Poc's Do Half Blade Clarity glasses provide good coverage, a secure fit and clear vision in a variety of light conditions, although there's no getting around the fact that there are cheaper alternatives out there.
- Pros: Secure fit, clear and uninterrupted vision
- Cons: Just one lens, expensive
Whereas Poc's Do Blade glasses feature a frame that surrounds the one-piece lens, the Do Half Blades – and you could be ahead of me here – have no lower section to their frame so there's nothing to interrupt your vision. As well as allowing you to see the road ahead clearly, I find this particularly helpful when doing that quick glance back over the shoulder to check for traffic before turning right.
The frame that does exist sits quite high on your brow so you can't see it even when you're looking forward with your head down over the bars. I did wonder whether this would cause interference with certain helmets so I tried the Do Half Blades with as many different models as I could and didn't find an issue with any of them.
Poc says these glasses are designed to integrate seamlessly with its own Octal helmet. When we reviewed that helmet we did note that its shape isn't compatible with some types of glasses, such as Oakley RadarLocks. As promised, the Do Half Blades and the Octal helmet work together just fine.
The Clarity lens, which comes from Carl Zeiss Vision, is large – although not as large as something like the 100% Speedtrap that we reviewed last year – and wraps around at the side of your face to fit closely. It provides plenty of protection from wind, rain and foreign objects that ping up from the road.
The tint on this particular model (others are available) is designed specifically for road use.
"Transmission peaks in the red and blue part of the spectrum increase the contrast in a greyish environment, enabling the user to distinguish different surface characteristics, gravel, humidity or holes," says Poc.
By 'humidity' it presumably means wet bits of the surface. It has 32% visible light transmission (which just refers to the amount of light it lets through) and no distortion.
The lens really does help with clarity in most sunny conditions but it's not designed for duller days and certainly not for night-time use. Poc does offer Do Half Blades with an extra lens for £210, although neither of these is a Clarity lens. If you want to get a spare clear lens for these, that'll set you back another 60 quid (£80 for a Clarity lens).
If you do go down this route, swapping lenses is fairly straightforward, although the first time does involve the usual terrifying leap of faith where you put your trust in the instructions and hope nothing cracks. Stay strong, it works fine.
The lens has a hydrophobic and oleophobic Ripel treatment that's designed to help keep it free of water and dirt. This works to some extent, most water beading up and rolling off but, of course, you still get fingerprint smudges if you touch the lens, and dripping sweat often leaves a streak behind it.
The Do Half Blades have an anti-fog treatment too, although things will certainly get cloudy in certain circumstances. Yesterday, for example, I headed out in the drizzle and by the top of one five-minute climb I couldn't see a whole lot through them. This happens with all glasses I've ever used. They cleared quickly enough on the descent.
The nosepiece is adjustable – you can bend it to suit the shape of the bridge of your nose – and it's made from hydrophilic rubber that doesn't slip even when wet. The same goes for inserts on the inside of the arms.
I've found the small amount of flex in the Do Half Blades to give them a really secure fit in all circumstances, and other members of the team who've tried them have said the same thing. Unless you have a really slim face, you'll push the arms outwards very slightly to put them on and the resulting tension will hold them in place. These aren't the sort of glasses that you'll find yourself constantly pushing back up your nose on sweaty climbs.
Starting at £195 for some options, these are among the more expensive single lens cycling glasses that we've reviewed on road.cc lately. When you spend this kind of money you'll usually get a second lens suited to different light conditions as part of the package. The Smith Attack sunglasses that we reviewed were £195 and you got two lenses there, for example, while the Koo Open Cube sunglasses were £174.99 and they have a second lens too.
A Carl Zeiss lens like the one you get from Poc generally adds to the price, although the £85 Ekoi Perso Evo 9 glasses that we reviewed also have a Zeiss lens.
Overall, the Do Half Blades offer a secure fit with great vision and protection for your eyes. The only real issue is a price that's higher than that of many other glasses of comparable quality.
Very good vision and eye coverage, and a secure fit, but the price is high for glasses with just one lens
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Poc Do Half Blade glasses
Size tested: One size
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?
Poc says, "The Do Half Blade has been developed for road cycling and is injected in grilamid for low weight and durability. It allows for great flexibility with the option to change your lens according to the conditions. The rubber inserts and the adjustable nose piece in hydrophilic rubber keeps the frame firmly in place.
"Do Half Blade offers improved lower and peripheral vision due to the frameless bottom part, which improves safety in traffic and allows you to keep track of other riders in the peloton. Several lens tints are optimized for road bike, increasing contrasts on the road surface, helping you to spot irregularities, holes and gravel in time. The anti-fog and ripel treatments help keeping fog, dirt and grime off your lenses and makes water pearl off."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Frame: Grilamid, hydrophilic rubber
Lens: Brown/Light Silver Mirror, interchangable lens, no spare lens included
Activity specific tint - Road
Light Condition - Sun
Treatments - Ripel
Visible light transmission (VLT) 32.0%
Lens Category - Cat. 2 (meaning they're general purpose sunglasses to provide good protection from visible light and from UV rays)
Lens type - PC lens by Carl Zeiss Vision
They're made from Grilamid with a polycarbonate lens – nothing unusual there. They feel fairly robust, although not as robust as some.
After about three months of regular use these are still in top condition, with no noticeable scratches to the lens despite suffering a fair amount of abuse, being slung in jersey pockets, and so on.
We weighed them at 31g. That's not a weight that you'll really notice in use.
I'd have to say that they're below average in terms of value when other brands will often give you a second lens when you spend this kind of money.
The two-part plastic case is a little low rent. It doesn't close as securely as zipped options from rivals.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
They provide great coverage and uninterrupted vision, although you get just one lens so you'd probably need to buy at least one other for year-round use.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The amount of coverage and the very secure fit.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
There's no getting away from the fact that these are expensive for glasses with just one lens.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
The Smith Attack sunglasses that we reviewed last year were £195 and you got two lenses there, while the Koo Open Cube sunglasses were £174.99 and they came with a second lens too.
The Poc's Carl Zeiss lens is very good but you only get one. A second lens will set you back another £60-£80. In other words, you can get better value with other brands.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yep
Would you consider buying the product? The price puts me off.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
These glasses score highly in terms of quality and performance, with just the price dragging the overall score down to 7.
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.