These Rudy Project Fotonyk sunglasses are perfect for riding any time of the year thanks to their photochromic lenses changing from clear to dark in reaction to lighting levels. With great optics, comfort and not the slightest hint of fogging, they are a joy to wear.
When I was a commuter this was one of the toughest times of the year to choose which glasses you were going to stick on for the ride. Leaving and arriving home in the dark but with that whole sunrise/daylight/sunset thing going on in between. This is where the Fotonyks come into play with their ability to become all-rounders, being suitable for practically every eventuality.
The first thing I noticed was the clarity of the lenses. I changed mid-ride from my own POC Blades to the Fotonyks and the difference was noticeable, the Rudy Projects being so much clearer and sharper. Even as the lenses curve around your face there is no distortion at all.
The photochromic lenses go dark enough for use in strong sunlight and to practically clear for night-time use. The lenses don't seem to suffer from glare either, especially when riding in the dark into oncoming car headlights. The only criticism I do have is that they don't adapt between changing light conditions that quickly, so riding from sunlight to shade can be a bit daunting as your eyes are trying to adjust.
To stop fogging there is a sort of cutout at the top outer corner of each lens to help air whip in behind and it seems to work well as I never suffered from any misting up, even in heavy rain. You don't feel the wind passing over your eyeballs either, which is good news if you're a hayfever sufferer.
The frame is manufactured from Grilamid, a thermoplastic that is soft and rubbery to the touch and grips to your face even when you get a bit sweaty. There are also removable bumpers on the bottom of each lens, for added comfort and protection from the lens should you crash. Ours came with the choice of red or white, or you can just leave them off if you like.
The nose-piece is adjustable so you can really tailor the fit, and taking all of this together, the Rudy Projects are some of the most comfortable glasses I've ever worn, often forgetting they were on at all.
As far as value goes, I'd say £110 is perfectly acceptable for a pair of glasses of this quality. They give my POCs a run for their money and, dare I say it, my favourite Oakley Radars, both of which are much more expensive than the Fotonyks.
Comfortable, lightweight and clear cycling specs that are ideal in various light conditions
road.cc test report
Make and model: Rudy Project Fotonyk Black Matte Glasses
Size tested: Black matt/Red
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?
Rudy Project says: "Two years of intense research with the world's top athletes and countless hours of design have culminated in Rudy Project's latest performance sunglasses: the Fotonyk cutting-edge features, superior comfort, and breathtaking design have been seamlessly merged together into one masterpiece.
"The Fotonyk contains a multitude of technologies, but the most distinctive feature is the new 'Bumpers' system. Crafted from a soft and resilient polymer, the bumpers offer enhanced protection to the face during falls or impacts, all while offering a customizable and unique look. Independently mounted on the frame and secured with a smart lock system, the bumpers can be removed to create a half-rim lens with an unobstructed view. Bumpers are available in a array of colors, and are interchangeable for individual style.
"The Fotonyk boasts an ultra-light yet robust design, which features air channels strategically placed at the top of the lens where heat accumulates during activity. Building upon Rudy Project's award-winning 'Vent Controller' system, users can easily manage the internal airflow with a single click up or down of the lens, bringing their comfort experience to a whole new level. Air circulates in and out through large vents inside the temples, which ensures reduced aerodynamic drag and optimized fog control. These frames additionally feature the new Ergonose X, allowing the user to adjust the nosepiece for any face shape."
I found the Fotonyks to be excellent riding glasses whatever the weather or light level.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Features and technologies
Adjustable nose piece
Adjustable nose pieces are outstandingly comfortable and offer an exceptional fit for any shape of face. This system can also be used to adjust the glasses' height and their distance from the face to prevent misting.
Rudy Project uses Grilamid®, a shock-resistant, hypoallergenic, high-quality, light thermoplastic for its stability, flexibility and durability.
The bumpers are colorful rubber inserts conceived to maximize your safety in the event of crush or knocks. Plus, the Bumpers are integrated with the easy-to-open frame Vent Controller to prevent fogging and ensure perfect ventilation. The bumpers are available in different colors, what better opportunity to customize your own sunglasses!
Our products are designed for sport, incorporate state-of-the-art technology and ensure a matchless fit.
We are committed to providing superior safety through integrated hinges and soft, thermoplastic elastomers which prevent injuries in the event of falls or collisions.
No more misting, only crystal-clear vision. Our registered Vent Controller™ controls lens entry points airflow to reduce thermal shock and prevent misting, thus ensuring perfect vision and comfortable ventilation.
A superior optics solution for weather management.
The registered Quick Change™ interchangeable lenses system makes it easy and quick to switch lenses to suit any light conditions.
Unbreakable photochromic optics
ImpactX™ lenses are guaranteed unbreakable for life. The molecular semi-rigid properties are developped exclusively for Rudy Project and ensure the physical protection of your eyes against impacts, chemical and athmospheric agents; but because they are semi-rigid they will also minimize injuries during impact of fall. Unlike most photochromic standard lenses, ImpactX® lenses are fused in the mass of the polymer itself with a complex manufacturing process, making it more resistant and clearly optically superior to most competitors.
+25% Photochromic speed.
+60% Photochromic range.
-20% Sensibility to temperature.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
They offer great coverage, venting and clarity.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The rubber bumpers add to the comfort.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The lens change from light to dark isn't the quickest.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
These are the only glasses I've used for the last two months, with many rides spanning daylight into darkness. They are comfortable, light and with great optics. I'd say they are only let down by that slow photochromic transition from dark to light when riding from sunlight to shade and back again.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: Kinesis Aithien
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed
Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.