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The very good quality Julbo Rush Reactiv sunglasses have a quick-reacting photochromic lens and are comfortable to wear, while offering a great field of vision. You can buy cheaper, but they hold their own in expensive company.
Like most things in the road cycling world, fashion heavily dictates what sunglasses we are wearing, and at the moment everything is getting bigger. The Rush Reactivs follow that trend.
The lens and corresponding frame are large, pretty much covering the upper part of your face, which does offer plenty of protection and great visibility.
The frame is quite slender all the way around, giving an uninterrupted field of view out front, up and down. The only place this is hampered a little is where the arms join the main frame, as it is quite bulky and can get in the way as you give a lifesaver look over your shoulder. It's not a huge issue, and I probably picked up on it more as I'm used to wearing the Bolle Shifter glasses, whose lenses swoop further back around the edge of the face, giving you a clearer view.
The clarity of the Julbo's lens is very good, with no distortion as it curves around your face, and there's no refraction from car headlights when wearing the glasses in the dark.
The Reactiv lens found on this model is photochromic, so it reacts to changes in the amount of light outside. With a light transmission rate of between 12% to 87% this natural coloured lens with a smoked tint when activated is spot on for year-round use, whether day or night.
The speed at which it adapts is impressive, too – I never noticed it change, there was never any glare as I turned into bright sunshine, and when travelling through dappled light from overhead trees I never struggled at either end – from the glasses being too bright or too dark.
I got on very well with the overall design of the Rush – they seemed to suit my face. The lens sits quite close and the rubber texture of the arms grip well and fit nicely to the side of the head all the way round.
You can tweak the nosepiece shape to get the perfect fit, and I found it comfortable and it never slipped when I started sweating or in the rain. In these conditions the vents at the bottom of the lens don't allow any fogging up either.
Things like the nosepiece and arms are all held in place with little screws rather than just clipped together, which is exactly what I expect to see for this kind of money.
Speaking of which... these are some quite pricey glasses at £165. The similarly shaped Rockrider XC Race offer photochromic lenses for just £44.99 and were rated very highly indeed by Jim over on off.road.cc.
The Julbo Rush glasses do ooze quality, though, and if you want a pair of glasses that will last then I reckon it's worth paying out the money on them. I wish these came with a hard case, though, for better protection when they aren't being worn.
They perform and fit much better than the £225 Scicon Aerotech glasses and are just a fiver more expensive than what I consider to be some of the best shades on the market, the Oakley Radar EV Path, and those don't come with adaptable lenses.
Overall, the Julbo Rush Reactiv glasses are a bit of an outlay, but when you consider their photochromic ability, the fit and all-round quality, I'd say they justify it.
Great glasses that respond instantly to light change and offer a clear view of the world
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Julbo Rush Reactiv 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?
Julbo says, "Offering uncompromising performance, RUSH is the ultimate response to the demands of cycling and any sport combining endurance with speed. The perfectly vented lens has been designed to offer maximum lateral and vertical field of vision for an unobstructed view in every position. The Flex temple provides superb adjustment for total grip and comfort and is compatible with all types of helmet. Available with our REACTIV Photochromic lenses, RUSH is the perfect weapon to protect your eyes on days when you're at 100%."
Really good glasses for pretty much any cycling discipline.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Lens depth : 50
Distance : 14
Temple length : 130
Base : 6
Nose Grip : Flexible, shock-absorbing grip insert on the bridge.
3D Nose Fit : Special nose-pads are adjustable in every direction so that glasses fit every type of nose shape and ensure unbeatable hold in all conditions.
Asian Fit : Frame ergonomics adapted to Asian facial shapes.
Flex 3 temples : Temple core adjustable in 3 directions (lateral, vertical and length) via 3 specific adjustment areas (temples, curve and ears). Infinite adjustability for great grip and comfort, and compatible with all helmets on the market.
Full Venting : Highly vented sunglasses structure allowing full circulation of air to prevent fogging.
Grip Tech : Exclusive soft-comfort material on the temples that doesn't stick to hair, giving perfect grip and comfort
Panoramic view : Wide lens surface for maximum field of vision.
Total Cover : Maximum protection from sunlight in extreme conditions.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Great glasses whatever the light levels or weather.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Photochromic lenses react quickly.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Side vision isn't as good as some glasses I use.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
You can get photochromic glasses for a lot less, like the Rockriders mentioned in the review or the Tifosi Amok at £64.99, but these Julbos are a very nice quality and don't look out of place alongside the likes of Oakley and so on.
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
Pricier than some for the same features, but impressive build quality and attention to detail, plus the lens technology, all go a long way to justifying it.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,
As part of the Tech Hub here at F-At Digital, our senior product reviewer Stu uses the knowledge gained from putting well over a 1,000 products through their paces (including hundreds of bikes) to write in-depth reviews of a huge range of kit. After first throwing his leg over a race bike back in 2000, Stu's ridden more than 160,000 miles on road, time-trial, track, and gravel bikes, and while he's put his racing days behind him he still likes to smash the pedals rather than take things easy. Although, as he spends a fair bit of his time reviewing ebikes these days he's becoming an expert in letting the motor take the strain. He's also waiting for 23mm race tyres to make a comeback!