Lightweight glasses with great lens coverage, but could perhaps do with a smidgen more protection against the wind.
Easy to swap lenses
Lenses are very good
Air can get through to eyes
By Rupert Radley published
New for this year, the Smith Pivlock Arena glasses come with Smith’s own, also new, ChromaPop lens technology.
According to Smith, the new tech should stop our brains confusing blue and green and red and green colours, filtering light at two specific wavelengths, giving much greater definition.
Whether or not my brain was less confused is a tough call, but the environment around me when riding was certainly defined, putting the lenses easily on a par with Oakley’s class-leading Prizm technology.
The lenses aren’t only clear, though, they’re also expansive, covering 99 per cent of your field of view. You really have to strain your eyes to the extreme to see any real daylight peeking in from the tops or sides, and even then it’s not distracting.
The Smith Pivlock Arena glasses are very low key in terms of construction – they only really have arms and a nose bridge – but what they do have they use smartly, especially when it comes to changing lenses.
Watch: How to dress for hot conditions
In this sense, they're the opposite to the Oakley Jawbreakers, but happily it is a design that makes them both lightweight and comfortable as well as well vented – they rarely got steamy at all.
This lightweight construction does possibly have it drawbacks, though. The fact there are no rubber edges to the frame, like on the Oakleys, can let air through, making your eyes water, especially if it’s cold.
That said, my skinny face probably was a factor in the airflow issues. At least they didn’t move around when riding or looking down at my cycling computer.
Changing lenses means literally disassembling the glasses – but it’s not as hard as it sounds. In fact, it’s a total breeze to do and just involves separating the arms from the lenses and and removing the nose piece before reversing the system around the replacement lens.
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