A new design for 2011, the Catlike D'Luxs jump straight to the top of Catlike's eyewear range. Stylistically, the D'Lux bears more than a passing resemblance to Oakley's Radars, which in my opinion is a good thing, and while they aren't cheap they don't carry a price tag as hefty as the Radar's either, also a good thing.
When it comes to features, the D'Lux incorporates everything you would expect of some high-end sunnies. A light, polycarbonate frame holds everything together with rubberised arm tips providing plenty of purchase on your head. Those with larger heads might find the arms pressing uncomfortably tightly on their skull, as they do bend back in quite aggressively. However, I didn't find this to be a problem and this bend actually helps the sunglasses stay put when inserted into helmet vents. In fact, these are the only sunglasses I have used where I could descend off-road with the glasses in my helmet. The rubber nose piece can be easily adjusted by bending it ensuring that all face shapes are catered for. I've currently got 4 helmets (each from a different manufacturer) kicking about the house and the D'Luxs have played well with all of them, both in terms of compatibility with retention systems, and in terms of staying put when jammed into the vents.
The lenses are a one piece affair and are large enough to provide plenty of peripheral vision. The minimal frame also helps in this respect, with vision unobstructed even when tucked in the drops. Our test set came with a selection of 3 lenses: a photo chromatic one, a polarised red one and a mirrored one. With this selection, you should be pretty much set for whatever conditions life throws at you. I was particularly impressed with the photo chromatic lens when mountain biking. Riding off-road is particularly challenging for such lenses because conditions can change instantly from full on sunshine out in the open, to dark shade in heavily forested areas. The lenses reacted quickly to these changeable conditions where I would usually have to take my glasses off. In terms of durability, the lenses have survived multiple racing/camping weekends without a scratch. Although they don't feature any vents like some other offerings, the D'Luxs have yet to fog up even when working hard on slow uphills.
Changing lenses can be quite unnerving as you have to flex the frames significantly to do so. Practise has made the process a little easier but there are still occasions where you worry about snapping the frames. Also, whilst I'm nitpicking, the hard case provided is unnecessarily large and can be a pain to lug around. Why they couldn't have made the case the same size as every other case out there is beyond me.
For those not so keen on fluoro green, the D'Luxs come in a range of 12 colours with different frame and arm tip combinations available.
At this price, the D'Luxs need to be seriously good to compete with the myriad of other options out there. Luckily, they are. The frames are light and durable, the lenses supplied are tough and cater for a wide range of light conditions, and the overall design is both functional and stylish.
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Make and model: Catlike D'Lux Glasses
Size tested: Green
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?
"Light, flexible and resistant D'Lux is the new creation of our design department together with the top athletes we work with. A set of sunglasses that becomes the top model in our range and that gathers the key features needed to become a state of the art piece: lightness, ergonomics and resistance. The frame, with a reduced weight, has been designed to guarantee a high level of ergonomics and, therefore, a perfect adjustment. To deliver higher comfort, we have used rubber inserts in the parts in contact with the head to offer a better grip. The nose bridge is adjustable, what allows the rider to get a perfect adjustment to the face. All this work done on the frame of the D'Lux is joinned by lenses that offer the latest technological advances in optics, designed and manufactured in Europe. They deliver a level of visual quality and eye protection that could not be imagined a few years ago."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
The D'Lux feature:
-Adjustable nose bridge
-Rubberised arm tips
-Wide choice of lenses including:
-Polarized Red and Silver
-Technical Red and Silver
-Technical Salmon flash silver
The frames fit well and are unobtrusive in use. The lenses work well for their given conditions and have proved remarkably tough.
Nothing broken and no scratches despite some testing conditions.
The nose bridge is adjustable although user's with wide heads might find the arms too tight for comfort
Expensive, but the features and performance justify the price IMO. When compared to some more mainstream brands, they turn out to be a bit of a bargain.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Age: 20 Height: 190cm Weight: 70kg
I usually ride: Giant TCR Advanced 2 My best bike is: Canyon Ultimate CF7
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, sportives, mtb,
For 5 years, racing was my life and I went all the way from a newbie bonking after 40 miles, to a full-timer plying my trade on the Belgian kermesse scene. Unfortunately, the pro dream wasn't meant to be and these days, you're more likely to find me bimbling about country lanes and sleeping in a bush on the side of the road.