For those of you who were not riding ten years ago, Troy Lee Designs had a set of knee pads which changed everything. Everything as far as protecting your knees that is. They did this with their original T-Bones, which literally broke the mold and rewrote the rulebook, dictating, as many TLD products inevitably do, the way the marketplace would look for some time to come. But that's seemingly where it started and ended for TLD and their game-changing knee protection. The competition inevitably caught up as the years went by as did the technology and materials available. And TLD, well, they were somewhat left behind as far as premium joint protection was concerned. That is until now...
Troy Lee Raid Details:
• Neoprene construction
• CE certified D3O(R) knee pad
• Fit-Lock calf band to prevent slippage
• Sizes: XS/S, M/L, XL/2XL
• Durable abrasion-resistant cover
• Knee cap integrated w/flex panel for pedaling articulation
• Breathable mesh back panel
• Foam side padding
• Silicone gripper band
• Weight: 414 grams (size M/L)
• MSRP: $115 USD
The TLD Raid Knee Guards are a slip-on design built around a neoprene sock with a single elasticated velcro strap at the top - thankfully the hooked part of the velcro is on the strap and not on the body so there's less chance of it getting clogged with crap. To the rear, a mesh panel stretches the entire length of the sleeve offering a degree of breathability. Keeping the whole thing snugly in place is a combination of elements. The most noteworthy of which is the 'fit-lock' system, which is effectively the red band you can see at the rear of the pads and no, it's not just there for aesthetics. Offering increased security around the rear of the pad, it helps keep things where they should. A molded knee cup, a velcro strap (already mentioned) and a silicone gripper strip at the top all work in harmony to keep the Raids in place.
Each pad is anatomically designed specifically for right and left orientation with two additional, smaller foam pads to the right and left of the D3O pad in the center and a longer one just above it. Measuring 50mm at its widest and 250mm from top to bottom (size M/L tested), the D30 pad covers the leg from just above the knee cap and ends just above the midpoint of your shinbone, depending on your dimensions of course. All the pads are covered in a thicker and more durable material to keep them in one piece after a crash or tumble into the cabbage.What is D3O?D3O
is a unique material that's sensitive to impacts that strike it at speed - to put it simply, D3O is pliable and soft to touch, but hit it hard and fast, replicating a crash or a fall and it becomes more solid, delivering protection to whatever is behind it. The arrival of D3O has inevitably had a massive impact (no pun intended) upon the sports equipment market and for us mountain bikers, we've been increasingly seeing it in elbow and knee pads, but this is the first year that we've seen this wonder material in a product from Troy Lee Designs. On the Trail
With a good amount of protection on offer, the Raids have a distinct nod towards the stickier and more dangerous end of the spectrum making them ideal for everything from downhill to enduro. But don't let their immediate credentials fool you as these are incredibly comfortable and have accompanied me on more rides that required pedal power than machine power to get me back up the hill. But that's what makes these new pads from TLD so good, or at least one part. Slipping them on is a pleasure, and you know those pads you just can't wait to rip off after a few hours? Well, with the Raids, you'll just as easily forget you're wearing them.
From pedalling up annoyingly long fire roads to long and sweaty days shuttling and hiking DH tracks to session a line, the Raids have proved time and time again that they could easily be the comfiest pads I've tried in a while. Even inside 'DH pants', something which I've struggled to find in the past - a set of knee pads which are comfortable enough to wear yet give a sufficient amount of protection - they've impressed me. They don't move, they haven't rubbed the skin off my knees and regardless of the many trips through the washer and impromptu rolls through the undergrowth, they're still in great shape. I haven't however had a big crash - a few minor ones, but really just small tumbles and while they didn't represent a thorough test of the Raid's protection abilities, they also didn't move and were exactly where they were when I slipped them on. Pinkbike's Take
|Aside from the price tag, which, let's be honest, is ball park for D3O knee protection, there is little if anything to complain about with the Raid Knee Guards - they tick every box and then some. Troy Lee Designs have created some absolutely stellar knee protection for gravity addicts, and done so with comfort and versatility at their core. - Olly Forster|