A good all rounder with decent padding and pedaling comfort.
Trying to find a knee pad that offers good protection yet is comfortable to pedal in is like searching for the Holy Grail. Now that Enduro riding (Same as trail riding but you have to pay to queue in long lines and get half the riding) is so in right now, most companies are scrambling to provide a lightweight breathable pedal friendly pad that still offers maximum protection .
Troy Lee have stepped up and redesigned their popular T-Bone and given it the Steve Austin treatment (the six million dollar man, not the wrestler) and now it’s lighter, faster, stronger and better looking.
Out of the Bionics laboratory comes a slip on pad with a decent front impact pad of multiple layer memory foam attached to a lightweight perforated sleeve that has heaps of inner and outer side impact pads, a mesh back panel and upper and lower Velcro cinch straps. They are surprisingly light and flex well when pedaling. They even suck air in as you pedal which is fantastic. The rear mesh has a stitched hole to allow freedom of movement and this does rub the skin a little when new, but it’s in a separate panel and one day I may just cut that whole panel out.
My gripe about these pads is that the Velcro is back to front…the hooks are stitched to the pad and the loops to the strap, so if they are not cinched at their tightest, then the hooks catch on the lining of my shorts. There must be a reason for this surely or was it just an oversight? I like to wear the straps a bit loose so I found a short length of Velcro and stuck it on the exposed section of hooks and job done. (I have seen a newer production run that has resolved this issue so fingers crossed)
I am happy enough to wear these pads for a long ride and I can pretty much forget about them. I reckon you can’t go wrong with the T-Bone 2, especially as they offer great protection for such a light and malleable pad. I wear them when the riding terrain is radical enough that there’s a good chance I’ll be taking a few impromptu dismounts but still require enough pedaling that a full on DH style pad will be cumbersome and hot.
They do loosen up with age so once again, when purchasing knee pads, get a snug fit and if you’re on the fence between sizes, then opt for the smaller size.
They look good, feel good, are high enough to prevent the twat gap, light and airy and work well in a crash. They also pack flat so take up minimal room in your gear bag.
The Good: Light, soft, comfortable, decent impact pad, lots of stitching, good wrap around protection.
The Bad : Back to front Velcro, stitching has popped in a few places
The Ugly: Nothing.
All photos: Elodie Bardsley.