State of the Art


May 15, 2006
Outside Magazine

Retail prices for sports shades worth owning have crept into the triple digits or thereabouts. That's a lot of dough, but generally worth the expense—in most cases, you get the goodies you pay for.

Used to be you had to pay extra for polarized, antiglare lenses, which often lacked the clarity of nonpolarized models. No more. These days, polarized lenses are pretty much standard and have no optical downside.

Photochromic lenses, which get darker as the light gets brighter (and vice versa), are ever more common in sport shades, because they greatly extend the wearable comfort zone. But be sure and test them out to see how long it takes for the lenses to change. In many current models, the tint shift happens at a leisurely pace: Some manufacturers brag that their lenses are 50 percent adjusted to new light in less than 30 seconds. But that's nowhere near fast enough when you're speeding in and out of shadows at a full sprint on a bike.

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