Apparel & Accessories

Stunner Shades: The Spy Screw

Spy offers an attractive package that stand out from the rest of the group ride

If you watched more than 15 minutes of the Amgen Tour of California you probably saw 2011 national road champion Matthew Busche (RadioShack-Nissan) – and his stunt double, gravity rider Mike Montgomery (Specialized) – flipping through the air on road bikes.

In case you missed the punch line, the commercial was for Spy’s latest sport sunglasses, the Screw.

Out of the Microfiber Pouch
There is no question that the Screw is designed for cyclists. The sunglasses are lightweight, only 27 grams to be exact, making them two grams lighter than the Oakley Radar. Although a two-gram difference can be chalked up to a manufacturing blip and when on our faces the Screw doesn’t feel any lighter than the Radar.

The replaceable lenses are vented at the top on each side by the temples. The lens vents are small cutouts, which do not obstruct vision. The lenses are some of the easiest to replace. They literally, pull straight out. There’s no flexing of the frame or lens required to squeeze it out.

In the Sun
The Screw’s fit is snug and they slide over helmet straps nicely. They squeeze our heads enough to stay put, but not so tight that they give us a headache when worn for a couple hours – and we used a rather large head (mine) in this test.

Thanks to the combination of lens cutouts and the scoops in the frame temple, the glasses have not fogged during our rides. Surprisingly, the vents on the frame temple noticeably channel air.

The fit and performance are on par with the market’s majority stakeholder, the Oakley Radar. Like Oakley, Spy uses a rubber compound on the arms and nosepiece that is intended to have greater grip as you sweat. We never experienced any slipping of the glasses. In fact, during our first ride in them at the Sea Otter Cyclocross Race, we forgot that we were even wearing brand new sunglasses since we never had to adjust them.

The Screws retail for $140 and $160 if you want a spare lens as well, which is $20 less than the majority of the Oakley Radars. While low weight of the Screw is important, these sunglasses did feel a bit more flimsy than the Oakleys. However, this was not a problem when riding in the Screws and they’ve held up well for a couple of months now.

For someone who wants shades that look good while on the bike, but are not what everyone else is wearing, the Screws are a great buy.