Cover: Ryders Eyewear Cycling Sunglasses
Photo: Greg K. Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media
Article by Kim Hull
Things happen when you’re on your bike. Weather conditions change, rocks fly, tree limbs come out of nowhere, and occasionally you hit the ground and things like your sunglasses end up taking the brunt of it all. Ryders Eyewear states they have a solution for many of these issues, so we decided to put their sunglasses to the test.
The Ryders sunglasses tested
We recently tested two Ryders Eyewear models – one pair of the Caliber model and two pair of the Thorn model. We rode with them, ran in them, and also simulated some adverse conditions, checking for performance.
Ryders sunglasses: Thorn – Matte White & Orange with Anti-Fog Photochromic yellow lens US$139.99
Ryders sunglasses: Thorn – Matte Black with Anti-Fog Photochromic yellow lens US$129.99
Ryders sunglasses Caliber – Camo with Anti-Fog Photochromic brown lens US$129.99
Here’s how it went.
Ryders sunglasses: Shatterproof, scratch resistant, durable & flexible
Since I’ve been known to break things the first day I have them, this is where I started. Ryders Eyewear says their lenses are scratch-resistant (not scratch proof) and their durability & flexibility comes from TR90 technology, a type of thermoplastic material. They also state:
All of our lenses are shatterproof, meaning they won’t break up into dangerous little shards when impacted. An extremely strong impact may damage the lens, but it will never shatter. If astronauts trust this material to keep their heads from exploding while on a 17,000 mph space walk, you’ll have nothing to worry about on your adventures, no matter how fast you’re going.
Polycarbonate is the extraordinarily durable thermoplastic that’s used in bulletproof glass, riot shields and astronaut helmets. It’s the ideal material for performance eyewear because of its high impact resistance, inherent UV protection and light weight. All of our lenses are made of polycarbonate.”
Well, the no exploding head thing sounds really good. And, since, I didn’t have any spacewalks in my near future and the closest I typically get to a riot is at a cycling race where there aren’t enough photographer vests (cycling photographers can be a wild bunch), this is what we tried.
1. The “my glasses are on the top of my head, what’s that up there, oops they just fell off back of my head” test.
Test glasses: Thorn white/orange
Result: They survived unscathed.
2. The “big hill coming, I think I’ll tighten my shoe a bit, oops, my glasses just flew across the road” test.
Test glasses: Thorn white/orange
Result: Again, no breakage or scratches.
Ryders sunglasses: Hydrophobic front
Hydrophobic literally means “fear of water” so the lenses are coated with something that fears water? Ah, it’s more like the water fears the glasses. The hydrophobic coating on the front of the lens causes water to run off and prevents streaking.
Since we are located in a desert and in the middle of a drought, we simulated conditions for the water-related features. We held the glasses under a faucet, wiped the back of the glasses, and then set them on a paper towel to take the image you see below. They performed pretty close to described with just a few beads of water remaining after the equivalent of a downpour.
Ryders sunglasses: Anti-fog back
The back of the Ryders lens is coated to “resist fogging, even in the most demanding conditions. It is permanent and washable so you can wipe the lens without the risk of removing its anti-fog properties.” Again, no humidity here. To test, I placed them on the counter while showering. The mirrors and the shower enclosure fogged but the glasses did not.
Ryders sunglasses: Photochromic technology
Photochromic lenses automatically adjust to light conditions.
When exposed to sunlight, the lenses will start to darken instantly. The time they take to reach maximum darkness depends on a number of factors including the intensity of sunlight and air temperature. Generally speaking, the adjustment from light to dark is quite rapid. The adjustment from dark to light will begin instantly but occur more gradually.”
The yellow lenses are designed for very low light to bright light. The brown lenses are for medium to very bright light. We tested with the camo Calibers with photochromic brown lenses. For this one, I placed the sunglasses outside for 10 minutes, leaving the white anti-fog, photochromic sticker on the lens. When I brought them back inside, I immediately removed the sticker and took this image:
Ryders sunglasses: UV Protection, optically correct & RXable
Always important with cycling sunglasses, or any sunglasses, eye protection needs to extend to UV protection as well. Ryders provide protection against 100% UVA, UVB, UVC and harmful blue light to 400nm at all tint levels. Some styles are RX-able, with the Caliber falling into this category, depending on your prescription and the capabilities of your lens provider. With regard to optically correct, Ryders states:
The lenses in all of our sunglasses are made by injecting molten polycarbonate into a mold that is specially shaped to eliminate distortion.”
With the exception of goggles, I don’t think I’ve ever experience distortion, but we didn’t with any of the Ryders sunglasses we tested as well.
Ryders sunglasses: Summing it up
Overall, the Ryders sunglasses performed well and provide a good value for the price. They have a wide range of styles and options available from $50 and up. The glasses are very lightweight and both styles fit comfortably. The Calibers weigh 32g and the Thorns weigh 30g. I personally liked the coverage the Calibers provided – the wrap delivers a great field of vision.
Disclosure & disclaimer: We received product samples for evaluation for this review and were not otherwise financially compensated by the sponsor. Reviews are opinion only and Chasing Light Media accepts no responsibility for how the information is used.