During the winter your face gets covered in mud and water and without glasses you’re going to be picking bits of this and that out of your eyes every 5 minutes. During the summer your face is basically a battering ram against the tiny flies and mosquitos that come in the millions halfway down a trail. In other words, wearing glasses whilst riding is a year-round, full time deal and you need something that you can forget is on your face until you’re back at the car.
With that in mind, I introduce to you (again), RAD 8…
We previously worked with the guys at Rad 8 when we reviewed their 504 range a few months back. This time they have kindly sent us a pair of their new 506 photochromic MTB glasses to test and review for them. Upon delivery, we opened the box to find the 506’s neatly packed and protected in (as with all their glasses) a hard, outer shell type case and inside that, a soft pull chorded case to protect the lenses from scratches.
The 506’s themselves feel very well made, robust and built to last. They are extremely lightweight and sat on my face with minimal movement even over the roughest of trails. The frameless design is a great advantage over the previous 504’s we tested too as it gives a wider field of vision and view of what is ahead without any obstructions. RAD 8 produces their own anti-fog coating that is applied to all their glasses and once again it performed flawlessly. I tested the 506’s over the space of 4 weeks and around 8-10 rides and they were as clear as day throughout, even with me huffing and puffing up some horrendous climbs!
Looking more into the frame, the TR90 wrap around design hugs the shape of your head and provides an extremely comfortable fit without any irritations or need to adjust once set correctly with the adjustable nose bridge. On top of the frame is a gel sweatband that kept my face dry on the hotter days and helped push it down either side of my cheeks. The frame arms also pop out via a quick release button which is a nice touch as you can replace these if need be.
I would say the general fit of these 506 glasses over the 504’s is different, but not in a bad way. They do feel bigger and almost feel like they sit higher up on your nose, but I think this is partly as the lenses are wider and wrap around your eyes further than the 504’s which is good for extra coverage. They certainly stay put and can easily be forgotten about for the duration of your riding. The longest ride I did whilst testing them was around 4 hours and they were spot on throughout.
The one-piece photochromic lens adapts quickly to sunlight, as well as darkness. I tested the 506’s though a vast array of conditions, locations, times and durations and the lenses reacted very well through-out all scenarios. During the day the lenses change to a dark and shaded colour which adapts well to sunlight, and at night they are crystal clear, and I mean crystal clear. They change quickly too which is particularly useful when entering or exiting a dark wooded area.
I think we all knew that the 506’s would match up, if not slightly better the 504’s in some areas due to their new wrap around and frameless design, and we are impressed yet again. Even at the cost of £99.00 which yes, is more expensive than some glasses currently on the market they are worth the price tag all day long. Are they comfortable? Yes. Are they anti-fog? Yes. Are they quality built? Yes. Are they adaptive to suit all conditions? Yes. I’m not sure why I’m still typing… What more could you want?