Troy Lee Designs / Shock Doctor gear review (ride and crash tested)- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Listen! Troy Lee Designs / Shock Doctor gear review (ride and crash tested)

    I recently was lucky enough to test some of the new Troy Lee Designs / Shock Doctor gear and I was really impressed to say the least. I tested all of the gear in some pretty poor conditions (wet/muddy). I also crashed pretty hard on one of my runs wearing the gear too.

    I tested the following gear:

    -Elbow Guards EG 5500
    -Elbow/Forearm Guards EG 5550
    -Knee Guard KG 5400
    -Shirt BP 5850-HW
    -New chest protector (not in online catalog yet)

    So first on the review is the EG 5500 Elbow Guards. The fit on them is pretty standard compared to other elbow guards in that they are a snug fit to help keep them in place (I usually do not ride with elbow guards because I usually find elbow guards to be too uncomfortable). When I first put them on they felt different then other elbow pads I have used in the past. They were a thinner profile, lightweight, and for sure more comfortable than any other elbow pads I have used before.



    I rode all day with this set on and was pretty impressed that they stayed in place without being totally uncomfortable. For me that was a huge improvement to other pads I have tried in the past (661, rockgardn, etc). Another cool thing that all of these pads have is some sticky 'no-slip zones' to keep the pads in place. All of the knee and elbow pads use the X-Fit technology to keep the pads snug, but comfortable. Below are some more photos of the fit.

    Inside of the pad, this is one of the 'no-slip zones':


    From the front:


    Side:


    Next up are the EG 5550 Elbow/Forearm Guards. These are basically the same as the just elbow guards, but provide a lot more forearm protection. They breath great and stayed in place just as well as the elbow only guards. They were nice and comfortable and provide that extra protection for those of us who tend to scrape up their forearms when they stack. They also have the 'no-slip zones' that keep them in place.



    Front view:


    Side:


    Now onto the KG 5400 Knee Guards. These things are badass first off. BY FAR the lightest knee pads I have ever used. After riding with them all day I really didn't notice them. And when I took a pretty good digger, they did their job great. The pads on the knee split at the right area to where they do not restrict movement when your knee is bending to pedal. They stayed in place perfectly (even while crashing). These are super minimal (but still very protective) and are perfect race knee pads.



    From the front (you can see where the pad on the knee splits right under the TLD logo):


    From the back:


    Next up is the BP 5850-HW under shirt. Ok, I am going to say this and be 100% serious, I think that everyone who rides and races downhill should own one of these. This shirt provides amazing coverage, breathes great, and is so comfortable, you totally forget you are wearing it. It has removable pads on the chest and back (for those who run Leatt braces), also removable pads on the shoulders in case you didn't want to run them for some reason. Seriously, I cannot even explain how rad this thing was. It didn't restrict movement at all. If you have any questions about it, please ask. Again, I honestly think anyone who rides/races DH should have one.



    From the front:


    From the back:


    From the side:


    Under a jersey:


    And finally, the chest protector for those of you who like to have a little more protection for riding gnarly stuff. The chest protector is lightweight and totally does not restrict movement at all. It also breathes REALLY well for being a full on chest protector. One of the cool features for this is it has removable pieces to accommodate for a Leatt brace. It also has a slot in the back for the brace to fit into. This slot also helps keep the brace in place (so you don't need to run the straps). To give you an idea on how I tested this, I did a 30 minute climb on my DH bike just to get to the trail with the chest protector on and it wasn't too hot. Another cool thing is that it is very form fitting, so you can easily run it under a jersey too.

    Full gear from the back (with Leatt):


    From the front (with the extra piece removed to fit the Leatt):


    From the back (with the extra piece removed to fit the Leatt):


    Under jersey:


    I hope this review is helpful to you on picking your next pads. I honestly recommend all of these new products I tested. If you have any questions at all, please feel free to ask.

  2. #2
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    What's the sizing like? The TLD site doesn't appear to have sizing information.

  3. #3
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    nice, the chest protector looks good.

  4. #4
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    btw, do you have an FRONT image of the chest protector, with the brace inserted?

  5. #5
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    Hi guys, sorry for the delayed response. I am moving all week and haven't had much time to get online.

    The sizing is running slightly larger than the regular tld sizing, so I would order a size lower than you usually would run. I usually ride with Large t-bone knee pads or XL/XXL Lopes knee/shin guards. I ran Large 5400 knee pads. The elbow/forearm pads were Mediums and the shirt and chest protector were Larges. I am 6'1 and weigh in at about 210lbs.

    I don't have a photo of the chest protector from the front with the Leatt on, but I am actually working on a more in depth review of the chest protector because I barely touched on dozens of different configurations for it. I will be sure to snap a photo of it for the review! Keep an eye on this forum in the next week or so. But the Leatt fits perfectly with the chest protector in the front and back. The removable pads for it are perfectly sized and placed IMO.

    Hope this helps and keep the questions coming if you have anymore.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for that update.

    If you have any pull with TLD, let them know they need to get some sizing information up for their new products. I even checked their 2011 catalog and it didn't appear to have the sizing information.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by joshed
    I don't have a photo of the chest protector from the front with the Leatt on, but I am actually working on a more in depth review of the chest protector because I barely touched on dozens of different configurations for it. I will be sure to snap a photo of it for the review! Keep an eye on this forum in the next week or so. But the Leatt fits perfectly with the chest protector in the front and back. The removable pads for it are perfectly sized and placed IMO.

    Hope this helps and keep the questions coming if you have anymore.
    thanks, keep us updated

  8. #8
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    How about that in depth review ?

  9. #9
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    i have now the BP 5850-HW why the back protector plates finish in the middle of the back?? no protect on the last 10 vortex!!
    :thumbsup:
    ride.

  10. #10
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    I have a pair of the kg 5400 knee pads for about 5 months, they are the coolest and most comfortable pads I have ever worn. I managed to clip a fir tree last Saturday with my bar end while attempting to shoot a gap between the tree and a small boulder. My bar end hit first which caused me to steer toward the tree. hit my knee so hard that it stripped the bark off of the tree where my knee pad impacted. The pad did slip a little and I wound up with some minor scratches on my knee cap but considering how hard I hit they worked awesome!

  11. #11
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    Thread resurrection time.
    If I wear a med in 661 knee pads, what size shock drs would you recommend?
    Democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on what's for dinner.
    Liberty is a well armed sheep, contesting the vote.

  12. #12
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    Elbow Guards: EG 5500 vs EG 5550

    Hi @joshed and thanks for your review!

    I need a pair of elbow guards for All-Mountain / Enduro riding.

    What is the most suitable model for this kind of riding, between EG 5500 and EG 5550?

    I like the EG 5500 as they are compact and they'd be easy to carry inside my backpack. They'd likely be less hot in summers, also.

    On the other hand, the EG 5550 seem good for their extra protection, as they also cover forearms.

    I've never hit my arms in Trail / All-Mountain rides, but you can never foresee your next fall! Besides, Enduro is a bit more hard-core..

    Finally, I believe that you are more likely to crash on your forearms than on your elbows--what do you think of this?

    But would the EG 5550 overkill for AM?

  13. #13
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    Democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on what's for dinner.
    Liberty is a well armed sheep, contesting the vote.

  14. #14
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    ^^ unfortunately I'm in Europe..

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