- Great lens clarity
- Lens versatility
- No spare/clear lens
- No hard case
Price as reviewed:
Koo – the eyewear department for helmet aficionados Kask – launched two new pro worthy cycling sunglasses styles last year: the Demos and the Spectro glasses were both designed with Trek-Segafredo men’s and women’s teams in mind.
The Italian brand designed these to be performance orientated, created with “speed chasers” in mind. Whilst still fashionably large, the Demos are the lower volume of the two pairs, making them slightly better suited to smaller faces in my experience.
Koo Demos: construction
In the case of both the Demos and Spectro glasses, Koo has opted to drop the inward folding mechanism seen on its other models. Whilst this folding mechanism set them apart, I can’t say that it enhanced the experience at all, so this move seems like a good one to me.
There are seven different colour options, each with a unique lens that offers protection designed for slightly different conditions. In this case, I had the white frame with light brown lens – this sits in the filter category ‘2’ with a visible light transmission (VLT) of 23 per cent. VLT refers to the amount of visible light that can pass through a lens, you’d want a low number for very bright days and a high number for more overcast conditions. The lowest VLT within the range is 11 per cent, and the highest is 58 per cent, placing the light brown option as a middle ground choice.
All of the lenses are Zeiss Polycarbonate, promising ‘optimum clarity’ from the specialist brand.
There are four ventilation ports to prevent fogging, and anti-slip inserts at the temple. The glasses are only available a size medium at the moment.
Koo Demos: the ride
Koo sent me a pair of both the Demos and Spectros. I favoured the former – the latter proving just a little too big to fit comfortably on my face alongside a helmet (NB: I do have a notoriously small face, so those with larger heads will likely not experience this issue).
Koo offers only a size medium, but these fitted comfortably for me, which is more than can be said of many other brands’ standard sized offerings. The glasses come shipped with interchangeable nose pieces, but I was fine using the standard size that came pre-fitted.
The frame feels well constructed and has held up well following around five months of use so far. I also like the shape and style, though of course that’s subjective.
What really stands out about these glasses is the lens quality. Wearing them on bright sunny days, they offered excellent clarity. And whilst, unlike many brands, Koo does not ship these with extra interchangeable lenses, I also found the light brown option performed perfectly well when there was ample cloud cover as well.
The vents were effective. I’ve yet to find a pair of glasses that won’t stem up when stopped at the lights, but on the ride these stayed clear from self-inflicted fog.
Koo Demos: value
The Demos from Koo come in at £129, so they’re the cheaper of the two new models – the Spectros cost £169. That means they undercut my favourites: the 100% Speedcraft XS at £139.99 by a little and the Oakley Radar EV Advancers (£195) by a lot. However, whilst the 100% Speedcraft’s lens is not as versatile – being better suited to sunny days – the glasses do come with a spare clear lens whilst Koo provides no such add-on. There is a pink lens designed for low light conditions, available for £40 as an add-on.
The Koo glasses also come in a cardboard box, with no hard case. This is fine if, like me, you tend to leave your glasses in the vents of your helmet for safekeeping. However, if you prefer to use a proper hard case (as you probably should) the lack of provision will be a source of irritation.
Quality glasses with a relatively friendly price tag considering the performance on offer. The lens offered excellent clarity and the fit was good, even for a small face. We'd like to see a hard case included, and whilst the lens choice was versatile, supplying a clear option for winter would be an improvement.