You’ve seen the Cannondale-Garmin UCI Pro Tour team wearing them so know that they are good enough for the Pro’s to consider as one of their tools of their trade. You’ve seen Matt Trauttman running with them to be the first South African in the Ironman Africa Championships this year but what does that tell you about their functionality if you are considering buying a new pair of sunglasses?
First and foremost let me confirm that I have been riding with various glasses and styles over many years, over different terrains, on the road, on the trails, in different light conditions and for different sport types. This has obviously led to a preference for a certain eyewear brand that suited my face and worked well for its requirements. Once satisfied with my choice, I never looked at another pair of glasses again – well that was all to change. Let’s get back to the DO Blades, and more about my eyewear for another time.
The most noticeable feature of the DO Blades when you pick them up is just how lightweight they are. At first, this almost makes them feel a little flimsy and raises concerns of their durability. But after hours and hours of riding, as one would in stages of the Epic or other stage races, the benefit of this feature starts shining through. Not because they weigh less to carry but the pressure on your face (bridge of your nose) and more specifically the side of your face is non-existent and you truly forget you even have a pair of sunglasses on your face.
But rest assured you still have the full protection needed for your eyes. The Carl Zeiss lens has 0% optic correction and relaxes the facial muscles to reduce stress and fatigue that would result from eyestrain in bright sunlight.
The shape of the glasses gives a full field of vision from top to bottom and left to right – the frames are not visible giving very clear line of sight. The curvature of the glasses wrap around the face (for both large and small face types) so that the wearer has a broad field of vision, including when the eyes are looking left and right. This feature is probably one of the most significant differentiators between them and other glasses that have been more styled to current trends. The functionality of these glasses surpasses anything I have used before.
A fantastically simple and yet effective feature is the small inlets at the top of the lenses for airflow that ensures that the temperature of air on both sides of the lenses remains relatively similar with the net result that the lenses do not fog up at all. I’ve ridden in cold conditions and high humidity and not had any fogging up. This is very comforting when doing events or races where you don’t have the luxury to stop and wipe your lenses.
As has happen to us all (I assume), there have been occasions when sweat droplets have fallen on the outside of the lenses. One of the most pleasing features of the glasses is that a simple squirt of water removes the electrolyte-laden fluid, washes it away seamlessly and dries in an instant as the airflow is around the shape of the glasses. As a person who rides with one bottle of electrolyte fluid and water, this cleaning option is very appealing – unless the water is finished of course.
A cool feature found on the arms is the “sticky fit” material found on the contact points with the head. There is additional grip material to ensure the glasses stay still on your head, very functional when bouncing around the trails on a mountain bike (even though they recommend the glasses as “road” glasses).
All lenses in the DO Blade range have a purple tint, are VLT Category 2 and have a VLT % of 28.4%.
And as if there couldn’t be anything more to say about these insanely cool “sunnies”, they have the option of inter-changeable lenses for different light conditions (great for those wanting to do track racing) and the nose-piece is adjustable to suit the shape of your nose. This was personally very appealing as I have a high-bridge nose, this being another feature I have not come across on other glasses (they have interchangeable nosepieces, not adjustable on the fly). The nosepiece is also hydrophilic, repelling water and sweat and also beneficial after having applied sun cream for those long days in the saddle.
And let’s add this into the mix to convince you if you had any doubt that these are probably the best cycling glasses on the market at the moment (well, at least in my opinion they are). The POC Octal helmet range has a convenient “eye-garage” which works with the grilamid frames to secure them in place when not on the face, in a secure slot in the helmet. No more tucking them into your shirt where they get dirty. New development in this space, which was revealed in the Giro last year, was a magnetic link with the helmet to the glasses, letting them sit safely below the helmet and above the eyes if not being worn. The developers have truly thought of everything on this frame to produce a piece of exceptional eyewear for cycling.
And yes, there is more, the colour options in the range are simply amazing, along with signature editions from your favourite Pro rider in the peloton. Simply superb – I won’t be riding with other glasses again. How about you?