In the past two years I have been riding with 661 Kyle Strait knee pads which are “the” reference for protection.
They are very comfortable to ride with them about 20 km or more and it is my advice to everyone that asks me. For me the only problem in the 2009/2010 model is the fragile material that involves the protections. It’s a type of net or something similar that fits the knee pad to its correct place, and it’s start to rip off fast. Right now I have two big holes in each pad. With this problem and the velcro strips lacing up from several uses, the Pad´s roll off and don´t protect anything. Basically it’s a piece of clothing in my knee.
Fortunately the new kyle strait model solve it with a new type of neoprene but it warms the knee to much and possibly becomes uncomfortable in the summer time.
Because I like to try something new and fresh I decided to take a risk and bought the Troy Lee Designs 5450 knee pads. The reviews on the internet for this protection are very poor and there are only a handful of articles, but I decided to give a try anyway.
My first impression was: Where is the protection??? Why is the protection so small?
It wasn´t love at the first sight but after trying out that sensation was long gone. The lightness is incredible, for example it seems that you are wearing a long sock or a wrist band in your knees. The other thing that pops to the eye is the “X” (Flexible elastic) in the back that gives strength. Also the inside with a gripper style print, stick the pad to the right place and it stays in place.
Because of its small and skinny protection I choose the 5450 instead of 5400 because it offers a high level of protection to the shin bone and it’s the same size of the 661 Kyle Strait.
On the pedals the pads feel awesome and after 2 or 3 km I forget completely I’m using them. If I said that the 661 were comfortable these ones are MEGA COMFORTABLE, but thank god I’m not a hairy guy! The gripper stripes rip the hair above the knee.
On the fall the pads stay where they are meant to be and without the need of the messy Velcro strap, just perfect. After 3 hours riding I just have a big smile on mi face and I never had to correct the pads position, which stay as you fitted them.
Conclusion: Very excited to finally get my hand on these, it was a big surprise, especially when I fell off during a morning ride and they didn’t slip. Never had to adjust the pads and that feeling of wearing big protection just flew off. The down side for me is the lack of lateral protection.
Sizing: Get a smaller size than the one you usually use. Normally I use a size M (medium) and I had to buy these in S (small). The Strapless function works best when it’s tight just like a sock, but don’t think that is uncomfortable, far from it, they only need to grip the leg in order to do their work.
For further details on Troy Lee 5450 Knee Pads, have a look at the Troy Lee Designs website.