One Lens for Sunny, Cloudy or Night Riding
As the days get shorter I find myself forced to ride either in diminishing sunlight or in the dark. For a while I had been looking to replace my scratched clear-lens sunglasses I use for night riding, but hadn’t pulled the trigger yet. Then I stopped by the Tifosi booth at InterBike and the rep talked to me about their Light Night Fototec lens that auto-adjusts to varying light conditions. I was intrigued because I wear contact lenses and need eye protection no matter what time of day I ride. The Fototec lens practically eliminates the need to have sunglasses with interchangeable lenses.
I already own several pair of Tifosi sunglasses and decided to invest in a Talos pair. As with all Tifosi glasses, the price is very reasonable. At $79.95, I felt this was a worthwhile investment. I was glad that they arrived just before a recent trip I took to ride the Katy Trail in Missouri, as it allowed me plenty of opportunity to test the sunglasses in different riding conditions.
Auto-Adjust for Varying Light
I’ve tested these sunspecs in a variety of conditions from a pitch black night trail ride to a bright sunny day. I like the fact that if I start a ride near dusk, with some sunlight, the lenses darken according to the ambient light, but as the sun sets the lenses turn virtually clear. The reverse is true, too: going from cloudy to sunny conditions, the lenses will darken as the sunlight intensifies.
Just the other day I went on a trail ride starting in gloomy, overcast skies. As the ride progressed the sun came out. And at the end of the ride it was almost dusk. I had no problem adjusting to the varying amounts of sunlight throughout the ride – the lenses automatically did that for me.
(Note that it is the UV light that causes the lenses to darken. So they will not transition when you are inside a car, as the UV protection in the windshield prevents this process.)
Many of the design features of Tifosi lenses and the economical price point is what keeps me coming back to the brand. Some of the features and key lens technology include:
- Grilamid TR-90 – frame is made of a homopolyamide nylon characterized by an extremely high alternative bending strength, low density, and high resistance to chemical and UV damage
- UVA/UVB Protection – lens provides 100% protection from all harmful UVA and UVB light rays
- Polycarbonate lens – constructed from scratch-resistant, shatterproof polycarbonate material and 75.9-27.7% light transmission
- Vented lens – vents placed in the upper, outer corners of the lens for increased airflow to help prevent fogging and keep you cool
- Large wrap lenses – wide field of view and good protection of your eyes from the wind, etc.
- Optically decentered – eliminates distortion and prevents distracting magnification
- Hydrophilic rubber ear and nose pieces – for no-slip fit
- Adjustable ear and nose pieces – provides a customizable, comfortable fit
- Zippered hard case and storage/cleaning bag
The Bottom Line
Knowing the lenses of the Tifosi Talos sunglasses have a wide range of transition and will change in ambient light conditions (75.9-27.7% light transmission) is a great benefit. It’s one less issue I need to be concerned about when preparing for a ride. Plus, the light-weight frames let me forget I’m wearing glasses. In addition, during testing, the large wrap lenses were key and I never had issues with my contacts.
If I could change one thing, I really wish that Tifosi would offer other colors than a matte black frame. I’m sure I’m not alone in saying I like color in my clothes and accessories, as well as a more feminine style. White, neon green, red, pink, or blue frames would be a welcome addition to the Talos line.
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.