Protection should be a high priority when riding technical terrain and we doubt there are many Dirt readers who don’t own a pair of kneepads. These TROY LEE pads set a new benchmark for us.

For uplifting at bike parks, shuttling DH runs or racing we feel they are an essential piece of kit. Comfort is a priority and we’ve tried plenty of kneepads over the years and it doesn’t take a lot for a pair to feel compromised in some way. If they’re frustrating to put on (and remove), don’t stay in place or rub then they’ll soon be replaced. We often find a pair of midweight pads will hit the spot for all types of riding from trail centres to steep and nasty high-speed gravity runs.

Troy Lee Design’s kit combines slick design with thorough testing and dose of moto style. The new Raid pads have won us over this year but have had tough competition from favourites such as the Scott Grenades – a pick in the last few Dirt 100s.

‘Bike test editor Steve Jones has practically lived in these for the last six months…’

As with the Scott Grenades, these Raid pads give plenty of security for DH action but have the easy pedalling nature and unrestricted comfort of lighter duty trail pads. It’s a hard act to pull off as so may pads feel fine at the start of the ride but either move around, rub badly or restrict movement. Many are simply too bulky or overbuilt.

What features and qualities have these Troy Lee Designs kneepads got which sets them apart from the competition?

Impact protection is from the now established D30 technology – hardening on impact and returning back to the previous form afterwards. D30 is both effective and lightweight and is used on many of the best pads.

The Raids are a slip-on style with a single adjustable ‘Fit-Lock’ strap at the top of the pad. The way the sleeve is designed means the panels of neoprene fabric (with lightweight mesh at the back) are cut in a way to sit very comfortably on the leg, with little bunching of fabric and no rubbing. The articulation of the knee when pedalling doesn’t fight with the pad and a silicone gripper adds to this security. With plenty of durable (and abrasion resistant) D30 protection below the kneecap and additional padding to the sides, you well looked after if you hit the deck.

The TLD Raid pads are light considering the protection they offer, give unrestricted leg articulation and stay exactly where you need them. Bike test editor Steve Jones has practically lived in these for the last six months and finds them very hard to fault. A new benchmark in kneepads has been set.

PRICE: £110



Selected for Dirt 100 2017

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