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The Tour Photocromic Glasses with HD Lenses from BZ Optics offer excellent clarity, a snug fit and a lens colour that works really well for those rides that shift between dawn and day, or day to dusk. They put a fair amount of frame in your eyeline though, if that kind of thing bothers you.
Available with either a graphite or matt white frame, the Tour glasses come with photochromic hi-definition copper-coloured lenses. If you haven't come across photochromic before, basically it means the tint changes from lighter to darker as the sunlight intensifies.
I found the change quite subtle on the Tours; you don't really notice it happening, which is a good thing, but neither did I find them sluggish moving from sunlight to shade or vice-versa.
The colour means the lenses are suitable for pre-dawn/low light (Cat 1) up to Cat 3 – strong sunshine – and they typically stop around two-thirds of visible light. This makes them ideal for long day rides or commuting in the autumn or spring, when you might be leaving or arriving with a lot less light.
The lenses themselves deliver some excellent clarity with no distortion, while still giving quite bold colours considering the tint. I had no issues with them steaming up, and they have resisted scratches.
BZ Optics also offer the Tour with bi-focal lenses (£119.99) with the magnification moulded discretely into the rear of the lens. Powers of +1.50, +2.00 and +2.50 are available.
As with most glasses on the market, the frame and arms are TR90-grade thermoplastic, which is very flexible and helps should you drop or sit on them.
I found the shape and fit of the Tours to be very good. The adjustable nosepiece and rubberised temple sections make them very secure, even when you are hot and sweating.
The arms are attached with small screws instead of just clipping into place, which is something I like to see. There's a fair amount of movement there when you aren't wearing them, but it doesn't come through as vibration when you have them on.
The only downside for me is that there's quite a lot of the frame in your eyeline, both top and bottom, and when you glance over your shoulder. It doesn't really give you any blind spots or anything; I just prefer a less restrictive view.
For £94.99 though, I reckon the Tours offer decent value for money considering the top-quality lenses. The Koo Orion glasses I recently tested are kind of similar but don't come with photochromic lenses, although you can buy extra lenses and swap them over.
They are £159 though, and it'd cost you £60 for lighter lenses.
I recently tested the Tifosi Slice Fototec Light Night Lens glasses, which offer a similar level of photochromic range, but with a lot less frame. They are just £89.99, so a smidge cheaper than the Tours.
These shades are a good choice if you ride in a wide range of light conditions, and don't mind a bit of frame in your eyeline.
Smooth-reacting photochromic lenses and a great fit, so long as you don't mind seeing a bit of frame
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road.cc test report
Make and model: BZ Optics TOUR Photochromic Glasses HD 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, "Photochromic sports sunglasses, featuring high impact UV activated photochromic Hi-definition copper coloured lenses which transition from Cat 1 pre-dawn or low light to Cat 3 as the sun intensifies and UV increases.
The TR90 super lightweight hybrid frame has dual moulded non-slip flexible temples ideal for wearing under open or full-face helmets. The non-slip nose piece ensures optimum fit and comfort for all face shapes."
They offer a good fit and a good response to changes of light.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
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.
Choice of frame colours: White or Graphite
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
A good choice if you ride in many different light conditions.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Very clear lenses.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
A bit too much frame in the eyeline for me.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
They are decent value for a set of photochromic glasses, matching others like Tifosi. They perform better or on par with many other glasses that are up to twice the price, as you can see by looking through our review section.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes, although I would like a little less frame in view
Would you consider buying the product? Probably not, due to the point above
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
A good range of light conditions offered by the lenses, and well priced for the build quality and performance.
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,
With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!