Tifosi Crit sunglasses review
The lightweight photochromic lenses change as quickly as their name suggests
At less than £75, the Tifosi Crit sunglasses are fantastic. Not only do they fit and feel comfortable, but they offer exceptional clarity and are one of the swiftest changing light sensitive lens on the market.
Quick changing photochromatic lenses
Two fit options
Night lens option
The Tifosi Crit sunglasses were selected for an Editor's Choice award in 2020. This year's list contains 78 items which scored a 9 or 10/10 with our tech team - this gear is the best of the best, and has received the Cycling Weekly stamp of approval.
When it comes to eyewear, I'm an awkward customer. I'm a fully grown adult with a child's size head with control requirements of a fighter jet pilot. I therefore found a pair of Oakley Radar glasses with smoked lenses that fitted like a glove about 10 years ago and have been wearing them ever since. So long in fact that they're now considered 'retro' (but not in an uber cool way).
So when the Tifosi Crit sunglasses landed, I was slightly reluctant to try. The first mirror check, however, hooked me at once.
They fit my face. Hallelujah. There are two fits on offer, with the actual stats of the smaller pair sitting at 150mm across, arms 120mm, lenses 74mmx42mm, nose bridge 12mm.
The end of the arms are even adjustable, allowing for a custom fit, and wrapped in hydrophilic rubber, they're not only soft, but actually increase in grip the more they get wet, with sweat or rain.
The same rubber is used on the nose piece, which is also incredibly adjustable, meaning the glasses stayed put whatever direction I looked in. This includes the stem, which I found myself mostly looking at during a particularly hot and sweaty ride up a mountain. Reigning from Manchester, I can also validate the 'staying put in rain' statement too, they don't call it the Rainy City for nothing.
>>>10 best cycling sunglasses for 2020: a buyers guide
Of course it's not just rubber that keeps the Tifosi Crit sunglasses in place. The frames are made from an incredibly light nylon, Grilamid TR-90, and weigh in at just 31g. Tifosi says the material is also durable that resists chemical and UV damage, so ideal for the construction of sunglasses.
Variable light conditions
What excites me even more about the Tifosi Crit sunglasses, is the fact that I've not only found another pair that fit, but a pair that match up to my visual accuracy needs.
To start with, the lenses are vented, so they remained totally clear when riding. There was a bit of misting up of the when stopped, but no more so than a standard pair of glasses.
Tofosi say that it's also made the scratch-resistant, shatterproof polycarbonate optically decentered, which eliminates distortion and prevents unwanted magnification, and I have to say, they met with my need for 100% clarity.
Naturally, the Tifosi Crit sunglasses lenses also come with 100% protection from harmful UVA/UVB rays, but the Tifosi Crit sunglasses piest de la resistance is their photochromic Fototec lenses. I was testing the Smoke Fototec version (a grey tint), but there is also a clearer Light Night pair for the same price.
They are so swift at swapping from light to dark and back again that I didn't even notice. Even at the entrance of a long mountain tunnel they did their thing so rapidly that there wasn't that usual few seconds of black out.
During winter light I found these exceptional performance wise. The constant strobe like effect of the sun popping out, or even just riding in the hills where it's hidden, creating quite dark shadows, only to crest or descend the other side and find yourself staring the sun full in the face. These glasses really are remarkable and have totally raised the bar in the photochromic world.
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Hannah is Cycling Weekly’s longest-serving tech writer, having started with the magazine back in 2011. She has covered all things technical for both print and digital over multiple seasons representing CW at spring Classics, and Grand Tours and all races in between.
Hannah was a successful road and track racer herself, competing in UCI races all over Europe as well as in China, Pakistan and New Zealand.
For fun, she's ridden LEJOG unaided, a lap of Majorca in a day, won a 24-hour mountain bike race and tackled famous mountain passes in the French Alps, Pyrenees, Dolomites and Himalayas.
She lives just outside the Peak District National Park near Manchester UK with her partner, daughter and a small but beautifully formed bike collection.
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