Troy Lee Designs have long held cult status amongst motocrossers and mountain bikers, manufacturing high-quality helmets and body protection with flashy designs and bright colours for over four decades. Against all odds, the Stage knee pad enters our comparison test with a discreet look and simple slip-on design without Velcro fasteners. As a result, the TLD Stage tips the scales at just 154 g, which makes it the lightest pad in the entire test field.

Click here for an overview: 14 trail knee pads in test

Weight per pad 154 g | Price € 90.00 | Certification Level 1 | Removable Insert No
Fastening System Elastic Strip | Lab Test Results 20 kN at 2.8 ms | Manufacturer’s website

The CE EN1621 Level 1-certified D3O® insert is firmly sewn into the sleeve, providing 20 kN shock absorption at 2.8 ms, which is average in this test field – as is the € 90 price tag. The TLD combines a thin sleeve material with light mesh at the back of the knee and a slightly firmer, abrasion-resistant material protecting the front panel.

The TLD Stage knee pad extends far down the calf, which looks a bit odd when paired with long socks.
The Troy Lee Designs Stage forgoes Velcro fasteners and holds onto the leg by means of a thin silicone strip.
The sleeve material is rather thin but doesn’t let much air through the front of the pad.

The Troy Lee Designs Stage on the trail

The soft, flexible material makes it easy to slip the Troy Lee Designs Stage over the leg. However, the long sleeve extends far over the thigh and calf, making it harder to put on the pads when you’re already wearing shorts. On top of that, the elongated shape makes for a strange look in combination with long socks. The long knee pad transitions straight into the sock, making you look as if you were wearing leggings. The absence of straps ensures a comfortable fit but the Stage still stays in place on all kinds of descents. When pedalling, the thin, lightweight material makes you forget that you’re even wearing knee pads – albeit ventilation could be slightly better!


  • Lightweight
  • Excellent comfort


  • Not the best ventilation in this test
  • Long sleeve makes for a weird look

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The test field

Click here for an overview: 14 trail knee pads in test

All kneepads in test: 100% Teratec Plus (Click for review) | Alpinestars Paragon Plus (Click for review) | AMPLIFI Havok (Click for review) | Chromag Rift Knee Guard (Click for review) | Fox Launch D3O (Click for review) | Ion K Lite (Click for review) | iXS FLOW EVO+ (Click for review) | Leatt AirFlex Pro (Click for review) | Ortema GP5 Knee Protector (Click for review) | Pearl Izumi Elevate Knee Guard V1 (Click for review) | POC Joint VPD 2.0 Knee (Click for review) | Rapha Trail Knee Pad (Click for review) | Scott Soldier 2 (Click for review) | Troy Lee Designs Stage

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Words: Simon Kohler Photos: Mike Hunger

About the author

Simon Kohler

​​Simon loves speed. He has many years of racing experience as a longboard downhill skater, blasting down alpine passes on his board. In the meantime, he’s swapped four wheels for two, charging down trails and bike park lines aboard his mountain bike instead. He’s savoured some of Europe’s finest trails on various road trips through the Alps. Having lived in Austria for some time, he knows the local Austrian bike parks like the back of his hand. He’s a tech nerd through and through, using the skills and know-how from his engineering degree and his attention to detail to put the latest bikes and components through their paces for our reviews. As an early riser and self-declared muesli connoisseur, he lives his life powered by oats and the strength of his legs.