I am a HUGE advocate for wearing knee pads on every ride. I have been doing it since the first 661 Kyle Straits were released. It’s an easy protection item that can really save your knees. I have been wearing the Troy Lee Designs Raid knee pads for the past couple of years so I figured it was finally time for a review.
These Troy Lee Designs Raid knee pads are following the trend of more mailable, comfortable, all day wear knee pads that have been hitting the market over the past couple of years. So how did they perform? Let’s get into it…
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Troy Lee Designs Raid Knee Pads Specs
Born on the gnarliest World Cup Downhill tracks, but fine-tuned for long days in the bike park. The new TLD Raid knee guard is purpose-built for the days when the trails are going to get insane-but your comfort and safety is a priority. D3O® is used in the crucial impact area to absorb shock.troyleedesigns.com
- D3O® CE certified knee pad
- “Fit-Lock” calf band to prevent slippage
- Vented Neoprene construction for all-day comfort
- Breathable mesh rear panel
- Abrasion-resistant front panel
- Inside/Outside leg padding placed in strategic areas provides impact protection while allowing pedal articulation at various saddle heights
- Silicone gripper band on inside upper leg with adjustable Velcro strap outer for variety of leg sizes
- Sold in pairs-left/right
- CE EN 1621-1 Level 1 certified
- MSRP $115
TLD Raid Knee Pads Fit and Quality
The first thing you notice on these knee pads are how well they are made. I have been using them for over 3 years. They have been crashed and washed more time then I can remember and how do they feel today? The Velcro is still like new along with the rest of the knee pad. The quality of the material TLD used is some of the best I have ever had out of knee pads.
There are not many mountain bike protection products that I own that I can really say that about. You are paying a premium but you are getting a premium product in return.
The Troy Lee Designs Raid knee pads also stay put on the trail thanks to the neoprene design and velcro/silcone top. The “Fit-Lock” calf band keeps a tight non-slip fit without being too tight. The Raid knee pads are some of the few that really don’t move while out on the trail thanks to their design.
How do the TLD Raid Knee Pads Perform on the Trail?
They perform almost flawlessly on the trail. They do not slip…they don’t rub your knee raw while pedaling…they do not limit knee movement while pedaling…and they breathe enough to not overheat your legs on hot summer riding days.
For knees pads especially, I like them to just disappear until I need them. I have had some in the past that would create friction points and rub my skin raw. I have had others that like to slide all over the place and even sometimes fall down my leg during a ride. Then there are those that protect so much that they distract from the ride.
The Troy Lee Designs Raid do none of that.
The Troy Lee Designs Raid knee pads do an awesome job of protecting the front and sides of my knees while being in the background on a ride. I have slammed my knee into rocks, trees and other things on the trail and the cups protected like they should and the side pads helped prevent further knee injury. The D30 cups really do work as advertised. The impacts are absorbed and my knees did not take the brunt of the impacts. On top of that, the Raids somehow come out looking brand new every time they get washed.
So what are the downsides?
There are two that stick out and one other to consider. First, they are more expensive than most. At $115 dollars, they are on the premium end of knee pads. The Six Six One DBO comes in at $75 and everyone else in the market is around that range ($55 to $85). While that doesn’t seem like a huge difference in price…everything adds up so an extra $40 in the biking budget can add up.
Second, I prefer an all black look for knee pads. White branding is ok but the red on the sides isn’t a favorite of mine. If you really care about the way your protection gear looks…that could be something you look at a competitor for.
These knee pads are also what I would call “full protection knee pads”. They are not plastic covered downhill gear but they are also not some of the super light knee pads that have been released recently. They are going to be hotter than those but you also get side knee protection and they don’t move for that trade-off.
The Bottom Line on The Troy Lee Raids
They just work. I have tried several other knee pads and I keep coming back to the Raids. They protect my knees during crashes like they should. The Raids are comfortable for trail rides to dedicated downhill runs and they have held up to the test of time. They are everything that I personally want in a knee pad outside of colors and price.