Back when I rode a bike only occasionally, for fun, I didn’t understand how cyclists wearing lycra, padded gloves, and eye shields could be anything but posers. However, since becoming reliant on cycling to cover distances, I can confirm the utility of all the above-mentioned items.†
Taking things one step further, cycling accessories have become so well integrated into my life that I am working them into a new tradition, which is to to lose them over the summer so that I can buy new ones. My gloves vanished (likely dropped when I stopped to take a photo) several months ago, now, obviously, or it would have been odd weather for winter gloves.
More recently, my MEC Espresso eye shields evaporated one afternoon somewhere between the nursery and the playground. I had been annoyed to lose my winter gloves after only one season of use. I was more annoyed to lose the glasses, because a) I can’t buy them in the UK (shipping from Canada is silly-expensive), and b) I have several spare lenses for that frame. I am even more annoyed now that I look into it, because c) I can’t buy the frame in Canada anymore either, according the MEC website: they’re discontinued.
Because I don’t seem to be able to cycle five miles without attacking a flying insect with my eyeball, I quickly ordered some “budget” glasses online: BBB Retro Sportglasses, with clear, yellow, and dark lenses.
It’s hard to buy something online that has to fit in a certain way, and yet I try because I don’t like shopping. I look at what reviews I can find, and take a stab. Here are my observations on these glasses, in case someone else is trying the same thing.
Firstly, I think these are nice-enough looking glasses. They’re not flashy, but they come at a reasonable price, considering they come with three sets of lenses for different light conditions.
Swapping out the two-piece lenses on the fly is a bit of a pain: I found I was prone to dropping at least one piece in my efforts to avoid letting the lens pieces rub against each other. That’s no problem in the winter when all I wear is the clear lens. As I’ve proven already, if the glasses fit, you may almost as well get two pairs for different conditions anyway, and then you’ll have one left when you lose one.
Fit-wise, the lenses angle in significantly, and I find that either my ears are not low enough, my nose is not high enough, or my brow is not prominent enough to keep the bottom edge of the lens from digging into the bottom of my eye socket. The first day I wore these on the ride to work I had the disconcerting experience of glancing in the mirror to discover the sudden appearance of a second set of circles under my eyes!‡ It’s worth noting that I’m not a man, so these glasses were probably not designed with my face type in mind.
The top of the frame is quite curved, again lovely and spacious for a strong forehead but on my face it’s just a silly-looking gap by which bugs and rain access my eyeballs.
All in all, I think these glasses merit the term “good value” if they fit. I was going to try to make them work for this winter, but I can’t seem to figure out where I put them.
†I still hanker a little after a Poseur jersey, even though some people might take it the wrong way given that my fastest ride has 26″ wheels with 1.5″ slick tires.
‡Perhaps I should say “sudden reappearance,” because in the first year of G’s life I had an actual second bag under each eye.