Tifosi Kilo and Sledge cycling glasses come up in my feed. If you’re a cyclist with an Instagram account, you’ve likely seen a lot of ads for bike riding accessories and clothing. My feed is inundated with them, and one category I often see is biking-specific sunglasses (also see the recently reviewed Bolles) .
The offers range from super-inexpensive to hyper-expensive, with each company offering the best optical performance and comfort. The company that lands in the middle of the price range is Tifosi Optics. I’ve already purchased a pair of the Sledge Light ($80 on Amazon, with more info at tifosioptics.com) and was impressed with the optical quality and the build, though the frame-less design tends to leave the lens rubbing my cheek. That’s not surprising, and that’s a typical tradeoff for such a large field of view.
Tifosi sent us their new Kilo ($80 on Amazon) and the stalwart Sledge (like the Sledge Light but with a frame) glasses to test. We’ve spent several hundred miles testing these glasses in conditions ranging from the heat of summer to the cold of winter and are very impressed with the Tifosi lineup.
Excellent Price-to-Performance Ratio
There are a wide range of colors in each frame style, and glasses come with multiple pairs of lenses (for interchangeable-lens models, of course), allowing customers to swap lenses depending on riding conditions.
With cycling glasses ranging from around $50 to a high of $80, Tifosi offers an excellent price-to-performance ratio.
The Tifosi Optics website (tifosioptics.com) is very well designed and even allows customers to virtually try on glasses with an augmented reality tool that superimposes them on a photo of your face.
Both models we tested provide UV coverage, hydrophobic rubber on the arms (enabling them to grip more as you sweat more), adjustable nose and earpieces, and polycarbonate lenses—which resist scratching.
The Sledge is one of Tifosi’s frames in the now-popular wraparound style, offering a wide field of view and excellent optical performance. We’ve found that some less-expensive frames have warping as the lenses curve to the edges but didn’t see any of that with the Sledge.
I wore the Sledge on a recent century and barely noticed they were on my face. They’re light, and they’re comfortable, and they’re a good-looking pair of glasses—in other words, they are all the things you could want in glasses.
My favorite lens is the Clarion Blue [Editor’s note: we originally called these Carbon Blue, which is incorrect.], which reduces light transmission to around 13%—just enough to darken the view but not enough to make it difficult to see in low light. [Editor’s note: This originally said “by 13% not to 13%] For those riding in changing lighting conditions, there are also Fototec lenses, which are photochromic and darken or lighten depending on lighting conditions.
Ventilation holes in the frames help keep them from fogging and provide some cooling.
Since full wraparound glasses aren’t for everyone, the Kilo provides a slightly smaller profile but the same comfort and optical quality. You’d think the smaller size would provide less protection from the wind, but the design of the frame hugs the face and still blocks the wind. It also offers a relatively large field of view, certainly larger than traditional cycling glasses.
We received two pairs of the Kilo, so my friend Ross tested the second pair, and he also found them comfortable and optically excellent. He also found them so stylish that he sent selfies wearing them to his wife during the middle of our first ride.
With a wide range of styles, quality build, and optical performance, and an affordable price, Tifosi glasses are an excellent choice for cyclists. There’s a custom frame builder for many styles, which allows customers to tweak the frame color, earpiece colors, and more.
Tifosi doesn’t just make cycling glasses either, they have a range of glasses for runners, golfers, gamers, and more, and they offer prescription lenses in some styles.
The full range of options are available at Tifosioptics.com, and of course, you’ll probably see their ads on Instagram as well.…