 2nd or 3rd time I've seen you post these two graphs together while waiting for others to join the dots for you. You want to make the implication without having to make a specific claim, because you know you don't have the evidence to back anything specific regarding helmet use in that decade up. You've never qualified it by conceding that other factors were at play across ALL ROAD USERS - you post the graphs, and drop the mic.

Road KSIs fell off a cliff in 1995. They decreased by over a third, suggesting major, major factors in general road safety improvement. The vast, vast majority of road users not KSId in that decade (even cyclists!) weren't wearing helmets, never mind cycling helmets. In this same period we're looking at an increase of helmet use from roughly a laughable 15% to a less-than-stellar 30%. Cycling helmets in this overall decrease are just noise.

But what are you claiming of that increase? That helmet use increasing by 15% caused the decrease of cycling KSIs by 42%? No, that would be silly - but you make the implication each time you post those two graphs and sit back. You're not daft, you know that you don't have enough material to lead to a conclusion, but you call BTBS out for posting figures and extrapolating an argument, so you need to do better.

So what's your implication now, seeing as we've discounted the bulk of that KSI decrease via 'general road KSIey improvements'? You're still attributing that greater KSI decrease (42% vs 35%, so a decrease of 7%) to helmets? Are you suggesting that an increase of 15% in helmet use results in a decrease of 7% in KSIs?

* My own fact is that Indurain won his last TdF in 1995. It's obvious that the sportier UK riders decided to devote their next decade of riding to Big Mig, 2 years for each TdF win, and, seeing how effective his brain-sappingly boring riding style was, decided to emulate that. Fewer accidents and collisions: fewer KSIs. Oooh, easily, let's say, 6.85% fewer.

Firstly, I've posted the graphs once before and actually specifically drew attention to the different rates of decline for different road users. So your 'mic drop' accusation is bullshit.

I call BTBS out for posting made up statistics and for deliberately/ignorantly confusing relative and absolute risk.

Moving on.

At a population level there will always be multiple factors at play.

By comparing the KSI rates for cyclists, pedestrians and overall KSIs you can cut through a lot of the noise.

When there is a significant difference between the rates for different road users it strongly implies that group specific factors are having an effect.

The task then is to identify group specific factors that changed significantly during the period in question.

Cycle helmets meet that criteria.

Does it mean cycle helmets accounted for the entire difference. No.

Is it absolute irrefutable proof? No.

Is it possible to obtain absolute irrefutable proof? No.

It is evidence though.

The quality of evidence in the helmet debate is generally poor. Most studies are small and riddled with errors.

This evidence is, therefore, as good or better than pretty much anything else in the debate.

The hypothesis is that the large increase in cycle helmet use contributed, in part, to the relatively steep in decline in cyclist KSIs compared to other road users.

There is some evidence to support that hypothesis.

If you have evidence of other cyclist specific factors that changed during that period feel free to post them. Jokey suggestions about Big Mig aside...

Avatar
Rich_cb [530 posts] 5 months ago
1 like
burtthebike wrote:

Simply posting two sets of data and implying that they are related is disingenuous.

Correlation is not causation.

If you compare the pedestrian KSI figures to the cyclist KSI figures you can see that the cyclist KSI suddenly began to decline post 1995 after decades of stasis whilst the pedestrian rate continued to decline at its previous rate.

By taking pedestrians as our control group we can eliminate a lot of the statistical noise and provide stronger statistical evidence than just correlation.

Avatar
Rich_cb [530 posts] 5 months ago
0 likes
hawkinspeter wrote:

The most obvious factor would be the number of cyclists on the roads. Increased helmet use is often associated with fewer cyclists - compare the cycling culture in Australia vs Amsterdam. I would posit that the decrease in cycling KSIs can be attributed to a decrease in the number of cyclists and maybe the decrease in cycling can be attributed to the increased peer pressure to wear a helmet (e.g. "you've only got one head", "it saved my life" etc.).

You can eliminate that factor by looking at the relative risk rate, for examples KSIs per 1m km or something similar.

The relative risks show a similar post 1995 decline to the absolute risks.

This disproves the theory that the decline was down to reduced rates of cycling.

Avatar
hawkinspeter [1210 posts] 5 months ago
3 likes
Rich_cb wrote:
burtthebike wrote:

Simply posting two sets of data and implying that they are related is disingenuous.

Correlation is not causation. If you compare the pedestrian KSI figures to the cyclist KSI figures you can see that the cyclist KSI suddenly began to decline post 1995 after decades of stasis whilst the pedestrian rate continued to decline at its previous rate. By taking pedestrians as our control group we can eliminate a lot of the statistical noise and provide stronger statistical evidence than just correlation.

I just had a little look at http://cyclinginfo.co.uk/blog/2636/cycling/stats-uk/index.html and they've got a graph that implies that pedestrian fatalities have dropped at a sharper rate than cyclist fatalities. Does this mean that pedestrians started wearing helmets in the early nineties?

 

Avatar
Rich_cb [530 posts] 5 months ago
2 likes
ConcordeCX wrote:

http://theconversation.com/dont-feed-the-trolls-really-is-good-advice-he...

 

Barring a pompous comment about understanding statistics you've made no contribution to the thread.

Jog on.

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