Troy Lee Designs is one of the biggest and most recognisable names in mountain biking with very good reason. The brand's inimitable style, cultivated by founder and artist Troy Lee, has given the sport a visual identity, reflected its attitude and re-shaped the MTB landscape time and again over the last 25 years.
With an ever growing range of artful apparel and high performance protection, Troy Lee Designs remains the benchmark against which all other off-road brands are measured. This, combined with the brand's continued commitment to pro riders with the SRAM | TLD Racing Team, means it was simply the only brand of its kind Saddleback wanted on board to enhance our high-end cycling portfolio.
Saddleback is the exclusive UK distributor for Troy Lee Designs.
Troy Lee's designs first had an impact on mountain biking in the late 1980s. A new sport striving to carve an identity away from the square world of road cycling, inspiration came most strongly from the aggressive stylings and bright colours of motocross, which is where Troy came into contact with the sport.
Having painted helmets for several top MX racers, it was only a matter of time before mountain biking came to his attention. First came custom paintjobs for young stars of the fledgling BMX and downhill contingents, then his first MTB helmet, the RC-3 TL, which offered equal part protection and style thanks to its enhancement of Japanese brand Shoei's original design. With a new peak and some bright Troy Lee Designs decals, the helmet became a must-have item after Greg Herbold wore one to victory at the North American Downhill Championships in '91 – the same year XC and Gravity kit designs first appeared for pedal pushers.
From there, TLD continued to expand its ranges, creating the first full face helmet in the Edge TL Comp's chin bar, then going on to refine that genre with the Daytona full face – a helmet used by legends such as Shaun Palmer and Steve Peat. The Daytona's success was in its balance of style, innovation, comfort and safety – four hallmarks of every Troy Lee Designs helmet since. While full face designs have evolved into the D3, TLD took the enduro market by storm in 2013 with the A1 – bringing that unique Troy Lee recipe to a whole new crowd.
Meanwhile the apparel range has grown exponentially, every season bringing in gorgeous and striking new designs for every discipline and facet of the sport and off the bike lounging too. From attention-grabbing colour explosions to cool style and even understated tastefulness, TLD has the look, comfort and performance for every rider.
Through the years, the Corona, California, based brand has never lost its strong connection to racing and in 2014, the brand co-launched the SRAM | TLD Racing Team, which boasts top athletes including Luca and Walker Shaw (gravity), Todd Wells (XC) and Russell Finsterwald (Enduro). The team has a unique vibe thanks to riders being given the best kit to race in, yet having their own choice of frame to give them an edge.
All this adds up to the definitive mountain biking apparel and protection brand – equal part style and innovative design – making Troy Lee Designs the perfect fit for Saddleback's leading MTB portfolio.
Launched in 2013, the Troy Lee Designs A1 brought the radical styling of the brand's D3 full face helmet to the enduro market, removing the chin guard but maintaining plenty of protection, cooling and that iconic TLD look for trail riders everywhere.
The A1's unarguable style is partly down to the selection of gorgeous paintjobs available and partly down to the peak, which perfectly encapsulates the TLD spirit and offers 25mm of motion.
The helmet echoes the design of the brand's original RC-3 TL, but benefits from over 20 years of evolution in helmet technology. TLD has maximised coverage with the polycarbonate shell, protectively cossetting the temple and rear of the head. Every A1 model also comes equipped with Mips rotational impact system to maximise protection in the event of a crash.
This protection is complemented by the adjustable cradle, which offers a secure fit via three positions and an easy-adjust thumbwheel.
Comfort is assured thanks to the interior padding, a one-piece washable liner that resists the shifting characteristic of multiple pads. Meanwhile eight intake and eight exhaust vents, linked by deep air passages, ensure plenty of airflow.
The A1 is available in eight different colourways to match every rider's look.