With their full rim, street style design the Smith Rebound Glasses look and perform handsomely both on and off the bike. The spec is suitably high, and a two-year warranty adds further peace of mind. The optical clarity is very good and they react well in variable light, if fractionally slower in intense/sudden changes compared with others I've tested recently.
The lenses do react promptly to subtle changes in light, so despite the smoky mirror effect they didn't leave me struggling when conditions suddenly turned overcast, or when passing reservoirs and waterways on very bright days.
In very intense, sudden changes there is a small yet discernible lag – I'm talking tenths of a second but tangible – compared with the Julbo Aerospeed photochromic glasses that have been my defaults for the past year or so. The Julbos are £20 or so more, though.
Judging by a very changeable few weeks, the ChromaPop lenses appear to have a hydrophobic coating. Moderate to intense rain has slid away promptly, with only trace staining, the sort easily dismissed with a lens cloth. I've never felt inclined to apply a spray-on product, like those used on motorcycle visors.
Polycarbonate is an obvious choice for the lenses, for its impact resistance, and although mirror finishes aren't to everyone's taste, here the polarized technology is designed to improve optical clarity, enhancing contrast and eliminating (or at least minimising) intense glare.
Their sharpness/detailing is absolutely bang on – no problems with eyestrain or tiredness, regardless of distance.
They've also made a big difference to visibility off the bike, especially when driving at motorway speeds in very intense sunlight.
I don't have a particularly large head but tend to find most technical glasses fit just fine. I've found the Rebounds fitted me perfectly at every point – just as well given there's no scope for adjustment.
The carbon fibre frames and arms offer a high strength to weight ratio, while the soft rubberised gripper panels and nose pads ensure slip-free, tactile tenure. I haven't needed to give them a second thought – whether I've been trying to beat a personal best on my TT bike, or aboard my tubby tourer indulging in some green lane/dirt road fun.
Bigger jolts have shifted them, but nothing a deft touch hasn't righted – testament to the silicone gripper's tenacity and infinitely preferable to those with a vice-like grip that becomes painful given an hour or so. I've worn these for a good eight hours plus without any issues.
Though the surface area is smaller than some, I've found them to offer excellent defence against wind, midges, mud, stray stones and other airborne particles.
We only get one pair of eyes, so there's a sound argument for buying the best we can afford. I would describe the Smith Rebound as upper-mid range. You can certainly buy cheaper: street styled polarized cycling models such as FWE's Helios Revo Polarized Glasses start at £24.99, and Bloc's Hornet is £34.99.
Even higher up the price spectrum you can still make quite a saving: the Lazer Krypton KR1 is £74.99, and if you didn't require the same degree of civilian styling then Tifosi's Alliant Fototec Light Night Lens Sunglasses at £99.99 might prove a better fit.
You can still spend a lot more: the Uvex Sportstyle 810V sunglasses give a penny change from £200.
The Rebounds come with a protective carry case and lens cloth. The former doesn't offer the same defence as you'd associate with prescription glasses, but seems sturdier than the soft-shell types typically supplied with sports models.
Overall, the Smith Rebounds are a well-executed pair of technical glasses with wider horizons than riding; crucially, their civilian looks don't compromise performance on the bike.
Competent and stylish multi-purpose sunglasses but quite pricey
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Smith Rebound Sunglasses
Size tested: One size, Matte gravy, Chromapop lenses
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?
Smith says, "Inspired by enduro riding around the world, the full coverage Rebound is a 9 base full-rim frame in our Velocity eyewear collection. This built-for-speed style has medium coverage and features ChromaPop lenses with megol nose pads and temples for a secure fit and seamless helmet integration."
They're competent glasses that look and perform equally well on and off the bike.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Megol nose pads
9 base lens curvature
Lens Width 59 Nose Bridge 18 Temple Length 135
Seem well made and have stood up to the usual everyday carelessness very well.
Perform well in most conditions and contexts (on and off the bike). The lenses react marginally slower to rapid changes in light compared with others I have tested/used on a long-term basis.
No evidence of scratches or similar damage to date, and the lenses have scored some direct hits from stones/similar thrown up along freshly treated roads.
Their weight seems the going rate and I certainly haven't noticed them in a negative sense.
Silicone grippers strike the right balance between tenure and comfort. Quality of optics is sharp, so no issues with eye strain/tiredness to date.
Certainly not cheap, but competitive relative to designs with similar spec.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
They've performed as I'd expected, and equally well on and off the bike. This might be a real draw for those wanting one set of glasses that can morph between bike and casual wear.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Street style, good optics, all-day comfort.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Slightly slower reaction to more intense light changes than some I've used.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Pricier than some: FWE's Helios Revo Polarized Glasses are £24.99, Bloc's Hornet £34.99, and higher up the price spectrum Lazer's Krypton KR1 are £74.99 and Tifosi's Alliant Fototec Light Night Lens Sunglasses are £99.99. Cheaper than others: the Uvex Sportstyle 810V sunglasses give a penny change from £200.
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
Capable and stylish glasses that look and perform well on and off the bike, though they are relatively expensive.
About the tester
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
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: cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)