Oakley have a long and established pedigree for producing high quality optics in distinctive and innovative frame designs that soon become sought after.
The company’s hardcore cycling specific range is tried and tested in professional circles, but how do the ‘crossover’ sports models function within the realms of cycling?
Uvex Gravity Zero sunglasses aren’t simply posh shades for posing in, they’re precision eyewear bristling with mind-boggling technology. Sure there’s an element of clever marketing at play here but nonetheless, it all translates to a superlative pair of glasses and one, in my view, sounding the death knell for triple lens types. They not only deliver a crystal clear view in all conditions but adjust automatically with the light so you can concentrate on enjoying the ride.
A decent pair of lightweight glasses is a must for real riding comfort, but not only do they need to fit well, feel unobtrusive and provide protection both from the sun and debris, they’ve got to look good too.
When reviewing a piece of equipment it is relatively easy to be objective about its design, quality of manufacture and performance; glasses add another perspective, that being style. The Uvex Cro Pro are a traditional wrap around design with one piece lens clipped into the frame and with a removable nose piece switched between the three lens options. Lenses are made from a material called Makrolon, no doubt the materials scientists among you or the Google-ologists will confirm that this is an excellent grade of optically transparent plastic, treated to give 100% UV protection. Clear, yellow and mirror finish dark lenses are supplied all of which are perforated along the upper edge to permit better air flow in an attempt to defeat misting, the manufacturers call this the Climazone airflow system.
Interchangeable lens sets have been falling in price for many years now to the point where it’s almost hard to find a duff set. Bristling with style and practicality, Tifosi’s Stelvio three lens glasses prove even prescription lens users needn’t spend a fortune thanks to compatibility with RX adaptors.
Very good specs, these. The Haviks offer great eye coverage to keep out insects, pinging bits of gravel, UVA, UVB, UVC… Plus the CIA and KGB, probably. And there’s decent ventilation behind the lenses to stop them fogging up easily when you have to wait at a junction.
There are plenty of entry level shades around with switchable lenses jostling for your attention and here are some more from Maxgear. The Tornado comes with three lenses for your hard-earned: smoke, yellow and clear plus a soft carrybag/lens wipe. They're a tad tricky to winkle in and out of the frame and you'll be needing the wipe to remove fingerprints after you've done it.
Scottish clothing and accessory kings Endura have a whole collection of eyewear available these days and the Marlins are their top-of-the-range offering. Unusually for specs of this price, they come with a one-piece photochromic lens that changes from slightly tinted to pretty dark in less than a minute of sunlight, and they adjust back again just as fast.
These basic shades from Tifosi aren’t expensive but you can still get better value for money than the Forza Fcs if you shop around.
At first glance these shades looked fine. The open-frame styling is quite aggressive and very bikey, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. After all, you do want to look like one of the pro-peloton on a training run, don’t you?
Scottish kit wizards Endura are already well known for their well-priced and functional clothing. The Shark glasses live up to that reputation well: they're good quality, versatile eyewear for the money.