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These BZ Optics Crit Mirrored glasses offer crystal clear optics and work well in a wide range of light conditions, from overcast, cloudy weather through to sunnier days. While the lens is removable, you can't buy these separately at present, which is a shame as you might want a darker tint for the very sunniest, cloud-free days.
BZ Optics is an Australia-based company and claims to be the first to offer a bi-focal photochromic lens. The Crits on test don't have a photochromic lens, or offer any focal adjustment, but they are very good.
The Crits are available with either an orange or green lens, in a choice of white or graphite frame. The Orange Revo lens on test has 16.8% light transmission. To put that into context, I have used the glasses almost every day for nearly a month, through all weather, and they have suited cloudy days, even when riding through tree-covered roads and tracks, but have also taken the glare out on the sunniest of days.
If you prefer a darker lens, the light transmission might be a little high when the sun is out on a cloudless day.
The lens optics are crystal sharp, giving excellent clarity for both short and long distances. The orange lens has a shade of purple on the inside that produces realistic colours.
The one-piece lens attaches to the frame with a locking system that secures both edges of the lens and a clip in the middle that gives a firm hold with not a hint of movement or noise when using them.
It's a simple process, taking less than a minute to completely remove and replace the lens, though sadly it isn't something you will likely need to do that often, as separate lenses aren't available. Also, the only two lens tints available both offer almost the same percentage of light transmission, with only the colour being different.
The frame fits my head shape nicely, and the arms are long enough to offer a secure hold without interfering with any of my helmets – something I have had issues with, with other glasses.
The ends of the arms feature a non-slip coating, and while this doesn't cover a huge area, it is effective – the glasses stayed in place at all times, when used both on and off-road on bumpier terrain.
Both arms feature a removable coloured insert, the colour depending on the model; it's red on these glasses, and silver/graphite on the other. Removing them is meant to allow more airflow, but I didn't notice any difference.
If you like to colour code your kit, the ability to remove and replace these in just a few seconds could make them a nice accessory, but, as with the lenses, they aren't available separately at present.
The lens shape is reasonably small, but does give full eye coverage. I could feel air very close to my eyes, and expected it to be a problem, but it didn't cause any issues at all, even when riding off-road in wet/muddy conditions. The shape helps with airflow and the only time I had issues with fogging was on one very humid day while riding a steep, off-road track at walking pace; as soon as my riding speed increased, they cleared.
While not the very cheapest glasses available, they do offer a big saving over more well known brands, such as Oakley and Rudy Project, which are usually over £100.
They compare well in performance terms with glasses at a similar price, such as the Alpina S-Way CM+ at £85 and Endura FS260-Pros, although the Enduras do come with three lenses as standard. I think the Crit's performance and clear optics make them well worth the money.
Overall, they're very good all-round glasses that I have reached for almost every day since they arrived to test. They work well in almost all light conditions, don't fog up very easily, and the optics are perfect.
Very good all-round glasses with clear optics that work in a wide range of light conditions
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road.cc test report
Make and model: BZ Optics Crit Mirrored Glasses with Orange Revo Lenses
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?
BZ Optics says:
Non-powered glasses with dual moulded frame and single wrap lens.
The lightweight hybrid frame has dual moulded non-slip flexible temples and an adjustable nosepiece. The convertible inserts on the temples give added eye protection from the side or if removed create a fine profile temple area.
Choice of two frames: Gloss Graphite with black and grey trim or Gloss White with black and red trim. The side panels can be removed for added airflow around the frame if required.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
BZ Optics lists:
- The Orange Revo mirrored coated lens has 16.8% light transmission and a blue/purple tinge when viewed from the rear
- Lightweight flexible frame with dual moulded non-slip nosepiece and temples.
- Adjustable non-slip nose piece for comfort and fit making them ideal for a wide range of face shapes and sizes.
- Unique lens locking system.
They're similar to the Alpina S-Way CM+ at £85, and Endura's FS260-Pros are £79.99 (which come with three lenses as standard) – but you can pay a lot more for glasses from bigger names.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The glasses are great for a wide range of light conditions. The sizing suited me well, with an adjustable nose-piece to get a good fit. The lenses are not as large as some, but they were excellent at staying fog-free thanks to good airflow.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The lens shape, clarity and tint, which I found great for a wide range of light conditions.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
While they work well, given the removable lens, it would be nice to have the option to change or replace them – currently there are no replacement lenses available.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
They're a little more than the Alpina S-Way CM+ (£85) and Endura's FS260-Pros (£79.99), both of which scored well; the Enduras also come with three lenses as standard.
They cost far less than many other perhaps better known brands, with some examples from Roka, MAAP, Rudy Project and Oakley nearing £200. Performance against some of those, including the Rudy Project Cutline I tested last year, stands the BZ Crits very high.
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
The BZ Optics Crit glasses work really well, with excellent optics and a lens tint that's good from cloudy weather through to sunnier days. They don't fog up except in the most extreme circumstances. It's just a shame that, although the lens is removable, replacements aren't currently available.
About the tester
I usually ride: My best bike is: Cannondale SystemSix
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: road racing, cyclo cross, sportives, mtb, Lots of gravel style riding