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review

Koo Supernova sunglasses

7
£169.00

VERDICT:

7
10
Good looking, effective and extremely light, but they lack customisation – and the price is high
Very light
Give a wide field of vision
Flexy and comfortable
Lacking customisability
No interchangeable lenses
Expensive
Weight: 
21g
Contact: 

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The Koo Supernova sunglasses are good looking and function well as cycling specific eyewear. They are incredibly light with a wide field of vision, but lack the customisability of many rivals – and they're relatively expensive, too.

Koo is the eyewear brand of well-known helmet makers Kask, so it's no surprise to find these are light and, thanks to the rimless lens, give you a great view of the road ahead.

> Buy these online here

I tested the white frames with a Red Mirror Zeiss lens. This is my favoured combo for sunglasses (they match nicely with a white helmet), but Supernovas available in six colour schemes, with various lens options to match the anticipated light level for your riding.

The Red Mirror lens here has a 'VLT' (Variable Light Transmission) rating of 23% and works well in medium to bright sunlight – in truth, they're most appropriate for summer cycling. For winter riding, I would probably select a lens which allows more light through, especially in 'flat' light.

2021 Koo Supernova - nose piece.jpg

Clarity is good, if not as good as the Oakley Prizm Road lens, for instance – that has a similar red tint and offers better colour definition (the tinted Prizm lens showed up recently in the Oakley Sutro Lites).

I never had the Supernovas fog up at all when climbing, even though the relatively large lens blocks a bit of airflow at the forehead. For my preferences, they were fine.

2021 Koo Supernova - lens.jpg

I found the Koo Supernovas comfortable. The lens is pretty flexible so adapts well to different face shapes and sizes, and the rubber nose-piece creates a good separation from your face. However, when paired with my Medium Specialized Prevail helmet, the arms would slightly clash with the retention system.

2021 Koo Supernova - arm detail.jpg

This certainly shouldn't happen with a Kask helmet, though unfortunately I don't have one to try so I can't comment.

Otherwise, at only 22g these things are barely noticeable once on. Personally though, I think I'd take a few extra grams in exchange for a little more customisation – removable parts, basically.

> 31 of the best cycling sunglasses – protect your eyes from sun, crud and flying bugs

The fixed lens here means the entire pair of sunglasses would need replacing if you scratched them badly, and of course you can't swap to different tints – you need a whole extra pair. Some glasses also let you change the length of the arms, which can be particularly useful when pairing with different helmets.

Value

At £169.00, these come in towards the top of the market, and comparable frameless glasses are available for less. The SunGod Arias ZF are £130 and got 8/10, for instance, while the Oakley Sutro Lites are currently £149.

Overall

The Koo Supernovas are clearly a good pair of cycling sunglasses, combining an unobstructed view of the road with a super lightweight design. For me though, a few more customisation options and a lower price tag would make them more compelling against such strong competition.

Verdict

Good looking, effective and extremely light, but they lack customisation – and the price is high

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Koo Supernova sunglasses

Size tested: One

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?

Koo says these "...are a high performance, frameless sunglasses for cycling and other activities where lightweight, perfect fit and panoramic visability are musts."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Ultra-lightweight at only 21 grams

Frameless single lens

Nylon toric lens by Zeiss

Shatter-proof, anti-reflective and 100% UV Protection

High temple flexibility and breaking resistance

Superior field of vision

Interchangeable nose pad

Uniform Multilayer Mirror coating

Hydrophobic technology anti drop

Asian nose bridge included in the packaging

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
7/10

The lenses are good, but you can get better.

Rate the product for durability:
 
7/10

No ability to replace lenses if they become scratched, although I've not observed any marks on the lens since I began testing.

Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
10/10

22g is exceptionally light – as light as any comparable product I could find.

Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
 
7/10
Rate the product for value:
 
4/10

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

The frameless design allows a wide field of vision, and the lenses I used filtered sunlight effectively whilst giving a good contrast.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

I liked the white frame/red lens look. I also liked how flexible and light they feel to wear.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

I found the arms a little too long, with no option to change or shorten them. The price is very high, too.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

At £169.00, these come in towards the top of the market, and comparable frameless glasses are available for less. The SunGod Arias ZF are £130 and got 8/10, for instance, while the Oakley Sutro Lites are now £149 and scored seven.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? No

Would you recommend the product to a friend? No

Use this box to explain your overall score

These offer a clear, unobstructed view of the road and resist fogging despite the fairly large coverage. They're also as light as just about anything. However the fixed lenses, unadjustable arms and good-but-not-sensational optics hold them back, especially when the price is higher than some very strong competition.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 31  Height: 182cm  Weight: 69kg

I usually ride: S-Works Tarmac  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: Under 5 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, cyclo cross, club rides, Gravel on a CX bike

Nick hails from the west country and combines riding bikes with hitting balls with cricket bats and golf clubs. You'll find him riding a mix of road, cyclocross and XC MTB.

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