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The 100% Speedcoupe glasses are lightweight, snug-fitting performance sunnies that offer enough protection whilst bucking the trend for massive face shields.
The Speedcoupes come cosy in a foam-lined hard case with spare clear lenses and a microfibre bag/cleaning cloth, and straight out of that box they feel... a little cheap. I wasn't the only one to think they felt more like something you might buy on holiday from the seaside shack, either.
They're a bit too light, have sharp edges, and this pair creaks when you flex them. Not a promising start given the price, but closer inspection sees them get better. The sharp edges are down to the styling, the hinges have metal screws in them, the removable lenses sit firmly in the frame, and the nose and ear pieces are firm yet squishy and well-secured.
Things get even better once you put them on, as that initially disconcerting lack of weight becomes a serious benefit.
If this white frame with electric blue detailing isn't to your taste, the Speedcoupes come in seven other colours, each with their own lens combination. The price varies according to shade.
With the alternate lenses being clear, it's a bit of a binary lens choice here – with one for bright days, and one for grey days or night time. I'd have liked an interim tint choice – 100% sell them separately, at least, and the Low-light Yellow Silver Mirror ones look perfect. Still, swapping the lenses is easy, as the frames are flexy enough to avoid the snappy fear you can get with other glasses.
These blue mirrored lenses have a light transmission of 12%, so are great for the sunniest days, and also enhance contrast. Meanwhile they're not so dark that you'll be riding blind any time you whizz under tree cover or it clouds over.
The clear ones are useful for eye protection, although for greyer days they don't have the happy factor or contrast-enhancement that a light orange or yellow lens can bring.
The lenses are impact and scratch-resistant polycarbonate, optically correct (decentered 8-base spherical, for the opticians out there), give 100% UV protection, and are finished with a 'Hydroilo' coating to repel water, dirt and oil. That's everything you'd want in a set of cycling sunnies really.
They wrap around your face far enough that peripheral vision isn't compromised by the edge of the lens, and the lack of a lower frame helps here too. There doesn't appear to be any distortion towards the edges either, at least that my tired old eyes can see.
The Speedcoupe frame is Grilamid TR90, it says here – that's a thermoplastic which is incredibly durable, flexible, shatterproof and lightweight, it says elsewhere. That means they're more likely to bend than snap should anything untoward happen. It also means they're incredibly light and comfortable on the face, to the point of forgetting that they're there.
The fit of the Speedcoupes is narrow and close, and there's enough flex in the arms to suit a variety of heads. I have a narrow face and many modern glasses – especially the new breed of car windscreen sized shades – sit on me like a double-glazed conservatory, and stick out the sides amusingly.
These really are close, though. The bridge is almost touching my brow, and other riders found they could touch eyebrows annoyingly and make eyelashes actually rub the lenses.
There was also very little cheek gap on me, which was good news for wind and rain protection, but meant they could fog up a little at the top corner when riding slowly or stopped. The fog cleared within seconds when speed increased though, and was never really a bother.
The arms are not overly long and tuck into the side of the head, and seem unlikely to interfere with helmets and straps. The nose piece and tips of the arms are made from TPE rubber, and it's grippy even over bumpy ground without being sticky.
At £169.99, the 100% Speedcoupe glasses in this spec are at the upper end of the market, and even the cheapest versions (£139.99) are competing with big-name brands like Oakley.
The Oakley Sutro Lites, for instance, are £143 – though lack interchangeable lenses.
The Alba Optics Stratos Ghost VZUM AF-Lens are £173.46 and avoid needing lens changes at all with light-adaptive photochromic lenses, but aren't as secure as the Speedcoupes.
They though, like the £169 Koo Spectro sunglasses, have the massive-lens look that's very popular currently but presumably won't be for ever...
Despite initial scepticism, I really warmed to these Speedcoupe glasses. Their low weight makes them a pleasure to wear as you really can't tell you've got them on, and importantly they fit to my face really well.
I used the clear lens far too much over the mirrored blue ones as bright sunny days have been scarce recently, though – the inclusion of a lighter lens would definitely boost the value.
Very light and comfortable with interchangeable lenses, but close fit doesn't suit every face
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road.cc test report
Make and model: 100% Speedcoupe HiPER Blue Multilayer Mirror Lens glasses
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?
"100% says: "The Speedcoupe was designed to give you everything you need for peak performance in a compact package. Featuring our signature 100% lens technology, your eyes will be covered for everything from complete ultraviolet filtration to blue light reduction and tints for all conditions. The dual, semi-rimless vented lenses are designed for enhanced coverage with an unobstructed view and moisture control, while the rubber nose and temple pads contribute to the overall comfort of this compact workhorse."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Designed in California, made in Europe
Wrap-around frame for optimal protection
High-impact resistant and lightweight polycarbonate lenses
Optically correct decentered 8-base spherical lenses
100% UV protection (UV 400)
Scratch resistant lens coating HYDROILO lens treatment to repel water, dirt and oil
Temple arm scoops to manage moisture
Shatterproof and lightweight Grilamid TR90 frame
Ultra-grip TPE rubber nose pads and tips
Blue Multilayer Mirror Lens : Filter Category 3, Light Transmission 12%
Clear Lens: Filter Category 0, Light Transmission 93%
Comes with a hard case, microfiber cleaning bag, clear replacement lens
They felt cheap initially because they're so light, but prove to be well made.
Light, good fit, good lens quality.
Doing well so far with no breaks, scratches or things coming loose.
'Forget they're there' light.
The price varies according to frame and lens colour combination, with these Matte White Hyper Blue ones landing in the higher echelons of cycling glasses.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
If you want a really light set of cycling glasses for when it's really sunny or really grey – or even black – these will do you well.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
A different lens choice would be nice.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
At £169.99, the 100% Speedcoupe glasses in this spec are at the upper end of the market, and even the cheapest versions (£139.99) are competing with big-name brands like Oakley. The Oakley Sutro Lites, for instance, are £143 – though lack interchangeable lenses.
The Alba Optics Stratos Ghost VZUM AF-Lens are £173.46 and avoid needing lens changes at all with light-adaptive photochromic lenses, but aren't as secure as the Speedcoupes. They though, like the £169 Koo Spectro sunglasses, have the massive-lens look that's very popular currently but presumably won't be for ever...
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 overall score
The Speedcoupe glasses became my favourites because of their low weight and great fit, meaning it never felt like I actually had any glasses on. The very bright or very dark lens choice would benefit from an in-between tint, though. I like the styling because they're not stupidly massive, and as most people choose their glasses as a style statement your opinion may vary, but they're worth a look.
About the tester
I usually ride: It varies as to the season. My best bike is: The one I\'m on at the time
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: road racing, cyclo cross, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Fun
Jo Burt has spent the majority of his life riding bikes, drawing bikes and writing about bikes. When he's not scribbling pictures for the whole gamut of cycling media he writes words about them for road.cc and when he's not doing either of those he's pedaling. Then in whatever spare minutes there are in between he's agonizing over getting his socks, cycling cap and bar-tape to coordinate just so. And is quietly disappointed that yours don't He rides and races road bikes a bit, cyclo-cross bikes a lot and mountainbikes a fair bit too. Would rather be up a mountain.