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BBB Impulse glasses



Excellent cycling glasses, ideal for British winter (or summer) riding, but the photochromic lenses mean they're not cheap

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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BBB are probably best known for their helmets thanks to pro team sponsorship, but they have a vast range of products including these rather fine cycling glasses.

Sports eyewear often comes with interchangeable lenses, but you don't need any here because the Impulse's lenses are photochromic: they go darker when the sun is strong, and then back to almost clear in dim light.

One test ride was my club’s regular Saturday chain gang. It was a grey and gloomy morning at first so the lenses were just very slightly tinted, meaning vision was perfect. On the ride, we did our usual rotation so everyone takes a turn at the front, and the glasses did the job of keeping mud out of my eyes when following 20 wheels - though the rest of my face got a smattering of Belgian freckles.

Then out came the sun, low in the sky but surprisingly bright, with a bit of glare off the wet roads too. The lenses did their stuff, and got darker, meaning no need to squint. Very good indeed. You'll never have to worry again about what lenses to fit before going out for a ride.

As with any photochromic item, the change isn’t instant, so if the sun goes behind a cloud, or you suddenly find yourself riding under trees, the lenses take about 10 seconds to get clearer, and a bit longer to go from completely dark to completely clear.

But overall, the ability to change automatically from virtually clear to dark lenses and back again is a great benefit for riding in the winter, especially as photochromic lenses tend to work better in cold conditions. And, of course, they'll work in the summer too.

The rest of the glasses are very good too. They're light and comfortable, and we had absolutely no slipping on the nose or ears. The packaging says the lenses are shatterproof, and they certainly don’t break when you twist them, though I didn’t test them to destruction. The frame and arms have a bit of flex too, meaning they’re less likely to snap in an accident. You also get a soft pouch and a couple of cleaning cloths in the box.

This is a good piece of kit, but £80 price tag may put some people off. With standard lenses they’re £50.


Excellent cycling glasses, ideal for British winter (or summer) riding, but the photochromic lenses mean they're not cheap

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Make and model: BBB Impulse glasses

Size tested: White

Rate the product for quality of construction:
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Did you enjoy using the product? yes

Would you consider buying the product? yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? yes

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 49  Height: 5ft 10 / 178cm  Weight: 11 stone / 70kg

I usually ride: an old Marin Alp  My best bike is: an old Giant Cadex

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: A few times a week  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: touring, club rides, sportives, mtb,


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