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Gear: Adidas and Ryders Shades

  • By Lennard Zinn
  • Published Jan. 29, 2010
  • Updated Oct. 11, 2012 at 5:09 PM EDT

Adidas Adizero shades weigh 22 grams. Photo by Brad Kaminski

Adidas Adizero Sunglasses-$160

Sunglasses that weigh only 22 grams and fit great are nice. But when they also have very good optics and are super easy on the eyes, they are a real pleasure to wear.

The hook shape to the earpieces on the Adizero makes them hold better over the ears with less squeezing on the head. But better yet, the shape ensures that when folded, the earpieces don’t scratch the lenses (I have many pairs of glasses that are otherwise fine except for the scratched area in the lower outer quarter of each lens). The rubber grip surface on the earpieces only goes over the ears and not out to the tip, so they don’t grab any hair on removal.

The earpieces are hinged on plug-in, T-shaped pins, so the earpieces can pop off. This modular, pop-apart design should protect them from breakage, but it didn’t work so well with me; I sat on them once and, rather than popping the earpiece off, I broke the T-shaped hinge piece, which does not seem to be an available replacement part.

Adidas claims that its Light Stabilizing Technology (LST) lens not only harmonizes extreme light fluctuations, but it also assures accurate depth perception and protection from harmful UVA, B and C sunrays. The photochromic LST Vario lens (which I did not try) claims to rapidly alter lens tint and filter levels according to UV exposure and adds $40 to the price.

The temples dip down to better fit under a hat brim, and the nose bridge has rubbery traction grips that prevent slippage.

Ryders Sprint sunglasses with photochromic lenses -$70

Ryders Sprint sunglasses weigh 24 grams. Photo by Brad Kaminski

At 24 grams, these Sprint glasses are so light that I hardly notice them on my face. And the lenses are fantastic.

While I have ridden with photochromic lenses in the past, never have I had any that changed from so light to so dark. I literally can almost ride in the dark in these glasses, yet they will become so dark that I like them on the brightest day as well.

For those of us with Neanderthal eyebrow ridges, the vents in the lenses keep the glasses from fogging too bad when working hard at slow speed.

The photochromic, polycarbonate lenses are made in France and are interchangeable in the flexible Duraflex TR90 frame. I used them in a cyclocross race straight out of the box, and I was glad to find afterward that the anti-slip nose pads are adjustable, because I kept pushing them back up my nose after they slipped down on bumpy sections. Most sunglasses either feel secure on my face but end up pinching my head after an hour or so of driving or after a couple of hours on the bike, or they are comfortable for hours but tend to slip down. These, however, are so lightweight that it doesn’t take that much pressure from the anti-slip temple tips to keep them on my face. Once I got the nose pads adjusted right; they stay on and don’t pinch my head.

The simple hinge with a screw works and is serviceable. I don’t like that the earpiece tips touch the lenses when folded. At least they come with a hard case to minimize this wear when carrying them around.

The price is fantastic, and for the same $70 you can instead get Sprints with polarized lenses (for cutting glare from the road), with standard polycarbonate lenses for $40, or in an interchangeable style with two other pairs of lenses for $50.

FILED UNDER: Bikes and Tech / MTB / News TAGS: / / /

Lennard Zinn

Lennard Zinn

Our longtime technical writer joined VeloNews in 1987. He is also a framebuilder, a former U.S. National Team rider, and author of many bicycle books, including Zinn and the Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance and Zinn and the Art of Road Bike Maintenance, as well as Zinn and the Art of Triathlon Bikes and Zinn's Cycling Primer: Maintenance Tips and Skill Building for Cyclists. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in physics from Colorado College. Readers can send brief technical questions to Ask LZ.

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