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  1. #1
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    Troy Lee Designs 5205 Wrist Guard Review

    Background

    I need to preface this review with two caveats:
    1. These are the first and only wrist guards I've used, so I have nothing to compare them to.
    2. I've never had a serious wrist injury, so I have no baseline pain or restrictions.

    I'm an ophthalmologist and a wrist injury would be pretty devastating. At the end of last season I fell and had a minor sprain to my right wrist, and for about 2 weeks I felt some sharp pains during surgery. I decided that I needed to wear some protection. There are a few threads on here about wrist guards, but no detailed reviews. I figured I'd share my experience with these and hopefully it helps some of you out.

    Intro

    After reading this thread I decided to go with the Troy Lee 5205. The pictures make them look more substantial than the SixSixOne guards and since I have no previous injury, I didn't think I needed to go with a medical-grade device. Someone on that thread said the 5205 felt like it offered more protection than the 3205 so I went with that. Also, the 5205 has three closure straps compared to the one on the 3205. I paid $35 each from Jenson, which I think is a pretty reasonable price. They don't come in a setů you have to order a right and a left if you want both.

    Sizing

    They come in S, M, and L. In the package insert, it says small is a size 8, M is 9, and L is 10. I have small hands and usually wear men's small cycling gloves, but mostly because my fingers are short. My palm and arms are bigger, and that's where this thing sits. I ordered a medium and it seems correct. I probably could've gotten away with a small, too, but I think I would have been near the limits of the straps. If you're in between, go bigger.

    Protection and Feel

    The protection is provided by 4 stiff flat plastic rods that slide into the back of the guard. You can remove some if you wanted to reduce the stiffness. The picture below where my arm is vertical shows me extending my wrist as far as I can. As you can see, it's only about 45 degrees.

    You will definitely feel these on your wrists, especially at first. However, midway through my first ride I stopped noticing them. The only time I notice them now is when I'm riding on a road back to the car and not concentrating on a trail. I was worried that on uphills, the restriction of my wrist extension would be a problem, but it turns out it doesn't come into play at all.

    Summary

    There's no doubt that these aren't the most comfortable things to have on your wrist. But I can say with confidence that they won't negatively affect your riding. Again, I can't compare these to anything else on the market, but they seem to offer solid support, are well made, and pretty economical.
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  2. #2
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    Thank you for your post. I've been considering getting one of these for a year now.. not so much for mountain biking, but for unicycling. Last week I finally well backwards and landed on my wrist. It's still sore, but thankfully nothing bad happened. Really appreciate your thoughts and photos.
    New rider, MTBing is fun!

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the review... I was considering getting this due to carpal-tunnel numbness in my fingers. The decision is based on the same heft of these braces compared to the 661 braces.

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    Received my pair of 5205's on Monday... figured I'd do a follow-up review.

    I was having a ton of carpal-tunnel induced numbness on my bike, and had been trying all sorts of things to reduce it (Ergon grips, riser bars, adjustable stem). Saw a recommendation for these wrist guards and decided to give them a try, after comparing it alongside several other brands. The TLD 5205 seems to be the beefiest guard and that was the factor that made the decision for me.

    Tested it out once I received it and found that the wrist bracing is firm and strong, and it actually reduced my carpal tunnel symptoms by a great deal. Putting on a padded glove under the guard made it work even better.

    The brace is not uncomfortable - actually stopped noticing it after a while. I'm even wearing it to bed (my doc's suggestion) since I have been experiencing similar CTS symptoms during sleep. The numbness is now gone!

    Really happy with this wrist support!



    Last edited by shibiwan; 10-04-2012 at 03:00 PM.

  5. #5
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    You're right it really is hardly noticeable after a while.

    I did an easy ride with a friend last week and, for the first time since I got them, I didn't wear the wristguards. I thought it would feel great not having them on, but I really didn't notice the difference.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by kauffee View Post
    You're right it really is hardly noticeable after a while.

    I did an easy ride with a friend last week and, for the first time since I got them, I didn't wear the wristguards. I thought it would feel great not having them on, but I really didn't notice the difference.
    Yeah, I'm just surprised that most of my CT symptoms are gone with the brace. Wondering if I should buy another set just so that this pair won't get stinky/ratty with the daily use.

  7. #7
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    I'm really happy to find these reviews...as I sit here with a busted right wrist that will be in a cast until mid-Jan, likely. Once I get back to riding I assume I will want wrist protection...probably for the rest of my riding life. I am NOT going to go through another broken wrist if it's avoidable. So I'd likely purchase a pair, too.

    Has anyone tried these for riding a road bike? I am guessing that I will want extra support for my road and CX mike riding, too, at least for a while...but I wonder how this would work on the hoods or in the drops, as the hand/wrist position is very different from mtb hand positioning. Thoughts?
    '11 Cannondale SuperSix 4 Rival
    '11 Redline Conquest Apex
    '13 Salsa El Mariachi 3
    '12 Salsa Mukluk 3

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zoomy29er View Post
    I'm really happy to find these reviews...as I sit here with a busted right wrist that will be in a cast until mid-Jan, likely. Once I get back to riding I assume I will want wrist protection...probably for the rest of my riding life. I am NOT going to go through another broken wrist if it's avoidable. So I'd likely purchase a pair, too.

    Has anyone tried these for riding a road bike? I am guessing that I will want extra support for my road and CX mike riding, too, at least for a while...but I wonder how this would work on the hoods or in the drops, as the hand/wrist position is very different from mtb hand positioning. Thoughts?
    Not sure because I don't have a road bike. LOL.

    I do wear it as a wrist guard to reduce CTS symptoms even when I'm off the bike. It does not restrict movement much. It simply prevents the wrist from bending backwards. All normal activities are OK for me, and it promotes a better wrist posture.

    My guess is it'll be OK for road/CX. May just want to "test fit" by looking at how your hands currently sit when you're on the bike. If the wrist is bent backwards, that's where the guard will be applying the most force to keep the wrist straight.

    -S

  9. #9
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    I got mine, and I think I will really like them...but I have to send them back for a larger size. I have wrists that are just a hair smaller than 6.5" (I have average-sized hands and wrists for a girl), so I ordered the smalls. They definitely run small, so I need mediums, especially since I will likely wear them over any gloves, aside from heavy Winter ones.

    Here is the sizing chart, which is hard to find (I actually ordered before finding this chart and went by the size gloves I wear in men's gloves):
    '11 Cannondale SuperSix 4 Rival
    '11 Redline Conquest Apex
    '13 Salsa El Mariachi 3
    '12 Salsa Mukluk 3

  10. #10
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    I think I'll give these a try since I just broke my wrist on Sunday and I don't want to go through this again if I can avoid it. Does anybody know how these compare to the 661 braces or the EVS WB01 braces?
    Last edited by Aspec5vz; 02-27-2013 at 07:27 PM.

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