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Verdict: 
Simple design and quality lenses make these a good bet for on and off the bike activities for a long time to come
Weight: 
29g

NRC's X Series RX1 glasses are a simply designed and lightweight pair of summer sunnies with quality lenses and a lifetime guarantee to back them up.

  • Pros: Looks mean they can be worn off the bike; light; quality lenses
  • Cons: No swapping of lenses

The NRC RX1 are a very traditional sunglasses style design, shying away from the colourful full-wrap style that are the norm now and personally I like them for that. As such I have used these away from the bike as normal sunnies without attracting undue attention, although if the understated looks here aren't your thing there is also a range of colourways to choose from.

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The polycarbonate frame is substantial without being too big and all plastic – the arms clip into the frame with no screws, so are pool safe too, further enhancing the off-the-bike qualities. There is rubber on the arms to assist with grip on the ears, which works well keeping them in place without issue.

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The fixed lenses are mirrored items from renowned manufacturer Zeiss, and are optically perfect with a hydrophobic coating and polarized, the frame designed to take prescription lenses if required too.

In the box is a cleaning cloth and an alternate size of rubber nosepiece, adjusting the fit for smaller or narrower face shapes.

> Buyer's Guide: 10 of the best cheap cycling sunnies

At 29g all in they are really quite light, and when putting them on the fit is wide enough to be comfortable for my face, the standard fitted nosepiece just fine.

As I said, the lenses are optically perfect so no blemishes or odd artefacts on the periphery of the lenses as you look around. With the frame design as it is, it does sit in your field of view to a point, but a small benefit is that it allows a gap above and below to see over/under should you need to read or see something that the polarized lens makes difficult to read, or for example when riding in dappled shade where the lens might obscure debris or potholes.

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On the move, as you would expect, they mimic a normal pair of sunglasses, the only real concession being a small vent in the top outer edge of each lens, and they also do a good job of keeping the wind out of your eyes – just big enough with no big gaps to let the air through. The hydrophobic coating worked well with the rare showers I encountered, and in cooler temperatures should help with misting.

The straight arms are comfortable on the head: not too tight to cause issues and the rubber on the underside keeps them in place. They are nice and easy to slot into your helmet too.

Although the supplied lenses are great, the level of tint (and the polarization) does mean they are for bright days only. When it really clouds over or the light drops they are a bit too dark to carry on riding with, so plan accordingly.

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After weeks' of use in what will no doubt be remembered as the infamous summer of '18 there isn't a blemish on them, despite sitting in jersey pockets, rattling round in the car and hitting the ground (accidentally). The frame is tough and the lenses are coated enough to resist minor scratches. However, should the worst happen both the frame and lenses are covered by a lifetime guarantee which is a major plus.

Price-wise, at £119.99 they are very much in the mid-range for sports glasses, but high end for this style of casual eyewear – Shimano's Meteors are substantially cheaper, for example, but this is reflected in the build.

> Buyer's Guide: 24 of the best cycling glasses

Overall, if you want a very good pair of glasses with top quality lenses and a robust build – and a guarantee should things go wrong – these are well worth considering. Other lens colours and frame colours are available.

Verdict

Simple design and quality lenses make these a good bet for on and off the bike activities for a long time to come

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road.cc test report

Make and model: NRC X Series RX1 Storm PR glasses

Size tested: Bridge: 20mm

Tell us what the product is for

Sports glasses aimed at cyclists, with Zeiss lenses and a lifetime warranty.

NRC describes these as "THE SPORT SUNGLASSES WITH NO PRESCRIPTION LIMITS".

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

From NRC:

MATTE COOL GRAY 11 FRAME

BLACK DETAILS

SMOKE POLARIZED LENSES

FRAME MATERIAL: NYLON [TR90]

MEGOL® (NOSE PAD, TIPS, LOGO)

LENS MATERIAL: PC

INTERCHANGEABLE ASIAN FIT NOSE PAD INCLUDED

CLAIMED WEIGHT: 27 gr

CURVATURE: BASE 6

BRIDGE: 20 mm

LENS DIAMETER: 51 mm

TEMPLE: 127 mm

LENSES:

TRANSMITTANCE: ISO 12312-1:2013 13%

UV (280-380 nm) 0,00%

UVB (280-315 nm) PASS

UVA (315-380 nm) PASS

SPECTRAL (475-600nm) PASS

FILTER CATEGORY: 3

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10

They seem extremely sturdy and well put together, with no removable parts except the nosepiece (and lens if you want to fit prescription).

Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10

As claimed, the Zeiss lenses are optically perfect with a lifetime guarantee too. They sit comfortably and have a good level of tint. The classic design does mean all-round vision is limited by the frames, though.

Rate the product for durability:
 
9/10

Although not abused, they have survived pockets, many miles, being stuck in a helmet and falling to the floor once or twice, with no ill effects. There is a lifetime warranty in place too, should the worst happen.

Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
9/10

At 29g they are negligible, and once on for a few minutes unnoticeable too, so score well here.

Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
 
8/10

They were fine for me to wear for hours at a time, check the dimensions above and if suitable they will be no problem. There is an included smaller nose piece too which helps.

Rate the product for value:
 
6/10

The sports eyewear market is rather competitive, so while these aren't cheap, the Zeiss lenses and lifetime warranty make them a viable option for the cost.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

They did a great job of keeping the sun out, being dark enough to be useful but not so dark as to be a liability in tunnels or heavily shaded areas. I did have minor issues on darker, dappled lanes where it was hard to pick out holes and debris, but no worse than most summer glasses.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The simple design, quality lenses and tough materials.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Nothing.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

Quality Italian glasses that should stand the test of time (and have that warranty in case they don't) for on and off the bike.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 46  Height: 190cm, 6'2  Weight: 185lb, 84kg

I usually ride: Boardman AirPro Di2  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: A few times a week  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, club rides, sportives