Assos launch their first cycling glasses + video

Not inexpensive Zegho glasses bound to get the cycling forums buzzing

by nick_rearden   November 13, 2011  

Tags

The Swiss clothing makers famous for their classic black cycling shorts are launching a new product called Zegho later in the month; their first departure into eyewear while also saying, "Assos is not an eyewear company."

Having owned up to a certain gap in their expertise, Assos let the impressive package of Flash animations on their website take just long enough to provide a dramatic pause before the realisation that a collaboration with legendary German optics specialists Carl Zeiss is probably a good enough partnership for a venture into cycling glasses.


Zegho: this is the 'Noire' model.

 

As they say, "Does the world need more eyewear? Probably not. But we -- racing-oriented high performance cyclists -- do. The Assos Werksmannschaft, our in-house product development pro team and, in essence, our product engineers, feels that the currently available generic sports glasses could be improved to meet the specific demands of the toughest sport in the world: cycling."

The new product, called Zegho - pronounced Zay-go - comes in three versions for different weather conditions and is notable, according to their website, for being incredibly light at 27.5 grams with soft and flexible contacts with the head and nose they even give a special name: Zeropressure.


Assos Zegho: this yellow-to-clear option is called Amplify.

 

The big story though is the lens -- note the singular, it's a larger than usual single piece of Polyamide -- which Assos claim gives an uninterrupted 180° view and a special Zeiss coating called Ri-Pel which is "anti-smudge, anti-static, chemical resistant, easy to clean, hydrophobic, oleophobic and more durable."

Unusually, the new glasses will be neither polarized nor photochromic, Assos claiming that polarisation distorts the appearance of the road surface and colour-changing lenses cannot change fast enough to cope with overcast from trees and tunnels.

What they are offering instead is a patent-pending technique called Tunnel Vision where the lens shade density changes quickly to clear about 2/3 of the way down the lens. This way, they say, it only takes the slightest tilt of the head to see a completely clear view.

Of course, you were going to ask the price and as usual we'll say at this point that UK pricing isn't final yet but the US price is between US$400-460 depending on model. That could mean as much as £300-345 here. Yikes.

UPDATE: UK retailer Wiggle has posted prices of £299.99 for the yellow Amplify model, £309.99 for Werkmannschaft and £319.99 for Noire.

Details: assos.com

26 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

Coughs...how much! Cool

shollin's picture

posted by shollin [51 posts]
13th November 2011 - 20:36

10 Likes

mamil-tastic!

TheHatter's picture

posted by TheHatter [811 posts]
13th November 2011 - 20:39

7 Likes

I love Assos stuff but this is surely a step too far? I think I'll stick with my Bolle safety glasses, a fiver on eBay.

Pete

PeteH's picture

posted by PeteH [159 posts]
13th November 2011 - 21:08

10 Likes

That'll be the first ever set of Assos eyewear since 1988 then? A bit like the ones I've got in my big box of old bike stuff in the garage? I'm amazed that Oakley can get £200 for a quid's worth of plastic, so £300+ is impressive (used to work prescription eyewear manufacture). FWIW there are 20 quid safety glasses with the same materials and coating technologies.

Make mine an Italian with Campagnolo on the side

posted by monty dog [387 posts]
13th November 2011 - 21:33

8 Likes

monty, my safety glasses hit all the same standards as Bolle's cycling range but are a tenth the price. What price vanity?

Pete

PeteH's picture

posted by PeteH [159 posts]
13th November 2011 - 21:56

9 Likes

I love Assos but this is far too pretentious even for a company of this prestige ...

posted by Karbon Kev [682 posts]
14th November 2011 - 9:06

10 Likes

I'm not adverse to spending silly money oncycling kit (Rapha fanboy Big Grin ) but how much for a pair of glases that will get scratched after a few years? I'll stick to my £15 endura specs thanks...

Carpe Diem ab absentis: seize the day off

Coodsta's picture

posted by Coodsta [99 posts]
14th November 2011 - 9:25

10 Likes

Coodsta wrote:
...but how much for a pair of glases that will get scratched after a few years? I'll stick to my £15 endura specs thanks...

Know what you're saying but....I bought a pair hideously expensive cycling glasses about ten years ago and I'm sure that their staggering price at the time made me look after them a lot better than I might have done. And they have worked well; good value it could be argued. Having said that I bought a set of those Enduras for my son and I know plenty of people who have them; they're well made and - importantly this - don't make you look like a spod. I wonder whether we've entered a new phase where the conspicuous display of deluxe branding will have a kind of inverse effect on a certain kind of thoughtful buyer. Seems to me all the new clothing brands we've seen lately are focused on how much performance and style they can offer for little money. The Gucci helmet & Assos glasses launches posted this weekend show that deluxe brands are still fighting their corner - and there's surely still a certain market for them if standing in Bond St, London is anything to go by. Just not a very big one in the great scheme of things.

posted by nick_rearden [859 posts]
14th November 2011 - 10:55

14 Likes

Surprise

Aaaaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

BOOM BOOM!

ps. it's not April 1st is it?

posted by Matt_S [201 posts]
14th November 2011 - 11:54

8 Likes

Oh dear Assos they built their reputation on understated elegance like a high-tec Rapha but just recently they appear to be losing the design plot and coming over all Castelli (sometimes excellent sometimes very garish).

posted by belgravedave [223 posts]
14th November 2011 - 15:30

11 Likes

those fellows at assos need to be realistic about their prices, how do they justify that? my next pair will be the Ekoi Roadster. Cool

For the best sport socks around visit
www.moose.eu/en

Your feet will be glad you did!

koosiegreen's picture

posted by koosiegreen [46 posts]
14th November 2011 - 17:09

9 Likes

belgravedave wrote:
Oh dear Assos they built their reputation on understated elegance like a high-tec Rapha but just recently they appear to be losing the design plot and coming over all Castelli (sometimes excellent sometimes very garish).

You're kidding aren't you... Assos is Swiss-watch quality and Swiss-pop design.

Understated elegance is not something I've ever seen mentioned in the same sentence, at least not without the word 'lacking' somewhere as well.

I'm pretty sure I know what the first two letters of their Fugu jacket stand for - the yellow is guaranteed to ward off zombie attack, on the grounds that the taste has been surgically removed from the brains of anyone buying it.
Check out the Long Sleeve Mille jersey too, but not within thirty minutes of eating.

v141_fuguJack_03_3.jpg lsmille_black_3.jpg

abudhabiChris's picture

posted by abudhabiChris [569 posts]
14th November 2011 - 17:12

9 Likes

I think we are in agreement, maybe I'm showing my age but when I said recent I meant the last couple of years. Go back before that and they had some lovely solid jerseys, not a wavy line to be seen.

posted by belgravedave [223 posts]
14th November 2011 - 18:38

7 Likes

Evryone is com[plaing about the price, and not the fact that they are ******* rank...

"I can't believe I ate the whole thing..."

Cooks's picture

posted by Cooks [492 posts]
14th November 2011 - 21:00

7 Likes

they're a bit posh spice for me, both in terms of look and cost. meh.

Barry Fry-up's picture

posted by Barry Fry-up [186 posts]
14th November 2011 - 21:15

4 Likes

...and you thought Jawbones were weird and over-priced

To me they're just one step away from the OAP sunglasses you can buy from Bettaware that make you look like Scott Summers if he'd got his prescription on the NHS

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMUEsIAWNJ0

andylul's picture

posted by andylul [415 posts]
15th November 2011 - 8:35

9 Likes

I reckon the folks responsible for naming products at Assos must be on something...sniffing cheese or whatever the Swiss do to get off their faces? Devil
Best of the current lot is the Bonka, which interestingly the do in both slim (race) and 'performance' fits Liar - I've heard it called lots of things, but surely something like strudel would be more appropriate?

Make mine an Italian with Campagnolo on the side

posted by monty dog [387 posts]
15th November 2011 - 8:49

8 Likes

Thank you @andylul - that link has made my day

mr-andrew's picture

posted by mr-andrew [300 posts]
15th November 2011 - 10:38

8 Likes

Ridiculous price, They're way too cheap.
If you want to sell them, you just put the price up and people will think they must be good.

Binky

posted by davebinks [129 posts]
16th November 2011 - 15:12

8 Likes

Now let me see shall I buy a pair of them or shall I get the car serviced and pay the road tax? F**k that!

Andy

posted by jazzdude [61 posts]
16th November 2011 - 16:02

4 Likes

jazzdude wrote:
road tax

Surprise

Wink

Simon_MacMichael's picture

posted by Simon_MacMichael [8517 posts]
16th November 2011 - 16:04

6 Likes

abudhabiChris wrote:
belgravedave wrote:
Oh dear Assos they built their reputation on understated elegance like a high-tec Rapha but just recently they appear to be losing the design plot and coming over all Castelli (sometimes excellent sometimes very garish).

You're kidding aren't you... Assos is Swiss-watch quality and Swiss-pop design.

Understated elegance is not something I've ever seen mentioned in the same sentence, at least not without the word 'lacking' somewhere as well.

I'm pretty sure I know what the first two letters of their Fugu jacket stand for - the yellow is guaranteed to ward off zombie attack, on the grounds that the taste has been surgically removed from the brains of anyone buying it.
Check out the Long Sleeve Mille jersey too, but not within thirty minutes of eating.

Why oh why do Arsos insist on using this buffed euro-MAMIL for modelling clothing. No wonder he looks pissed-off. He's spent a fortune and looks a tool.

'..three versions for different weather conditions'!!!! So a grand for your complete biking eye care package? Clearly, Arsos are confident their Swiss bankers are immune from the Eurozone crisis and will continue to have money to burn...

arrieredupeleton

posted by arrieredupeleton [566 posts]
16th November 2011 - 16:28

4 Likes

Plastic fantastic...!!

I didn't realise plastic has a higher £/lb value than gold these days!?!?!?!? I'm going to root out my old shopping bags and melt them down! Big Grin

posted by cllr hodgen [45 posts]
17th November 2011 - 10:29

5 Likes

Hey you lot complaining about the price. Try buying prescription glasses and see how far that gets you - those are around the standard Oakley Rx price. (Though I have to wonder what this lot charge for prescription!!)

It makes you want to lasik your own eyes with a rusty spoon before you see the bill...

*Cheap* sunglasses when you need a prescription are things like optilabs - in the £100-£150 range.

posted by bazzargh [145 posts]
18th November 2011 - 0:42

7 Likes

Actually roadcc - it might be an idea to do an article about prescription cycling glasses. Advice on what kind of thing is available might help those dipping in. Eg:

- Oakleys cost an arm and a leg, but their customer service is second to none. I had a pair of 'wire' glasses wrecked in a crash, and they replaced the frame for £15 (the lenses were intact). When I bought the frame it was around £250.

- Off-brand opticians like optilabs exist online, that do a limited choice of glasses at prices well below high street opticians. I've got a couple of pairs from them, and they were fine (if maybe not as ventilated as I'd like on the bike)

- Some brands like Rudy Project use inserts behind their 'normal' lenses. This looks ugly up close, but in the long term its a good choice - you can use frames with swappable lenses, you can change your prescription, etc and unlike Oakley Rx there is no restriction on the colours of lenses available.

- and then there's stuff like in the article above, where if you pay the list price you need your eyes tested...

posted by bazzargh [145 posts]
18th November 2011 - 0:52

6 Likes

Jeezo I think I can get laser eye surgery for around that much!

posted by stephogg [32 posts]
22nd November 2011 - 23:34

5 Likes