Having the right windshield for your ride can make trail time considerably more pleasant. If you missed our full 2020 sunglasses roundup, make sure to also check out those pairs.
The Alleycat shades arrived from Melon Optics a while after our annual roundup, and I have been wearing them on the trail since. Like their goggles, the ordering process for these glasses is rather enjoyable. You get to choose from six different frame colors, five lens hues, five different colors for the nose piece, and finally six shades for the slice of Melon that’s printed on the temple. I went with grey splatter paint frames, smoke lenses, and turquoise everywhere else.
At 135€ or $150 these aren’t the least expensive eye protection on the market, but they are arguably some of the best.
Each pair of Alleycat frames comes with the tinted Zeiss lens of your choice, and a clear Zeiss lens for low light applications. The “smoke” lens has a lighter tint than a lot of road-inspired riding shades, making it a better fit for mountain biking. I have been able to use the smoke lens on some notably shady tracks without feeling like the tint was affecting my vision.
The clear lens is unnoticeably there, offering solid coverage on darker days. Folks who wear contact lenses will appreciate the amount of wind protection this lens provides, helping keep your contacts moist longer while shielding your eyes from dust and insects. Openings on either side offer just enough airflow to keep the lens fog-free as long as you keep moving.
The flexible frame makes swapping between lenses a quick and simple process that takes less than a minute. Soon after you order a pair of Alleycats the company sends an email including a video on how to change lenses, cutting the guesswork. A few weeks later they follow up asking for good and bad feedback on your purchase.
Both the temple and nose rubber are nice and grippy, keeping the 30g Alleycats in place on rough descents no matter the sweat factor. The frame flexes enough to make it fit different face shapes well without feeling overly soft or cheap.
I have tested a massive pile of riding glasses and these quickly rose to the top in terms of clarity, coverage, and looks.
We would like to thank Melon Optics for sending the Alleycat glasses over for testing and review.