MIPS, the Swedish company behind the helmet safety system seen in many big-name brands' lids, suffered a "substantial negative impact on sales" from the "drastic slowdown in the bike sector" in the second half of last year, with net sales down 46 per cent in Q4.
The figures, first reported by Bicycle Retailer and Industry News show that a 50 per cent drop in bike helmet sales in the fourth quarter of 2022 saw sales slump by £7.2 million compared with the same period in 2021.
Despite the "substantial" hit in Q4, the brand's CEO Max Strandwitz noted that for the year the company only experienced a seven per cent drop in net sales.
The Stockholm-based brand is behind the design that allows 10-15mm of relative motion between the helmet and the head in all directions in order to reduce rotational motion transferred to the brain in the event of an impact, protecting against brain injury.
Its distinctive yellow liners can be found in many a big-name lid, such as some from Bell, Giro, Specialized, Bontrager, Lazer, MET and Poc, but notably not Kask.
Net sales for the fourth quarter were 107 million Swedish Krona (£8.5 million), down from 198 million SEK (£15.7 million) in the final quarter of 2021.
Overall, last year, net sales were 563 million SEK (£44.5 million), down from 608 million SEK (£48.1 million) in 2021.
"The fourth quarter closes a different, challenging but also successful year," CEO Strandwitz said. "A drastic slowdown in the bike sector in the second half of the year had a substantial negative impact on sales in sport, our largest category.
"While we had to deal with the short-term challenging market for our largest category, we have taken big steps for the future through several initiatives and successes within other categories. We have also continued to strengthen our brand position, product portfolio and organisation.
Despite the hit last year, Strandwitz remains optimistic the bike industry will "start to recover" this year.
"We stand by our earlier assessment that the bike market will start to recover during spring 2023," he predicted.
"Our assessment is still that over time there will be excellent opportunities for growth and solid consumer demand in the bike category, mainly driven by our increased market penetration and the strong underlying trends regarding these types of helmets."
In November, MIPS defended the efficacy of its helmet safety system, saying that its test methods meet the highest scientific standards and that its results are based on the most realistic head form currently available.
It said that results from two of the key head forms used in helmet safety testing both show its system to be effective in protecting against brain injury after comments from Kask sparked something of a helmet safety debate, just not quite like the one you are all no doubt bored of hearing about too.
Dan joined road.cc in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining road.cc, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.