With fashion dictating that cycling shades are returning to the ski goggle type size of the 90s, the Bollé Shifter glasses are bang on trend, but they aren't form over function thanks to excellent visibility and sharp optics.
- Pros: Light, no frame parts hamper vision
- Cons: Design isn't for the shy or retiring...
The main thing I like about the Shifters is that even though they are a fully framed pair of glasses, not one part of it gets in the way of your eyesight.
The lens wraps further round the side of your eye than most glasses with a frame, which means that when glancing over your shoulder or looking left or right you have full visibility. You can see the frame but it's positioned just far enough out of your line of sight.
It's the same in the middle too. The Shifters are quite tall, so you have quite an expanse of lens above the nose-piece so when looking straight ahead, again, there is nothing to distract or get in the way.
At 32g, they're 'barely there'; you hardly know you're wearing them, and thanks to the rubber grips on the inside of the arms and the nose-piece they stay put without feeling tight or compressive, even when wearing them for hours.
Being quite wide at the front, the arms offer plenty of room for passing over helmet straps before they arc back in to sit above your ears.
The lens has an anti-fog treatment and they also have vents at the top centre plus below each eye, which also helps to keep things clear.
Seven different coloured frames are available, with different lens colour options depending on the type of weather you want them for riding in. On test is Shiny Clear Blue with a Phantom Vermillon Gun lens, which I find ideal for riding in anything but the brightest of sunshine. The orange tint brightens up the dullest of days and the optics are very crisp.
At £149 the Bollés aren't the cheapest on the market, especially when you look at what something like the Ekoi Perso Evo 9 glasses offer for just over £85.
Mind you, the 100% Speedcrsft SL glasses don't seem to offer a whole lot more for their £179.99, so it does show how fickle the marketplace can be.
On the whole I really like the shape and fit of the Shifters, and if you have the cash then you won't be disappointed.
Great visibility and fit but you can get the same properties for less money
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Bollé Shifter glasses
Size tested: L
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?
Bolle says, "Inspired from the famous Bolle Chronoshield models, the Shifter is packed with simple yet progressive features to enjoy the ride. Curved temples, vented lens and Phantom lenses have made the Shifter the natural choice of team AG24 La Mondiale."
Very good glasses that offer great vision and impressive optics.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
nxt Phantom lens
Available in prescription
Rubber on nose pad
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
They offer plenty of protection from the elements and are lightweight and comfortable.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Excellent range of visibility.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Pricier than some very good competition.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
The price of sunglasses varies a huge amount, and I'd say the Shifters aren't overpriced but for this money I'd probably be expecting a bit more adjustment and customisation.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? It depends, there are plenty of other cheaper options out there.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
A really good pair of glasses that deliver across the board but pricier than some that deliver the same outcome.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed
Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.