Enhanced clarity and color-tuning, Shimano's launches purpose-built sunglasses for road, gravel and trail

With three frames built around Shimano's 6 Ridescape lenses, Shimano aims to serve every rider's needs

Shimano Ridescape GR sunglasses with a gravel-tuned lens
(Image credit: Anne-Marije Rook)

Shimano, better known for its drivetrains, pedals and shoes, has launched its latest collection of eyewear, titled Technium, Technium L and Twinspark today.

These half and full-framed glasses are built around Shimano's proprietary Ridescape lens technology, designed to accentuate colors and highlight surfaces on various terrain.

The Ridescape lens comes in six options finely tuned to different riding conditions and terrains. Whether navigating sun-drenched roads, shadowy forest trails or a little bit of everything on your gravel adventure, with its Ridescape technology, Shimano aims to cover the bases. 

“Ridescape transmits the right amount of light to boost visibility. Details that would normally be washed out, dull, or flat become more clearly defined, vibrant, and vivid,” the Japanese brand promises.

The Ridescape Lens Collection

Shimano Ridescape GR sunglasses with a gravel-tuned lens

(Image credit: Anne-Marije Rook)

The six-lens collection consists of Ridescape ES for the sunniest of days. This lens is said to minimize light transmittance and diminish road glare. 

The HC lens is a road-oriented daylight lens that’s meant to cut the glare while offering richer color and higher resolution for more confident riding. 

The RD is the all-around road lens that enhances certain colors while suppressing others aimed at boosting asphalt contrast, reducing eye strain, and increasing visibility. 

The GR lens, which we received, is the gravel-specific lens, tuned to boost the contrast across a variety of surfaces and highlight subtle differences. 

The OR lens was made for trail riders who dart in and out of the shadows. This lens is meant to reduce the glare of the light transition and sharpen visual awareness of the obstacles ahead. 

And finally, the CL lens was made for night riding and the darkest days when the rain clouds are thick overhead. This lens is meant to boost light transmittance and an anti-reflection coating is said to reduce the glare of oncoming headlights. 

All lenses feature scratch resistance and water-repellent coating for durability.

The Frames

Shimano Ridescape GR sunglasses with a gravel-tuned lens

(Image credit: Anne-Marije Rook)

With these lenses at their center, the new eyewear collection consists of the full-frame Technium sunglasses, the half-frame Technium L and a budget, half-rim option, the Twinspark.

Technium

Lightweight and promising all-day comfort, the Technium features integrated fog-reducing vents to ensure clear vision and a reversible nose pad for a customizable fit. The frame is partly made with renewable materials courtesy of bio-based Arkema Rilsan® and comes in a range of colors. 

The Technium comes with one Ridescape lens – options are road (RD), mountain bike (OR) or gravel (GR)-- as well as a clear spare lens. Retail price is $100.

Technium L 

Weighing in at just 26 grams on my kitchen scale, the Technium L consists of a lightweight, wide half-frame paired with a Ridescape lens. The lens options for the Technium L include the same road, mountain, and gravel options as its full-frame counterpart, as well as an additional photochromic grey option for those extra-long days where light will vary. Here, too, the case ships with a spare clear lens. 

The frame comes in a variety of colorways, ranging from matte black and white to crimson, olive and bronze gold. Retail price is $100. 

Twinspark 

Rounding out Shimano’s new offerings is a set of budget-friendly yet feature-rich sunnies called the Twinspark. The $65 Twinspark sports a lightweight half-rim frame equipped with the Ridescape HC lens for enhanced daytime visibility. 

The sunglasses are now available worldwide via Shimano retailers. 

First Ride with the Gravel-Tuned Shimano Technium L Sunglasses

Shimano Ridescape GR sunglasses with a gravel-tuned lens

(Image credit: Anne-Marije Rook)

Yellow. That was my first impression of wearing the Technium L sunglasses equipped with the gravel-tuned Ridescape GR lens. Portland in wintertime is dark and gloomy but when looking through the GR lens, the world looks a bit warmer. Despite the blue coating on the outside of the lens, the hue, when looking through the lens, is a pale-green yellow, almost like a light yellow sepia. It’s not unpleasant but it is very present, stripping the world a bit of its natural color saturation and increasing the contrast to help you see differences in the surface below. 

Once out riding, your brain adapts to the overly yellow sensation quickly and the lens does indeed make the differences in surface stand out.  

Given the gloomy time of year, the yellow-ish lens works well now but I do wonder if they’ll be dark enough for the exposed, sun-baked miles of midwest gravel. We’ll have to wait till the springtime rolls around!

The frame is very comfortable on the ears and nose and remarkably lightweight. Sans lens, the frame weighs a mere 12 grams. Its wide coverage not only aligns with current style trends but also ensures an expansive, unimpeded field of vision. With its flat half-frame and mid-depth arms, the sunglasses play well with the variety of helmets in my collection, and the rubber strips along the frame's arms prevent slippage without snagging hair – all good things. However, one drawback is the slightly cumbersome lens-swapping process. It's not as easy and straightforward as others on the market, and saw me use a bit more force and come in contact with the lens more than I’d like.

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