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From a female point of view, cycling specific sunglasses are often about as attractive as those modelled by Dame Edna Everage, but without the bling. It would appear to be hard to get real on the bike functionality with genuine style. Not so with these rather fetching Dea specs from Tifosi though.
Unzipping the lightweight protective hard case in which they arrive, you'd be forgiven for thinking that you might just have misread the website and accidentally ordered a pair of normal women's fashion shades. The frames (available in Gloss Wood or White options) are a face flattering, paparazzi defeating size and shape, and very wearable on or off the bike.
On the bike, they sit well with a helmet, giving no problem at all with fit. At just 30g they are light enough to be comfortably forgettable whether being worn or carried in a pocket, which can be done either in the hard case provided or the soft bag that doubles as a cleaning cloth. The Dea's aren't just a pretty face though, they are well featured for cyclists too. Vents beside the shatterproof polycarbonate lenses ensure they keep from fogging up, and they come, as standard, with a choice of three lens colours- Clear (98% Light Transmission), All Conditions Red (27% LT) and Brown with Glare Guard (18% LT) which are interchangeable. Replacement lenses are available separately, in a variety of different tints. A hydrophilic rubber compound is used on the nose bridge and on the legs at the temples to grip better in the presence of sweat.
Changing the lenses isn't the easiest task in the world, but nor is it Mensa standard. The frame materials are designed to flex more than normal sunglasses frames, and it's by flexing the edges that you pop out the lens. Popping the lens out is much easier than replacing it with a new one, and you're likely to get finger prints all over your shades when trying. I'd probably choose to replace lenses at home before a ride, or at a caf stop, rather than during a ride itself, given the likelihood of fluffing the changeover and possibly dropping a lens. That said, it's perfectly possible to take all the lens options with you instead, and the hard case has small padded slots to hold them all safely.
The colour of the tinted lenses is ideal for sunny summertime riding, and with the option available for yellow lenses, these would also work for lower light conditions and winter use. Protection levels against UV are good, and the lenses are optically good quality too, with no distortion.
Comfortable and effective on the bike, cool and stylish off the bike.
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Make and model: Tifosi DEA Interchangable Glasses
Size tested: Gloss Wood.
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?
Aimed at female cyclists, runners and hikers.
Designed to "offer 100% protection from harmful UVA/UVB rays, bugs, rocks or whatever comes your way"
Versatile glasses for all sorts of activities.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Shatterproof polycarbonate lenses
Interchangeable lenses (comes with All Conditions Red (27% Light Transmission), Brown with Glare Guard (18% LT) and Clear (98% LT) lens options.
Lightweight flexible frames
Hydrophilic rubber pad on nose and at temples to grip better in sweaty conditions.
Soft cloth case/cleaning bag included.
Lightweight hard case with padded protection for spare lenses included.
Replacement lenses in a variety of colours/levels of protection area available separately.
Well finished super lightweight frames and lenses.
Performed very well. Comfortable and effective.
Whilst the lightweight frame is designed to be flexible enough to easily pop replacement lenses in an out, I would have concerns about its longevity for this reason.
It would be easy to drop a lens in the process of changing it and scratch the surface on impact.
Should last perfectly well if you don't change lenses too often.
Really light for a very 'normal' looking pair of sunglasses.
Comfortable even with a helmet on.
For a pair of sunglasses you can happily wear for everyday use as well as on the bike, this is a very good price.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Kept sun, bugs and dust out effectively whilst riding and looked good off the bike too.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Style, light weight, interchangeable lenses as standard.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Slight trickiness to replacing lenses.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes, definitely.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
A really light and comfortable pair of sunglasses offering a little old school glamour to your cycling.
Age: 37 Height: 1.65m Weight: 67kg
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, general fitness riding, mtb,
Lara has been riding bikes for longer than she'd care to admit, and writing about them nearly as long. Since 2009 she has been working as part of the road.cc review team whilst championing women's cycling on the side, most notably via two years as editor of the, sadly now defunct, UK's first and only women's cycling mag, erm, Women's Cycling.
Believing fervently that cycling will save the world, she wishes that more people would just ride a bike and be pleasant to each other.
She will ride anything with two wheels, occasionally likes to go fast, definitely likes to go far and is always up for a bit of exploring somewhere new and exciting.