If you’re out on the trail getting rad, it’s in your best interest to also look rad while doing so, because if you’re not stylish while out on the singletrack, what’s the point? Thankfully Aspire Eyewear has stepped up and created a new line of performance eyewear that is not only absurdly lightweight, but also makes any rider look like a part-time model. The Acclaimed glasses reviewed here feature a grey-green fade color scheme, but Aspire offers a number of colorways and styles that are sure to fit the preferences of the individual rider.
Aspire has crafted its new eyewear using their proprietary SDN-4 material, which is both outrageously flexible and durable. In fact, when I received the glasses for review, there was a fairly unorthodox note asking me to remove the lenses and test the flexibility of the frames, showing an image of the frames in various states of forced distortion. A more destructive friend of mine who had read the note, asked if she could try to break them and while I implored her not to, she twisted the frames beyond recognition only to have them spring right back to their original form. Such is the joy of advanced thermoplastics! As a mountain biker, this is of particular importance, as we tend to spend a significant amount of time crashing (admit it), and we need to have gear that’s resilient enough to withstand everything that we can throw at it.
As a full-time wearer of glasses, I had initially scoffed at Aspire’s claims of making lightweight eyewear as, over the years, my head had become so used to supporting glasses that weight seemed to be a non-issue to me. However, after testing the Incognito sunglasses, I can’t help but notice the comparable heft of my everyday glasses. It’s truly difficult to overstate just how light these sunglasses are! Weight is rarely something that I consider when looking at sunglasses, but after hanging these featherweights off of my ears for a while, I’m wondering if I can go back to wearing other, more massive lenses in the future.
The Acclaimed glasses are compatible with prescription lenses, but the variety that I tested had standard, non-RX lenses.
Along with the light weight of the frames, the Acclaimed glasses also proved to be a comfortable fit, though I would definitely recommend sizing down just a bit, as the temple doesn’t provide much clamping force and I experienced some slipping of the frames while riding gnarlier terrain. Now, this could be a result of the author’s mis-measuring of his own head, but just bear the loose fit in mind when sizing your own frames.
While we’re on the subject of detractions, I will say that the frames created a bit of a strange aberration effect when I first put them on. Due to the frame’s transparency, there is a bit of distortion that occurs where the lens meets the frame, and it creates a bit of a strange effect for the rider. It was disconcerting at first, but my brain adjusted shortly and by the time I was tearing down the trails, I hardly noticed it.
Aside from the loose fit and slight visual aberration, I would still highly recommend the Aspire Acclaimed to any rider who’s looking for eyewear that not only provides ample protection on the trail, but also from all the haters at the bar post-ride. They’re stylish, lightweight, affordable, and I have a hard time thinking of any other set of frames that I would rather wear while riding. In this reviewer’s opinion, Aspire is onto something with their new line of sunglasses, and they should definitely be on every rider’s radar while searching for their next pair of sunnies.
For more information on the rest of Aspire’s lineup and where to get fitted for your own pair, check out their website: http://aspireeyewear.com/
Frame price: $290
Thanks to Aspire for providing the Acclaimed glasses for review.