Troy Lee Designs Speed Knee Sleeve Review

Troy Lee Designs Speed Knee Guards

Specifications:

  • Sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL
  • CE Certified: Yes, certified to CE EN 13688:2013 certified
  • Adjustment: NO, silicone grippers
  • Ventilation: Breathable fabric
  • Pad Type: Full length
  • Washable: Hand wash
  • Recommended Use: XC/Trail Riding

Pros

  • D30 for lightweight but strong knee pads
  • Has certified impact protection
  • Well ventilated for warm weather riding
  • Lightweight and breathable for comfort and freedom of movement

Cons

  • None
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Our Verdict

The Troy Lee Designs knee guards are one of the most popular knee pads in the mountain bike industry. They are comfortable, they stay in place, and they protect well. If you are looking for one of the best lightweight knee pads, these are ones you should strongly consider.

It is easy to pedal with these knee pads on, and they are seamless so there is nothing to rub against your skin. These TLDs have D30 foam for impact protection which is flexible until there is an impact at which point they stiffen up and protect you. They are CE certified for impact protection.

It really doesn’t get any better than these for lightweight protection, and these are reasonably priced on top of it. For just about anyone these are excellent, and for newer riders you can get one of the best knee guards at what is pretty much a budget price.

The Troy Lee Designs speed knee sleeves are the perfect balance of functionality, comfort, and price. They work in just about any situation and are an excellent choice for knee pads.

Product Evaluation

These TLD knee pads are very capable within their intended application, which is mostly enduro, XC, and trail riding. So let’s look closer at the design and performance of these knee pads to compare to other ones.

Design

The Troy Lee Designs Speed Sleeves are a lightweight option when you don’t need the heavy and bulky knee protection that you might get with the TLD Raid knee guards for instance. These are designed more for XC or enduro riding.

The Speed Sleeves are mostly fabric with the D30 impact material cover just the front of the pad. The sides are the back are just the flexible material, so it’s obvious these are meant as lightweight protection and shouldn’t be your first choice for downhill trails or more dangerous riding than trails.

These are designed for comfort with some basic protection and they excel in that aspect.

 

Troy Lee Designs Speed Knee Guards Side View

Protection

The Troy Lee Designs knee pad has D30 impact pad covers the front of the knee and the shin. The rest of the knee sleeves are a breathable material meant to help with airflow to keep them comfortable.

D30 is interesting in that it stays flexible and conforms to the shape of your knees and legs. When there is an impact, they stiffen and distribute the impact among the entire armor pad so that you take just some pressure vs a sharp damaging impact.. D30 works exceptionally well and all of the best lightweight knee pads use it.

These knee guards are CE certified to the EN 13688:2013 standard so they have been tested and passed the safety impact protection test that is normally for motorcycle leg pads to give you an idea of how well these work.

That being said, the fronts have certified protection, but the sides do not. These are meant to be comfortable with minimal protection, so they are great for enduro and trail rides, but for more dangerous riding I would opt for knee guards that have more protection on both the front and sides.

These are just right for when you really don’t want to wear knee pads but you know that it’s a smart idea to wear something. They are comfortable and all. However, in the event of a nasty crash these will provide limited protection.

Fit and Use

The TLD Speed Sleeves slip right on easily and are impressively comfortable. They have silicone grippers at the top and bottom that help it stay in position, and it does stay in position very easily. They fit snug but without restricting your movements.

They are light enough and stay cool enough that it’s easy to forget you even have them on when riding. They even provide a little support to the knees when riding. The D30 pad conforms to knee and shin shape and has a comfortable feel overall.

Ventilation

The TLD knee pads breathe very well and are ideal for riding in warm weather. These vent as well as any pads I’ve seen.

They breath easily due to the minimalist design and let air flow through freely. Many knee pads have thicker padding which increases crash protection at the expense of airflow. The Speed Sleeves have a more minimal and narrow protection pad, and coupled with the fabric breathes very well and keeps them nice and cool.

Troy Lee Designs Speed Knee Guards Rear View

Riding Performance

The Troy Lee Designs Speed Sleeve builds its strong reputation in the riding performance department. Everything about the design of the TLDs helps to give them a natural fit that feels right when pedaling along. The D30 pad is flexible to mold to the shape of the legs, and there is no restriction or feeling like these knee pads are holding you back.

Product Value

The Speed Knee Sleeve is a good value overall. They have a price that falls into the budget range, yet they a rather well-engineered lightweight knee pad. They perform well for trail and enduro riding, and they are very comfortable to wear. If you are pushing the borders a bit, you may want to upgrade to a knee pad with higher protection.

Many people have these for several years of usage and they have an excellent reputation among mountain bikers.

There are several reasons why these are popular:

  • The silicone bands really work well to keep the TLD knee pads in place.
  • The knee sleeve has no seams to rub against your legs and irriate your skin.
  • They are lightweight and breathable
  • 4mm D30 foam for impact protection
  • Oh yea, did I mention they just work and are dependable

Conclusion

These Troy Lee Designs speed sleeves are one of the favorites among mountain bikers for years and these have a reputation for lasting for years and just working well.

While these are really well made and offer amazing protection, I would only use these on normal riding, and switch to something really heavy duty if I was hitting big jumps and such. However, that doesn’t happen that often so these are the order of the day for a vast majority of riding.

These just work with no muss and no fuss and are very dependable. Highly recommended.

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