Troy lee designs
Troy Lee Designs has become a celebrated mountain biking brand by keeping three pillars in mind – art, speed and safety.
All are critically important to Troy Lee, the son of a sign painter and motorcycle racer and grandson of the founder of the Bonneville Speed Trials. A former pro motocross rider, he understands the style, thrills and dangers of racing, so he designs products athletes want and need to ride in. TLD’s success is built upon creative horsepower and bold graphics, steeped in racing culture.
What started as a side-line painting helmets for fellow pro MX racers blossomed into a business after word spread about Troy Lee’s slick illustrations. Painting led to customising, and in 1995 the brand’s Daytona MTB helmet hit the scene. From there, TLD gear became an integral part of the MTB world – the mark of a true mountain biker. Whether you’re after authentic apparel or industry-leading safety, you’re in safe hands with Troy Lee Designs.
A brand born from paint
Troy Lee first helped his dad paint a helmet for car racer Jim Busby aged 11, then at 15 he was given his very first motorbike, a Honda CR125 Elsinore.
By 1981 Lee was working as a pipe welder but racing KTMs and painting helmets for his friend Jody Weisel, editor of Motocross Action, in his mother’s garage on the side.
An ad in the magazine led to pro motocross racers, such as Jeff Ward and Danny Chandler, wearing his designs. Soon, Troy gave up welding to paint full time. A business was born.
Troy Lee’s first foray into helmets was cosmetic, forming custom visors using his mother’s oven and vacuum cleaner.
Eventually, he collaborated with large helmet makers, but became concerned that the safety levels of MTB helmets weren’t keeping pace with the speed of the bikes. In 1995 he launched his own helmet, the Daytona, a full-face lid that blended style, innovation and safety.
Today the brand designs everything from open faced trail helmets to motocross lids, with all bicycle helmets rated 5/5 in the Virginia Tech helmet testing ratings
A3 MIPS Helmet
The A3 MIPS Helmet is TLD’s premium trail helmet. Available in a choice of colours and patterns, it combines EPS and EPP foams, which absorb high and low speed impacts, with MIPs technology that negates rotational forces. Low coverage offers further protection. Safety aside, this comfy helmet is easy to fit and has an adjustable peak, with room for eyewear. It’s also well ventilated, with a Removable Sweatglide system and a quick-drying antibacterial liner.shop A3 MIPS helmet
D4 Carbon MIPS Helmet
The latest in the Daytona series, this highly ventilated, full-face helmet with collar suspension system is TLD’s flagship lid, offering you the best protection around. Its TeXtreme carbon fibre shell uses straighter carbon fibres, offering the usual strength and impact tolerance in a lighter weight. It includes a MIPS Brain Protection System to neutralise rotational impacts and is certified to the stringent safety standards. Plus, being TLD, it’s always on point!shop D4 CARBON MIPS
In cool weather, pull on these casual yet technical trousers. Made of stretchy, light polyester, they’re easy to wear, wicking and adjustable using the dual Velcro waist fasteners. There’s space to move and fit slim pads, while a breathable rear panel and laser-cut vents at the knee keep the air flowing. Additionally, thermo skin applied to the inner right ankle prevents chain abrasion, while two zipped pockets keep your valuables safe.shop sKYLINE trousers
Troy Lee Designs – the styles and trials
Pro collaborations are an important component of Troy Lee Designs' achievements.
The secret to TLD’s success lies not only in Troy Lee’s artistic talent, but in his deep and authentic connection to the world of racing.
Himself named after a motocross racer, his first dirt bike was a gift from the grandfather who won the flat-track championship at Ascot Park the same year he was born.
Meanwhile, his father raced for Checkpoint Cycles. Troy Lee later followed him into both motocross racing and sign painting.
So, Lee was well placed to make a splash with his outlandish helmet designs. He had lived the history of racing design, and he knew exactly what colours and imagery were popular in the pro circuit, since he and his friends were wearing them.
Many of these friends were making a splash on the circuit, so once they begged for custom helmets, he had a ready-made group of influencers on the scene. Motocross racer Jeremy McGrath, MTB icon John Tomac, extreme sports proficient Shaun Palmer and many others have all worn his helmets over the years.
The other advantage of having pro athlete friends and customers was that Troy Lee learned which designs and visors they favoured and disliked, and before he even began designing helmets, understood riders’ preferences in terms of style, shape, safety additions and features.
He also knew what tests the athletes would be facing and where the vulnerabilities of existing helmets lay.
As his brand has grown, Lee has supported every sport that he creates products for.
When Supermoto came to the US in 2003, TLD fielded its own race team, Team TLD Honda, at the Red Bull AMA Supermoto Championship, and to this day the brand participates in supercross and motocross with the TLD/Red Bull/GASGAS Factory team and the TLD/GASGAS/SSR team.
TLD has furthermore formed a partnership with Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 Team for the 2022 season and sponsors a roster of pro/am cyclists. Among these are BMX Olympians, the Dorval AM / Commencal DH team, the RockShox Trek Race Team, slopestyle stars such as Brandon Semenuk, downhill legends like Brendan Fairclough and the Canyon CLLCTV downhill heroes.
Collaborations are Troy Lee’s way of giving back to the disciplines that have given him pleasure, but also provide the perfect testing ground for all of TLD's products, helping to ensure that they remain stylish, fast and safe.