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  1. #1
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    Sunglasses - Need suggestions / shortlist

    I have been mt biking for 20 years. In all that time I have worn $30 (or $15) cheep sunglasses. I think I would like to upgrade. I have a couple of questions:

    1) What functions/features should I consider?
    - Seems like I would want something that offers crash protection. I have heard a few nasty stories about sunglasses breaking in a wreck and hurting the owner.
    - What about UVA? UVB? Poloraized? Low light?
    - Scratch coatings??
    - I am a head-sweat guy. Need something that will stay fog free.
    - Others?

    2) What brands / models should I take a look at?

  2. #2
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    Tifosi

    I have a pair w/ photochromic lenses that transition with varying light levels. Vented + changeable too for around $70

  3. #3
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    I use a pair or clear and smoked DeWalt safety glasses from Lowes. I think I picked them up for like $11 or so.
    I'm not a vegetarian because I love animals, I just hate vegetables.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orthoguy View Post
    I use a pair or clear and smoked DeWalt safety glasses from Lowes. I think I picked them up for like $11 or so.





    /\ This, and pic up a clear pair while your there. You don't have to spend a metric butt load of cash to get quality eye wear. Polarized glasses are an option, less than 20 bucks at wally is going to dominate the universe world. My two cents.

  5. #5
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    If you are going to go higher end make sure you get glasses with lenses that can interchange. As a pre-race gift for Fools Gold my wife gave me a set of Oakley Jawbones that I really wanted but couldn't muster up the courage to spend $200+ on. I love the fact that I can change out the lenses depending on what I am riding and if I scratch one up I can easily swap out the lenses as opposed to buying a new bair of glasses.

    Price of entry is steep but, in my opinion, well worth the money for the lighter weight and higher quality optics compared to Tifosi or other value brands.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTB ABQ View Post
    I have a pair w/ photochromic lenses that transition with varying light levels. Vented + changeable too for around $70
    what glasses are those?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by A1an View Post
    If you are going to go higher end make sure you get glasses with lenses that can interchange. As a pre-race gift for Fools Gold my wife gave me a set of Oakley Jawbones that I really wanted but couldn't muster up the courage to spend $200+ on. I love the fact that I can change out the lenses depending on what I am riding and if I scratch one up I can easily swap out the lenses as opposed to buying a new bair of glasses.

    Price of entry is steep but, in my opinion, well worth the money for the lighter weight and higher quality optics compared to Tifosi or other value brands.
    Any issue with fogging on the Jawbones?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orthoguy View Post
    I use a pair or clear and smoked DeWalt safety glasses from Lowes. I think I picked them up for like $11 or so.
    Great idea. I am going to pick up a clear and smoked DeWalt. If I don't like them and want to get something else, I still have safety glasses for yard / shop work.

  9. #9
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    Safety glasses can work great and they are cheap. Seems like I lose a pair of glasses a season. I have a pair of Rudy Project Radons that I love and have interchangeable lenses. They are pricey, but Rudy will sell you replacement lenses for $14 if you send in your old scratched or broken ones - being able to do that makes them a much better deal. The optics on quality lenses are really better, but you do pay the price for it. I will never buy expenses glasses again without a lens exchange/trade in option - otherwise one good scratch and your investment is done..
    When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. ~H.G. Wells

  10. #10
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    I have the Dolomites with fototec green polarized. Work great for fishing and biking, now discontinued. They have these same lenses in other models: Tifosi Optics Sunglasses - Technology: Fototec

  11. #11
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    I picked up a pair of Tifosi's from REI on sale for >$40 and have found them to more to my liking that any of the Oakleys I've ever used. I'm a sucker for a good lens and these seem to fit that bill nicely.

  12. #12
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    I wear a pair of Oakley fuel cell so much I have a permanent raccoon eyes tan
    With the polarized 10% molychromatic tint lenses I use for everything

  13. #13
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    i use smith polarized glass lenses. i like the glass because it is much more scratch resistant than plastic. ive had them for 3 years now and they just get thrown in pockets and tossed around and there are only 2 minor scratches. best vision clarity of anything ive used yet.

    only thing to make them better would be photocromatic lenses.

    interchangable is cool i guess.
    <(*-*<) Go Ride (>*-*)>

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by SamL3227 View Post
    i use smith polarized glass lenses. i like the glass because it is much more scratch resistant than plastic. ive had them for 3 years now and they just get thrown in pockets and tossed around and there are only 2 minor scratches. best vision clarity of anything ive used yet.

    only thing to make them better would be photocromatic lenses.

    interchangable is cool i guess.
    SamL - are they 'safety' glasses? In an accident, are they designed so they do not hurt you? Glass would be nice because of the scratch resistance.

  15. #15
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    Smith, the only brand for sunglasses and goggles as far as I'm concerned.

    Smith Products | SmithOptics.com
    Ride & Smile

  16. #16
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    Take a look at Ryders. Very reasonably priced. Great glasses made for Mountain biking and Road biking. They get great reviews and I will second those reviews
    Saddle up, Effendi. We ride.

  17. #17
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    So they have those Tifosi's at REI? I'm looking for a new set, something similar to Oakley M Frames, those Tifosis look really nice might have to make the drive to check em out..

  18. #18
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    $9 shipped. They don't fog up. They don't slip. They don't allow too little or too much air flow in. UV protection. Cheap, so no worries on losing them or scratching them. You're welcome.



    MOTORCYCLE DUNE BUGGY ATV DESERT SPORT GOGGLE IRIDIUM | eBay

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mighty Matt View Post
    Smith, the only brand for sunglasses and goggles as far as I'm concerned.

    Smith Products | SmithOptics.com
    Mighty Matt, any particular model you are really happy with?

  20. #20
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    Learning a ton... Oakley, Rudy Project, Smith, Ryders,Tifosi ... I am going to look at them all. I only 'knew' Oakley before this post.

    While learning more, I will get the Dewalt safety glasses and the really cheap goggles - try em out.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikestok View Post
    Mighty Matt, any particular model you are really happy with?
    For around town and slope side apres I love the Gibson. For riding the Pivlock V90 Max is my favorite. But all of they're riding glasses are awesome. I really like the quality and the fact that the company is based in Sun Valley. They are a close to home brand, for me at least.
    Ride & Smile

  22. #22
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    Chalk up another vote for Tifosi. I have the Tifosi Slip and love them. Interchangeable lenses (comes with three lenses: Smoke, AC Red, and Clear). They are american made and come with a hard case that holds the glasses and all of the extra lenses. They are also vented to reduce fogging up. They are supposed to be very sturdy. I picked mine up form LBS for $59. Check them out.
    "It never gets easier, you just go faster."

  23. #23
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    Those smiths look badass I just bought a v90 max set in blue lenses just to try them out
    Looks like they come with 3 lenses for $160 whereas my Oakley lenses are $97 each

  24. #24
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    Smith Optics best warranty/return policy I have found!

  25. #25
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    I'd suggest going with Maui Jims. Great lens, and very affordable. Also, i'd probably suggest getting a pair that's polarized.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTB ABQ View Post
    I have a pair w/ photochromic lenses that transition with varying light levels. Vented + changeable too for around $70
    Awesome... Where did you get such a good deal on them? Cheapest I found has been around the $90 mark

  27. #27
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    I splurged last year and bought a $75 pair of oakleys, which lasted one ride before I wiped out and smashed them...they came off during the get-off and my hip landed on them and destroyed them.

    I will never do that again. Remington shooting glasses from Amazon, $12. I'll break them all day long and not have a ruined day for it.
    "Wait, this thing doesn't have a motor?" - Socrates

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by cutthroat View Post
    Safety glasses can work great and they are cheap. Seems like I lose a pair of glasses a season. I have a pair of Rudy Project Radons that I love and have interchangeable lenses. They are pricey, but Rudy will sell you replacement lenses for $14 if you send in your old scratched or broken ones - being able to do that makes them a much better deal. The optics on quality lenses are really better, but you do pay the price for it. I will never buy expenses glasses again without a lens exchange/trade in option - otherwise one good scratch and your investment is done..
    I've got Rudys and generally like them, but they are not without a couple of failings.

    The lenses (at least on the multilasers) scratch much more easily than my Oakleys. I have far more scratches on my 12 month old Rudys than my 4 year old Oakleys. The Oakleys look near new, the Rudy's look pretty trashed.

    The lens replacement program can be slow. I had to wait 6 weeks for my replacements.

  29. #29
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    i just got these and a helmet liner from opticsplanet for 30 shipped.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Sunglasses - Need suggestions / shortlist-lrgscale20677.jpg  


  30. #30
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    I used to wear cheap glasses but I found that they would always break in about 3-4 months. Even buying the cheap pairs that adds up after awhile so i decided to invest in a pair of Tifosi's. I believe that they are the "slip" model, but i have never had a problem with them and the AC Red lenses that come with them work really well on the trails here in Fl.

  31. #31
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    I've been using/trying quite a few brands in my 20+ years of MTB. As far as I'm concerned, you get what you pay for. I've tried some intermediate cost sunglasses (let's say between $90-150) as well as more expensive ones. In the end, the Oakleys are my favourite. I got a pair of Smiths with interchangeable lenses and they got scratched pretty quickly. Some brands are better at that but the Oakley are the only one I found to have lenses that do not distord, do not scratch easily and don't fog, even in the most humid conditions. Of course, you should try before you buy but if you're looking for quality, durable sunglasses, don't look further than Oakley.

  32. #32
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    I'll toss out the French Company Julbo as my fave, indestructible, fog free, incredible clarity, and they are actually pretty darn scratch resistant, which IMHO is usually marketing hyperbole after using any pair of glasses while mountain biking.

  33. #33
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    I actually use a pair of SeaSpecs. They were made for water sports (which I also spend a lot of time doing), but have found them beneficial while riding. They have a non-removable adjustable strap to keep them on your head when you go into the water, but that can be cut off if you want to just use them for MTB. That may be preferable, as the strap can interfere with helmet fit in the back with the latest fuller protection fit. Light weight, polarized lenses, 100%UVA/UBB protection.

  34. #34
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    Smith Optics Pivlock! I picked these up a year ago because I was looking for good protection without any obstructions to my field of vision. I wanted a frameless design, and the Smith's fit the bill perfectly. I use them several times a week and have zero complaints. For $120, they came with three lenses (gray, rose and clear). I don't use the rose very often.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikestok View Post
    Any issue with fogging on the Jawbones?
    Not while riding, but they fog up when you stop. Not the best sport suglasses ive had.. I am very happy with my vented oakley radar tho.

  36. #36
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    I've typically used Oakleys as they are very scratch resistant and tend to hold up well. However, in the last year I've broken 2 of my 3 pairs (M frames and Minutes both cracked). My orange Fives are still my go-to glasses for the MTB, even though they fog up like crazy on long slow climbs. Super comfortable though.



    Earlier this year I picked up a pair of Smith Pivlock V90s. And I LOVE them. So far they are holding up very well, and came with 3 lenses (clear, mirror, and ignitor red). I leave them on the red lenses. I haven't really been using them for MTB because I don't want to mess them up just yet, but on the few MTB rides I've done with them they haven't fogged up and stay light and comfy on my face.



    Get something that feels comfy to you. If its mildly annoying in the store you'll hate it on the trail. I recommend something with an amber, yellow, or reddish lens. It will help you see through shadows cast by trees, and still usable in dusk/dawn so you always have eye protection.

  37. #37
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    Thanks everyone. Been trying several pairs. Bought a pair of Tifosi. Bought some of the Dewalt safety glasses (they work, but the fit is not great and the optics fall short). Looked at Smith V90max but my kids laughed at me when I put them on even though I thought I looked cool. Like the Oakleys but have not bought a pair.

    I have learned I need to pay attention to the following...
    Darkness (% light let in) - being in AZ, I think this is more of a concern than most places.
    Polorized - not sure if this is a plus or minus yet.
    Fit - nose, arms. I am suprised how much of an issue light coming from the bottom of the lenses is/can be. Maybe again because the desert reflects up a ton of light.

    On the Tifosi it took me a couple of days to realize the arms (and to some extent, the nose bridge) are bendable - you can shape them. Very nice - once I figured that out.

    Sweat is still a large issues for me. Getting the right combo of 'breeze' to keep the mositure down vs. light gaps may be an issue.
    Last edited by bikestok; 01-23-2012 at 04:30 PM.

  38. #38
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    oh, and I have been suprised to learn about 'UVC'. It appears to be the highest energy UV and most lensed do not protect from it!?

    So to add two more to my list of concerns/functions:
    -UVC
    -Impact / crash / safety spec.

  39. #39
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    Suncloud / smith

    "Smith Optics best warranty/return policy I have found!"

    Very true about the Smith warranty. I have two credits to use for older Stance and Director models. I ride in the Threshold w/ interchangeable lenses. They didn't have replacement rubber ear pieces available so instead they sent me brand new frames. I tend to use the amber or clear lenses only now. Out west I used the darker lens but now that I live in Asheville the trees tend to block most of the really bright light.

    Smith owns Suncloud and they offer the same warranty...plus all of the glasses are $50.

    My wife has the Tifosi Ventoux and really likes them. Seems to be higher quality than the Ryders they replaced.

  40. #40
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    To address your concerns about light from under the lenses, I suggest getting a pair that has a full dark colored frame. This resolved the issue for me.

    Until I order another pair of Smiths, I wear Native Bomber Sunglasses. They vent well and hold up well, have replaceable lenses, and a warranty.

  41. #41
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    I like the Typhoon Mariner. It is polarized and has a hydrophobic lens coating which I couldn't find on many other glasses. If you have to ride in the rain, these are the glasses you want. In the winter when most of my riding is after dark I go the safety glasses route.

  42. #42
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    I just ordered another pair of glasses. I have been looking for a decenty priced pair of photochromic polarized amber lenses and found that serengeti makes them. not too bad of a price either if you shop around and not buy from them directly. picked up the serengeti matteo in tortoise with amber driving lens (photochromic and polarized) for 140 shipped.

    lens tech: Serengeti eyewear | Glass lens technology

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by swingset View Post
    I splurged last year and bought a $75 pair of oakleys, which lasted one ride before I wiped out and smashed them...they came off during the get-off and my hip landed on them and destroyed them.

    I will never do that again. Remington shooting glasses from Amazon, $12. I'll break them all day long and not have a ruined day for it.
    Oakley will normally replace them free one time during the first year you own them!! save the receipt. Oakley stands behind their products well.

    I use oakley flak jackets i have grey transistions, light grey polarized, brown, vr28, fire, and black iridium lenses.
    Also M hybrid series and just got a radar path frame.
    My goto frame is the flak jacket still. also a few pairs of maui jims and raybans. im a regular sunglass whore i guess.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikestok View Post
    oh, and I have been suprised to learn about 'UVC'. It appears to be the highest energy UV and most lensed do not protect from it!?
    UVC protection is not needed because the atmosphere blocks it. Lenses that block UVC don't hurt anything, but they don't help either. This may change if the ozone layer gets destroyed.

    Steve
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  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by kazkut View Post
    I just ordered another pair of glasses. I have been looking for a decenty priced pair of photochromic polarized amber lenses and found that serengeti makes them. not too bad of a price either if you shop around and not buy from them directly. picked up the serengeti matteo in tortoise with amber driving lens (photochromic and polarized) for 140 shipped.

    lens tech: Serengeti eyewear | Glass lens technology
    Glass has much lower impact resistance than polycarbonate (a.k.a. lexan a.k.a. plutonite), the most common lens material for sports eyewear. I have a set of Serengeti aviators and I agree that the optics are good, but I wouldn't wear them for an active sport where things can hit my face or my face can hit the ground.

    Steve

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Herger View Post
    Glass has much lower impact resistance than polycarbonate (a.k.a. lexan a.k.a. plutonite), the most common lens material for sports eyewear. I have a set of Serengeti aviators and I agree that the optics are good, but I wouldn't wear them for an active sport where things can hit my face or my face can hit the ground.

    Steve
    true, the ones i bought are more for everyday wear and biking on paved roads. it sure would suck if i landed on my face with the glass sunglasses on. i was thinking that maybe with the plastic frame, and wearing a helmet, if my face were to ever hit the ground the glass won't break and lodge itself into my eyes.

    i was thinking about going with the polar phd lenses but I've never owned a good pair of glass lenses so i went with the glass.

  47. #47
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    I've used various Oakley sunglasses over the years including most recently several pairs of custom Radars and Jawbones but have just switched to Adidas evil eye halfrim pro and am seriously impressed. The quality is up there with Oakley plus lenses are cheaper and very easy to switch. Worth considering in my opinion.

  48. #48
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    I've recently upgraded from Tifosi's to the Smith Pivlock V90- love 'em. Nothing in the way of your field of vision and helps keep the crud out of my eyes.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by bandit350 View Post
    "Smith Optics best warranty/return policy I have found!"

    Very true about the Smith warranty. I have two credits to use for older Stance and Director models. I ride in the Threshold w/ interchangeable lenses. They didn't have replacement rubber ear pieces available so instead they sent me brand new frames. I tend to use the amber or clear lenses only now. Out west I used the darker lens but now that I live in Asheville the trees tend to block most of the really bright light.

    Smith owns Suncloud and they offer the same warranty...plus all of the glasses are $50.

    My wife has the Tifosi Ventoux and really likes them. Seems to be higher quality than the Ryders they replaced.
    Really? Because that's the exact opposite of my experience. I bought some MX goggles from them and after only a few days whatever they use to tint the lenses bled all over the place, obviously ruining the lens. I sent it back to them but the warranty dept. said "not a defect" and wouldn't replace. Tossed them out and replaced them with Oakley goggles, and they've been trouble-free for a few years now. That's why my impression of them is that they sell junk and don't stand behind their products, and I'll never buy anything from them again.

  50. #50
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    Getting ths.. Oakley, Rudy Project, Smith, Ryders,Tifosi ...

    try ths,I will get the Dewalt safety glasses and the really cheap goggles - gv thm a shot

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