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Troy Lee Designs / Shock Doctor gear review (ride and crash tested)

Total Heckler

Beer and Bike Enthusiast
Apr 28, 2005
8,083
18
Santa Cruz, CA
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.
 

Total Heckler

Beer and Bike Enthusiast
Apr 28, 2005
8,083
18
Santa Cruz, CA
I wore just the chest protector (under a jersey), then the chest protector with the Leatt (outside of the jersey - for the best Leatt fit).
 
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Supa8

Monkey
May 3, 2002
493
0
Middle of MA
Glad someone was a test pilot for these. Was planning on ordering a set of the elbow pads next week and they look like a good choice. BTW what size elbow pads did you order?

On the armor/jersey did you remove any of the pads? Looks a bit different then what TLD has on their WWW. I know they have two versions.
 

Total Heckler

Beer and Bike Enthusiast
Apr 28, 2005
8,083
18
Santa Cruz, CA
Haha yeah someone had to do it. =]

I was using the Large pads. I am 6'1 and about 210lbs.

As for the under shirt/armor, I didn't remove any of the pads. It does look a bit different from the photo they have on their site, but again, this thing is awesome. Whats cool is some of the pads are softer/more bendy for comfort (on the shoulders/arms and on the side of the torso), where the upper chest and spine pads are more stiff to protect the goods. The design of this is really well thought out.
 

dhmike

Turbo Monkey
Dec 20, 2006
4,307
43
Boise Idaho
nice reviews total heckler :thumb:. how do the kg 5400 knee guards compare to the skull and bone knee guards ? from your pics they look to me as there isn't to much protection there .
 

BrayDownhill

Monkey
Apr 21, 2002
113
0
Bray, Ireland
Great review. I've been considering the shirt bp but I already use a dainese spine protector and Leatt brace (im really looking to add some chest and shoulder protection to my current setup).

Would you have any idea how the shirt armour would work with a dainese spine? How many of the rear pads are removable or would you recommend forgetting about the dainese if the Troy Lee offered enough or similar spine protection?

Cheers
Brock
 

ldw222

Monkey
Jun 16, 2009
170
0
Rochester, NY
where can you order that stuff from? that chest protector looks great. i have a 661 core saver but the shoulders have no protection at all.
 

mtbiker219

Chimp
Dec 3, 2007
14
0
Ashburnham
great review. i just ordered the BP-7850 and now im glad i did. all of the other brands' upper armor suits just never seem to fit right or feel comfortable. i have high hopes for this new shock doctor stuff!
 

schwinnstr8

Monkey
Aug 21, 2002
203
0
East Los
Cool review!
Went to the site...what is the difference between
Shirt BP 5850-HW and Shirt BP 7850-HW?
Am I missing something on the description?
 

steelforeel

Chimp
Dec 2, 2009
23
1
Hey nice review.
I'm currently wearing 661 core saver with leatt. It fits ok but I would like to have some better shoulder protection and why not better fit. However I would not like to compromise spinal protection without having any hard plastic there.
Do you think that the BP 5850 (or BP 7850) would have similar protection as the 661 for the spine? What is the stuff used for the padding? Is it just foam or something similar to 661 d3o?
 

SuspectDevice

Turbo Monkey
Aug 23, 2002
3,946
38
Roanoke, VA
It's hard to tell from the pictures that I've seen- do the kneepads have padding on the inside of the knee ala T-Bones? I slam the insides of my knees against my bike more than I hit the ground.
 

KavuRider

Turbo Monkey
Jan 30, 2006
2,566
3
CT
Ah, so this is what a few of the riders were wearing at Rampage.
Very cool stuff, will have to check it out. Thanks for the review!
 

jutny

Monkey
Jan 15, 2009
306
0
Montclair, NJ
Cool review!
Went to the site...what is the difference between
Shirt BP 5850-HW and Shirt BP 7850-HW?
Am I missing something on the description?

I'd like to know as well, it looks like the 7850 has a little more lower abdomen protection, but I don't see the difference in the descriptions. (I even pasted them both into one document to make sure I wasn't crazy)

This is exactly the sort of thing (the under shirt) I was wishing some company would make. I've been on a nasty trend of not wearing my gear (race face/roach arm/leg/upper body stuff) because it's downright uncomfortable and makes me feel so restricted. I like the idea of this new material that allows flexibility and still a good measure of protection.

Gear I'll actually wear is paramount! Prices are also quite reasonable, so I'm very happy to see that.

-Kurt
 

Total Heckler

Beer and Bike Enthusiast
Apr 28, 2005
8,083
18
Santa Cruz, CA
dhmike - nice reviews total heckler . how do the kg 5400 knee guards compare to the skull and bone knee guards ? from your pics they look to me as there isn't to much protection there .
Thanks man. The 5400 knee pads are definitely a more lightweight knee pads compared to the T-Bone's, they breath a lot more too. The comfort is better as well because the 5400's do not use straps to secure them.

BrayDownhill - Great review. I've been considering the shirt bp but I already use a dainese spine protector and Leatt brace (im really looking to add some chest and shoulder protection to my current setup).

Would you have any idea how the shirt armour would work with a dainese spine? How many of the rear pads are removable or would you recommend forgetting about the dainese if the Troy Lee offered enough or similar spine protection?

Cheers
Brock
Hey Brock, I appreciate the feedback on the review. You should not need the dainese since the spine protection is very good and if you need more padding, you could move up to there 7850 model which has thicker padding without compromising breath-ability.

sethimus - what kind of material are they using for the protection stuff in the under shirt? something similar to the poc/d3o stuff?
Strata Foam: It's a 2 layer foam the inner is softer for cushioning and the outer is almost as hard as plastic yet still articulates with complex body zones while providing impact protection (removable Rib and biceps pads for coverage preference)

ldw222 - where can you order that stuff from? that chest protector looks great. i have a 661 core saver but the shoulders have no protection at all.
www.ridesfo.com has them in stock this Friday! Let them know Josh sent you from ridemonkey if you call in.

mtbiker219 - great review. i just ordered the BP-7850 and now im glad i did. all of the other brands' upper armor suits just never seem to fit right or feel comfortable. i have high hopes for this new shock doctor stuff!
Awesome! You will be pumped.

schwinnstr8 - Cool review!
Went to the site...what is the difference between
Shirt BP 5850-HW and Shirt BP 7850-HW?
Am I missing something on the description?
Thanks man. The differance is the level of protection. The higher the number the higher the level of protection. The padding on the 7850-hw is much thicker. It has extended coverage in the lower abdomen, lower ribs/sides & lower back/kidneys/sides. All of these areas were done with key flex points maintained, so that while there's more coverage that the 5850, The comfort / movement while riding is not compromised.

steelforeel - Hey nice review.
I'm currently wearing 661 core saver with leatt. It fits ok but I would like to have some better shoulder protection and why not better fit. However I would not like to compromise spinal protection without having any hard plastic there.
Do you think that the BP 5850 (or BP 7850) would have similar protection as the 661 for the spine? What is the stuff used for the padding? Is it just foam or something similar to 661 d3o?
Thank you. I think I answered most of your questions with some of my answers above. If you have anymore questions, just let me know!

SuspectDevice - It's hard to tell from the pictures that I've seen- do the kneepads have padding on the inside of the knee ala T-Bones? I slam the insides of my knees against my bike more than I hit the ground.
It is hard to tell in the photos. I never thought photographing pads would be so difficult haha. The coverage is good. It really covers the core knee. I messed up my MCL after getting hit by a car last year and I felt pretty safe with it. I can take a look at them a bit closer when I get home from work tonight.

KavuRider - Ah, so this is what a few of the riders were wearing at Rampage.
Very cool stuff, will have to check it out. Thanks for the review!
Thats right! Van dine was actually wearing the 5850 in the hot weather at rampage.

jutny

I'd like to know as well, it looks like the 7850 has a little more lower abdomen protection, but I don't see the difference in the descriptions. (I even pasted them both into one document to make sure I wasn't crazy)

This is exactly the sort of thing (the under shirt) I was wishing some company would make. I've been on a nasty trend of not wearing my gear (race face/roach arm/leg/upper body stuff) because it's downright uncomfortable and makes me feel so restricted. I like the idea of this new material that allows flexibility and still a good measure of protection.

Gear I'll actually wear is paramount! Prices are also quite reasonable, so I'm very happy to see that.

-Kurt
Hey Kurt, my answer above should cover your question. If you need anymore clarification or have anymore questions, let me know!
 

jutny

Monkey
Jan 15, 2009
306
0
Montclair, NJ
thanks thats what I was looking to hear.

Last question, what height/weight are you and what size stuff did you get? I'm generally a large @ 6' 190-195lbs... i'd love to find somewhere that stocks this stuff to try it for fit, because obviously if it doesn't fit right I won't want to wear it, or it won't do its job properly.
 

wood booger

Monkey
Jul 16, 2008
669
73
the land of cheap beer
I buy all of my gear and I ride what I think is best.

I appreciate the honesty, and everyone is entitled to their own opinions. :thumb:
Are you trying to say you walked into a bike shop and paid retail for your Tomac bikes & TLD gear? You don't receive any help from the companies you list as sponsors?

By looking at this http://www.joshmdh.com/index/Welcome I don't think so. It seems like everything you have ever gotten from TLD, Tomac, etc is "awesome". Which is exactly what a sponsored rider is supposed to say.

Nice pics, but don't portray an impartial review.
 

Total Heckler

Beer and Bike Enthusiast
Apr 28, 2005
8,083
18
Santa Cruz, CA
Nice pics, but don't portray an impartial review.
I am not trying to start another fight over the internet with you or anyone else. I posted up a honest review about the products I used. And believe it or not, I really liked the gear I tested.

I have gotten discounts from companies on their products, but I will say this again... I buy all of my gear and I ride what I think is best.

Thanks for the feedback.
 

Total Heckler

Beer and Bike Enthusiast
Apr 28, 2005
8,083
18
Santa Cruz, CA
thanks thats what I was looking to hear.

Last question, what height/weight are you and what size stuff did you get? I'm generally a large @ 6' 190-195lbs... i'd love to find somewhere that stocks this stuff to try it for fit, because obviously if it doesn't fit right I won't want to wear it, or it won't do its job properly.
I am 6'1 and about 210lbs. I was wearing Large versions of everything and they fit me great. You might want to call around to your local bike shops to see if they are dealers.

Do the knee pads slide and move easily underneath TLD race pants?

I can't really tell what kind of material they are using on the outside...I find grippy material doesn't work too well under pants...
I haven't run them under race pants yet, but I ran the elbow pads under my jersey and I didn't have any issues with that.
 

Inclag

Turbo Monkey
Sep 9, 2001
2,351
73
MA
great review. i just ordered the BP-7850 and now im glad i did. all of the other brands' upper armor suits just never seem to fit right or feel comfortable. i have high hopes for this new shock doctor stuff!
Just don't wear any....doh!
 

dropmachine

Turbo Monkey
Sep 7, 2001
2,923
10
Your face.
Are you trying to say you walked into a bike shop and paid retail for your Tomac bikes & TLD gear? You don't receive any help from the companies you list as sponsors?

By looking at this http://www.joshmdh.com/index/Welcome I don't think so. It seems like everything you have ever gotten from TLD, Tomac, etc is "awesome". Which is exactly what a sponsored rider is supposed to say.

Nice pics, but don't portray an impartial review.
Exactly my point. Its clear you're in TLD's pocket, and are far from impartial. The way you write stuff up you are being dishonest by not making that clear from the start. Its transparent and cheap to many, but quite a few will see this as a real review, rather than the sponsor-driven blumpkin that it is.
 

Total Heckler

Beer and Bike Enthusiast
Apr 28, 2005
8,083
18
Santa Cruz, CA
Exactly my point. Its clear you're in TLD's pocket, and are far from impartial. The way you write stuff up you are being dishonest by not making that clear from the start. Its transparent and cheap to many, but quite a few will see this as a real review, rather than the sponsor-driven blumpkin that it is.
I posted up a honest review about the products I used. And believe it or not, I really liked the gear I tested.

Thank you for your feedback.

If anyone else has any questions about the gear, please feel free to ask.
 
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schwinnstr8

Monkey
Aug 21, 2002
203
0
East Los
Thanks for answering my question! How does your Leatt fit with the pads and without? Also, does the 7850 breathe less because of the thicker pads?
Thanks in advance!
 

Total Heckler

Beer and Bike Enthusiast
Apr 28, 2005
8,083
18
Santa Cruz, CA
Thanks for answering my question! How does your Leatt fit with the pads and without? Also, does the 7850 breathe less because of the thicker pads?
Thanks in advance!
No problem. I will check how the leatt fits with the pads in and let you know (I am moving today/this weekend, so I will do my best to post my experience as soon as possible). I only tried it with the pads removed for the leatt (on the spine and on the upper chest) to accommodate for the leatt. As for the breath-ability on the 7850, I personally haven't tried that shirt but I have been told there isn't much if any difference between the breath-ability of the two models. The air flow on the shirt was really impressive for its coverage.
 

Total Heckler

Beer and Bike Enthusiast
Apr 28, 2005
8,083
18
Santa Cruz, CA
Do the knee pads slide and move easily underneath TLD race pants?

I can't really tell what kind of material they are using on the outside...I find grippy material doesn't work too well under pants...
Hey man,

I tried on the knee pads with my TLD race pants and did not have any hang ups or snagging. The pads moved just fine under the pads without any issues.

Thanks for answering my question! How does your Leatt fit with the pads and without? Also, does the 7850 breathe less because of the thicker pads?
Thanks in advance!
I tried wearing the Leatt with the shirt this weekend. With the pads in (the upper chest and top of spine - where a Leatt would rest on you) and this just made the Leatt sit slightly more elevated. I also tried it with removing the pads (while still wearing the shirt - super easy) and the Leatt fit perfectly between all of the pads and sat at its regular position.

Hope this helps!
 

bdamschen

Turbo Monkey
Nov 28, 2005
3,316
36
Spreckels, CA
Exactly my point. Its clear you're in TLD's pocket, and are far from impartial. The way you write stuff up you are being dishonest by not making that clear from the start. Its transparent and cheap to many, but quite a few will see this as a real review, rather than the sponsor-driven blumpkin that it is.

For what it's worth- I did watch the crash testing in action and aside from being humorous, the pads seemed to do their job.

I would also like to add that "sponsor-driven blumpkin" is the funniest damn thing i've read on here in a while. Dropmachine- you can now stop playing the internet, you've won.
 

dropmachine

Turbo Monkey
Sep 7, 2001
2,923
10
Your face.
For what it's worth- I did watch the crash testing in action and aside from being humorous, the pads seemed to do their job.

I would also like to add that "sponsor-driven blumpkin" is the funniest damn thing i've read on here in a while. Dropmachine- you can now stop playing the internet, you've won.
"Testing" that takes one day ain't testing. Its at best an initial ride report. Come back after 20-30 rides, then thats fair.

Also, I still call bull****. Everything this guy writes about from TLD is absolutely perfect, and NOBODY makes perfect stuff. NOBODY. Would be nice if the OP would actually realize that, and report the flaws when hes not gaggin on TLDs shaft with an impossible smile.

Look at Stikman. Dood works for Intense, and makes it obvious. Theres no hiding, hes completely transparent and honest about it. He helps people, promotes the brand, posts some pics that I wish I could do, and remains completely honest about his position. See, thats commendable. Hes not hiding saying he has no affiliation and posting up "reviews."

No doubt the stuff is decent for sure, but man, some pride here. :)

As for winning the internet, I'm now going for the high score. I think I can do it too, cause I got an extra man for the blumpkin comment.

That said, i think I hate the internet now, so maybe I'm just crabby.
 

bdamschen

Turbo Monkey
Nov 28, 2005
3,316
36
Spreckels, CA
"Testing" that takes one day ain't testing. Its at best an initial ride report. Come back after 20-30 rides, then thats fair.
Long term testing for things like durability and fit are things best left to people who get paid for their time and OCD nature to review. That or heavily opinionated people with a grip a year later on a forum.

When I'm looking at a new set of pads (ok, so maybe just knee pads or gloves in my case) the first thing I wonder is will they save my ass in a crash and the second thing is will it fit?

Lots of pics of pads on human beings will help a person sort of figure out if something should fit short of them seeing it/trying it on in person.

Someone taking an actual digger with the pads on will help a person sort of figure out if something should keep them safe short of them crashing in it.

If you read through all the honestlys and awesomes, heckler does a pretty good job of showing what's up.

As far as this review being any more biased than your mainstream bike mag, I disagree. When was the last time you saw decline review a product and dislike it?
 

dropmachine

Turbo Monkey
Sep 7, 2001
2,923
10
Your face.
Fair points actually. TH does do a good job at showing the gear, great job with the pics actually.

Funny thing is, reviewing pads/ helmets/ clothing is almost impossible to be honest, just because each person is different. You can go on about quality and stitching, price, color, design and more, but talking about fit is so bloody hard. To really do it you have to get dozens of people to try **** out and see what the median result was. SUCH a pain in the arse.

Mainstream media is mostly crap. I still dig some of Dirts stuff, but most of the other **** I just can't read. I actually am not allowed to read MBA anymore (GF's rules) cause I end up yelling at it. Do you know how weird it is to hear somebody getting pissed off at a mag while having a dump? I don't read decline (not on purpose anyways) and the rest...bleh.

Mainstream online media kills me the most these days. So much blatant bull**** posted up. I love seeing reviews on products that You KNOW are absolute crap, and they get a shining review.

LF:KDJSDL:KFJSDL:FKSDF rage.


TH, sorry if it seems like I'm pickin on ya. Didn't mean it like that. However, please post videos of you ragdolling down a hill for my amusement. Or other people. Anyone really.
 

Total Heckler

Beer and Bike Enthusiast
Apr 28, 2005
8,083
18
Santa Cruz, CA
Fair points actually. TH does do a good job at showing the gear, great job with the pics actually.

Funny thing is, reviewing pads/ helmets/ clothing is almost impossible to be honest, just because each person is different. You can go on about quality and stitching, price, color, design and more, but talking about fit is so bloody hard. To really do it you have to get dozens of people to try **** out and see what the median result was. SUCH a pain in the arse.

Mainstream media is mostly crap. I still dig some of Dirts stuff, but most of the other **** I just can't read. I actually am not allowed to read MBA anymore (GF's rules) cause I end up yelling at it. Do you know how weird it is to hear somebody getting pissed off at a mag while having a dump? I don't read decline (not on purpose anyways) and the rest...bleh.

Mainstream online media kills me the most these days. So much blatant bull**** posted up. I love seeing reviews on products that You KNOW are absolute crap, and they get a shining review.

LF:KDJSDL:KFJSDL:FKSDF rage.


TH, sorry if it seems like I'm pickin on ya. Didn't mean it like that. However, please post videos of you ragdolling down a hill for my amusement. Or other people. Anyone really.
bdamschen, thank you.

dropmachine, I appreciate you saying that. Let's move on and try and make this sport safer. Not feed into all of the negativity.

And unfortunately, the GoPro video I have of me going down is too dark to really even watch. GoPro needs to figure out how to get better low light footage. Most good DH trails aren't out in the open (at least in my area).
 

aaronjb

Monkey
Jul 22, 2010
662
136
Thanks for the write-up. I may check out the core jacket for next year.

Avoiding the appearance of impropriety is key. Whether or not there is actual bias doesn't mean that sponsor associations shouldn't be revealed up front. It only makes sense to do so. To argue otherwise is to misunderstand the notion of impartiality in reviewing, and you do yourself a disservice by not disclosing the context up front.
 

hncreature

Chimp
Dec 10, 2010
6
0
San Diego
Total Heckler - Thank you for the post and review!!! :thumb: This is the first place that I was actually able to see a picture of the body armor - TLD's photos make the thing look like it is made of leather

Bought the set myself...Body...Elbow / Forearm...Knee / Shin

I am so far very impressed with them - Very very comfortable and very very breathy - I wore the jacket on a 25 minute 1/2 climb / 1/2 hike a bike and I didn't get too too hot but on the way down boy was it ever cool! The wind cut right through the gear and it felt good - Thankfully I had a regular jersey on...it was a bit chilly...and not a TLD mesh but I am stoked to know that when I do where one of the mesh jerseys it will be even cooler! The fit of the jacket was snug but not cumbersome with almost no arm restrictions and I didn't feel or look like a defensemen for the Bruins - My suggestion to future buyers is to buy the higher end one...the 7850 (same price as the 5850)...EVERY pad is removable so you'll have your choice of leaving the abdomen pads in or out rather than being limited to not having them - The newest catalog also shows a full long sleeve upperbody suit...the 7855...sadly not available for purchase just yet...but pictured below

The knee and elbow sets were also very comfortable with NO movement what so ever - Snug fit without feeling like they cut circulation off - I will suggest to future buyers that you try them on to get the correct size...no straps here and a bit snugger will be better than a bit looser - A future post to follow on how well they hold up in terms of stretching out - The only point I need to mention on the knee pads is that the side padding like on a 661 Kyle Strait is not there and the bones on the side of the knee are a bit more exposed - Not the same for the elbow...you are fully covered and all the way down to just above the wrist

The 7605 shorts are next on the list

Good stuff here and worthy of checking out