Tifosi's Marzen sport-casual sunglasses are perfect for out of the saddle adventures but the average coverage makes them useful for only the most sedate of rides.
The Marzens are part of Tifosi's 'lifestyle' range, designed to take anything that you can throw at them on or off the bike. They're available in two sizes, three colours – smoke, tortoise brown or black – and with optional, polarised lenses which we have on test. They provide 100% protection against UVA, UVB and UV400 rays, which stood me in good stead for that one week of summer we had in June. They're made of Grilamid TR-90, a homopolyamide nylon that has a high resistance to bending, with hydrophilic rubber ear and nose-bridge inserts to prevent them falling over your handlebars or into your Campari.
Tifosi have priced the Marzens to compete in both the cycling and general retail markets. For me the £75 RRP is about right. While you might find a pair of polarised glasses in the bargain basement of an online shop I doubt that you'll find a pair as well thought-through and executed as these. With two arms, a hard case and a wipe included it's easy to feel like you're getting quality here.
The stand-out feature of the Marzens is their Swivelink design. A quick twist and the arms pop right out. Tifosi include a pair of sport-focussed arms with long, straight rubberised ends and a pair of casual arms which drop behind the ear with a smaller rubber insert. Swapping between the arms is a cinch and the nylon construction is tough enough to resist imperfect technique.
On the face the Marzens feel snug, but not tight. The rubber nose-bridge keeps them in place over lumps and bumps and they wear well with or without a helmet. The lenses provide a clear view with no perceivable distortion and the polarised versions do a spectacular job of removing glare. The frames are sturdy enough to withstand plenty of abuse and the polarisation of the lenses is integral to the design rather than a coating so they too will stand the test of time. At 27g they're on the light side, pipping Rapha's sport-casual Classic glasses by ten grams.
While Tifosi market the Marzen as a 'go anywhere, do anything' pair of sunglasses I would put them firmly in the casual end of the spectrum. The Wayfarer-inspired styling means coverage is not ideal for riding. Wind-whip is an issue at anything more than a casual pace, and light leaks below and to the side of the eye can produce some reflection which can be troubling on the road.
For me the Marzens belong off the bike. Their classic styling, solid fit and crystal clear lenses made them a great everyday wear for the summer.
Sport-casual sunglasses, perfect for off-bike use but the average coverage makes them only suitable for sedate riding
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Tifosi Marzen Full Frame Polarised Lens Sunglasses
Size tested: Medium/Large
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Tifosi's Marzen are sport-casual 'go anywhere, do anything' sunglasses aimed at the cyclist looking for something a little less windscreen-esque on their face. For me the Marzens fall cleanly into the casual eyewear category as they don't have the coverage of fully-fledged sport sunnies.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
The Marzens are made from moulded plastic, with rubber inserts in the arms and bridge to keep them on your face. What sets the Marzens apart is the swivelink design which with a quick twist lets you switch between the sporty and casual arms included. The polarised lenses here are excellent and are integral to the design rather than an an aftermarket application over the lens, which can sometimes scratch off.
Construction is solid, a couple of weeks abuse while travelling and a couple of drops to the ground are unnoticable. The swivelink system may seem a little fragile but I had no trouble with them after many switches.
As a pair of casual sunglasses the Marzens perform well. I would have liked a little more coverage as light-leakage can lead to some reflections on the insides if the sun is behind you. Wind whip is also an issue at higher speeds if you do choose to ride with them.
No issues with durability despite weeks of frankly unashamed abuse.
At 27 grams the Marzens fall on the light side between the recently reviewed Lazer Waymakers (24g) and Rapha's II glasses (37g). At these weights though you'd be hard pushed to notice the difference.
The Marzens are comfortable all-day glasses, though the bridge can get a little tacky on hot days which may feel a little weird when pulling from from your face once the sun dives over the horizon.
These are a well thought-through and well-executed pair of glasses. £75 isn't cheap, but the quality justifies the price.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
As sport sunglasses the Marzens fall shy of the mark but as a casual pair they are great.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Firm but comfortable fit.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Sizing could have been a little larger and rounded to afford a little more protection from wind whip and reflection.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? No
About the tester
I usually ride: Road (Canyon Ultiamte CF SLX), Cyclocross (Kinesis CX Race) My best bike is: Road
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, cyclo cross, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,