Scicon Aerotech Photochromic SCN-XT Cycling Glasses review

Build your own glasses with Italian brand Scicon

Cycling Weekly Verdict

Scicon's glasses provide a robust and reliable lens. They come with a range of custom options - including changeable and removable fenders which basically give you two pairs for the price of one. They're not cheap - whether the spend is justified really depends how likely you are to switch between the different options.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Robust and effective lenses

  • +

    Removable fenders

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Wide fit

Scicon's reputation is strongly founded in its high quality bags and boxes, but in recent years the Italian brand has been encroaching on spaces elsewhere, launching the Scicon Elan Power Saddle as well as this foray into eyewear.

The glasses have rapidly made their way into the pro peloton, with Scicon supplying to the likes of NTT Pro Cycling, Israel Startup Nation and UAE Team Emirates.

To produce its shades, Scicon worked with eyewear experts Essilor Sun Solution. All of the performance glasses feature SCN-XT lenses, which are made from Essilor Italia's trademark NXT polymer. Originally designed for use on the windshields of attach helicopters, the order of the day is high impact resistance as well as UV 400 protection, blocking out 100% of harmful rays, and in this case fast acting photochromic properties.

The lenses are clear when out of the sunlight, becoming darker under the rays. The pair I had on test darkens to blue, but there are also red, silver and bronze options available to suit differing conditions, and all lenses are interchangeable.

Active ventilation is built in, with small perforations along the top and bottom of each lens to help prevent fogging.

Scicon's glasses are designed to be incredibly customisable. They come in three lens sizes: regular (50mm in height), medium (55mm) and large (60mm). Taller lenses will provide a greater field of vision, but obviously eclipse a greater area of your face. All of the glasses measure the same overall width.

The brand has also added Flexi Fit temples - meaning the arm tips are coated in thermoplastic elastomer material which can bend to fit smaller (or larger) faces, ensuring they stay put. Each pair also comes with three different nose pad options to help create a more custom fit, and there are also exchangeable 'Clip Switches' (in black or white) which can be exchanged to increase or decrease flex. 

Sticking with the personalisation theme, the Aerotech glasses come shipped with 'fenders' in two colours. The rubber inserts sit at the bottom of the lens - in this case, coming in both white and black. In place, they provide extra protection in the case of a crash, but they can also be removed.

I tested the Aerotech glasses in the "regular" size. In terms of height, they were just right. The flexible temples were very effective, and did mean that the glasses stayed put without sliding off, but the lens were too wide for me, extending past the point where my face ended.

When wearing glasses from other brands, I have opted for "youth" fit options, so these glasses might fit more comfortably on those with wider faces.

The clear lens provided excellent protection on a very wet and muddy club run, with my vision remaining fog free even under light rain. Riding on one of those rare sunny winter days, the lenses became tinted quickly, and I didn't note any issues with slow changes when moving from bright lit areas to tree covered canopy roads.

The removable fenders are a pretty neat idea. With them fitted, I found the rubber intercepted my field of vision, and was a bit annoying, so I favoured riding without them. It's quite a nice touch that Scicon gives riders these two options - a little like getting two pairs of glasses in one, but of course if you've got a solid preference the likelihood is you'll opt with that and stick with it.

Coming in at €250.00/£219 - these aren't cheap glasses. Whilst this price point isn't alien in the cycling world at all, it is similar to what you'd expect to pay with established market leaders Oakley. You are getting the benefit of layers of customisation - which could be a selling point, should you plan to truly use it.

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