Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Review - Rudy Project Sunglasses

I was lucky enough to receive a 3 year sponsorship from Rudy Project in my first year of racing.  Rudy Project provides athlete sponsorships not only to professional athletes but also to weekend warriors like myself.  They have also sponsored hundred of sporting events throughout the United States and Canada.  Rudy Project is very proud of the quality of their world class eye wear and has a warranty program to back it up with a 3 year limited warranty on the frames and a replacement lens guarantee.  That's right, if you manage to scratch a Rudy Project lens, for a small shipping and handling fee, Rudy Project will replace it - no questions asked.  Also of note, even though it doesn't apply to me, (at least not at this time of my life) almost all of their products are RX-able for those who require prescription eye wear.

Product Options

Rudy Project has over 20 Sport models to choose from, all with several options in frame color and multiple interchangeable lenses.  I chose the Rydon model with carbon colored frame and Impactx Photochromic red lenses.  I chose the lenses first as I wanted the photochromic ability and I liked the red colored lenses.  I chose the Rydon frames for a couple of reasons.  First was that I liked the style, but Rudy Project has many stylish frames that were appealing.  My final decision came down to availability of additional lenses available for each type of frame.  While most other frames that I liked had anywhere from 5 to 13 different types of spare lenses, the Rydon has 18 different spare lens options.  Do I need 18 spare lenses?  Probably not, but I like to have options and the Rydon gives me the most.  


I am very happy with the customizable fit that the Rydon frames provide me.  The nose pieces and the arms are moldable letting you adjust these pieces to conform to your features of your face.  Because of this the glasses stay in the right place all the time; I haven't experienced any tight spots which can pinching or pressure, nor are they loose enough to be sliding off your face or shifting around which would require constant adjustment.  These glasses are also light weight so you don't notice them on your face. 


The lenses provide clear and crisp vision.  The interchangeable lenses are very easy to swap in and out, yet secure enough that I have never experienced a lens falling out, even under impact.  It is worth noting that the photochromic ability only works with direct UV contact, so if you are using them to drive with, they will not get darker in bright conditions.  However, there are replacement lenses that are specified for driving available.  When the photochromic lenses are exposed to direct UV, they adapt to the lighting conditions quickly.  The tint always seemed to be just right and I rarely notice the transition.  From the department of pleasant surprises, these lenses change different colors as the temperature changes!  When it is warm out, the lenses change to a deep red, almost black colored, which was expected with the light red color of the lenses when not in direct UV light.  What was surprising was that in cooler temperatures (around 0*C or colder) the lenses didn't change to a dark red but rather blue!  This was nice to have when riding in the snow as the blue is a much better color for winter riding.  This means I only require 1 set of lenses for riding all seasons!


As promised, these lenses seem unscratchable.  I am not gentle on my eye wear and there isn't a blemish to be found on these lenses after two seasons of racing.  But being scratch-proof was only part of the durability features of this lens as they are also advertised as unbreakable.  On the Rudy Project website they posted a youtube link showing someone hitting an impactx lens with a hammer.  After about 5 strikes there were no signs of impact on the lens whatsoever.  I was wondering if I would really require such a feature in my lenses as I couldn't imagine a situation where lenses would be under such a condition.  It didn't take long until I found out just how well these lenses handle a blow.  In my third race during my first season I crashed, going over my bars and into a jagged tree stump.  As I travelled through the air, face first into the stump, all I could think of as I could see this sharp edge getting closer to my eye was how much losing my eye was going to hurt.  As I impacted the stump, the protruding piece hit me square in the lens and snapped my head back.  My forehead scraped down the tree stump causing some bleeding but all I could think of was that my eye was not injured!  Amazingly, not only did the lens not break after such an impact, but as advertised, there wasn't even a scratch on the lens. 

Final Thoughts

If you are looking for a new pair of sunglasses, you should definitely consider looking at Rudy Project as one of your options.  They have a specific lens for almost any application from driving to sailing to ballistics to cycling to golf.  If you are looking for casual sunglasses, they have those too with over 20 models to choose from.  If you aren't keen on making purchases on the internet or would prefer to try on some different models on before dishing out your hard earned money, visit your local authorized Rudy dealer.

1 comment:

  1. Yup, I totally agree Gord... I picked up a pair of Rydons as well, and though I've only been riding on them during the tail end of the season, I've been quite pleased.

    They built solidly, and I like the fact that they're built out of metal and not plastic, it gives them a more substantial feel, though still disappear when you're wearing them.

    I ended up getting the clear photochromatic lenses and have had a similar experience to you, quick tint changes, and the lenses are a breeze to swap out.