Bollé Cycling Glasses

What makes a good pair of cycling sunglasses?

Bollé Cycling Glasses
Photo: Greg K. Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media
Article by Kim Hull


Cycling sunglasses interviews

They protect you, enhance your vision, and can say a great deal about your personality. Sunglasses.

More specifically, cycling sunglasses. Definitely, where form meets function.

We interviewed reps from four of the hottest makers in cycling eyewear products at Interbike …

and got the details – from fan favorites to what to look for in 2014 – and then summed it up along with photos, cool new features to look for, and of course, how much they’ll each set you back.

But first, what makes a good pair of cycling sunglasses?

Protection

First, and foremost, cycling sunglasses must protect your eyes and face. That includes:

  • Blocking the sun with 100% UV protection
  • Shielding your eyes and face from wind, debris, rain, bugs & glare

Value

Few of us fall into the “price is no object” category, so how much that new pair of cycling shades costs is a factor.However, the price needs to be balanced with quality, durability, versatility, comfort & protection.

Vision

While optimists may always want to look at the world through rose-colored glasses, they probably never rode 60 miles on a bright, sunny day. Instead of buying a different set of glasses for each condition (and hoping you have them with you when the light changes), interchangeable lenses are the hottest feature in town.

In addition to thinking about the size of the lenses in your new pair of cycling sunglasses, which can affect peripheral vision, what colors or tints are available? While most manufacturers have a wide variety of lens colors, in general:

  • Grey or brown lenses tend to be best overall in reducing brightness in a medium to bright light.
  • Amber or gold lenses are good in low light and tend to enhance depth perception (why they are used frequently in ski goggles).
  • Rose lenses truly make the world a brighter place (good for low or variable light, but not good on bright days).
  • Clear lenses are great for protection on a cloudy or rainy day.

Versatility

Instead of buying a different set of glasses for each condition (and hoping you have them with you when the light changes), interchangeable lenses are the hottest feature in town.

Extra lenses can easily slip into your pocket or be stored in your seat pack and quickly be changed on a ride.  But then, what if the lenses change by themselves?

Comfort

Poor fitting cycling sunglasses can make your head hurt, literally. Take your helmet to the store and try them on with your helmet on and holding your head like you are riding a bike.  The fit at that angle may be nothing like it is just casually checking yourself out in the mirror.  Other things to think about:

  • Fit
  • Weight
  • Air-flow / circulation
  • Prescription options, if needed

Let’s check out some hot new cycling shades

Bollé

Bollé cycling sunglasses
Bollé cycling sunglasses Photo credit: Kim Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

Bollé has long been known as a provider of quality sunglasses, having manufactured and distributed eyewear worldwide for decades. What’s new in Bollé’s cycling sunglass line?

  • Bollé’s Vortex are versatile & available in a wide range of frame & lens colors
  • Bollé introduces the Breakaway & the 6th Sense specifically designed for cyclists in early 2014.

Transitions

Transitions cycling sunglassesOakley TransitionsTransitions, long known for their lenses that automatically change from light to dark and back, have partnered with Oakley and Nike to bring sports sunglasses to the market.Specifically for cyclists – Oakley Transitions in frames like Fast Jacket that are already a big hit with cyclists and Nike MAX Transitions, which come in at a very nice price point.With transitions – interchangeable is automatic.

Smith Optics

Smith Optics Pivlock Overdrive cycling sunglassesSmith Optics knows a thing or two about eyewear designed for outdoor conditions and speed.In 1965, Dr. Bob Smith, founder of Smith Optics, created of the first ski goggle with a sealed thermal lens & breathable vent foam.That same innovation can be seen in Smith Optics’ cycling sunglasses with the Pivlock line, which makes swapping lenses quick & easy. Their two new models, Pivlock Overdrive and the Pivlock V2, both come with 3 interchangeable lenses.

Optic Nerve

Optic Nerve Cycling Glasses
Optic Nerve Cycling Glasses
Photo: Greg K. Hull, Cool Adventure © Chasing Light Media

Colorado-based Optic Nerve ranks high on the value scale.Optic Nerve’s popular Neurotoxin is lightweight & flexible, comes with interchangeable lenses, and at $79, was one of the lowest priced options we found that was still feature-rich.In the spring of 2014, Optic Nerve introduces the SideSwipe™, their new interchangeable lens system.


Disclosure & disclaimer: We received product samples for evaluation for this review and were not otherwise financially compensated by the sponsor. Some samples are donated following the review. Reviews are opinion only and Chasing Light Media accepts no responsibility for how the information is used.

Bollé cycling sunglasses

Bollé Cycling Sunglasses

Bollé cycling sunglasses
Photo credit: Kim Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media
Article by Kim Hull


Michael Matthews, ORICA GreenEdge
Michael Matthews, ORICA GreenEdge
Photo Credit: Greg K. Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

You may have noticed them on Michael Matthews or any of the Orica GreenEDGE team. The team wears Bollé Vortex glasses. And, you may have also thought – Bollé – they were big in cycling sunglasses in the 80’s and 90’s, but I haven’t noticed them much recently.

Bollé is ready to change that. Bollé has re-entered the cycling sunglass market and debuted its new 2014 lines of cycling sunglasses, 6th Sense, and Breakaway, at Interbike in Las Vegas.

We thought it would be an excellent chance to learn more and got a preview of both models from Marti Hatridge of Bollé during the show.

Bollé Cycling Glasses
Bollé Cycling Glasses
Photo: Greg K. Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

Bollé 6th Sense and Breakaway – a preview

Bollé 6th Sense & Breakaway Cycling Sunglasses

The facts straight from Bollé

6th Sense and Breakaway sunglasses are fitted with Bollé’s exclusive B-Clear lenses.Made with the ultra-lightweight Trivex® material, the lenses provide the possible combination of visual clarity, impact resistance and lightweight for this type of application.  Other features include:

Extra wide field of vision

Aerodynamics

A specific shape designed to adjust to the cyclist’s position by extending the vision area vertically and extending the eye protection area. An engineered shape that channels airflow for better condensation management, a wraparound profile that is nearly seamless with the face.

Hydrophobic and oleophobic coatings

Applied to the inside lens surface to provide protection from the rain and damp conditions and to prevent smudge marks from fingers.

Anti-fog coating

No fogging under any circumstance. Not only repels vision-clouding condensation, it is revived by a simple application of moisture.

Thermogrip® temple tips and nose pads

Comfortable, hydrophilic nose pads and temple tips maintain the sunglasses in place.

Optic control system

Interchangeability allows lenses to be quickly and easily removed and replaced to match the tint to the conditions.

Summing it up

Bollé Vortex cycling sunglasses

  • Worn by the Orica GreenEDGE cycling team
  • Available in a wide range of colors and lens colors
  • Available now on the Bollé website or at Bollé dealers
  • Replacement lenses are available from dealers (search Bollé Vortex replacement lenses)
  • Retail for around $170

Bollé 6th Sense cycling sunglasses

  • Available in early 2014
  • Shield lens with increased coverage, extended width & more protection
  • Added ventilation
  • Will be offered in a number of different color combinations and lens options
  • Prices will range from $180 to $200, depending on lens type.

Bollé Breakaway cycling sunglasses

  • Available in early 2014
  • Removable clips on bottom to channel airflow
  • Increased protection
  • Offered in a number of different color combinations and lens options
  • Prices will range from $180 to $200, depending on lens type.

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.

Showers Pass® Skyline Pant

Showers Pass® Skyline Pant

Showers Pass® Skyline Pant
Showers Pass® Skyline Pant
Photo: Greg K. Hull © Chasing Light Media

Always a fan of Showers Pass, I was excited to try the new Skyline pant.

Developed for winter cycling, the Skyline replaces the popular Showers Pass Roadie Pant, adding more stretch and more reflective trim to the pant.

The Skyline sounded like it could have great potential for both spring skiing and cycling, so I put it through a day’s adventure.

Showers Pass® Skyline Pant
Showers Pass® Skyline Pant
Photo: Greg K. Hull © Chasing Light Media

The perfect spring day

Showers Pass® Skyline Pant
Showers Pass® Skyline Pant
Photo: Greg K. Hull © Chasing Light Media

For us, a perfect spring day includes skiing in the morning, followed by an afternoon bike ride.

I donned the Skyline pant, a ski top, a bike jersey & a vest, figuring the combination would provide the flexiblity to ski at 12,000 ft and then transition without changing clothes for cycling at warmer temperatures down in the Aspen valley at 8,000 ft.

The Showers Pass Skyline pant for…skiing

Showers Pass® Skyline Pant
Showers Pass® Skyline Pant
Photo: Greg K. Hull © Chasing Light Media

We headed up Aspen Highlands in temperatures at around 40°F (4°C) with just a slight breeze.

The front thigh & lower leg areas of the Skyline are made of the Showers Pass Elite™ fabric, which is waterproof and breathable.

The sides of the pant are made of stretch fabric and the knees are covered in a stretchy softshell material.

The ankles have gaiters that zip – perfect for fitting over a bulky ski boot.

The Skyline pants were great for skiing – super flexible, unbelieveablely comfortable, and surprisingly warm for as light as the pants are (compared to lightweight ski pants).

Showers Pass® Skyline Pant
Showers Pass® Skyline Pant
Photo: Greg K. Hull © Chasing Light Media

The Showers Pass Skyline pant for…cycling

Showers Pass® Skyline Pant
Showers Pass® Skyline Pant
Photo: Greg K. Hull © Chasing Light Media

Next, we grabbed an energy bar, jumped on our bikes and went for a spin.

I normally wear cycling tights and found the extra substance of the pants to be a nice change.

While close-fighting, which is great for cycling, the more structured pant provides more coverage than tights – nice from a warmth perspective, as well as a bit more comfortable for a post-ride stop for a coffee or beer.

The pants also have a zippered side pocket for storing keys and a bit of cash.

The Skyline pants are not padded so, for a little longer ride, I’d add padded shorts either over or under.

Showers Pass® Skyline Pant
Showers Pass® Skyline Pant
Photo: Greg K. Hull © Chasing Light Media

The Showers Pass Skyline pant…the summary

  • Comfortable: The pants are stretchy in the right places and very comfortable.
  • Flexible: In 2 ways – the pants allow moving with ease and it’s great to have a garment that can perform across multiple sports.
  • Well-constructed of quality materials: Showers Pass gets this right. Their gear is durable and holds up.
  • Fit: The Skyline only comes in men’s sizes but I found the men’s small/petite to be a perfect fit (I normally wear a women’s medium).

Showers Pass Skyline Pants:
The facts straight from Showers Pass

  • Elite™ Waterproof – Breathable hardshell fabric at top of thigh and lower leg
  • Waterproof Softshell material at knees for comfort and stretch
  • Overtape at the knees
  • Stretch Sides balance body temperature and provide maximum mobility (not waterproof)
  • Drop down ankle gaiters
  • Reflective Trim for low light visibility
  • Compatible with Showers Pass® Suspenders
  • Key Pocket at side
  • Color: Black
  • MSRP: $160
  • Sizes available: Men’s S, M, L, XL

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Showers Pass® Double Century EX Jacket

Showers Pass® Double Century EX Jacket

Cover: Showers Pass® Double Century EX Jacket Photo: Greg K. Hull © Chasing Light Media

Article by Kim Hull


Showers Pass is well-known for their high quality, high-performance cycling gear.

Developed for cyclists facing the challenging weather of the Pacific Northwest, Showers Pass gear is engineered to withstand all that mother nature can throw at you  – cold, rain, snow, hail. Their gear is well-made, with good ventilation, a great fit, and is extremely durable.

Showers Pass® Double Century EX Jacket
Showers Pass® Double Century EX Jacket
Photo: Greg K. Hull © Chasing Light Media

Showers Pass® Double Century EX Jacket

Showers Pass® Double Century EX Jacket
Showers Pass® Double Century EX Jacket
Photo: Greg K. Hull © Chasing Light Media

The Double Century EX jacket is a successor to the popular Showers Pass Century jacket.

The Double Century EX is a road cycling jacket constructed of waterproof-breathable fabric with seven venting points for extra airflow. It is seam taped and has a storm flap and rain gutter to keep the water out. The Double Century EX comes in orange or white and is available in both men’s and women’s specific sizes.

Showers Pass® Double Century EX Jacket
Showers Pass® Double Century EX Jacket
Photo: Greg K. Hull © Chasing Light Media

Showers Pass® Double Century EX Jacket: Our trial

Showers Pass® Double Century EX Jacket
Showers Pass® Double Century EX Jacket
Photo: Greg K. Hull © Chasing Light Media

We gave our Double Century jackets a spin on a very chilly, wet Aspen day. While most gear created for rain is weatherproof, it is rarely warm or comfortable.  Riding in the hills near Aspen in spring or fall is usually chilly, with a brief rain or snow shower possible on a daily basis.

The Double Century jackets are comfortable and kept us warm throughout our ride.  The rain repels off the fabric and even though we got caught in a pretty good shower, we were dry (at least where covered by the jacket).

We have also grabbed the Double Century jackets when heading out on an errand in a light shower and have worn them to recent a damp, outdoor concert.  The extra length in the back was actually perfect for sitting on the ground all evening & the jackets kept us dry and warm during intermittent light showers.

Showers Pass® Double Century EX Jacket
Showers Pass® Double Century EX Jacket
Photo: Greg K. Hull © Chasing Light Media

Some of our favorite features of the Double Century EX include:

True sizing: The fit on both jackets is true to the sizing charts.

Flexible arm length: The arm length is generous – a rarity in most women’s jackets. Not having to purchase a larger women’s size that ends up baggy or buy a men’s size to get the sleeves long enough is great. For shorter arms, the cuffs have velcro, with the ability to “shorten” the sleeve length.

Well-vented.  There is a large back vent, side vents, and the zipper is two-way so you can unzip from the bottom up for extra venting.

Fits in your pocket.  The Double Century will roll up to about the size of a water bottle, so it can easily be stored in the pocket of your jersey when not needed.

Comfortable collar.  The microfiber lining in the collar is super comfortable.

High-visibility.  The white or orange colors are highly visible and the jacket has reflectors across the back and on the sleeves.

Ride with your tunes. Love the iPhone cord connector inside the chest pocket.

Showers Pass® Double Century EX Jacket
Showers Pass® Double Century EX Jacket
Photo: Greg K. Hull © Chasing Light Media

Showers Pass® Double Century EX Jacket: The facts straight from Showers Pass

  • Super light, packable shell
  • Built with Cocona® Xcelerator™ naturally derived waterproof-breathable technology, in a 2.5-layer construction for a drier next-to-skin feel
  • Seam taped for wind and waterproofness
  • Core vents and back vent for flow thru ventilation
  • 360 degrees of 3M reflective trim
  • Chest pocket with water-resistant zipper
  • Hood Compatible
  • Light loop on back
  • Cinch cord on hem
  • Easy to use two-way zipper with storm flap and rain gutter
  • Available for men or women, with women’s specific fit
  • Colors: White or orange
  • MSRP: $160

Disclosure & Disclaimer: We received product samples from Showers Pass for evaluation. The content & opinions expressed are entirely our own. Reviews are opinion only and Chasing Light Media accepts no responsibility for how the information is used.

SKINS compression wear, Interbike

SKINS™ Compression Wear

The 2012 USA Olympic road cycling team had some stylish kits thanks to compression wear maker, SKINS.

But, not only did they look good, they also contributed to the success of the team, which included gold-medalist, Kristin Armstrong.

SKINS compression wear, Interbike
SKINS compression wear, Interbike
Photo credit: Kim Hull
© Chasing Light Media

SKINS Compression Wear provides the correct level of pressure to specific parts of the body, enhancing circulation and delivering more oxygen to muscles –and, consequently, boosting your power, speed and stamina.

We recently caught up with Steve Ozmai, Director of Marketing for SKINS Compression Wear, to learn more about the benefits of SKINS Compression Wear for pro cyclists and weekend warriors alike.

SKINS compression wear, Interbike
SKINS compression wear, Interbike
Photo credit: Kim Hull
© Chasing Light Media

SKINS Compression Wear: Overview

SKINS… increases muscle oxygenation, decreases lactic acid build-up, and speeds recovery.

SKINS Compression Wear: Recovery garments

SKINS…helps prevent post-exercise swelling and helps to deliver
more nutrients to the muscle for muscle repair.

SKINS Compression Wear: For the weekend warrior

SKINS….decreases delayed onset muscle soreness by about 60%

SKINS Compression Wear: The facts straight from SKINS

SKINS has pioneered engineered gradient compression and dynamic gradient engineering, following years of research. When you apply compression to specific body parts in a balanced and accurate way, it accelerates blood flow. This gets more oxygen to your working muscles – and boosts your performance.

SKINS benefits include:

  • less lactic acid build up, more muscle oxygenation – and better circulation
  • more muscle power
  • wicking – to draw moisture away from the skin
  • temperature control, whether it’s hot or cold
  • 50+ UV protection

Disclaimer: The content & opinions expressed are entirely our own. We received no compensation for this article. Reviews are opinion only and Chasing Light Media accepts no responsibility for how the information is used.