With a pro peloton sporting glasses that cost north of £100, it's easy to overlook the lower-end of the spectrum, but the Orao Griffith glasses from sports megastore chain Decathlon have shown that quality can be achieved at a relatively low price.
With three interchangeable polycarbonate impact-resistant lenses manufactured to EN 1836 the Orao Griffith offer full UV protection. The lenses are Category 0 clear (filters 0-8% of light), Category 1 yellow (filters 8-18% of light), and Category 3 mirrored smoke (filters 18-43% of light). Changing the lens is simple, it's a single piece that pops out by pressing on the triangular nib just above the nose bridge. It's also relatively easy to do without getting finger marks all over the lens.
The nose piece is soft rubber and is interchangeable between each lens, again a simple procedure. The design of the nose piece ensures that the glasses sit slightly away from your face, especially that sweaty area at the bridge of your nose, promoting airflow to blow away most perspiration. It works well with the high cut bottom section of the lens to keep you relatively fog-free on all but the most tasking of climbs and hottest days.
A soft, sectioned case is provided to keep each lens separate from the others while stored; a hard case would be nice, but it's not essential given that most cycling glasses spend their time on your head or stored in a helmet. The glasses do come with a soft slip case that doubles as a handy wipe. An extra nose piece is also provided, though the one I've been using doesn't show any signs of wear after being changed a good few times.
The fit of the glasses is where they really excel. Polyamide frames are light - the all-up weight is a mere 27g - and the soft rubber nose piece doesn't exert any pressure on the sinuses, something that I've struggled with in the past when using cheaper glasses. The gripper pieces at the end of the arms are made from the same soft rubber and again they don't put any pressure on your head, so these are glasses you can comfortably wear all day. I had them on for nine hours one day and had no issues with comfort.
The only downside is the colour choice, the version I tested were white with a blue highlight and they're also available in black with a blue highlight (not unlike the colours of a certain UK UCI ProTeam), but a few other colours would be welcome for those such as myself who like all of their kit to match.
Light, comfortable and well designed; a wider range of frame colours would be nice
road.cc test report
Make and model: Orao Griffith Pack sunglasses
Size tested: n/a
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
These are priced at the enthusiast, but the lack of shouty graphics should attract others who want a quality product without paying the premium for a top brand.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
- Polycarbonate impact-resistant lens'
- 3 interchangeable lens' supplied
- Weight: 27g
- Rubber arm grippers and nose piece
The glasses were a real surprise, the finish is much better than it appears on images on Decathlon's website.
Design helps to clear away sweat, well thought out and works as it should.
Durability has been fine during the test, but a good winter of cycling would show how well these glasses perform. The additional rubber nose gripper makes me wonder if it's provided because of a weakness in design.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
These glasses are hard to beat, I keep choosing them over other glasses that cost significantly more!
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The comfort; far and away the comfiest glasses I've ever worn.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
I would prefer a less pronounced dip in the centre of the frame, purely due to liking a squarer design. They're by no means overly exaggerated though and it's an easy thing to forgive given the performance.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Definitely.
About the tester
I usually ride: Kinesis Racelight T My best bike is: Cervelo S2
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, commuting, club rides, general fitness riding,