The Smith Attack Max glasses provide excellent coverage and great vision, and swapping lenses could hardly be easier thanks to a clever magnet-based system.
- Pros: Excellent eye coverage, uninterrupted vision, easily swapped lenses
- Cons: Price tag is towards the top end of the spectrum
Let's talk about swapping lenses first, which is taken care of by Smith's Mag technology. It might not sound like the most enthralling subject but it is a smart system.
A hinge at the end of the arm serves a dual purpose, allowing you to fold the arm in when you're not wearing the glasses, and to swap the lenses really, really easily.
You pinch the arm by the Smith logo and pivot it inwards. This opens a jaw and releases the arm from the dock on the lens. Blink and you miss it.
Fixing the arm to the lens is even easier. You just push it onto the dock, the jaw opening and then clicking securely shut as you do so. Once on, that arm isn't going anywhere because of tiny magnets on each side of the jaw. It's a neat design and there's no element of bending or forcing anything like you get with some glasses, so you don't worry that you're on the brink of wrecking your new shades if you get it slightly wrong.
Swapping the nosepiece over is straightforward too. You hold the two sides between your finger and thumb, give them a squeeze and it pops out.
The Attack Max comes with two lenses, one of them Smith's ChromaPop Contrast Rose Flash lens (48% visible light transmission, VLT) for low light conditions. You can choose from three other ChromaPop lenses: Sun Red Mirror (15% VLT), Sun Green Mirror (9% VLT) and Platinum (12% VLT), which is the one I had, for sunnier rides.
The idea of ChromaPop lenses is that they 'filter two specific wavelengths of light that cause colour confusion...delivering greater definition, more natural colour, and unmatched clarity to allow you to see more detail'.
Pretty much every brand boasts that their lenses help you see better, but these really do make a big difference. The Rose Flash has been my favourite over the past few weeks, heightening contrast on duller days, making things clearer and the whole world a sunnier, more Disney-like place.
Each lens has a maximum width of 125mm and a maximum height of 53mm, if you want to compare that to any eyewear you're currently using. I've found that enough to provide really good coverage, and the rimless design means there's no interruption to your vision. That's especially noticeable when you glance over your shoulder to see what's going on before making a move.
If you'd rather something a touch smaller, Smith's Attack glasses (£195), with the same Mag interchangeable technology, have a lens that's the same width (125mm) but with a maximum height of 47mm, the top edge stepping downwards rather than upwards from the temples to the centre. This would be the safer choice if your helmet sits very low on your forehead. (Full review to come.)
The idea of the Attack Max's lenses being cutaway slightly at the brow is to improve ventilation, and they have a hydroleophobic coating that's designed to repel moisture, grease and grime. You'll still get them smudged up if you touch them with grotty fingers, of course, but they stay clear for longer than other glasses I've used and wipe clean easily.
The temples and nose pads are made from megol, an elastomer that feels soft like rubber and doesn't slip when wet. These glasses have always stayed put even when I've got super-hot and sweaty doing hill reps. The pads are two-position adjustable so you can alter the fit slightly to suit the bridge of your nose.
These glasses are designed for a medium face shape, the ends of the arms sitting 90mm apart, although you can flex them a further 3-4cm apart without causing noticeably more pressure on the sides of your head, so they work fine if you're broader across the temples.
Those arms are heat adjustable. You need to warm them to somewhere between 90°C and 120°C before bending them into the shape you're after. You might want to bend them slightly behind your ears, for example, or to move the ends of the arms out of the way of your helmet's fit system. Those arms are 120mm long, by the way, and they're slim enough to fit into the vents of every helmet we tried them on.
The Smith Attack Max glasses come in a semi-rigid case with a stash bag that doubles up as a lens cloth and the second lens I mentioned above.
These are among the more expensive glasses that we've tested here on road.cc. The BBB Summit glasses we reviewed a couple of years ago, for example, come with three lenses and have a current RRP of just £79.95.
The Smith Attack Max glasses are certainly better than those; they're more like Oakleys in terms of quality and specifically with the EVZero Range in terms of style. The EVZero Range is a lot cheaper at £140, but you only get one lens. Personally, I'd definitely want two lenses to suit different conditions.
You're paying a lot for the Attack Max and that might not make sense if you're the sort of person with a track record of dropping, scratching, sitting on and generally abusing eyewear, but if you're confident of looking after them, the quality does shine through.
Overall, the Smith Attack Max glasses are well made, they provide very good eye coverage and they come with two very good lenses and an excellent lens swapping system. If you're in the market for some top-quality eyewear, these have a lot to recommend them.
High-quality glasses with two great lenses and a fast and simple system for swapping between them
road.cc test report
Make and model: Smith Attack Max sunglasses
Size tested: n/a Cherry red
Tell us what the product is for
Smith says: "The Attack Max is faster in every detail, with a larger lens for maximum visibility and increased fit than the Attack. Experience the sound of speed with Smith MAG interchangeable technology; the lens change innovation that enables fast ChromaPop lens swapping for varying light conditions. Two ChromaPop lenses are included, and have been crafted with a raised-brow design for increased coverage. The Attack Max also features our two-position nose piece that is engineered to give you perfect fit and all day comfort. Megol temples ensure that your glasses are secure at your fastest velocity."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Smith lists these features:
* Two ChromaPop lenses
* Hydroleophobic lens coating
* Extra ChromaPop Contrast Rose Flash lens
* Custom case
* Medium fit / large coverage
* Two-position adjustable nose pads
* Hydrophilic megol temple & nose pads for a secure fit
* Interchangeable Attack/Attack Max replacement lenses provide options for every condition
* Lifetime warranty
The Mag interchangeable lens system is the quickest and simplest I've ever used.
The little magnets add a few grams, but not so much that you'd notice in use.
They're pricey glasses, for sure, but the quality helps justify that, as does the fact that you get two very good lenses.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Really well. These have become my favourite specs over the past few weeks.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
I really like the vision offered by the ChromaPop Contrast Rose Flash lens and the excellent Mag lens swapping system.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Well, I'd rather not pay £200, obviously, even if the quality is high!
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
If you average the marks above you get 8, but we don't calculate our overall score like that. The performance and construction scores are more important than the weight score, for example, which is why these deserve a 9.
About the tester
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding
Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over 20+ years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for eight years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.