Every time I think I know all of the eyewear manufacturers that are competing in the mountain bike market, I round another corner and spot yet another booth! This massive photo roundup doesn’t even begin to cover all of the different shades and companies in attendance at Interbike–much less the companies that didn’t deign to make an appearance.
Bolle’s big claim to fame is their use of Trivex lens material. Trivex provides the best optical clarity short of true glass, and all of their performance lineup utilizes it. However, with retail prices for these Trivex glasses in roughly the $120-190 range, they are much more affordable than glasses from other brands who use Trivex.
Ryders is unique as an eyewear company due to their complete and utter focus on mountain biking. While all of the other companies I’ve chatted with cater to road cycling or other non-biking sports as well, Ryders only cares about mountain bikers. Well, of course they’ll sell glasses to anyone who can wave around a plastic card with the magic numbers, but the guys at Ryders think that mountain biking is one of the most demanding sports on the planet, and if a pair of shades will work for a mountain biker, it’ll work for anyone.
New for this year from Ryders are their Traction Polarized lenses. According to Ryders, these lenses “highlight slippery surfaces,” which are the “surfaces [that] reflect the most intense glare. . . .A traditional polarized lens blocks this glare but in doing so might hide a slippery spot. The Ryders Traction Polarized lens replaces definition-robbing glare with sharp detail while highlighting the smoothest, most reflective, and potentially hazardous surfaces.”
Smith’s dominance in the outdoor eyewear market continues, and that dominance continues to grow in the mountain bike world thanks to their new line of helmets which meshes seamlessly with their glasses. Like Bolle, Smith also uses Trivex in their lenses, although you can expect to pay a bit more for the S logo on the side of the frames.
Spy claims to have isolated the “good” sunshine rays that make you feel happy and content when you’re outside, and have created lenses that allow the “good” rays through while blocking the “bad” rays, theoretically making you a happier person when you’re out on the bike.
For 2014 Tifosi has released new open frame designs of previous models, new yellow and green Clarion lens options, and a few all-new models.
Stay tuned for a plethora of in-depth sunglasses reviews, coming soon!