Rad8 MTB Glasses are a new British company based in the Midlands, producing eyewear for cyclists. Having been frustrated by the choices out there of either cheap glasses with poor lenses or stupidly expensive glasses with great lenses, Steve Bastow decided to set up his own business designing his own frames and lenses to create high quality eyewear at a more affordable price.
Rad8 currently produce two frames; the 502 half-frame style and the 504 full frame. Each style can be bought with a choice of 3 lenses; red mirror, blue mirror or the all singing photochromic and anti-fog lenses.
The frames are made of tough but flexible poly-carbonate and are very lightweight. The arm hinges are stiff so you won’t be able to flop them open mid-ride action very easily but on the flip side, once open they are easier to slide on to yer face or to store in the vents in your helmet if needed. Lenses are interchangeable/replaceable (for the 502) and clip in to the frames and the nose bridge is adjustable as well as replaceable. So if you do manage to break something, you can easily replace it. The advantage of the minimal frame design is that it doesn’t get in the way of your vision when riding so if you’re cranking it out with your head down, there’s little to obscure your upward vision, and when you want to look down at your GPS or that rad stem cap you bought (coz it looks ace), there’s nothing to block your vision.
The blue and red mirrored lenses are polarised and really help to reduce glare. I’ve found there to be no distortion and clarity excellent with both. Contrary to what you might initially think, the blue lenses make things look redder and the red lens makes thing look bluer! My personal preference is for the red lens as I prefer a bluer look to the world.
Now… as for the photochromic, anti-fog lenses… they’re awesome. The lenses are slightly thicker to accommodate the anti-fog coating, but it’s not noticeable. The great thing is, that this anti-fog coating really does work. I’ve been wearing them almost every day for the commute to and from work and stop in the local Co-op en route to pick up some milk every Monday to feed my coffee habit. Walking into the warm store from the cold outside, do the lenses instantly fog up causing me to walk into the bread delivery man? Hell no…clear vision the whole time in the shop. Likewise, stopping at traffic lights on a cold day…completely clear vision without a hint of mistyness! And if it’s raining, the anti-fog still works really well. I noticed if I’m in the shop for a few minutes stuck in a queue after coming in from the rain, there is a hint of mistying, but not much so the lens treatment is really effective. Frankly, I love it.
So how about the photocromic treatment? Do they go dark enough when the sun’s out and clear enough when it’s not? Do you notice the change in shadyness riding along?
The tint is dependent on UV light, so if there is little or no UV light, the lenses are completely clear so you can ride in them at night, through tunnels, down mines, in mystical forests or just doing laps around your garage without any tinting happening, even with the lights on. When the sun shines however, they quite rapidly darken to…ermm, very dark, though take longer to go back to clear once out of the sunlight. For consistently bright sunny days, the mirrored lenses will be what you want but for changeable conditions, these are excellent.
The 502 frame is great for riding in and with a choice of three lenses, you’re covered for all amounts of daylight, or lack thereof. The photochromic lens is perfect for 3 season riding and day-into-night riding as it adapts to the changes in light, and once the summer comes along, the polarised lenses are perfect for keeping the glare out of your eyes whilst hooning down your favourite singletrack.
Head over to Rad8 for the full range, including the 504 which I’m also testing out at the moment.