BIKERUMOR REVIEW: When it comes to sunglasses, let’s face it, there are a ton of options all claiming to have the best optics, coatings, fit, weight, or simply the best style. This is probably with good reason due to the fact that as riders, we ask a lot from a simple pair of glasses. A good pair of riding sunglasses should be highly impact resistant in order to protect the rider’s eye from debris flung from other rider’s tires, bugs, etc. Glasses also need to stay clear through an entire ride, through various circumstances, rapidly changing light profiles, all while the user is sweating profusely underneath. Also, shades need to retain the same level of comfort whether you are just out for a cruise or riding in a 100 mile road race. Throw in the numerous facial shapes and helmets that the earpieces have to work with, and it’s clear that producing a good pair of riding glasses isn’t just about having the coolest looking pair on the rack.
Tifosi has been on the cycling scene for a while now, and have carved quite a niche in the sunglass arena. In fact, last year Tifosi sold the most sunglasses in the cycling specialty sunglass category from May to December 2009. Tifosi’s goal has always been to sell sunglasses as a complete optics system, and always offer an incredible value. This is evident when you consider that for $59.99 you are getting the sunglasses with usually three different lenses for various ridingÂ conditions, a hard case, and a soft bag for polishing the lenses. Considering there are a lot of frames on the market that alone cost more than Tifosi’s entire package, the value that is associated with Tifosi’s is clear. Obviously a low price is good, but how do they work? I got a chance to review the newest model in Tifosi’s line, the Logic, which is Tifosi’s only one-piece full shield lens pair of sunglasses. Basically, Tifosi’s version of the ever popular and quintessentially Oakley – M-Frame.
Thorough review and more pictures after the break!
After slipping on the Logics for the first time, my initial thought was that they are slightly on the narrow side of things. I would say my head is average to slightly wider than average, and while noticeable for me it wasn’t an issue comfort wise. Generally I prefer my riding glasses a little tighter than normal sunglasses as they are the less likely they are to fall off your face while riding or bending down to adjust your shoe. After fiddling with the fit of the glasses for a bit, I stumbled upon one of the best features of these glasses – adjustable ear and nose pieces.
In order to create comfortable yet functional ear and nose pieces, Tifosi uses a stiff metal core that is Coated in rubber and adjusts in very similar way to those bendy Gumby action figures you had when you were young. The difference between Tifosis and Gumby though, is that the Tifosis require more force to bend and hold the adjustment which serves to keep the glasses on your face and prevent you from inadvertent adjustments. The earpieces are especially nice when trying to fit the Logics under various helmets, allowing a good fit for any helmet that I tried on.
For a $6o pair of sunglasses, the optic quality of the Tifosi Logic is far from budget quality. First off, the lenses offer 100% UVA and UVB protection. The lenses have a good wrap with a lot of coverage that doesn’t leave any blind spots. The mirror tint smoke lens has a small bit of distortion out towards the periphery of the lens, which I feel is more due to the rainbow colored tint of the lens than the actual optics. However, on the amber and yellow lenses I didn’t notice the distortion, or at least it wasn’t prevalent enough to notice.
Having the option for three different lens shades is really nice, especially if your life requires squeezing in rides at all hours of the day. I find myself gravitating towards the red or amber lenses more and more as these still block some light and reduce glare, but don’t impede my vision in twilight hours. The clear lens is clearly the best choice for night riding, or excessively overcast days where eye protection is mandatory for keeping rain and mud out of your eyes. Obviously, I still run the mirrored smoke lens on full bright days which really helps to cut the glare and reduce strain on my eyes.
So these frames are comfortable in the store, and have good lenses, but how do they perform in the wild? On the first ride I only had adjusted the ear pieces so I had issues with the glasses sliding down my nose and didn’t like the large gap between the bottom of the lens and my cheekbone. On successive rides, once I had discovered the adjustable nose piece, the shades stayed in place much better and I was able to almost eliminate the gap under the lens completely.
On long road rides after getting them properly adjusted, the Logics never made themselves apparent. Meaning, once I had them on and started riding I almost forgot I had them on. They stayed in place, were very comfortable in the long run, and never fogged up while moving on the road. On a few rides in the right conditions if I stopped long enough they started to fog a little, but immediately cleared up as soon as I got moving again.
The Logics, like most Tifosi frames, utilize a space-age polymer called Grilamid TR. Grilamid is used in a variety of sports applications as it has many positives including:
- excellent transparency, even with thick wall dimensions
- unusually good chemical and stress crack resistance, particularly for an amorphous material
- very high flexural fatigue and repeat bending strength
- low density
- low moisture absorption
- high heat distortion temperature
- easy to pigment or color
- bisphenol-A (BPA) free
As you can imagine, most of these are extremely good traits for a material to make sunglasses out of.
Fit and Finish:
This is the only area that I felt that the Logics fell a little short. Immediately out of the box, the frames were creaky. Not horrible, and they didn’t make any noise once on your face, but while playing with the glasses in my hands and fitting them I couldn’t help but notice. While not a major issue, I imagine that it might give someone the wrong impression of the glasses while trying them on. Closely related to the creakiness is the method to which you change out the lenses. It seems that with other companies introducing twist-loc and Jaw type lens systems the Logic’s lens capturing method seems a little… old school. That’s not to say that a pair of Oakley Radar’s aren’t just as fiddly, it just serves to say that it could be a little better. Neither of these issues actually affects the performance of the glasses, so it’s more of an annoyance than a problem.
Overall this is a great pair of sunglasses for riders on a budget or anyone who routinely breaks their glasses. If you’ve ever left your shades on top of the car after a ride, only to have someone flag you down on a busy LA highway to let you know they fell off two blocks back, then a smaller investment in eye protection could be for you. Amazingly, I got that pair back undamaged….but back to the Tifosis. Eye protection is an important and often overlooked part of riding gear, and Tifosi is out to show that you don’t have to spend a fortune to get a stylish, functional, and comfortable pair of shades.
I would give these glasses a 5 out of 5 for value, and a 4 out of 5 overall.