As you are probably aware, we have reviewed a couple of pairs of glasses from the Rad 8 range in the past and the partnership between us continues strong. This time they’ve sent over both their 505 polarised and photochromic MTB glasses for test and review. I myself have been testing the polarised version and our good friend Kevin Phillips has kindly put the photochromic lenses through their paces over the last few weeks. Both reviews are combined below so grab a coffee and see what we thought.
505 Polarised MTB Glasses (Reviewed by UKMTBChat)
As always with Rad8, their products arrived safely packaged up and in pristine condition, as you’d expect. Upon removal of the hard case and soft sleeve I instantly noticed the insanely cool looking lens colour as seen in the photos. The frame felt solid and robust and the rubber strips on the inside on the arms are colour coded to match which is a nice touch. The arms themselves are attached to the framework via a very sturdy pivot construction with virtually zero vertical ‘wobble’ and the nose bridge is made from a slotted rubber type material that allows itself to mould to any shape to suit you nose. Putting them on proved the shape and style contour my face pretty much perfectly which meant I had to perform the classic ‘head shake’ to see if they fell off. It’s safe to say they didn’t. So far so good.
I’ve been riding with the 505 Polarised glasses for around 4 weeks now through a variety of weather conditions that the UK can throw at them, and me! Through the few sunny, dusty and dry trail days we’ve had recently they performed outstandingly. The polarised lenses protected my eyes from the sun without any glare or impaired vision, both on the ascents and descents. The glasses contoured my face perfectly which meant they stayed put without any faffing and stopped 99% of the now non-existent dust going in my eyes too, especially when following someone who loves to kick it up on the berms. Climbing was a doddle too, and thanks to Rad8’s ClearView anti-fog coating on the lenses, they only started to mist up when I reached the top of a long climb and was puffing out my… yeah. As I has stopped riding it also meant that the air flow had reduced which didn’t help keep them clear, but I only had to slightly adjust them to clear the minor misting and I was on my way.
It was in the wet conditions where I found myself really benefiting from these glasses. Due to the wrap around shape of the lenses, I found they let in absolutely no water from splash backs, no wind and very little sweat on the damp but muggy climbs. Even when soaking wet, they stayed in position and needed very little adjustment, if any at the bottom of the descents before continuing. The lenses also let the majority of water run off too which helped greatly with the ‘no faff’ factor!
The glasses themselves clean up very well and the fabric sleeve acts as a makeshift wipe too if you’re in need of one. I’ve found that even after being completely soaking wet numerous times that the structure and mechanism of the arms isn’t compromised, as other cheaper brands can see the closure of the glasses becoming stiff and little screws going rusty. The total weight of the 505 Polarised glasses comes in at 25 grams including the rubber nose bridge which means they’re a wear and forget about product for a day out in the hills.
Once again, the guys at Rad8 have produced yet another brilliant product. We’d say the 505’s are for you if you are someone who likes to spend a day out on the bike as you really can forget you’re wearing them. Then again, they’re perfect to chuck on for a quick jaunt round the local too. So basically, they are a do it all, one for all product that will protect your eyes from pretty much anything a trail can throw at you for the price of a meal out with other half. They look the business too which as mountain bikers, we all know is just as important as the safety conscious aspect!
505 Photochromic MTB Glasses (Reviewed by Kevin Phillips)
I was lucky enough to be sent these Rad8 glasses to try out by Jake at UKMTBChat. It seemed like the perfect time of year to test them, with the season just turning to autumn and the weather changing.
On first impression I was quite impressed. I’ve got 2 pairs of another well-known brands sunglasses, even though the Rad8 glasses feel a little more “plastic-y” than those, they’re still really good quality. When I unboxed them they come with a hard carry case and also a soft sleeve type case with a draw string. This sleeve can also be used to wipe the glasses clean. I was impressed with how they looked, a very tidy, clean design, no frills, but they look like they’ll do exactly what they’re meant to. I tried them on and they were a nice fit, covered my eyes nicely and didn’t hinder my vision at all. The lens are photochromatic, so they look clear and supposedly then change in sunlight, let’s see how that works out.
The first time I wore them out on the trail it turned out to be a rather warm, sunny afternoon after about a week of rain. If anyone knows Cwmcarn in South Wales, you’ll know that the climbing starts straight out of the car park. I got really warm on the approx 40 minute climb, the lenses misted up very minimally, just 2 tiny bits that when I moved the glasses down my nose slightly disappeared almost immediately.
I stopped at the top to take some pictures and it was only when I looked at the pictures did I realise how much the lenses had darkened. I didn’t notice it whilst riding as then sun had come out and the lenses had just adapted accordingly. I couldn’t fault the glasses up until this point, but it was on the descent that I was really impressed.
I’ve had a few pairs of glasses that still allow muck to get in my eyes because they don’t fit my face properly. These glasses seem to contour my face perfectly, there was no dirt getting in my eyes and in turn, no wind either. My eyes could remain fixed on the trail with nothing affecting my vision. This made me want to push harder as I could see so clearly! I was certain I’d set some PR’s on Strava, however when I checked, my Strava had stopped recording at the top of the climb!
I’ve used these glasses on a couple of other rides since and I’m still impressed. I even tested Rad8’s claim that they can be worn at night. I was a little skeptical about the photochromic lenses in the dark, but they work absolutely fine at night. No loss of vision at all!
I’ll definitely be wearing these glasses on every ride from now on. Would I buy a pair? I’m not sure. The nearly £90 price tag puts me off personally. However, compared to similar glasses, similar quality and similar specification I think they’re well priced.
They get a 4/5 from me.