Troy Lee Designs Pistonbone: Celebrating 40 Years Of TLD

By Nicki Giles –  21 July 2021

As Troy Lee Designs turns 40, discover the limited Pistonbone collection, with jerseys, tees, windbreakers, hats and tanks heralding TLD’s motocross roots. 

To celebrate 40 years in the business, Troy Lee Designs is looking back at its origins in motocross with a one-off collection sporting a remastered version of the racy Pistonebone design, one of Troy’s own favourites.

The Pistonbone collection is in part a very personal tribute to the influences that spawned the company, but also recognises the years of thrills, spills, races, innovation and excitement, not to mention the many outstanding talents, that have built the brand into what it is today.

Most people can only dream of achieving the sort of prestige that Troy’s work has commanded with racers since the early days of his company. That’s because it’s nearly impossible to do without a unique combination of uncommon talent and complete authenticity. With a grandfather who co-founded the Bonneville Speed Trials and made a living customising motorcycles, not to mention a father who was both a racer and artist, it’s not surprising that Troy Lee began doodling race-related sketches when he was just 12.

A ready-made MTB fan base for TLD 

Then, when he aspired to become a professional motocross racer himself, fellow pro-racers were impressed by his artistic flair and asked him to customise their helmets. When you consider the following that social media influencers enjoy these days, it’s not surprising that requests spiralled once these successful friends were seen wearing his eye-catching work.

Suddenly, Troy found he could make a living combining his two great passions, bikes and painting. Since then, his company has flourished due to the great man’s self-declared “intense creative spirit”. It has moved from customising off-road motorcycling and cycling equipment to designing apparel and conceiving helmets from scratch, not to mention forming and dressing successful teams in a range of two wheeled disciplines.

Mountain biker in TLD Pistonbone gear standing then jumping
Man wearing TLD Pistonbone tee posing near bike
Smiling mountain biker wearing TLD Pistonbone long sleeve tee
Back view of man wearing TLD Pistonbone long sleeve tee
Man in TLD Pistonbone tee posing near dirt bike

One of a kind TLD sportswear

Pistonbone is a collection that encompasses not only Troy Lee’s art but his philosophy of designing clothes he’d be proud to wear himself. While speaking to ENDURO Mountainbike Magazine on a visit to our own Saddleback HQ in 2016, he said, “I don’t ever want anything to look like an afterthought. We start at the head, what jersey, what gloves, what shoes, what pants, it’s the whole package we design, because then it looks seamless.”

Sure enough, this is a varied collection of items, ranging from short and long sleeve tees to tanks and a beanie, sports the same iconic Pistonbone design throughout. It’s composed mainly of beautifully designed casual wear, making it ideal for elite athletes and MTB fans alike to relax in post-trail.

Troy Lee has also talked about creating kit to suit riders’ every mood. So, whether you feel like doing a downhill run or hitting the trails, standing out from the crowd or sitting quietly in the corner, you’ll be able to find the perfect threads to showcase your personality and passion.

The Pistonbone design makes an immediate statement with the Long Sleeve Tee and the Women’s Tank. In the case of the stylish Windbreaker, however, the pedigree of the garment only becomes clear to the alert, mountain bike loving observer. The mixture of light and dark colours, understated pieces like the classic beanie and more outlandish designs, such as the tie-dyed Youth Short Sleeve Tee, gives you the chance to vary your level of visibility at will.

TLD Pistonbone logo GIF

Own A Piece Of MTB History

Since 1981, every MTB fan and professional has aspired to be seen tearing it up wearing Troy Lee’s designs. Now, 40 years later, this special collection offers you the chance to own a piece of iconography that won’t ever be widely available. Once these items are gone, they’ll be gone forever.

Any Troy Lee Designs product will look cool, fit well and be comfortable to wear, but this collection captures the soul of the past, in the form of art conceived by Troy Lee in his mother’s kitchen. It’s a tribute to his motocross heroes, the hard-as-nails riders of the 70s, while personifying the versatility and style beloved of riders in the 21st century.

View it now and bag yourself a limited-edition piece of TLD memorabilia that will have all your trail mates drooling.

TLD Pistonbone Collection

Read More

Gabba vs. Perfetto

Which is better: the Gabba RoS 2 or Perfetto RoS 2? We take a closer look at these two iconic pieces of cycling clothing to help you decide which one is best suited to your needs.

Castelli Winter Gloves

If you find selecting the right gloves to match the day’s forecast a chore, why not go for a pair that offers sufficient weather resistance, dexterity and warmth to see you through most eventualities?

Troy Lee Designs AW23 Jackets

We examine the full TLD Fall 2023 jacket range, which includes the Shuttle and Descent jackets and the all-new Crestline and Mathis jackets.

Castelli Alpha Jacket

Back in 2014, Castelli launched the first Alpha Jacket, which set a new benchmark in Winter jacket performance. Find out how the range has improved over the years.

Saddleback Journal
Section