Well-priced and sturdy cycling glasses, featuring the best light-sensitive lenses we’ve ever tried.
RRP – £99.99
Website – www.uvex-sports.com
It seems that these days cycling glasses come in all shapes and sizes. Full frames, half frames or no frames at all, you can find exactly the look to suit your face. However, after my single-lens sunglasses unceremoniously snapped in half part-way up a Spanish puerto, it became clear that aesthetics and performance aren’t the only factors to be considered when purchasing a pair.
Happily, the first thing to note is that these sunglasses are exceptionally durable. At least, they are durable so far and I’ve put maybe 600-700 miles into them. The key? That little bit of plastic between each lens. It doesn’t obscure your field of vision (which is exceptional here), and it stops the glasses from snapping.
And while we’re on quality, these bat far above their average. Cycling glasses can occasionally feel a little flimsy, but Uvex appears to have produced a pair that you can abuse a little bit. Not once have I felt a twinge of panic taking them off on a climb and hastily replacing them before a descent.
When buying a pair of cycling glasses, the first thing I look for are light sensitive lenses. Why, in this day and age, should you have to choose which tint of lens to use before heading out the door? And these ‘variomatic’ lenses are a real treat.
Remove them from their box and you’ll find the lens entirely clear. But it’ll soon darken, and rather quickly. To some, this may sound like a bit of a gimmick, but it works so well in this case. The cyclists I know who don’t wear sunglasses choose not to because no one lens is good for 100% of every ride. These lenses are; I’ve had no trouble seeing potholes or enjoying glorious sunshine.
I’ve got a rather large bonce, and occasionally have trouble getting sunglasses to properly fit. But these do; they sit still and don’t feel too tight around my ears. Interesting they also fit my pinhead (relatively) partner.
This is likely due to Uvex having produced an impressively flexible AND durable arm design. They feel flimsy to the touch, but unless you’re a heavy-handed idiot there’s no chance of them breaking.
The one issue, however, is that they sit rather close to my face, ugly as it is. As a result, particularly hot, effort-filled climbs end with me struggling to see through the sweat. This is, I expect, a symptom of my gigantic melon and well-honed ability to sweat furiously. Those with smaller craniums likely won’t experience the same problem.
Personally, I think these Uvex sunglasses are fairly good-looking. Made by Oakley or POC they are not, but they more than hold their own against the offerings of Endura, BBB, Rudy and others. They boast a pleasingly clean and minimalist aesthetic, which may suit some riders more than the sheer ballsy design of, for example, Oakley Jawbreakers.
And that’s about all there is to say about the Uvex Sportstyle 202 Vario sunglasses. They offer genuinely good performance for the price, in addition to relatively handsome looks and bulletproof design. It’s certainly difficult to find a more compelling proposition at the £100 price point (especially when they can easily be found for around £60).