Troy Lee Designs A1 MIPS Vertigo Review
September 28th, 2016
Product Full Name | Troy Lee Designs A1 MIPS Vertigo
Retail Price | £159.99
Available From | Saddleback
Troy Lee Designs A1 MIPS – additional safety on the modern classic
The Troy Lee Designs A1 is already a very popular helmet, and is now available in three different styles.
The Drone is the cheapest, with a simple matte finish; then there’s the Reflex series (check our review here), and now the top flight MIPS model for maximum protection.
Like the A1, the A1 MIPS is available in two versions – the A1 MIPS Drone priced at £139.99, and the A1 MIPS Vertigo priced at £159.99. Both versions are available in several colours – check the range out right here.
The A1 MIPS Vertigo comes with a storage bag, and features the same high quality aluminium visor screws and retention system as the other models.
There are 8 intake vents, and 8 exhaust vents – which work very well, though there is a large part of the side of the helmet with no vents. This does make the A1 MIPS a touch warmer than other similar helmets – but really does make it feel a lot safer in use.
Inside is the same incredibly comfortable one-piece liner, that can easily be removed and washed (we recommend placing inside a pillow case so it doesn’t snag on other items, and avoid tumble drying to keep it in one piece). Instead of hook and loop fastening direct in to the helmet, the liner attaches to the MIPS system.
MIPS (multi-directional impact protection system) is a sliding cradle that is suspended inside the helmet, which allows the helmet to move slightly around your head. This is to combat the rotation of the skull that can happen if your head strikes the ground at an angle, and grips – rather than slides.
Check this video out to get an idea of how the concept works:
Out on the Trail
One of the things I love so much about the A1, is the incredible fit. It’s the only helmet that fits me perfectly – so I was concerned about the MIPS system, as although thin – still takes up room inside.
Feeling a tiny bit more snug than my usual A1, the A1 MIPS also felt like it sat up on my head a tiny bit more – the first ride left me with two marks on my forehead where the padding would push in to my head. I ended up adjusting the position of the cradle out back to compensate, though as the liner wore in the fit improved and it’s now nearly as comfortable as my usual A1.
In use it doesn’t feel much different, although I’m sure the venting is hindered very slightly by the MIPS unit inside. The vents are all in the right places on the MIPS unit, but I’m sure the air flow is very slightly restricted – I noticed when running it back to back with my regular A1.
However, the peace of mind offered by the additional protection soon makes you forget about this.
Though the regular A1 still offers great protection, it’s nice to have the A1 MIPS as an option.
Whilst there’s no doubt sure the MIPS system is effective in many situations, it particularly appeals to me for urban environments – like commuting. With the types of crash that you are subject to around tarmac and concrete, I see MIPS as a massively valuable addition – and well worth factoring in.
The A1 MIPS takes an excellent helmet, and increases the protection. What’s not to like?