Let me just start by saying this: I am a sunglasses freak. I like to live a relaxed, stress-free lifestyle, and that goes for my eyeballs just as much as any other part of my body. I feel lucky to have good vision, and I want to make sure my eyeballs are still processing photons well into my demented drooling years. Putting a good pair of shades on lets my peepers chill out and take things easy like Sunday morning.
Now, you might think glasses are a pretty simple item that doesn’t really have a lot of room for improvement. After all, it’s just two pieces of glass that go over your eyes, right? Wrong, bucko. That’s like saying a bicycle is just two wheels that turn around. I mean, okay, it’s true, but there’s a hell of a lot more to it than that. Also like bicycles, glasses manufacturers are always coming up with new features to make them fancier than a silk-lined top hat.
The S70X shades have what Shimano calls SMFD, or Shimano Metal Fit Design. Of course, it also stands for Some Monkeys Fling Doodoo, but that’s another story for another time.
The metal in question is called “Beta-titanium.” I’m not sure whether Beta-titanium is different from regular titanium or not, but the glasses do have a really nice springy quality that fits my ruggedly handsome face nicely. The metal rod pieces also let a lot of air vent away, which helps keep the fog down.
Nobody likes foggy glasses, unless maybe you are from London and you want to feel like you’re home again when you put your glasses on. In that case, I say to you: “Pip pip, wot wot,” and “Good luck not riding into a tree, Nigel.”
The glasses I tested are technically the S70X-PH model, where, I assume, the “PH” stands for photochromic. That word means these lenses have a thin film of science applied to them that makes them get darker when the sun hits them. Way to jazz things up with that science, Shimano.
Even with this special darkening science applied, I thought the glasses were a little more clear than I normally like my glasses to be. As it turns out, I was wrong. You see, the trails around where I live usually go near some big weird plants we call “trees.” Trees provide shade because they drink light the way mountain bikers drink beer. That’s science right there. Ask a tree science guy if you don’t believe me. I have no idea where to find one of those, though, so you’ll have to find a science-guy science guy and ask him.
Another interesting feature of these glasses is that the temple pieces have multiple angles they can be set at. This effectively changes the angle the eyepieces end up at on your face. Have a huge jutting caveman brow? No problem. Storing nuts for winter in your cheeks? Also not a problem. Don’t like riding bikes? Problem. Big problem.
The glasses come with the usual bag-shaped cleaning cloth, and an interchangeable set of lenses. There are the science lenses and clear, science-free lenses.
Most interchangeable lens glasses come with yellow or orange lenses. I don’t know why. Someone told me once they’re for cloudy days, but if it’s looking the slightest bit like rain outside I stay in. I’m a wuss like that. I think they’re for people who hate lemons. When life hands you lemons, put on some yellow-lensed glasses, and then you won’t be able to see the lemons anymore.
I’m glad these glasses came with lenses I actually intend to use. Clear lenses are obviously for night time riding, one of my favorite kinds. Nothing suits me better than a little trail riding on a summer’s evening. That’s the time when I need a great pair of clear spectacles most. Keeps me from getting poked by a stick right in my big dumb eye. Sticks can be jerks like that sometimes.
Long story short, I was impressed with the S70x sunglasses ($150 MSRP). You’ve made me a very happy sunglasses freak, Shimano. Now where did I put my lemons?
Thanks to Shimano Eyewear for providing these sunglasses for review.