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Buyer's guide: best photochromic cycling sunglasses

Joseph Delves
23 Mar 2021

The latest in photochromic cycling sunglasses

Spring is known for two things: Easter eggs and unpredictable weather. Easter eggs we can get on board with but the unpredictable weather can be a bit of a hassle, especially if it’s sunny one minute and dark the next.

Thankfully, humanity invented photochromic sunglasses. By using light-sensitive molecules, these sunglasses allow seamless transitions from dark to bright environments without having to change your specs.

Incorporated into models by most of the big-name makers, here are five of our favourites.

1. Oakley EVZero Blades Photochromic

Buy now from Oakley for £138

Despite making an enormous range of sunglasses, Oakley’s photochromic offering is slightly more concise. Missing out some newer models like the Sutros, happily, it still includes both the Jawbreaker and Flight Jacket.

However, we’ve instead gone for the ultra-minimalist EVZero Blades. Frameless in design, you get as unrestricted a view as possible, along with an incredibly low weight.

Apparently ‘inspired by streetwear culture and global influencers’, their boxy styling is suitably fashion-forward should that sort of thing be your bag.

Buy now from Oakley for £138

2. Bolle Lightshifter 

Bolle’s very wide one-piece Lightshifter lenses manage to look cool while also appearing as though they could potentially be accessorised with a snorkel.

Intended to keep the worst of the weather from getting up in your face, this moderately mirrored and tinted version of the popular design is nevertheless able to adapt as the light changes.

Making them particularly suited to winter and shoulder season use, Bolle’s LTS technology (Low-Temperature Sensitivity) also ensures that their photochromic performance doesn’t drop off when the temperature does.

3. 100% Speedtrap Photochromatic

Buy now from Wiggle for £139.99

These aggressively futuristic models from American firm 100% have plenty of adjustability to keep them stuck to your face as you hurtle along. With instantly adaptable length arms, these combine with an equally adjustable nose pad to keep the glasses’ enormously wide lens perched perfectly regardless of the size of your schnozz.

The Speedtrap’s wide window on the world then benefits from a hydrophobic coating and a couple of slim vents to further prevent misting from the inside. As seen on the face of Mr Peter Sagan, they’re an expensive but undeniably cool option.

Buy now from Wiggle for £139.99

4. Rudy Project Cutline ImpactX

Buy now from BikeInn for £179.99

Rather than brand its sunglasses photochromic, Rudy project instead describes them as having ImpactX lenses; which obviously sounds much cooler. With a wrap-around design and multiple vents, they’re very much aimed at athletic use.

It’s a trait backed by the soft bumpers located on the top and bottom of their large once piece lenses. Able to be left on or removed depending on your preference, even with them in place the glasses weigh a hardly noticeable 36-grams.

Read our review of the standard lens version here

Buy now from BikeInn for £179.99

5. Tifosi Eyewear Swank Fototec

Buy now from Tredz for £55

These retro-looking options from Tifosi won’t suit people who prefer their cycling sunglasses to leave them looking bug-eyed. They will however look much less weird if you wear them for other activities.

Anyway, it’s not like they don’t have sporting features, including as they do shatter-resistant lenses, a Grilamid TR90 frame, and hydrophilic bumpers on the nose bridge.

Coming in a bunch of different colourways, including with fetching translucent frames, their lenses also start moderately tinted before getting even darker, a fact that suits them less to winter wear than sunny days on the bike or at the beach.

Buy now from Tredz for £55

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