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Oakley Half Jacket 2.0 XL (Polished Rootbeer, Bronze Polarized)

Over the past twelve years I logged nearly 50,000 miles on my bike and have worn cycling glasses for every single mile. When I started cycling I wore inexpensive sunglasses that one of the major bicycle chains sells—they were good for a season, but not much more because cheap glasses are made with cheap parts. I’ve bought several pairs of Oakley sunglasses, but have never owned a pair myself (I have two sons who served in Iraq and ended up buying Oakley sunglasses for them and a few of their friends—if you know anything about Marines you know how much they love their Oakleys). A few weeks ago the folks at ADS Sports Eyewear offered to send me a pair of Oakley sunglasses to review and I jumped at the chance!

Oakley Half Jacket 2.0 XL Polarized Sunglasses

Oakley Half Jacket 2.0 XL Polarized Sunglasses

ADS Sports Eyewear sent a pair of Oakley Half Jacket 2.0 XL polarized sunglasses and I’ve used them for over 900 miles of cycling last month alone. The box that these glasses came in said they had “Oakley High Definition Optics.” My first thought was that this was just marketing hype. However, after I put the glasses on I realized this was not hype! I’ve never worn a pair of sunglasses that provided a clearer or sharper image than these Oakleys! According to Oakley, these glasses have an “Iridium lens coatings (to) balance light transmission and reduce glare.” I can’t explain how the magic happens, but am happy to tell you it works!

Oakley Half Jacket 2.0 XL Polarized Sunglasses

Oakley Half Jacket 2.0 XL Polarized Sunglasses

I would rather show you how the lenses on these glasses work than tell you, but photographing through the curvature of the Oakley lens is very difficult. I you were an old-school photographer I’d tell you that these lenses are like adding a Tiffen warming filter to your Nikon camera. However, since we all use Adobe Photoshop now, let me explain it this way: The lenses on these glasses take your scene and bump up the contrast, increase saturation, adjust the hue to a warmer color and the sharpen the image. If neither of these descriptions help you much, let me try it another way. The first picture below is just a standard photo of a bike trail. In the second photo I’ve adjusted the hue, saturation and sharpness to the way I perceive the Oakley sunglasses work (again, this is just my interpretation—these photos represent the way I think the glasses render a scene).

Oakley Half Jacket 2.0 XL Polarized Sunglasses

A normal view of a bike trail without color correction

Oakley Half Jacket 2.0 XL Polarized Sunglasses

After I bumped up the saturation, contrast, sharpness and hue

In addition to giving you a beautiful view of the world, these glasses have special components in the rims that increase grip when you sweat—something every athlete will appreciate! These Oakley frames have a “Three-Point Fit” that keeps the lenses in precise alignment. These glasses filter out 100% of UVA / UVB / UVC light and meet all ANSI Z87.1 standards for impact resistance. The curvature of the lens protects you from the sun, wind and impact, and the wide peripheral view stays sharp no matter where you are looking!

Oakley Half Jacket 2.0 XL polarized sunglasses retail for $180. ADS Sports Eyewear is an authorized web-dealer for Oakley sunglasses—you need to be aware of the fact that many of the “cheap Oakleys” you see advertised online are just knock-offs. One more thing about ADS Sports Eyewear, according to their website, “All of your credit card information is encrypted, and none of this information is stored on the ADS Sports Eyewear web site.” As a security freak this really appeals to me!

ADS Sports Eyewear also offers Prescription Oakley Sunglasses. This past summer a good friend of mine got a pair of Panoptx 7Eye Briza Women’s Prescription Sunglasses from ADS and was very pleased—she used them for both bike riding and motorcycle riding.

One Warning: Just because you can see better doesn’t mean that cars can see you better! There is no question that these glasses will sharpen and improve the contrast of whatever you are looking at, but it is very easy to assume that because your vision is clear everyone else has improved vision as well. One foggy morning I went out for a ride with these sunglasses on and had no trouble seeing, but when I stopped at a rest area to check my email I realized just how foggy the day was—and how glad I was to be wearing “high-definition” glasses!

 
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Posted by on October 10, 2013 in Product Reviews

 

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Panoptx 7Eye Briza Women’s Prescription Motorcycle Sunglasses

Editor’s Note: A few weeks ago Michael Spanjol from ADS Sports Eyewear asked me review a pair of their prescription sunglasses for athletes. The product he offered looked fantastic, but since I do not wear prescription eyewear I couldn’t write the review. However, Anna, a young lady I ride with every summer as she trains for RAGBRAI, does wear glasses and as she has done on several other occasions she was willing to try the product and write an unbiased review.

Panoptx 7Eye Briza Women’s Prescription Motorcycle Sunglasses

Anna And Her New Prescription Motorcycle Sunglasses

I was asked to provide a review for a pair of prescription cycling sunglasses from ADS Sports Eyewear by the All Seasons Cyclist as he does not wear prescription glasses and I do. Previous to trying out the Panoptx 7Eye Briza glasses I have either worn standard non-prescription cycling glasses, or my more fashionable, albeit not as functional, prescription sunglasses—90% of the time opting for vision and fashion over glasses designed with sports in mind. This was OK, however not ideal as I was constantly distracted by the shortcomings of glasses designed for looks rather than sports. Dealing with glasses sliding down my nose, or crushing the sides of my head, not having been designed for wearing under helmets was just part of the price of fashion. However, despite these annoyances, I was reluctant to shell out the dough for cycling glasses that I would only wear on the bike and then feel like a dork in off the bicycle.

Panoptx 7Eye Briza Women’s Prescription Motorcycle Sunglasses

Panoptx 7Eye Briza Women’s Prescription Motorcycle Sunglasses

And then I bought a motorcycle. If I thought my sunglasses were uncomfortable under a bike helmet, boy, let me tell you, they were awful under a motorcycle helmet. (Part of their fashion appeal is derived from the arms being made of teak, and wood is not particularly flexible) Problem number two, that I didn’t discover till my first ride after a weekend of classes in a parking lot, Wind. And lots of it! Sure, I tear up on a brisk morning on a bicycle, but this was more tears and more speed, and they splattered against the inside of my lenses like it was raining inside out.  As a totally new motorcycle rider I was already nervous and now I couldn’t see. We went to the Harley store to try on glasses to order prescription riding glasses, but I wasn’t very crazy about any of them. I had decided on a pair of Wiley-X only because they were the only ones that seemed to have a snug fit that were also reasonably priced.

Panoptx 7Eye Briza Women’s Prescription Motorcycle Sunglasses

Foam Insert For The Prescription Motorcycle Sunglasses

Let me say here that as a woman rider most products designed for riding, either a motorcycle or a bicycle, are designed for men. A majority of riders are men and it makes sense, but it is so frustrating to feel like you only ever have a handful of options, half of them pink, festooned with rhinestones, or seem like we might have a thorny rose tattoo and listen to country music…puleez! Quit bedazzling everything!

Panoptx 7Eye Briza Women’s Prescription Motorcycle Sunglasses

Entire Kit For The Panoptx 7Eye Briza Sunglasses

Then I was asked by the All Seasons Cyclist if I would be interested in reviewing prescription cycling glasses. When I checked out the website I looked at the styles but noticed a tab for prescription motorcycle sunglassesfor Women…well, I was hopeful. I figured if I found a pair with removable foam inserts I could use them for both sports! I clicked on the page for motorcycle glasses and was pretty pleased with the selection—I thought could it finally be possible to not only be functional but fashionable too? Yes!

Michael was the contact person that assisted me through the process via email. I was skeptical about finding a good fit and explained I have a more narrow face and many of the glasses had not felt snug, I was going to get the Wiley-X only because I had tried them on but told him of two other pairs I liked as well. Out of the other two I liked he recommended the Panoptx 7Eye Briza CV. He needed my prescription and distance between pupils (which, as it turns out, can easily be measured with a credit card, instructions are linked to their website). I opted for black frames with bronze polarized lenses, but the Briza has a variety of combinations to choose from. The base price for the frames is $89 and you can choose to add polarization or transitions lenses, and other options such as no-line bifocals and frame color are also available. The glasses that were sent to me for review would have cost $308 (frames $89; single vision lenses $119; polarization $100). A great price for the increase in safety and clarity!

Panoptx 7Eye Briza Women’s Prescription Motorcycle Sunglasses

Panoptx 7Eye Briza Women’s Prescription Motorcycle Sunglasses

I received the glasses in about a week after providing all the needed information. Even though I had Michael to guide me through the process I went through the website ordering process and found it to be pretty easy to navigate through the available choices and prescription information. Also the technology ADS Sports Eyewear uses to create their prescription lenses is unique—it is a digitally created prescription lens that simply put, lets you see wherever you’re looking, straight ahead, or peripheral vision. A full explanation of the technology they use (Free-Form Digital Lens Surfacing) is found on their website.

My first ride of the spring was in late May, with the Briza’s. Fit under the helmet? check (my helmet is a Shoei RJ Platinum). Since I had just learned to ride in late September 2012 I was pretty nervous throughout the ride and my patient husband let me ride around the side streets for about an hour before going on about a 15-minute ride to get dinner—we ate and headed back at dusk and as we pulled in the garage I thought “Oh crap, I forgot to think about the glasses!” and then it occurred to me that’s the best thing you could possibly say about a piece of equipment, especially one designed for your vision. They did not slide around, they did not hurt my head, they did not let in wind, and they were remarkably clear and wrapped enough so I did not see them in my periphery. Best of all, they look good too—the foam insert comes out super easy so I had them on sitting outside at dinner and popped them back in before riding home. I have since logged about 300 nervous miles on the motorcycle, and about 420 sweaty miles on my road bike, but am never nervous about my sight.

I also really like the Panoptx 7Eye Briza CV on the road bike too, since motorcycle riding has a few additional requirements I addressed it first. One thing unique to the bicycle that I do not encounter on the motorcycle is riding in the drops or in the aero bars.  This is where you separate the fashion from the function pretty quick.  The Briza’s have stayed in place remarkably well and we have been on some tough rides so far. A short ride is anything under 35 miles, we start in the morning when it can be cooler and go for a few hours. They’ve seen humidity (over 90% some days, I’m talking a real sweat storm), rain, heat, over 20 mph wind (I remove the foam inserts for the bicycle). 90% of bicycle rides so far have been in the 50–60 mile range and I do push them up here and there, but no more frequently than I might any other sport glasses. They’ve seen a lot of sweat and so far the pads above the ears and the nose are great. I’ve had other glasses where the sweat has loosened the adhesive and the pads come loose. I also do not use a mirror and I can see great from a slight turn of my head—no obstruction from the frames and the digital prescription is fantastic. I feel like they are the clearest glasses I own (I have 4 other pair). On a recent family trip I used them for driving, shooting trap, at the pistol and rifle range, and to race go-karts. Sorry other glasses!

The Panoptx 7Eye Briza CV glasses came with foam inserts, a hard case, cleaning cloth and lens cleaner.

Panoptx 7Eye Briza Women’s Prescription Motorcycle Sunglasses

Great Sunglasses For Motorcycles and Bicycles!

By the way, an average motorcycle ride for me is 45–55 mph and 2–4 hours in duration on a Triumph Legend 900 triple. Average cycling is 35–65 miles per day, 5 days a week. I will wear these glasses at RAGBRAI in July (my 11th year in a row!) for about 1,500 to 2,000 miles total from mid-June to mid-August on a LeMond Tourmalet.

 
5 Comments

Posted by on July 12, 2013 in Product Reviews

 

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Dual Power Eyewear Dual SL2 Sunglasses

Several years ago I needed to have eye surgery and when I started looking for a surgeon a good friend of mine, a man who had been blind for about half of his life, insisted that I see on particular because he was “the best.” My friend said, “God only gave you one set of eyes so you better take care of them.” My friend has since passed away, but I remember his advice every time I buy a new pair of cycling glasses. One of my favorite pair of cycling sunglasses is the Dual Eyewear Dual SL2 Sunglasses.

Dual Power Eyewear Dual SL2 Sunglasses

Dual Power Eyewear Dual SL2 Sunglasses

The simplest way to explain the Dual SL2 Sunglasses is to tell you that they are a great pair of sunglasses with a pair of reading glasses built-in. The reading glasses portion is available in three powers (+1.5, 2.0, and 2.5 spot diopters). These sunglasses are incredibly lightweight (only 20 grams) and the shatterproof lenses are made of scratch-resistant polycarbonate. The glasses provide 100% UVA, UVB, and UVC protection. The rubber nose pieces on these glasses are perfect for cyclists—I’ve not had them slip a bit even on off-road trails. The lenses are available in two colors (smoke and brown). In addition to the SL2 Dual Eyewear offers several other models of sunglasses and every pair comes with a nice storage bag/cleaning cloth. They also sell lenses in three other colors: clear for night rides, and both amber and rose lenses for cloudy days.

My distance vision is a perfect 20/20, but I do need a bit of help reading fine print (8 point type or smaller), and especially in low light conditions. I can read a text-message on my iPhone without glasses, but I have trouble reading the very small type found in the maps application. The Dual SL2 Sunglasses look like regular sunglasses, but they have a barely noticeable magnification area built into the lower part of the lenses. What this means is that now you can read even the smallest print on your GPS, bike computer or cell phone without having to switch glasses!

The Dual SL2 Sunglasses retail for $50 online and I would highly recommend that you buy at least two pair. Once you have tried these on your bike you are going to want another pair for your car. After my first bike ride with these glasses I ordered another pair the same day.

The highest bit of praise for these sunglasses came from a U.S. Marine (my youngest son). I had these glasses sitting on my desk when my son came in and picked them up. He doesn’t need the magnification area on the lenses, but when he tried them on he said, “These look and fit better than my Oakleys.” If you know anything about Marines, you know how much they love their expensive Oakley sunglasses!

Dual Power Eyewear is based on Boulder, Colorado. They offer a generous 30-day 100% satisfaction guarantee, but I doubt if you will ever need it—once you try these out you are going to love them!

 

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Airfoil 7617 Goggles With Polarized Lenses

A few months ago I was at standing in the seventh circle of Hades (also known as the Post Office), when a young woman pulled up in front of the building on a motorcycle and then walked inside the building. Since we were in line at the Post Office we had plenty of time to talk—and when she put her helmet on the counter I asked her about her cool goggles. She had a pair of Airfoil 7617 Goggles and claimed that they kept her eyes from drying out on long rides. After looking at the glasses a while I thought they would work well for winter cycling as well, so I ordered a pair.

Airfoil 7617 Goggles With Polarized Lenses

Airfoil 7617 Goggles With Polarized Lenses

The reason I liked the design of he Airfoil 7617 Goggles is that during winter cycling my eyes often feel like they are burning as a result of the cold air hitting my face. Since the Airfoil goggles fit up tight against the face that problem is eliminated. Airfoil goggles come with two pairs of 100% shatterproof polycarbonate lenses—the dark grey pair is polarized and the other pair is light blue. The polarized lenses really cut the glare from snow, water and ice. The light blue lenses enhance contrast in low-light situations, but I prefer yellow lenses in low-light. These goggles also come with a free soft case/cleaning cloth.

Air Vent On The Airfoil 7617 Goggles

Air Vent On The Airfoil 7617 Goggles

The Airfoil 7617 Goggles fit well, but since I always ride with a helmet I have to put the goggles on first (but that is not a problem). The flexible nose-bridge on these goggles provides a comfortable fit. These goggles have vents on the side to help prevent fog. However, if you sit at a light for too long fog can build up a bit, but once you get moving again it disappears. The only problem with these goggles is that they restrict peripheral vision a little—but not enough to be a problem.

Airfoil 7617 Goggles retail for $31 on the Pacific Coast Sunglasses Website, but you can find them on Amazon.com for $24 (with free shipping). Pacific Coast Sunglasses, Inc. is a California-based company that specializes in sunglasses and goggles for motorcyclists—they have been in business since 1984.

 
14 Comments

Posted by on December 14, 2012 in Product Reviews, Winter Cycling

 

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Performance Radial II Multi-Lens Eyewear

Protective eyewear is an absolute necessity for any bike ride—they protect your eyes from rocks and road debris that often gets kicked by passing cars and trucks (and sometimes from junk thrown by mischievous teenagers). Performance Bicycle often puts their Radial II Multi-Lens Eyewear on sale at unbelievably low prices, and last fall I was able to pick up a pair for around $20 at a local Performance bike shop.

Performance Bicycle Radial II Multi-Lens Sunglasses

Performance Radial II Multi-Lens Eyewear

The Performance Radial II Multi-Lens Eyewear will give you 100% UVA/UVB protection and they are not the worst looking pair of cycling sunglasses you can buy (how’s that for a compliment?). The polycarbonate lenses on these glasses provide excellent optical clarity and are fairly scratch resistant. The lenses also have upper vents that do an excellent job of keeping fog from building up. The frame is made of forged nylon and appears to be very rugged.

Like most of the eyewear sold by Performance Bicycle, these glasses come with a carrying case, cleaning cloth, and three interchangeable lenses (Clear, Grey and Orange). The grey lenses work best in sunlight, while the orange lenses work best on overcast days. Obviously the clear lenses are for riding at night or in the rain.

The only problem I had with these glasses is the hard plastic nose piece—if you change you lenses often you are probably going to break the nose piece. It appears like Performance decided to supply three lenses but hoped that you would not have to change them very often.

The Performance Radial II Multi-Lens Eyewear retails for around $50, but as I mentioned earlier, they are often on sale for as little as $20 both online and at Performance Bicycle brick-and-motor stores. These glasses also have an optional Rx insert that turns your Radial II Eyewear into prescription cycling sunglasses.

While I still occasionally wear these glasses, they are not my favorite pair. If you are looking for great cycling sunglasses I have two suggestions. First, the Ryders Eyewear Hex Polar/Photochromic Sunglasses are the best I’ve ever seen for cycling. However, if you sometimes reading glasses (but don’t want people to know you need reading glasses), then I would strongly suggest the Dual Power Eyewear Dual SL2 Sunglasses.

 
 

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Dual Power Eyewear Dual SL2 Sunglasses

My final article for this year is going to be a list of the top five cycling products that I’ve reviewed in 2011. At the moment I do not know which five products will be on the list, but without any question the new Dual Eyewear Dual SL2 Sunglasses will definitely be there!

Dual Power Eyewear Dual SL2 Sunglasses

Dual Power Eyewear Dual SL2 Sunglasses

The simplest way to explain the Dual SL2 Sunglasses is to tell you that they are a great pair of sunglasses with a pair of reading glasses built-in. The reading glasses portion is available in three powers (1.5, 2.0, and 2.5). These sunglasses are incredibly lightweight (only 20 grams) and the shatterproof lenses are made of scratch-resistant polycarbonate. The glasses provide 100% UVA, UVB, and UVC protection. The rubber nose pieces on these glasses are perfect for cyclists—I’ve not had them slip a bit even on off-road trails. The lenses are available in two colors (smoke and brown). In addition to the SL2 Dual Eyewear offers two other models of sunglasses (V6, S4). Every pair comes with a nice storage bag/cleaning cloth.

My distance vision is a perfect 20/20, but I do need a bit of help reading fine print (8 point type or smaller), and in low light conditions. I can make out the words of a text-message on my iPhone, but I have trouble reading the very small type found in the maps application. The Dual SL2 Sunglasses look like regular sunglasses, but they have a barely noticeable magnification area built into the lower part of the lenses. What this means is that now you can read even the smallest print on your GPS, bike computer or cell phone without having to switch glasses!

The Dual SL2 Sunglasses (and the other two models) retail for $50 online, and I would highly recommend that you buy at least two pair. Once you have tried these on your bike you are going to want another pair for your car. After my first bike ride with these glasses I ordered my another pair the same day.

The highest bit of praise for these sunglasses came from a U.S. Marine (my youngest son). I had these glasses sitting on my desk when my son came in and picked them up. He doesn’t need the magnification area on the lenses, but when he tried them on he said, “These look and fit better than my Oakleys.” If you know anything about Marines, you know how much they love their expensive Oakley sunglasses!

Dual Power Eyewear is based on Boulder, Colorado. They offer a generous 30-day 100% satisfaction guarantee, but I doubt if you will ever need it—once you try these out you are going to love them!

 
 

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Ryders Eyewear 2011 Hex Polar/Photochromic Sunglasses

I own at least eight pair of cycling sunglasses and am not extremely loyal to any particular brand. Most of these sunglasses were impulse purchases—they were bought at a bike shop I frequent and I purchased them because they were on sale. The only pair of sunglasses I’ve gone out of my way to purchase is a pair of Ryders Eyewear Hex Polar/Photochromic Sunglasses.

Ryders Eyewear 2011 Hex Polar/Photochromic Sunglasses

Ryders Eyewear Hex Polar/Photochromic Sunglasses

Let’s get the technical information out of the way first. Like all the sunglasses I own, these provide 100% UVA, UVB, UVC protection (don’t even think of buying sunglasses without UV protection). They are polarized to eliminate glare and increase depth perception (something you really appreciate when riding in the snow). The lenses are made of polycarbonate (I wouldn’t wear any pair of cycling glasses that weren’t) and are shatterproof. Ryder also puts a scratch-resistant coating on all of their sunglasses.

The main selling feature is that these glasses are photochromic, which means they get lighter or darker depending on available sunlight and air temperature. Before I got these glasses I would often leave home with a pair of sunglasses that were perfect for full-sun, but then the clouds rolled in I could barely see where I was going. These glasses change colors (shades of grey) as needed and I have been very happy with the results.

I bought these glasses in January and have used them for over 3,000 miles of riding so far this year. They went though rain, snow and ice during the winter and through the heat of an unbelievably hot summer, yet they still look like new. These glasses are very light and have high quality optics. I’ve had them on for periods of up to five hours at a time and have not experienced any discomfort whatsoever. I am probably the least qualified person on earth to talk about style or fashion, but I like the design of these glasses. The frames only come in a gloss black. These glasses come with a well-made case, but a cleaning cloth is not included. The lack of a cleaning cloth is certainly not a deal breaker, but this is the only pair of cycling glasses I’ve ever purchased that didn’t include one.

Most cyclists will find this is the only pair of sunglasses they need. However, on foggy days I switch to a pair of  glasses that have amber lenses. I also wear a pair of glasses with clear lenses when I ride at night or in the rain.

These glasses have a retail price of $90, but I was able to buy a pair on Amazon.com for only $73. If you have been cycling with a pair of sunglasses you purchased at a department store, do yourself a favor and buy a pair of these—I don’t think you will ever regret it.

 
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Posted by on July 22, 2011 in Product Reviews

 

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