These Pave specs from US eyewear giant Tifosi come with a Night Light Fototec lense that will take you from daylight through to midnight in just a few seconds.
Photochromatic lenses have been around for ages and cycling specific versions are getting more affordable. The Paves aren't as cheap as the Endura Marlins that we tested a while back but they are high quality and feel pretty sturdy.
First off, a warning. If you have a big head, and I do, then these are probably not for you. Snugger than an Alien facehugger with a deathgrip, they cling tenaciously. The ear pieces can be bent to shape, but the narrow profile, combined with an acute curve from side to side means that they sat well clear of my face and were distinctly gappy round the edges. If I was in a shop and trying specs on, these would go straight on the reject pile. That isn't a reflection on their quality and performance though, I just have a very wide face. Despite the fit, and looking like a pea perched on a spacehopper, they were surprisingly comfortable. Go figure...
I'll admit to being quite excited about trying these. Apart from being a stumpy gobshite I share one other trait with Bono, I hate being outside without shades. That's a bit of a pain, swapping lenses from full smoke to clear depending on light conditions isn't my idea of fun, but the Night Light lenses fitted to the Paves will switch from 75% light transmission right through to 25%. That's a seriously wide spread and saves a whole load of hassle. At one end, 75% is enough to ride in full dark, at the other, 25% is *just* about enough to cope with bright sun. If I had my way I'd have them go down to 15%, but I do have quite sensitive eyes. As it is, 25% means a bit of squinting when riding right into the sun, but it's not a deal breaker.
If these came in a larger size and with a lower bottom end they'd be even better.
Good quality shades with a versatile transmission range. Better suited to small or narrow heads.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Tifosi Pave shades
Size tested: Midnight Blue
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?
Blurb says - "This particular Pave is also equipped with NXT Fototec photochromic lenses. NXT technology uses UV reactive molecules embedded in supertough ( think helicopter windscreen ) Trivex material for the fastest, lightest, variable tinting technology available today. The 'Light Night' Fototec lens in this Pave provides protection from dawn til dusk, with a huge light transmission range from 75% ( virtually clear ) to only 25% ( virtually dark grey for bright conditions )."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Light Night Fototec lenses - 75% to 25% light transmission
Frame from grilamid TR-90
Aluminium side arms with adjustable earpieces
They feel tough and sturdy and there's no risk of snapping the frame while swapping out a lense.
Coped admirably with shady lanes and tree cover.
They feel like they should last.
These are designed for much smaller heads than mine - the arms are very, very snug, but more comfortable than you might expect.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
They do exactly what they are supposed to. Transition from light to dark conditions is imperceptible.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Wide transmission range - fine for night riding
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Don't go quite dark enough for bright sunshine. Fit doesn't suit melon heads like mine.
Did you enjoy using the product? Mostly
Would you consider buying the product? No - but I'd buy them in a wider fit
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes - see comments re: fit
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
Nice shades with versatile transmission range.
About the tester
Age: 42 Height: 5' 8 Weight: er....85kg
I usually ride: Kona Dew Drop, Dawes Century SE My best bike is: Guess SC1 scandium
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, Audax and long distance solo rides