A while ago I didn’t wear any eye protection whilst out riding, and it didn’t seem too bad. Sure, I got strange looks from people at the bottom of hills where it looked like I was crying, and on dusty roads it hurt my eyes; but I didn’t think it was that bad. I was then persuaded to get some glasses for riding, so I got the cheapest I could find. I wished I had done it sooner. I could go faster without crying from the cold air hitting my eyes and dusty roads weren’t a problem.
Then, a couple of weeks ago I got ahold of a pair of STORMtech Nexus glasses and the riding pleasure was improved again. Their brushed metal frame, stylish look and polarised lenses combine into a package that is great for cycling, as well as café stops.
These glasses have a lovely weight to them – enough to make them feel dependable and stop them wobbling about – but at 30g even the most dedicated weight weenie would have trouble slating them. It is their magnesium alloy construction that gives them this feeling. It is a cold metal; the type that actually feels like metal.
The hinges are very solidly built, and much to my fancy are also double jointed and spring loaded. Bear with me here – it’s a little hard to explain. This means that closing them requires just a flick of an arm, and opening them is going against the spring. Then, once open, there is further room for the legs to bend outwards more – about 20 degrees of movement – causing a gentle squeeze against your head.
This gentle squeeze combined with very comfortable rubberised ‘ergonomically placed’ notepads and arms means that they won’t be falling off any time soon, even if you do have a tenancy to take off on your commute…
Above all, the lenses are what have impressed me the most. I feel much more engaged with my surroundings, obstacles and hazards with them over previous plastic lenses that have just been tinted. This is because they are polarised – which cuts out glare and usually turns it into a noticeable lighter colour.
For example, on a bright morning after a night of rain, there are wet patches on the road that you need to take particular care around which you might not usually notice. The polarised lenses make sure that this doesn’t blind you, but you do notice it – the same with drain covers, cars and most shiny things.
The lenses are dark enough for a sunny day, whilst still being okay for overcast and rainy days. The lenses aren’t replaceable or interchangeable like the high-end brands made for racing, so no yellow, blue or clear lenses for you. Their size and shape also covers your eyes well enough for no air to irritate you up to about 35mph, where it can become a bit uncomfortable.
So, with the lack of interchangeable lenses, slight air irritation at race speeds yet dashing good looks, who are they for? In my opinion, city riders; weekend riders, and commuters. They aren’t attempting to be good for racing, they are fashionable glasses that are also good for cycling.
These are some of the only sunglasses with any technical ability that you can go into a shop with and not be instantly identified as a sporty type. Being almost completely black apart from a few very subtle red lines on the arms, they match almost every popular bike well too.
Despite my 7th on a Strava segment (please, stop clapping), these glasses suit my usual riding style well. Polarised lenses, secure fitting and a magnesium alloy frame – all on a pair of sunglasses that look good and preform just as well. A couple of my riding buddies have tried them on and been impressed, and usually had a guess of around £100-£150 for the price.
The best price I have found is… £57 from Ebuyer! A swell price for some swell gear. Here’s the link.