Sunglasses gear review.

ct8282
ct8282 Posts: 414
edited June 2013 in Road buying advice
I'm a bit of a sunglasses collector and have picked up some decent and expensive shades over the years. I've always been an Oakley fan and personally I find their optics to be far superior than most others, even though I see plenty of people who say otherwise. My opinion is that Oakley are superb.

Getting into roading now so wanted some new shades to be wearing on my rides as the Raybans and other pairs of Oakleys I have just weren't quite right. The 2 pairs I narrowed it down to were the Oakley Racing Jacket with black iridium transition lenses and the Adidas Supernova a150's. I have never owned a pair of Adidas but have considered them in the past for running. The spiel about their LST (light stabilizing technology) lenses looks impressive on paper and they seem to have different lenses to suit different situations, and I have to say I love the look of the Supernova's. They look really slick when wearing a riding helmet too.

Not being able to decide between the 2 I thought I'd order both so I could do a comparison and then return the pair I liked the least. So I thought I'd do a quick review of these sunnies as some of you may be interested or be considering Adidias or Oakleys for your riding.

Adidias - these sunglasses come with the LST Active Silver lens which is actually very red in colour and gives a very strong pinky hue to everything when you wear them. When you take them off after a few minutes of wearing them everything looks green which I think is your eyes readjusting to not having a red lens in front of them. They are extremely light and comfortable as you have the ability to adjust the angle of the arms and the nose piece. You barely know you're wearing them and I could see I would have no issue wearing them for extended periods of time. They fit really well when you are wearing your helmet too and as I said earlier I think they look extremely smart indeed. I would have no problems wearing them casually out into town or for driving as I really do like the look of these shades. However, these sunnies have a big draw back for me for use as cycling glasses. When you are facing straight into sun light they seem to produce a very hazy look to everything and make things look quite indistinct. I find myself straining somewhat to pick out certain details. If you are in a purely sunny area this isn't really a problem but if there are also shady areas then this is when it becomes an issue. When you're hammering down a country lane over looked by patches of trees and you have those sunny spots intertwined with areas of shade and the sunlight is flashing through the trees into your eyes (I'm sure you can all picture the scene well) you will be hard pressed to pick out uneven road surfaces or pot holes for example. This makes me very nervous with these sunglasses. Annoyingly the blurb about the LST Active silver lens says they are supposed to stabilise the variations between light and shadow areas but I do not agree with this at all.
Cost - £112 from Wiggle. Supplied with a very nice hard case and storage pouch.

Oakleys - these sunnies are unusual looking and certainly not ideal for wearing out causally unless 'very different' is your style. The transitions lenses come as standard with the white frame which has 'ghost' writing and a gloss black jaw so they do look very odd to be fair. The fit feels quite tight as they do not have the soft squishy adjustable nose support or adjustable arms like the Adidas. They are heavier too and you certainly know they are on your face when you put them on. They take a while before they feel comfortable, unlike the Adidas which are super comfy the instant you wear them. They have ventilation holes on the top and bottom of the lenses because the frame sits quite tight against your face and so they are prone to steaming up, especially if you are not moving forward and getting air behind the lens. The Adidias being rimless leave a decent gap between them and your face and simply do not steam up under any circumstances. However, put these sun glasses on and instantly the difference between the optics of these and the Adidias becomes apparent. They do not have a colour cast at all and all colours are kept exactly as they are with the naked eye. In fact being transitions lenses they seem to reproduce light and colour exactly as you would see it with the naked eye. But, where Oakley optics are super special is the fact that their 'HDO' (high definition optics) really does deliver a somewhat HD experience on life. Every detail is incredibly sharp and contrasty and its like watching a HD movie on a super HD TV. Its a hard thing to explain unless you've seen it for yourself. Going one step further, when considering that scene I described with the country lane and sunny/shady areas this is when these sunglasses really excel. They seem to handle the variance between light and shade like nothing else and really balance out the effect of rapidly changing light on your eyes. I'm not referring to the lenses ability to lighten or darken, just their ability to really clarify details even when light is rapidly changing. They allow you to pick out road imperfections or potholes even if you have bright sun shining onto your eyes but the road ahead is in shade. The optics of the Oakleys, just like the other pairs of Oakley I own are simply stunning. From a practicality point of view the Oakleys kick the Adidias to pieces. If I'm going out riding in varying light conditions I would choose the Oakleys over the Adidas in a heartbeat. They don't look too bad when wearing a helmet either, so if function over form is your preference then the Oakleys are a no brainer.
Cost - £135 from the Internet opticians. They are supplied with an elastic strap that mounts to the arm and secures them to your head so absolutely nothing will make them fall off (very nice touch), and come with replacement nose support and a nice hard case and carrying pouch.

In summary, I am much more drawn to the Adidias as I love the look and they are ridiculously comfortable. However, the Oakleys are far superior from an optics point of view. I would never wear them casually but I can't ignore the fact that for riding they simply kick ass. I'm keeping both pairs. :D

Apologies for the very long post but I notice a few discussions about sunnies so thought this may help some people or give ideas for sunglasses purchases.

Comments

  • thegreatdivide
    thegreatdivide Posts: 5,807
    I'm on my second pair of Adidas Evil Eyes. The latter were full frame Pro's and the new ones are Half Rim Pro's. I've tried Oakleys (Jawbone) and IMO the optics from Adidas are much better - even one of my Oakley wearing mates has admitted that he likes the Adidas lenses and another mate was so impressed he bought my old pair. I used LST silver in the Pro's (plus clear and yellow) and have Polarized lenses in the Half Rims. Never had a problem on dappled roads and on wet/sunny roads the lenses are flawless. The yellow lenses for overcast days are also excellent.
  • mfin
    mfin Posts: 6,729
    Ive got Oakleys and Rudy Rydons, but the glasses I most pick up when I go out cost about £15.

    If anything the Rydons are the best lenses, but it just doesn't bother me which I take, I can see perfectly through them all in all conditions and none of them are faster than any of the others.

    One sure thing is ALL cycling sunglasses look shite, lets face it, riding around in spandex like we do isn't the best look either! There isn't a pair of cycling sunglasses Id be seen dead in if I wasn't on a bike.
  • ct8282
    ct8282 Posts: 414
    edited June 2013
    I'm on my second pair of Adidas Evil Eyes. The latter were full frame Pro's and the new ones are Half Rim Pro's. I've tried Oakleys (Jawbone) and IMO the optics from Adidas are much better - even one of my Oakley wearing mates has admitted that he likes the Adidas lenses and another mate was so impressed he bought my old pair. I used LST silver in the Pro's (plus clear and yellow) and have Polarized lenses in the Half Rims. Never had a problem on dappled roads and on wet/sunny roads the lenses are flawless. The yellow lenses for overcast days are also excellent.

    Thanks. I wonder if different eyes work differently with the lenses or maybe the Supernovas just don't handle this as well but I can't see that this would make any difference. The LST Silver lens is no where near as sharp and precise as the Oakley lenses. When moving directly toward sunlight they almost make things look slightly misty to be honest. The haze they produce is poor.
  • VTech
    VTech Posts: 4,736
    Screwfix Bolle equal any of the top brands in looks and quality as well as full eye protection.

    £7.50 !
    Living MY dream.
  • smidsy
    smidsy Posts: 5,273
    Not equal in optical terms I suspect.
    Yellow is the new Black.
  • pkripper
    pkripper Posts: 652
    smidsy wrote:
    Not equal in optical terms I suspect.

    can you test that in a shed? :lol:
  • smidsy
    smidsy Posts: 5,273
    pkripper wrote:
    smidsy wrote:
    Not equal in optical terms I suspect.

    can you test that in a shed? :lol:

    Sure, if the lighting conditons are suitable and you have the appropriate equipment.

    Although I get your witty post crossing reference.

    A laboratory is not so much about the construction of the environment (e.g. the building) it is all about the construction of consistent situations where you can repeat the same process/conditions over and over to establish comparibles.

    But of course you already knew that.
    Yellow is the new Black.
  • ct8282
    ct8282 Posts: 414
    VTech wrote:
    Screwfix Bolle equal any of the top brands in looks and quality as well as full eye protection.

    £7.50 !

    I would argue their optical quality compared to Oakleys but in fairness these do look cool...

    http://www.screwfix.com/p/bolle-eyewear ... tAodSQQAMg
  • giant_man
    giant_man Posts: 6,878
    mfin wrote:
    Ive got Oakleys and Rudy Rydons, but the glasses I most pick up when I go out cost about £15.

    If anything the Rydons are the best lenses, but it just doesn't bother me which I take, I can see perfectly through them all in all conditions and none of them are faster than any of the others.

    One sure thing is ALL cycling sunglasses look shite, lets face it, riding around in spandex like we do isn't the best look either! There isn't a pair of cycling sunglasses Id be seen dead in if I wasn't on a bike.
    do you mean Lycra? Unless you are really in an 80s rock band as well, who knows ...
  • greasedscotsman
    greasedscotsman Posts: 6,962
    Interesting that you picked Racing Jackets, even though they are marketed at one of Oakley's "sport" models, I don't think they are that great for cycling. The frame is quite thick, resulting in quite bad peripheral vision. Looking behind whilst biking is when you really notice this. M Frames, Radars or Radarlocks are much better as a pair of cycling sunnies in my view. Although I have to say, I do like the look of Racing Jackets.

    And I assume you mean the current Racing Jackets which used to be called Jawbones and not the original Racing Jackets which looked like this…

    4243759835_4c7fb87e9d.jpg
  • ct8282
    ct8282 Posts: 414
    Correct. I am referring to the Jawbone replacements. And I can assure you that peripheral vision is excpetional with the Jawbone/racing jackets.

    Bike Radar themselves say they hve the best peripheral vision....

    http://www.bikeradar.com/gear/article/b ... ing-34386/
  • greasedscotsman
    greasedscotsman Posts: 6,962
    Well, they say the best peripheral vision in their test.

    But as I said, I find the problem with them is when I'm looking behind. I find the bottom and side of the frame (just below the arm) gets in the way, I have to rotate my head further that I would with a pair of M Frames, Radars or Radarlocks. Not the end of the world, but then still not ideal for a pair of sunglasses for biking.
  • kleinstroker
    kleinstroker Posts: 2,133
    I;ve got the Giro Havik's with Zeiss lenses and I reckon they will give Oakleys a good run for the money!! A lot less common as well, which as we all know is THE most important factor!!!
  • VTech
    VTech Posts: 4,736
    ct8282 wrote:
    VTech wrote:
    Screwfix Bolle equal any of the top brands in looks and quality as well as full eye protection.

    £7.50 !

    I would argue their optical quality compared to Oakleys but in fairness these do look cool...

    http://www.screwfix.com/p/bolle-eyewear ... tAodSQQAMg


    All glasses sold within the EU (if sold legally) have to pass the same tests, Bolle glasses supersede required levels so the only benefit is cycling brand name.

    I have some of the finest lenses on earth on my normal glasses but seriously see no difference when using the Bolle whilst cycling. They fit very well, show no glare, are light and look great.
    Living MY dream.
  • greasedscotsman
    greasedscotsman Posts: 6,962
    I;ve got the Giro Havik's with Zeiss lenses and I reckon they will give Oakleys a good run for the money!! A lot less common as well, which as we all know is THE most important factor!!!

    Do they make them anymore? Is that why they are alot less common? :wink:
  • greasedscotsman
    greasedscotsman Posts: 6,962
    VTech wrote:
    I have some of the finest lenses on earth on my normal glasses but seriously see no difference when using the Bolle whilst cycling. They fit very well, show no glare, are light and look great.

    Yeah, my eyesight is pretty terrible as well... :wink:
  • ct8282
    ct8282 Posts: 414
    I;ve got the Giro Havik's with Zeiss lenses and I reckon they will give Oakleys a good run for the money!! A lot less common as well, which as we all know is THE most important factor!!!


    I wont argue with that. I'm a photographer so I know how good Zeiss glass is.
  • jimmythecuckoo
    jimmythecuckoo Posts: 4,712
    I have stuck with Oakley from Razors through M-Frames to Radars and Jawbones.

    They really are great.

    I have done a product test on Nike ones and they perform really well to.
  • VTech wrote:
    Screwfix Bolle equal any of the top brands in looks and quality as well as full eye protection.

    £7.50 !

    I use Bolle at work and they are very good. They take a lot more abuse than any other work glasses IME.
    I'd wear them on the bike.
    I recently bought a pair of Salice 005 as I wanted photochromatic lenses.
    To be honest the Oakley's don't really hit the spot for me and I think they are too expensive.
    "You really think you can burn off sugar with exercise?" downhill paul
  • smidsy
    smidsy Posts: 5,273
    Salice 005 for me too. Nice glasses.
    Yellow is the new Black.
  • simonhead
    simonhead Posts: 1,399
    ct8282 wrote:
    VTech wrote:
    Screwfix Bolle equal any of the top brands in looks and quality as well as full eye protection.

    £7.50 !

    I would argue their optical quality compared to Oakleys but in fairness these do look cool...

    http://www.screwfix.com/p/bolle-eyewear ... tAodSQQAMg

    Really appreciate the tip, wouldnt have thought of getting safety glasses, i go through 3 or 4 pairs a year as i lose them all the time. I had been using a bulk load from lidle (bought 8 pairs last year) but having given a couple away, breaking 2 pairs and losing the others i have run out.

    I am now the proud owner of a pair of Bahco 3870SG12 Protective Sun Glasses at a whole £6.44 from Amazon.
    Life isnt like a box of chocolates, its like a bag of pic n mix.
  • VTech
    VTech Posts: 4,736
    I'm getting a refraction test done on these glasses and comparing with my Ray Ban and Maui Jim to see if, for £7.50 I am indeed getting value.
    Living MY dream.
  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    My Oakleys must be years old now. Never broken and I've obviously not lost them. If you have to buy 8 pairs at a time I'd definitely avoid Oakley - but I think mine work out better cost per wear than yours.
  • timbo43
    timbo43 Posts: 7
    Hi OP, and all others,

    I am contemplating the move to Oakleys based on a few pairs I've tried on today. I currently have a pair of Salice 006 glasses which I recently purchased, but I'm afraid that these don't fit me as I have a wide bridge nose. This causes the glasses to sit higher on my face and thus allow in the wind, bugs and rain to get between my face and the lens. Unfortunately, I've always found that the more expensive sunglasses in both the lifestyle and sports market fit me best - frustrating!

    I had originally tried on the Radar but these felt uncomfortable so I moved to the Racing Jacket and the Switch. Whilst the Racing Jacket are cosy, I feel that they are a bit too fussy for me. Certainly not the type of glasses which I would want to wear out of the saddle! I then tried on the Switch glasses, which feature the same locking mechanism as the Racing Jackets. They were incredibly comfy to wear.

    My only concern with buying them is that they are not a sport specific eyeglass, and the lack of ventilation worries me that they will frequently fog up. Does anyone have experience with these glasses?

    Oakley Switch: http://uk.oakley.com/products/7171

    Due to my wider nose bridge, should I consider the Adidas brands as well. My budget is £150 max, so I'm working within these means.

    Thanks in advance!
  • MattC59
    MattC59 Posts: 5,408
    simonhead wrote:
    ct8282 wrote:
    VTech wrote:
    Screwfix Bolle equal any of the top brands in looks and quality as well as full eye protection.

    £7.50 !

    I would argue their optical quality compared to Oakleys but in fairness these do look cool...

    http://www.screwfix.com/p/bolle-eyewear ... tAodSQQAMg

    Really appreciate the tip, wouldnt have thought of getting safety glasses, i go through 3 or 4 pairs a year as i lose them all the time. I had been using a bulk load from lidle (bought 8 pairs last year) but having given a couple away, breaking 2 pairs and losing the others i have run out.

    I am now the proud owner of a pair of Bahco 3870SG12 Protective Sun Glasses at a whole £6.44 from Amazon.

    Got to agree with VTech.

    I've been using Bolle Contour ESP for years, they're excellent, have a slight smokey tint and anti glare coating. In fact, I find the anti-glare so good that even on the brightest summer days (you remember it don't you ?) I don't need a darker lens.
    I spoke to the Bolle Rep last year at the Safety and Health exhibition and he confirmed that the lenses come off the same production line and are made to the same standards as their sports glasses, it's just the final testing/certification that's different.

    The only issue I've had is that the nose and ear pieces aren't hydrophilic, so they can slip down your nose when you get sweaty. If it wasn't for that, I would have stuck with them, rather than buying my Rudy Project Rydons :lol:
    Science adjusts it’s beliefs based on what’s observed.
    Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved
  • shortcuts
    shortcuts Posts: 366
    MattC59 wrote:
    simonhead wrote:
    ct8282 wrote:
    VTech wrote:
    Screwfix Bolle equal any of the top brands in looks and quality as well as full eye protection.

    £7.50 !

    I would argue their optical quality compared to Oakleys but in fairness these do look cool...

    http://www.screwfix.com/p/bolle-eyewear ... tAodSQQAMg

    Really appreciate the tip, wouldnt have thought of getting safety glasses, i go through 3 or 4 pairs a year as i lose them all the time. I had been using a bulk load from lidle (bought 8 pairs last year) but having given a couple away, breaking 2 pairs and losing the others i have run out.

    I am now the proud owner of a pair of Bahco 3870SG12 Protective Sun Glasses at a whole £6.44 from Amazon.

    Got to agree with VTech.

    I've been using Bolle Contour ESP for years, they're excellent, have a slight smokey tint and anti glare coating. In fact, I find the anti-glare so good that even on the brightest summer days (you remember it don't you ?) I don't need a darker lens.
    I spoke to the Bolle Rep last year at the Safety and Health exhibition and he confirmed that the lenses come off the same production line and are made to the same standards as their sports glasses, it's just the final testing/certification that's different.

    The only issue I've had is that the nose and ear pieces aren't hydrophilic, so they can slip down your nose when you get sweaty. If it wasn't for that, I would have stuck with them, rather than buying my Rudy Project Rydons :lol:
    Available with prescription lenses do you know?
  • Bar Shaker
    Bar Shaker Posts: 2,313
    MattC59 wrote:
    simonhead wrote:
    ct8282 wrote:
    VTech wrote:
    Screwfix Bolle equal any of the top brands in looks and quality as well as full eye protection.

    £7.50 !

    I would argue their optical quality compared to Oakleys but in fairness these do look cool...

    http://www.screwfix.com/p/bolle-eyewear ... tAodSQQAMg

    Really appreciate the tip, wouldnt have thought of getting safety glasses, i go through 3 or 4 pairs a year as i lose them all the time. I had been using a bulk load from lidle (bought 8 pairs last year) but having given a couple away, breaking 2 pairs and losing the others i have run out.

    I am now the proud owner of a pair of Bahco 3870SG12 Protective Sun Glasses at a whole £6.44 from Amazon.

    Got to agree with VTech.

    I've been using Bolle Contour ESP for years, they're excellent, have a slight smokey tint and anti glare coating. In fact, I find the anti-glare so good that even on the brightest summer days (you remember it don't you ?) I don't need a darker lens.
    I spoke to the Bolle Rep last year at the Safety and Health exhibition and he confirmed that the lenses come off the same production line and are made to the same standards as their sports glasses, it's just the final testing/certification that's different.

    The only issue I've had is that the nose and ear pieces aren't hydrophilic, so they can slip down your nose when you get sweaty. If it wasn't for that, I would have stuck with them, rather than buying my Rudy Project Rydons :lol:

    Yep I agree too. I expect the Bolle ones are as good or better than Oakleys. Don't get me wrong, like the OP I am a collector of high end sunglasses and have over a dozen pairs. Oakleys are my favourite brand, with Rayban a very close second. For snowboarding, I only use Oakley goggles.

    The thing about the Bolle (and also about a pair of Uvex that I also use at work) is that they are designed to be worn all day in a work environment. They must have perfect optics as people's lives can depend on it. They must also not cause eye strain or headaches in the wearers.

    I have just bought a pair of photochromic Tifosi glasses that I really like (£69) but my Bolle yellow lens work glasses have served me very well for a couple of years. I get them free but Screwfix charge about £6 for them. In low light conditions, they are as good as it gets.
    Boardman Elite SLR 9.2S
    Boardman FS Pro