What once began with the painting of motocross helmets, is today in the MTB scene a well-known and respected manufacturer. In recent years, Troy Lee has constantly developed its MTB collection and has not forgotten the girls. So it’s time for a detailed test! Troy Lee Designs is known to this day for its helmets. For this reason, the Stage Enduro full-face helmet was taken to subject a proper wear test – just like the new A3, the trail half-shell. The test kit is rounded off by the Mischief Shorts, the Ace Gloves and the Mischief Jersey.
While unpacking, you already realize: When Troy Lee Designs creates something, it is done right and without any compromise. Both the helmets and the clothing are super high quality in their processing and you can feel the high quality immediately. Since I wanted to test the set not only on my home trails, I seized the opportunity and took everything with me to the trail paradise Finale Ligure to put the kit to the acid test. So… let’s go!
The TLD Mischief Outfit
Troy Lee Designs has divided its clothing collection into different lines. The Mischief line is made for bike park riders, what does not mean that the pieces do not impress on the trails. I wear the kit in size S because I am not the smallest with 1.73 m and 55 kilos and prefer a rather loose fit.
The Mischief Jersey offers enough space to wear various protectors underneath and the ¾-sleeves are the perfect mix between coverage and cooling. Mesh inserts on the sides, back and under the arms offer additional ventilation. Visually, the Mischief Jersey makes quite a statement as well. The manufacturer’s logos are present, yet subtle. The highlight is in my opinion the asymmetrical floral pattern on the sleeve and torso. Playful, feminine, but not too kitschy.
The shorts come in a simple solid color. The blue is killer and matches the jersey perfectly. But it is not only pretty to look at, it is also super comfortable and offers some useful features. The Mischief shorts has three zipper pockets, where you can easily store everything you need. Even a large-sized cell phone fits the leg pocket.
It has a width-adjustable waistband, so you can easily adjust the pants in size. What is true for the shorts is that if you are stuck between two sizes and prefer a slightly longer and more casual fit, you should better choose the larger pants. And if the pants slip because the pockets are too full, simply tighten the waistband a bit. Easy to do – even when wearing gloves. For my taste, the shorts could be a centimeter longer or me centimeter smaller…. pure matter of opinion 😉
The gloves convince with their great ventilation. The Ace Snake have a mesh top and a perforated Clarino palm. The single-layer material is thin but still offers sufficient protection on overgrown trails through reinforcements on the backhand. They have a slim fit but offer enough freedom of movement thanks to the stretch portion and have a great feeling on the handlebar.
TLD Stage Stealth – the Enduro Fullface Helmet
Doesn’t everyone get to the point where you ask yourself: which helmet shall I wear now? The demands of the trail or the terrain in the bikepark call for a fullface, the uphill and the temperatures, however, rather for a half-shell – the Stage is the optimum solution. The fullface helmet is lightweight, offers a lot of comfort and plenty of safety.
The Troy Lee Designs Stage Stealth is made of two different density foams, EPS and EPP, which perfectly absorb both high impact speeds and slow impact forces. In addition, the helmet is equipped with MIPS, the inner shell can move against the outer shell, rotational forces are reduced and damage to the brain can be prevented.
Opening and closing is very easy thanks to the Fidlock magnetic closure, which is easy to operate even with one hand and gloves on. Despite all the features, however, it is incredibly light and weighs just 690 grams in size M/L. But the highlight, in addition to the best possible safety features, is the great ventilation and the unique feeling the helmet offers. It is the perfect mix of ventilation and the typical unbreakable fullface-helmet feeling. Even on uphill passages I had often left the helmet put on, simply because it is not incredibly hot and does not weight down too much. With my normal fullface I often had the feeling that the helmet becomes heavier with each descent and every berm. In contrast the Stage was always comfortable to wear and has not caused neck pain – even on windy trails with many head turns.
The helmet just looks damn cool and impresses with the subtle but super noble design. The matte black paint is very robust and forgives you riding too close to a low-hanging branch.
What really blew me away is the number of spare parts that come with the helmet. Replacement screws for the visor are included, as it breaks away in the event of a crash to reduce impacts on your neck. It also comes with three sets of cheek pads in different thicknesses. The other X-Static pads and neck pads can be replaced as well to adjust the helmet’s size and fit to your needs. All the pads can be washed and easily reinstalled in the helmet afterwards. I went through all the possibilities and found pretty quickly the perfect combination of pads for me. Thus, good support and lots of comfort without a squeezed face are guaranteed.
Whoever says A, must also say 3 – the TLD A3 MTB helmet
The Troy Lee Designs A3 Uno Mips was newly released in the spring of 2021 and advertises to be so comfortable that you do not want to take it off – that’s a big claim and I wonder if it’s true. Like the Stage, the A3 leaves nothing to be desired in terms of safety. The now well-known and proven MIPS system is installed. Like the Stage, the helmet consists of a mixture of EPS and EPP to counteract different impact speeds. What I really like and to me is very important in a trail helmet: the part at the back of the head is pulled down as far as possible and offers the greatest possible coverage.
16 openings provide a pleasant air flow, the airstream is well distributed around the head and guarantees great ventilation. The new TLD Sweat Glide System ensures that sweat is kept away from your eyes and especially your glasses. The sweat from your forehead flows to the sides along the EVA pad which is sitting above the eyebrows – so you always have free vision. And speaking of glasses: The helmet is designed for large glasses and goggles and offers enough space to store a goggle under the visor. The visor can be easily adjusted. Spare pads were added on top, so even on wash day you do not have to be without your helmet.
The whole adjustment mechanism can be adjusted in height, so you can adjust the helmet even more to your own head shape. This ensures that no pressure points arise and the helmet does not cause any headaches. The A3 is rounded off by the Fidlock magnetic closure, which has become a must for me.
I can say: Troy Lee Designs has kept its promise. The A3 is so comfortable that you don’t want to take it off. The fit is insane, does not pinch, can be perfectly and super easily adjusted to your own head shape and cuts a fine figure. I like the shape of the helmet, as it also suits smaller women’s heads and does not look too big. The design is typical for Troy Lee with natural shapes and a kind of spoiler at the back of the head. It is the perfect combination of function, safety, looks and comfort.
Nathalie’s TLD conclusion
Troy Lee Designs has once again beaten itself. Every part, from the gloves to the fullface, is well thought out and impresses with design, features, and comfort. The TLD MTB clothing has performed across the board. Even at temperatures around 30°C creates a pleasant breeze. The material is super pleasant on the skin and the wearing comfort convinces. Nothing pinches, chafes, or slips. Even at the end of the day I often left the clothes on because they are too comfortable and beautiful to only wear them on the bike.
Fortunately, there were no crashes, so I didn’t really have to test the safety of the helmets, but at least in terms of comfort, handling and feel both, the Stage and A3, convinced me all the way. In terms of price Troy Lee plays in the upper league. The pieces are not cheap, but they are also not cheaply produced. I think the helmets are worth every penny because development, design and comfort just have their price. Especially when it comes to your head you should not, in my opinion, worry too much about money.
The kit has fully convinced me and I get super excited every time I wear the outfit, put on one of the helmets to conquer the next trail. Send it!