- Light weight at only 28 grams
- Wraparound shield for wide field of vision
- Interchangeable lenses provide options for different light conditions
- Polycarbonate lens are shatterproof and scratch-resistant
- Adjustable nose and ear pieces reduce slippage and increase comfort
- Hydrophilic rubber nose and ear pieces increase grip the more you sweat
- Optically decentered to eliminate distortion and magnification
- 100% UV protection
- Hard-shell zipper case and dual bag/cleaning cloth included
- Rear-view mirror fits on frame arm/temple
- Affordable price point
- Not suitable for wider/larger faces
Price: $69.95 (standard) $79.95 (Clarion models)
Lenses: Comes with 3 interchangeable lenses
Colors: Matte Black, Crystal Smoke/White, Crystal Neon Green, Gunmetal/Red
Weight: 28 grams
Material: Grilamid TR-90 frame; Polycarbonate lens
How Obtained: Company sample
Available: Retail and online
RBR Sponsor: No
Style, Performance and Affordability
Last month, Tifosi launched their latest sunglasses called Tsali. Designed for all your outdoor activities, this new model comes with interchangeable lenses, is stylish, offers excellent visibility, and like all Tifosi eyewear, is affordable.
Let’s start with the Tsali frame. It’s available in four colors and made from Grilamid TR-90 which makes them durable and light weight, at only 28 grams. The adjustable nose and ear pieces let you customize the fit to increase comfort and limit slippage as you sweat. And speaking of sweat, the hydrophilic rubber on the ear and nosepiece increases the grip the more you perspire.
The Tsali uses a single shield lens measuring 132mm x 45.65mm, which provides an unobstructed panoramic view. The polycarbonate lens is shatterproof, scratch resistant, and provides 100% UV protection.
I tested the Tsali in a neon green frame with smoke, AC red and clear lenses. I used them on both road and trail rides with varying light conditions. They were comfortable, provided great visibility, as well as good ventilation. The shape of the frame gives ample room for air circulation, so vents aren’t needed. A rearview mirror fits on the frame’s temple with only slight adjustments for the wider width.
The Tsali is designed for people with small and medium width faces. I have a narrow face as seen in the picture below. I found the sunglasses to fit just fine, but are probably too tight for someone with a wide face.
At $69.95 you get the standard three interchangeable lenses and for $10 more, or $79.95, the Clarion lenses. The Clarion lens features a hydrophobic coating that repels water and sweat to prevent moisture from gathering on the lens. For me it is worth the extra $10.
Lens Color and Conditions?
Each lens color performs differently depending on the light condition.
- Smoke or brown lenses are an all-around performer and ideal for full-sun conditions.
- AC red lenses increase contrast in sunny and cloudy conditions.
- Blue lenses reduce glare in snowy conditions.
- Clear lenses are perfect for low-light protection from rain, debris and UV rays.
What’s in the Box?
The Tsali model comes with a hard-shell zipper case, microfiber bag that doubles as a storage and cleaning cloth, and three interchangeable shield style lenses. Tifosi sent me the crystal neon green frames to test which came with three lenses; smoke, AC red and clear.
Tifosi continues to deliver quality sunglasses and an affordable price. The new Tsali did not disappoint. They are stylish, durable and perform great on the bike. The single shield provides a panoramic view with no obstructions and with three interchangeable lenses you’ll always see clearly.
Having bought two pairs of Tifosi sunglasses, one was the Talos my current ones, and the other was the Roubaix, I found three issues.
The first issue and the most important issue is the fact that they scratch very easily. I have a pair of cheap $10 safety glasses that are nearly scratch-resistant, that I throw in my tool bag unprotected and come out unscathed, these Tifosi on the other hand I handle with kid gloves and always use the case when not in use, yet somehow they get scratched up so that after every year I have to buy new lenses.
The other more minor issue is getting lens out of the frame and putting new ones on requires quite a bit of handling the lens to pop them out and put them back in, which means of course I have to clean the lens real well to get my fingerprints off.
Another issue is the photochromatic lenses, they simply don’t darken much at all, they may get 2 shades darker which is nothing compared to other photochromatic lenses I’ve has that will darken 20 shades and maybe more. But due to the cost of these lenses plus the high scratch rate, I don’t bother buying that lens anymore.
Having said all of that, I’ve had expensive glasses, sure they last a long time, about 5 to 10 years, but at a cost of $200 to $300 were they worth it? NO. The Tifosi glasses cost $70 (without the photochromatic lenses), replacement lenses are $15 (although I could not find replacement lenses for these Tsali glasses, does Tifosi not make replacements for that model?), so by the time you spend $15 a year for new lenses, the Tifosi’s are far cheaper than a pair of $200 or $300 glasses. So coming from an economic standpoint, the Tifosi glasses are my favorite glasses!
Dave Minden says
I also have a pair of Tifosi so will give a testimony which is a bit different and somewhat similar to above. Mine are at least 10 years old, so they may or may not be similar to other, newer pairs. Mine do not scratch easily – they are still usable. The photochromatic lenses darken well enough for me – and better than my treated prescription glasses. The lenses are difficult to get out, in fact I broke a lens doing so; it was in the first few months I owned it and Tifosi kindly sent me 2 new ones, which are still intact, probably because I am very careful when changing them, that is, I use low amount of force very slowly.
I suspect all lenses have some advantages and drawbacks. For a very reasonable cost – mine were about $60, I’m happy with them.
Layne Simpson says
I wonder where they got the name.
Tsali Recreational Area in western North Carolina has an excellent mountain bike trail system and I ride there quite often. Locals pronounce it “Solly”.
Tsali is also the name of a Cherokee Indian man who gave his life so that some of his people could stay in the Great Smoky Mountains region. In 1838, during the US government-ordered removal of the Cherokee nation to Oklahoma, Tsali and several others managed to escape the brutality and hide in the mountains. In an agreement to let some of the Cherokee stay, he, his oldest son, and his brother-in-law volunteered themselves as sacrifices for their people. They were executed and buried in a community that is now under the waters of Fontana Lake. Tsali was survived by his wife and youngest son. They, and over 1000 others who had hidden in the mountains, returned to their homes and were finally allowed to remain. Generations later, their descendents form the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indian, some of whom live on the Qualla Boundary reservation in the town of Cherokee and in the surrounding region today.
That’s your history lesson for today.
Thank you for sharing that important piece of history.
Thanks for sharing this with us. Would you like to review INBIKE cycling sunglasses?