It’s always when you least expect it. You know, that little crash on a trail you’ve ridden a thousand times? The one that catches you out unexpectedly and immediately sends you to the dirt? None of us plan to crash, but every once in a while it happens. Now, ANGi is here to help.

Specialized helmets get safer with ANGi Smart Sensor, MIPS & proprietary MIPS SL

One of the newest products from Specialized, ANGi is a smart crash sensor that attaches to your helmet. The small coin cell powered device weighs just 10g, and is equipped with impact and rotational sensors to detect when you might have been in a crash – or even just encountered enough rotational force to cause damage to your brain.

Specialized helmets get safer with ANGi Smart Sensor, MIPS & proprietary MIPS SL

In the event of an incident, the sensor communicates with the Specialized Ride App which will notify your emergency contacts and send them your most recent GPS coordinates. Not in range of your cellular service? You can also set up the app to function based on ride time. If you plan to be out for say three hours, you can set the app for 3 or 4 hours, and if you’re not back in time to finish the ride on the app, it will then send a notification to your chosen contacts – even if you’re still not in cell range. You can also program the amount of time you have to disable the alarm after it detects a crash. This should help prevent any false alarms and worried family members.

If all of this sounds familiar, then you’re probably aware of a previous product called ICEdot. After pioneering the ICEdot system, Chris Zenthoefer landed a position with Specialized where he has been heading up a more advanced version of the system – ANGi. With Specialized behind the project, ANGi now has the benefit of a more powerful app and increased functionality of the system is already in the works. Currently, the Specialized Ride App is compatible with Strava so you can run Strava and all of its functionality through the Ride App. Future plans include ANT+ and Bluetooth connectivity to connect to GPS, powermeters, and more.

Specialized helmets get safer with ANGi Smart Sensor, MIPS & proprietary MIPS SL Specialized helmets get safer with ANGi Smart Sensor, MIPS & proprietary MIPS SL

A number of Specialized helmets will be available with ANGi already installed, for an increase of about $25. That actually turns out to be a pretty good deal since all of the Specialized helmets are now available with MIPS, which alone usually increases a helmet’s price by $25.

Specialized helmets get safer with ANGi Smart Sensor, MIPS & proprietary MIPS SL

ANGi devices will also be sold separately for $50, and both the equipped helmets and stand alone devices include a free year of the subscription based service ($30 value). ANGi equipped helmets each have their own Landing Pad for the device somewhere at the back of the helmet.

Specialized helmets get safer with ANGi Smart Sensor, MIPS & proprietary MIPS SL

As mentioned, a big change for Specialized is that now every helmet in the line is standard or at least available with MIPS – there are still some less expensive helmets that will be available with or without the system. Whlie MIPS was available in a few select models previously, it was not widely available through the line. Specialized said that at the time, they felt that the data wasn’t there yet, but the Virginia Tech study helped convinced them that MIPS is indeed a safer helmet system. This led Specialized to start working with MIPS directly to improve what they saw as weaknesses of the system, while improving on the design as a whole.

Specialized helmets get safer with ANGi Smart Sensor, MIPS & proprietary MIPS SL Specialized helmets get safer with ANGi Smart Sensor, MIPS & proprietary MIPS SL

That led to the new MIPS SL system which, for now, is a Specialized exclusive. Instead of relying on adding plastic liners to helmets that weren’t really designed for them, the SL system uses little grommets to capture the padding, and padding itself has different backing material to provide the low friction layer. This provides all of the benefits of MIPS, but in a system that is said to be lighter, more ventilated, and friendly to both the bald and those with a ton of hair. You’ll find MIPS SL on the new ANGi equipped Ambush and S-works Prevail II while models like the Propero III will be ANGi equipped but with the standard MIPS system.

The big takeaway here is that every 2019 Specialized helmet is now available with MIPS, and a number of those basically include the new ANGi smart sensor with only a $25 price increase – for MIPS and the ANGi combined. Don’t want to use ANGi? That’s fine too – the system is removable, leaving a shiny new MIPS equipped helmet underneath. Almost everything is available now at your local Specialized dealer.


  1. Well it technically doesn’t make the helmet safer, but it may improve your chance of getting help if you are injured. Nice feature. Would be interesting to know if it was tuned with MIPS (i.e. the rotational force to the shell shouldn’t translate at the same amplitude to your head.)

  2. Good that all helmets are now available with MIPS. Giro expressed a similar ambition years ago, but when I tried shopping for a helmet it was very confusing, only a few models had MIPS. Most stores did not have them in stock. Online stores were considering with the same pictures being used for different models with similar names. I would think most consumers do not know what MIPS is and you since you have to go out of your way to get it many people just don’t bother, especially since the helmets are more expensive.

  3. So I just read through the parts of the VA Tech study that I could find and I see nothing that convinces me that MIPS is that much better. Yes, “4 of the top 5” helmets were equipped with MIPS, but as far as I can tell, the *did not test* non-MIPS versions of the same helmets. Middle school science students know that you can’t change multiple variables during experimentation and assess the effects of any one of those variables, so how can we know that it was MIPS which made the top helmet rank best, and not some other aspect of its design?

    Maybe there’s more data buried somewhere, but I’m still disinclined to believe that MIPS does anything in terms of safety (it doesn’t help and doesn’t hurt) but does an AMAZING job of convincing people to spend $25 more on a helmet for about $0.15 worth of additional plastic and/or to spend a bunch of money to replace the perfectly good helmet they still have. By all means, if you’re replacing a helmet and can find a MIPS equipped (or the similar systems from POC or Kali) that fits your head and your budget, have at it. But evidence from as far back as 2005 indicates that helmet shape makes as much or more difference, and even this new VA Tech study supports that conclusion.

      • The study you cite says nothing about MIPS, but rather a wholly new system in which the EPS is replaced by an aluminum honeycomb that collapses in a controlled way in an impact. It’s good to see people trying to improve these things, since the basic design of today’s helmets dates back nearly fifty years.

  4. Would be interesting to know if it’s possible to convert any of the older helmets without MIPS (like Prevail II) to MIPS by just replacing the pad set.

  5. It needs to integrate with Garmin head units so there isn’t an extra setup. Also … I would like to see data from it that would help diagnose if there was a concussion.

  6. @Surly Will – that’s a great idea. For that matter, I’d love to have the accelerometer & gyro data for a full ride. I’m not sure what i’d do with the data, but it would be cool to have. Maybe just to see how brain-rattling that big descent really was!

    Speaking of data, now there’s yet another company tracking our movements. Has anyone read Specialized’s policy on what they’re going to do with all that location data? I haven’t looked yet, but my expectation is that they’ll promise not to do anything with it, but won’t promise not to keep it forever and do something else with it later.

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