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Gear

Tech Week: 4 sunglasses for on the bike and off

Bright future ahead? These sunglasses could be for you.

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Tifosi Rail Race

Tifosi Rail Race

Tifosi has long been one of the best value options for performance eyewear, and now one of the most popular cycling sunglasses around, the Rail, is getting even better. For a limited time, Tifosi is offering this shield lens sunglass in a special Rail Race edition, adding in lens vents and laser etching around the rimless lens design, increasing airflow — and more importantly upping the cool factor.

Otherwise, the Rail Race retains features that make the Rail so popular. It has a 7-base curve polycarbonate lens to hug the face for a closer fit and debris protection, while having no curve top to bottom to reduce distortion. And the grilamid TR-90 frames help keep the weight to just 32 grams. Priced at $80 with two lenses and a case, the Rail Race doesn’t require remortgaging the house just to get some quality eye protection.

$80 (includes 2 lenses); 32g; tifosioptics.com

Koo Cosmo

Koo Cosmo

Cycling sunglasses are great on the bike, but they can be a bit much in just about every other setting, especially when we’re talking shield lenses that take up half the face. The Koo Cosmo offers an alternative that doesn’t go completely casual. This fashionable pair of shades fits right in with everyday life, while retaining some of the performance DNA of the brand’s other models. It features a grippy nosepiece and temples, and the Grilamid frame keeps it lightweight, so you can just as easily wear these on a coffee ride. Meanwhile, the Zeiss lenses provide name brand optics, with an optional polarized version as well. Available in seven colors to match every style. 

$130-160; kooworld.cc

Smith Shift XL MAG

Smith Shift XL MAG 

Many sunglasses come with the option to swap out lenses. In practice, doing that can be so burdensome that it happens rarely, if ever. Smith’s Shift MAG shades make the process a breeze. All it takes is snapping out the magnet on the side to unlock the top and bottom of the frame from one another. Then simply slide in the new lens. Each colorway comes with a clear lens so you can keep wearing these shades on low light days. 

The new Shift XL MAG, slated for an early 2023 launch, takes that same model and increases the coverage proportionally, specifically adding in more side coverage to this 5-base lens that offers a slight wrap fit.  

$269-289; 8 colors; available January 2023; smithoptics.com

100% Hypercraft XS

Crave lightweight shades? There’s light, and then there’s the 100% Hypercraft XS family. Made of UltraCarbon, a proprietary material exclusive to 100% that’s durable despite its performance on the scale, a pair of Hypercraft glasses weighs just 23 grams. A laser-cut, rimless 5.5-base shield lens helps keep the weight low, while providing ample ventilation. And the usual 100% features like grippy nose and temple arms, and water and dirt repelling coatings make the Hypercraft an a performer for any athletic activity.

The Hypercraft XS packs all those same features into a smaller form factor, so athletes of every size can get a properly fitting pair of performance sunglasses.

$135-165; 6 colors; 100percent.com