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As part of its 2023 Tour de France line-up, Oakley's Sutro Lite Sweep glasses get a funky make over – while still providing great coverage and a secure fit. Oakley isn't renowned for its entry-level pricing, but if you are willing to spend the cash you're getting impressive clarity from the curved lens, excellent build quality and good comfort. Those dramatic vents may annoy you, though.
The Sutro Lite Sweeps come in a selection of colours and lens finishes, with prices starting at £152. This particular model is part of the limited-edition 2023 TdF range, and comes with vent holes along the top and some extra branding that you don't get on the cheaper models.
It's those holes that provide the one and only issue, and that's only because I suffer from hayfever. As my allergies with the grass tend not to start until June it wasn't an issue during the earlier review period, but at speed I could feel air jetting into my eyes – and that would be problem come June and July. The Sutro Sweeps won't be part of my kit then purely for that reason.
As I mentioned though you can get these glasses in other styles without the vent holes.
If you don't get leaky eyes, then definitely consider the Sweeps. I found the fit great, and very secure thanks to the slight spring to the arms. The rubberised section over your ears grips even if you get hot and sweaty.
I've used the Oakleys on the road bike, gravel bike and when running without any movement issues. The nose pads – made from Unobtanium, no less – provide great grip in all conditions. The bridge doesn't have any adjustability, unlike some glasses, but I didn't find that it affected the fit in any way.
The frame is made from O Matter, which is a nylon composite thermoplastic Oakley says is durable, flexible, and sweat resistant. All the things that you want from sunglasses, I suppose. They are indeed impressively flexible: I've dropped them, found them squished at the bottom of a box (after the usual 'tidy-hidey' I carry out when the wife complains about bike bits taking over the dining room table) and accidently sat on them with no ill effects.
For this Tour de France model the only lens option is the Prizm Road, and it's a good all-rounder. Light transmission is 20%, which Oakley says is ideal for medium light, and I found them great both on cloudy days and in lovely bright sun.
The lens is 133mm wide and has a subtle curve around your face, with no distortion. It gives you a rose-tinted view of the world with a slightly pinky-purply hue to everything, while still giving great contrast across different colours. The frame hardly ever gets in your line of vision, so you are getting great coverage with no compromises.
At 58mm deep the Sutro Sweeps aren't as large as some cycling glasses, so you can also wear them away from the bike without looking like a complete berk.
Cycling sunglasses cover a massive price range though, and sometimes it's hard to tell why. Magicshine's Windbreaker Classic sunglasses were described as stylish, effective, light and comfortable by Lara in her review, for instance, and all for £38.99.
Oakley shades have a long-standing tradition for performance and durability – I say that having owned many pairs over the years – and with that comes a premium price. But the quality of the fit, the materials and the visual performance justifies it. For me the air vents could be an issue for a few weeks each year, but otherwise I've really no complaints.
Awesome clarity and visual performance, plus the secure fit means they stay put wherever you are riding
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Oakley 2023 Tour de France Sutro Lite Sweep
Size tested: Matte Speed Splatter with Prizm lens
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?
Oakley says, "Sutro Lite Sweep blends the sweep lens shape first made popular by Eyeshade with the Oakley's popular Sutro frame design. A functional sport design with optimized coverage, extended field-of-view, retention and impact protection makes Sutro Lite Sweep the perfect choice for durability and all-day comfort while making a bold statement. Select colorways come with vented lenses for increased airflow to help keep you cool no matter where the day takes you."
The Sutro Sweep give great coverage, and a secure fit for all kinds of sport.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
* DESIGN - Functional sport design with optimized coverage, field of view, retention and impact protection
* FRAME MATERIAL - Strong yet light O Matter frame provides durability and all-day comfort
* ADDED RETENTION - Earsocks are molded the temples to help provide all day comfort and excellent retention
* NOSEPADS - Unobtainium® nosepads for a no-slip grip
Oakley lenses are designed and tested under extreme high mass and high velocity circumstances to ensure uncompromising protection across a wide range of demanding conditions.
LIGHT TRANSMISSION: 20%
LIGHT CONDITIONS: MEDIUM LIGHT
BASE LENS COLOR: ROSE
Sizing: Lens Height 58 mm, Frame Width 132.6 mm, Arm Length 138 mm
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
A great fit and good clarity.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Very secure fit.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Air can blow over your eyes from the vent holes - though it's only an issue if you have sensitive eyes and/or allergies.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
This Tour de France model is £172. That's pretty much the same as the Koo Demos, which have a similar lens colour and performance. Cycling sunglasses cover a massive price range though, and sometimes it's hard to tell why. Magicshine's Windbreakers are stylish, effective, light and comfortable too, and are £38.99.
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
Vents that allow drafts to caress your eyeballs aside, these offer great performance and fit, and have the kind of quality that backs up the price.
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,
As part of the tech team here at F-At Digital, senior product reviewer Stu spends the majority of his time writing in-depth reviews for road.cc, off-road.cc and ebiketips using the knowledge gained from testing over 1,500 pieces of kit (plus 100's of bikes) since starting out as a freelancer back in 2009. After first throwing his leg over a race bike back in 2000, Stu's ridden more than 170,000 miles on road, time-trial, track, and gravel bikes, and while he's put his racing days behind him, he still likes to smash the pedals rather than take things easy. With a background in design and engineering, he has an obsession with how things are developed and manufactured, has a borderline fetish for handbuilt metal frames and finds a rim braked road bike very aesthetically pleasing!