Here’s a new pair of eyewear from Julbo that was designed with the mountain biker in mind. The Pipeline is offered with four lens choices but for trails I say stick with the Zebra lens. With a lens shape that’s similar to the Julbo Dirt sunglasses that I tested last year (66mm), these shades offer a decent sized lens for eye protection on the trail.
The Pipelines sport an open-arm design which is strong yet lightweight. These glasses have curved arms that are 120mm in length which should fit well on most people. The arms themselves are coated with an anti-slip treatment which doesn’t stick to longer hair and adds to the appearance of the arms. The nose bridge has a spacing of 17mm (if you have a particularly wide nose these may not fit well) and the same anti-slip, shock absorbing coating to keep the glasses firmly where you want them, without having them bounce around when the terrain gets rough.
The Zebra photochromic lens darkens or lightens depending on the surrounding lights intensity. It can change from a light transmission rate of 40.7% to just 6.6%. There is also an anti-fog coating but I’ve found it only works in certain conditions depending on surrounding humidity.
After wearing the Julbos for a bit I can say these feel about as nice as the Dirt sunglasses. With a bit more flex at the arm to mold to your head, these feel comfortable. Wearing the glasses fairly close to my face I did experience some fogging at the nose bridge.
Other than the feel, the biggest thing is the clarity of the Zebra lenses. I especially love the tint of the Zebra lenses in the forest – they really assists under a tree top canopy, helping you differentiate the terrain like very few lenses can. The durability of the lens is also key. Having ridden a few times too close to brush, the lenses survived encounters with thinner branches and stuff along and above the path.
Check out Julbo Pipeline sunglasses (MSRP $140-200 depending on lens choice) when you’re ready to upgrade your trail shades.
I would like to thank the folks at Julbo for sending up the eyewear for review.