Training, racing, gear, facial hair styles and thoughts from my push to become an elite cyclist.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Review- Rudy Project Sport Mask Sunglasses

My earlier post about the Rudy Project Sterling helmet tipped my hand that I'm a Rudy fan. Their glasses have protected my vision and provided me with Euro styling for many seasons, and their customer support is second to none.

Fortunately for me they are a sponsor, so I've been lucky to reap the benefits of their support.

This review focuses on the Sport Mask Sunglasses. This model is the black gloss frame with the Racing Red lenses.

The Racing Red lens allows approximately 28% of visible light to pass through and I've found it to be the most versatile lens in the Rudy Project Catalog. Unless I'm out on the road on a bright sunny day in July or if I'm in the woods with thick canopy cover in the evenings I find the Racing Red to be the right choice. It's my go to lens in all but the brightest or near-dusk conditions. Offroad it's a good choice for mid-day summer rides or even later in the day once the leaves have fallen off the trees. If I had to choose one lens, this would be it.

The Sport Mask is an interesting model, and its design is as much about style as it is about function. The frameless single lens makes for great optical clarity and light weight, but the catch is that it's also not a very sturdy or interchangeable design. This is one of few Rudy Project glasses that does not allow readily interchangeable lenses. The lack of a frame also makes these glasses feel less secure on your head if you get very sweaty or are riding in rough terrain.

So what are these glasses good for? Most of my mid-week riding is on the road and after 5:00 PM, and these glasses are perfect for that. I find that unless I'm riding straight into the sun after work that the Racing Red is the right lens to wear until it's approaching desk when they move from my eyes to the lower vents of my helmet. In other lens colors they'd be great in different conditions, of course.

The nose piece is exeptionally flexible and allows for a very wide range of adjustability. I had a nose injury recently and for over a week the featherweight Sport Mask with its flexible nose bridge was the only pair of glasses I could wear.

I have to say that I really like my Sport Masks, and the style element is no small part of that. I've found that they work the best when run under the helmet straps, rather than over like I do with most other sunglesses like the Genetyk or Freeon. If I'm wearing a cycling cap under my helmet I'll even try to tuck the temples inside the hat and run them under the helmet straps.

These are great sunglasses, though if I had to pick one pair for I'd likely choose something else like the Genetyks (look for a review on those shortly). The Sport Masks offer light weight, style and performance that warrants serious consideration if you're in the market for sport eyewear.

For more information visit www.rudyprojectusa.com.

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