troy lee designs knee pads issue 114

Review: These Troy Lee Designs Raid Pads Are Designed To Protect The Only Two Knees You Have

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In Issue #114 of Singletrack Magazine, Wil tested, reviewed and recommended Troy Lee Designs’ Raid knee pads

In Issue 112 of Singletrack Magazine, we tested 14 sets of lightweight knee pads as part of our ‘Pads For Pedalling’ group test. Designed for maximum flexibility and comfort for all-day pedalling, most of those pads were about as minimalist as it gets for a knee pad, making them ideal for knee pad newbies and those who typically detest wearing them in the first place.

Stepping up the protection levels over the Troy Lee Designs Speed Sleeve knee pads that won the ‘Most Comfortable’ award in that group test, the Raid is the next model up in the TLD knee protection range. With more protection, more coverage, and more adjustability, the Raid knee pads are claimed to “protect your knees when you run out of talent”, which for me is quite frequently.

troy lee designs knee pads issue 114
Using D3O, the Raid knee pads from Troy Lee Designs are designed to “protect your knees when you run out of talent”
troy lee designs knee pads issue 114
In addition to the main D3O panel, there are EVA panels on each side of the knee cap too.

Available in three sizes, the Raid knee pad uses a similar tube-style construction to the Speed Sleeves, but has further adjustability via a large elasticated strap around the upper cuff.

The bulk of the fabric is a stretchy neoprene-type jobby, so they’re pretty snug to pull on, and the non-stretchy PU band on the back of the calf can make the job a little tougher. With more coverage and thicker materials, the Raids are a little warmer to ride with, but thanks to the mesh backing and perforated holes moulded into the D3O panel, they’re surprisingly good at not stewing your knee caps.

troy lee designs knee pads
The Raid pads use a tube-style construction with a mesh backing that’s reinforced with a red Fit Lock band that helps to keep them snug and secure.
troy lee designs knee pads issue 114
There’s a stretchy Velcro strap on the outside and silicone gripping on the inside.

Whether you’re climbing, meandering or attacking a descent, the Raid knee pads have a very generous and secure feel. The fit is excellent, with the articulated knee and longer cut helping to keep things steady. Inside, the upper cuff has a thick band of silicone detailing that sticks to your skin like a gecko sticks to honey. My skin tends to have a light reaction to silicone, which meant after a full day of riding, I was left branded with an amusing bright red ‘RAID’ logo on my pasty white thighs. Along with the adjustable strap though, the Raid pads aren’t interested in creeping down your legs whatsoever, negating the need for constant annoying readjustments on the trail.

troy lee designs knee pads issue 114 wil antur stiniog nukeproof
The Raid knee pads are well articulated, which helps with flexibility for all-day pedalling.

Like the Speed Sleeves, the Raid draws on clever D3O technology to build a flexible articulated pad around the knee cap. In the case of the Raid pads, the D3O panel is much thicker, and covers more flesh and bone, extending partway down the shin to provide an effective barrier against sharp pedal pins. The thick padding feels soft and blobby, like an over-ripened avocado, but using science, D3O is designed to harden on impact, with the molecules locking together to turn the soft and spongy pad into a firm structure that distributes impact energy.

There are sufficient absorption qualities to earn CE certification, and TLD has added in two additional EVA foam protective panels placed both sides of each pad, along with a strip over the top of each knee. All up, there’s plenty of protection for the hardest bumps and thumps any trail rider or enduro racer might encounter.

troy lee designs knee pads issue 114
D3O is clever stuff.
troy lee designs knee pads issue 114
If you’re conscious about smashing up your knees, the Raids are an excellent choice for casual trail riding through to Enduro racing.


Loads of protection for the pinners, with enough comfort and flexibility for the spinners, the Raids are a tough and secure knee pad that will appeal to many.

Want to check out a range of other lightweight knee pads? Then make sure you read our Pads For Pedalling group test here to see all the reviews of 14 other knee pads we’ve been testing. 

Review Info

Brand: Troy Lee Designs
Product: Raid Knee Pads
From: Saddleback,
Price: £110
Tested: by Wil Barrett for 6 months

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