100%, Oakley, Ryders,
Shred & Smith
Words & Photos by Chili Dog
Ryders Eyewear Roam Fyre
Ryders is a Canadian based company founded 30 years ago. Unlike many other brands in the space, Ryders has been focused on creating eyewear for bike riders since day one. Its founder, Brett Martin, launched the company after winning the first ever Canadian Mountain Bike Championships in 1986.
The Roam Fyre is Ryder’s top of the line riding specific offering. The defining feature of the glasses is the removable lower frame, which can be removed for riders who prefer a more open field of view. In our testing, we preferred the frameless setup as it improved our foreground visibility while riding, and reduced the weight of the glasses on our face. We only rode once with the lower frame before putting it back in the box forever.
The photochromatic coating is a worthwhile benefit for riders that frequently transition from full light to shade on the trail. The lenses react to light, darkening in bright sun and then becoming clear in lower light areas.
After owning a set of photochromatic glasses, it’s hard to go back to anything else. One key factor that separates Ryders Eyewear from the competition is their antiFOG coating. Over the years, we’ve tested a ridiculous number of glasses. None have ever been able to beat the performance of Ryder’s antiFOG coating.
While there are many things we love about our Fyre glasses, we do have one qualm. After month’s of testing some testers couldn’t quite get used to fit of the nose bridge. I struggled to get a secure feeling but other testers had no such issues. The nose bridge simply wasn’t wide enough for my large nose, so just verify fit to your individual face shape before purchasing. That being said, the glasses never fell off or came loose on the trail, they just felt as if they could.
Beyond that, our months of riding with the Roam Fyre glasses have been trouble free. No fogging, no rocks, bugs or sticks to the eye, just crystal clear vision. Even with the minor fit issue, these glasses have been our favorite riding shades since they arrived on our door. If you’re willing to pay, rest assured you’ll be making a sound investment in your visual experience on the trail. Just don’t leave them on the tailgate of your truck and drive off like we did.
Shred Stomp Polarized
Shred’s recent crowd funding campaign for their new Boost sunglass lineup gathered quite a bit of attention. In just a matter of weeks, the campaign blew past it’s $25k goal, gathering a total of $116,047 in pledges. The Kickstarter funded shades feature urethane lenses with polarized and contrast boosting coatings. As an added bonus for the eco-conscious, 54% of the frame material is sourced from renewable resources. Blending the line between performance and casual wear, these glasses cater to riders that like a casual look on the bike.
After a few months of testing we can say that these are indeed a solid pair of shades. The lightweight and minimalist frames are comfortable to wear, and stay solidly in place even when getting rowdy on the bike. Clarity and color are solid. While not quite as vibrant as a set of Smith Chromapop lenses, Shred’s contrast boosting tech feels more natural and less like a Claritin commercial.
The Stomp is aimed at a more casual audience than the Provocator, but it still gets the job done. It does however have less coverage for those eye-watering descents. Our biggest complaint with these glasses stemmed from the frame shape, however. The relatively large gap between the frame and the user’s face creates the opportunity for refraction when the sun aligns to hit the inside of the lens. Whether walking or riding, we found it bothersome, and a chink in the armor of an otherwise great set of glasses. If you’re going to be using your Shreds for riding in very sunny areas, opt for the Provocator over the Boost. For those that just want a nice set of casual shades, the Stomp fits the bill perfectly.
Price: $130 Regular, $170 Polarized
Oakley Crossrange Patch Prizm
Oakley needs no introduction. The brand has been a staple in the action sports world for years, and rightfully so. They make a quality product that looks as good as it performs. Blurring the lines between technical riding wear and casual glasses, the Crossrange Patch is just as comfortable on the trail as it is as the burrito joint.
The interchangeable temples and nosepad adapt it from “lifestyle” to “sport performance.” In normal person terms, the extra nose pad and arms help you dial in the fit and retention for riding. Prizm lenses that enhance contrast and visibility round out the glasses’ technical specs. What’s even better for the normal person is that these glasses are truly easy to work on. Arms and nose pads can be swapped with one hand tied behind your back.
Coverage is fantastic, with the glasses wrapping around the face and sides of the eye. These glasses offer excellent protection from wind with a tight fit around the forehead and eyes. The frame and fit blocks light from refracting in the lens and affecting vision. Even on long rides, these glasses are comfortable and well designed to not fill with sweat. While they may not be the most high tech glasses in the game, the Crossrange Patch is a versatile pair of shades that does almost everything well while looking cool enough to wear off the bike.
100% Type S
Getting their start in the early 1980’s moto scene, 100% is a relative newcomer to the MTB side of things. That hasn’t held them back from making a big push with solid product in the past few years.
The Type S is a set of performance riding glasses with casual styling. An anti-reflective interior surface coating helps stop glare and a Hydroleophobic exterior surface coating keeps sweat and rain from blocking your vision. A soft touch black finish and rubberized nose/earpieces keep these glasses comfortable no matter how long the ride is.
If these glasses had a photochromatic lens, they could easily be our new favorite. The casual look combined with the excellent optics makes for a solid set of spectacles. They do have a touch more heft than the competition in this round up, but thanks to the secure fit and snug touch points, it never bothered us on the trail.
The anti-reflective coating and extensive wrap around coverage with a close fitting top ensured there was no refraction in the lens even in mid-day riding. Sweat on the bike was also managed well, avoiding the inside of the lens where it would obstruct vision. While these glasses lack the mind blowing anti fog coating found in the Roams, they make a great set of shades that can be worn to grab a beer after the ride without looking like a dork.
Smith is a mainstay in the action sports eyewear market, offering options for roadies and MX track rats alike. The brand is known for their Chromapop lens technology, which boosts color and contrast substantially. The green tinted Carbonic lens is treated with a polarized coating to cut glare. A classic, casual frame combines thick and thin lines for an iconic look.
While these aren’t the best choice as a riding shade, the Comstock has been our go to pair of glasses for casual wear and driving for over a year. Between the ultra vibrant Chromapop technology and the slight green tint, they are pleasant to wear and do a stellar job cutting out windshield glare and haze. While some people aren’t fond of the aggressive color and contrast boost found in Chromapop lenses, I for one am hooked, especially for long road trips where the cool hue, high contrast and bright colors keep you alert and focused.
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