Models: Sledge Lite, Sledge, Tsali Matte Black
Available: Online and retail
How obtained: Company sample
RBR advertiser: No
Perfect Lens for Changing Conditions
Yesterday was the perfect scenario for testing Tifosi’s new Clarion Red Fototec lens. My ride started on a partly sunny morning with clouds building and possible showers. If I got caught in the rain, I didn’t want to be wearing dark sunglasses. The new lens is primarily clear in low light, allowing 64% of the surrounding light to reach your eyes. Then it transitions to a darker grey tint with a Clarion Red reflective mirror when fully activated on a sunny day, transmitting only 14% of the light to your eyes. Instead of carrying two pairs of sunglasses or wearing a pair with lenses to dark or light, the Fototec lens changed darkness in response to the changing sunlight.
This newly designed lens from Tifosi uses microscopic photochromic technology embedded in the lens. The reflective Clarion red mirror features a hydrophobic coating to repel water and sweat. The lens was clear, without any distortions. The lens is made of a polycarbonate material that is shatterproof and scratch-resistant.
Three of Tifosi’s sport models are currently available with the new lens; Sledge Lite, Sledge, and Tsali Matte Black, which I tested. All three frames are made from TR-90 with a hydrophilic rubber nose and earpieces that prevent slipping when wet.
I hope Tifosi expands the available models and colors that include the Fototec lens. It’s a great lens option, but matte black is rather dull for this rider.
Sheri Rosenbaum regularly contributes articles and reviews products for RBR. She’s an avid recreational roadie who lives in the Chicago area and a major advocate for women’s cycling, serving on the board of directors and volunteering with the Dare2tri Paratriathlon Club. Click to read Sheri’s full bio or visit her web site sunflowersandpedals.com.
Problem with Tifosi lenses is that they scratch easily, way easier than even cheap $15 safety sunglasses! While replacement of non fototec lenses are inexpensive but when my smoke fototec lenses got scratched up to badly after just one season I discovered it was too expensive at around $50 vs $15 to $25 for standard lenses, so I ended up not getting the Fototec lens and went with the regular lenses due to the susceptibility to scratches vs cost. I’m not rough with my glasses either, my previous glasses the lens lasted 12 seasons, but all the Tifosi lenses I’ve had I’m lucky to get 2 seasons out of them.
Sheri Rosenbaum says
As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve had no problems with my lenses getting scratched. These Fototec lenses I wear even mountain biking and get branches in my face. No issues and would buy them and recommend them.
I have a pair of Tifosi “podiums” (I think) that are similar in design/style & adapt very well to changing light. I haven’t had problems with scratches, but other than dropping them a few times I haven’t done anything to scratch them…. I think this is a great company that puts out a good product at a fair & reasonable price, as opposed to the $$$$ “top brands” that are $200-300 & work no better. I paid $79 for mine about 3-5 years ago, they came with a soft carrying bag that doubles as a cleaning cloth, & are stored in a very nice quality zippered hard case for travel or whatever. I have no connection to this company other than as a customer, & I think they deserve attention as an alternative & in some ways better than the high priced options.