The Rudy Project Cutlines feature a highly modular design, with essentially every element able to be replaced for a better fit or colour combination. The large lens delivers brilliant optics, great coverage and good ventilation. But with the setup I had on test, I found the security of the fit to be somewhat lacking, being prone to rattling and slipping on bumpy roads.
Great lens clarity and contrast
Highly modular design
Rattily on bumpy terrain
Nose bridge difficult to set right
Founded in 1985, the Italian headwear brand is the official partner of Team Bahrain Victorious (opens in new tab) and uses the input from World Tour riders to help refine its designs.
Rudy Project Cutline: The construction
The Rudy Project Cutline sunglasses (opens in new tab) have an incredibly modular design, pretty much every part of the sunglasses can be removed and replaced.
Starting with the lens, don’t be alarmed by the tiny Torx bolts at the corners of the glasses, you don’t need to whip out the tools to swap in a different one. Just pressing your thumb on the screw head releases the arms from the lens – a far quicker and easier system than ones which require you to bend and pop the lenses out of the frame.
The rubber bumpers at the top and bottom of the lens are simple to pull off and can be replaced with different colours to better match your kit – or left off completely to transform the Cutlines into a frameless design.
Should you not be happy with the contact points that come with the Cutlines, different temple tips and nose pad inserts can even be swapped in to refine the fit.
The lens I have here is the Multilaser Orange which has a mirror finish and a visible light transmission rating of 12.6%. It also has four vents cut into the top to improve airflow and reduce problems with fogging.
Popping on the Cutlines, they feel much darker than their VLT rating of 12.6% would suggest. For me, I couldn’t ride them on cloudy winter days, but when the sun shone brightly – and especially as the days have been lengthening – they have done a great job at cutting out the glare and increasing contrast.
Perhaps my sense of sunglass size has been recalibrated by the huge specimens out there, but the coverage of these feels pretty spot-on to me – wide, but not exorbitantly so. As a consequence of its size, the bumpers framing the lens are incredibly unobtrusive, causing no distractions and hardly featuring in my field of vision.
Having previously managed to slice my cheek open after crashing wearing a set of frameless sunglasses, the Cutlines and their low-profile bumpers seem to offer the very best of both worlds.
The anti-fog cutouts did a good job at encouraging airflow, with the glasses never suffering from clouding up when out on the roads. When stood still on cool days after working hard, the mist would start to build, but it would only take a few seconds of riding for them to clear again.
Surprisingly for such an adaptable set of sunglasses, I struggled a bit with the fit.
The adjustable nosepiece I found almost had too much adjustment, providing more scope for getting it wrong rather than allowing me to perfect the fit. But after quite a bit of bending, I did manage to get it into a shape that played well with my nose.
With people’s noses coming in so many shapes and sizes, some level of adjustment will always be of benefit. But I find an indexed design best balances fit against ease of use.
The security of the glasses was another issue I had, finding the Cutlines had a tendency to rattle and slip about on rougher terrain. Although this included off road riding, it wasn’t limited to it, with the rougher B roads throwing up similar issues.
Potentially a different set of temple tips could have provided greater security, but the set of glasses I had on review only came with the stock set.
The Rudy Project Cutline sunglasses are much more modular than most competitors, but at £169.99, they are very expensive.
At literally half the price, the Salice 022 sunglasses (opens in new tab) offer a great fit, good optics and a stylish design – they also share the chic of being made by an Italian brand. However, they do sit very much at the opposite end of the scale when it comes to adjustability.
Sitting at a halfway house between these two glasses are the Rapha Pro Team Full Frame sunglasses (opens in new tab), which impressed with a secure fit, great coverage and good ventilation. At £120, they are also significantly cheaper than the Cutlines.
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Starting off riding mountain bikes on the South Downs way, he soon made the switch the road cycling. Now, he’s come full circle and is back out on the trails, although the flat bars have been swapped for the curly ones of a gravel bike.
Always looking for the next challenge, he’s Everested in under 12 hours (opens in new tab) and ridden the South Downs Double in sub 20 (opens in new tab). Although dabbling in racing off-road, on-road and virtually (opens in new tab), to date his only significant achievement has been winning the National Single-Speed Cross-Country Mountain Bike Championships in 2019.
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