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The Cutline is a new performance model from Rudy Project with a very lightweight full frame design and some adjustability. With this lens I found them very good, but only in bright sunlight, which rather restricts their use. Also, despite their adjustability I couldn't get the fit quite right for me, so one to try before you buy if possible.
As official partner of the Bahrain McLaren pro team (now Bahrain Victorious for 2021), it is perhaps no surprise to see Rudy Project produce a model of the new top-end Cutline in colours that tie in to match the team kit, with the orange lens, blue sections of frame and touches of red.
The Multilaser Orange lens is designed for sunnier days and has a VLT (visible light transmission) of 12.6%, which makes testing through autumn and winter a little tricky.
Luckily, there were enough bright, sunny days to give them a decent amount of testing time, and when the sun was shining and when riding in the open, the shading and reduction in glare is very good.
Even on the brightest days, though, I found them too dark in tree-covered or shaded areas, and I was struggling and having to lift them off my eyes to get a clearer view. This also was the case on cloudier days, when I found them so dark that I had them sitting on my helmet most of the time.
The Cutline glasses are available with different lenses, and you can buy lenses separately too, from £34 for Clear or Smoke Black up to £110 for a photochromic lens. For better year-round and all-weather use I would suggest having at least one other, although, given the price it would have been good to have one low-light option included. What you do get in the box, along with the glasses, is a hard storage case and soft bag that can double as a cleaning cloth.
One area the Cutline cannot be faulted is the clear optics; the lens really is superb, with beautiful clear and accurate detailing that is at least equal to any other eyewear manufacturer I have used.
The action to change the lens is very simple: a push button lets you remove each arm, and then the frame – or bumper areas as Rudy Project calls them – around the top and bottom, plus the nosepiece, simply slot out. With very little practice it takes less than a minute, though I do wonder how sturdy the lens would prove if you changed them frequently, as it has some quite intricate shaping, and my experience of similar designs is that they can be quite fragile.
Not only do the glasses have an adjustable nose-piece, which is quite normal, there's also an adjustable area towards the end of the arms, which can be moved into a position or shape of your preference. You can have straight arms, if that's what you like, or have them hook over the ear, or simply create a bend to better hug the shape of your head.
The adjustability on offer is good, but it is just the nosepiece and arms. For me, the general shape of the frame didn't quite suit, and several times on rides I found myself stopping to adjust the nose and arms in an attempt to improve the overall fit. The main issue is that the top centre of the frame and lens touches my forehead; it isn't uncomfortable, but no matter what adjustment I have tried nothing solves it. This isn't something I've experienced with other glasses, but I suppose it could just be a case, as with helmets, where some makes are better suited to some head shapes than others.
In use and in higher intensity efforts, there's very little fogging – just a few occasions, almost all of them when stopping at junctions or lights, and once off-road on a very slow, steep uphill. When moving at any speed they don't fog up, and on the few occasions that they do they clear very quickly.
Although I expected the edge of the bumpers to be in sight, most of the time the wide lens gives a full and clear view. The only times the bumpers became obvious was when looking down towards the stem or computer while riding, or when looking behind – potentially more of an issue as it does create a little blind spot. This isn't cause by the fit but simply the position and size of the bumpers. In both situations it's the blue coloured section that's visible, but there is a solution: you can simply remove the bumpers. That's what I did eventually, preferring to use them without, which had absolutely no negative effect on their performance, the only change being aesthetic.
The price of €199 (currently equating to around £175) puts the Cutline up with some premium offerings. They do offer crystal clear optics, and if the style and fit work for you, they're certainly not a bad option, but you can get some good glasses for less.
George really liked the Koo Spectro glasses, which are £169, and Liam thought the £143 Oakley EVZero Blades offered excellent clarity in bright conditions, but my personal favourites are Smith Optics' Flywheel, which offer every bit as good clarity as the Rudy Projects, for £115.
With great clarity, interchangeable lenses, some adjustability and plenty of colours to choose from, these Rudy Projects have a lot going for them. For me the fit wasn't perfect, and with this particular lens limited to bright sunny days it would be good to have another low-light option included, for the price.
Good glasses for bright sunshine but not so good on cloudy days or in shade, and expensive
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Rudy Project Cutline glasses
Size tested: n/a
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?
Rudy Project says: 'Edgy sculpted design, wide shield lens, removable bumpers and the most intuitive interchangeable lens system ever make Cutline the outstanding newcomer in the shield eyewear arena. By combining a wraparound rimless lens with renowned Rudy Project state-of-the-art eyewear technologies, Cutline has been designed with one purpose in mind: elevate your performance.'
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Rudy Project lists:
Weight - 36 g
Dimension - 141x128mm [141mm shield width, 128mm arm length]
Height - 62mm
Base - 7mm
Multilaser Orange Lens:
Light Transmission: 12,6%
Filter Category: 3
Sport: RoadBike - MTB - Triathlon - Running - WinterSports - BeachSports
Lens seems well secured and it's possible to change it fairly easily. All bumpers and areas attach to the frame neatly.
Really clear optics and their performance in the sun is excellent. The lens is very dark, though, and so they're limited to sunnier days and open areas. Although some degree of adjustment is available, it wasn't enough for me to get an ideal fit.
All good so far, though I'm not sure how strong the lens and attachment will be if it is changed frequently.
There is an element of adjustability in the nosepiece and arms, but not the frame itself, and for me the fit wasn't great.
While the optics are clear and overall quality is good, the price is still very high. Even other premium eyewear from the likes of Smith Optics and Oakley offer similar quality or more options for the same price.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
If you want something for bright, sunny days then these are a good option, but I had some fit issues despite their adjustability.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Clear optics; some adjustability. Good performance on the sunniest days.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
They didn't fit me that well, and the bumper on the bottom of the lens created a blind spot when looking behind.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
They're at the more expensive end.
Did you enjoy using the product? On a few rides when it was really sunny.
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? No
Use this box to explain your overall score
Good performance in bright light, but aside from the sunniest days they're of limited use for British weather. The glasses have some adjustability, but not enough to fit my head shape perfectly, and the cost puts them at a premium point where I would simply expect perfection, along with another lens to make them a better year-round option.
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
Matt is an endurance nut who loves big rides and big events. He's a former full-time racer and 24hr event specialist, but now is also happy riding off-road on gravel bikes or XC mountain bikes and exploring the mountains and hills of Mid Wales.