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For a tight-fisted time triallist, there are two good things about these Tifosi Vogel glasses. Thing one is the price, which - unlike the fashion-led brands in the eyewear industry - is entirely sensible for a piece of polycarbonate whose job is to keep wind, dust and insects out of your eyes.
Thing two is the frame: there isn't one as such, just a nosepiece and the folding arms. That means you haven't got a black bar in the top of your vision when you're on the tri bars, like the vertical hold is going inside your oxygen starved brain.
I thought the latter would be a big advantage in improving visibility. But actually I forgot about it after the first ride and soon went back to the Tifosi Ventus glasses I was using before, as the lens was contoured to fit my face better and didn't fog up as easily. Letterbox format vision I decided I could live with.
The Vogel glasses (it means 'bird') would, I think, be better as driving shades; the smoke lens cuts down a lot of light. They're offered with a Golf/Tennis lens, as well as this smoke lens, so perhaps it's my fault for taking these glasses out of their own arena.
They're comfortable enough, however, with a nosepiece that doesn't pinch, and doesn't slip when your face gets sweaty. The arms hold your head firmly without squeezing it. For casual cycling, they'll do fine, particularly if you've got a wider face. And if that black bar in your eyeline is doing your nut, or you genuinely can't see well enough with its restriction, these are worth checking out. I'll stick with closer fitting eyewear or a visor.
Could be shaped better for cycling, but the frameless top is a bonus on tri bars
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Make and model: Tifosi Vogel
Size tested: Smoke
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 say: 'Made of Grilamid TR-90, a homopolyamide nylon characterized by an extremely high alternative bending strength, low density, and high resistance to chemical and UV damage
Hydrophilic rubber ear and nose pieces for a no-slip fit
Adjustable ear and nose pieces for a customizable, comfortable fit'
They do appear in the golf/tennis range, but asked for our test pair at Zyro's open day for journalists and explained what we wanted to use them for, and they were fine with that.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
They're general sports glasses really, not dedicated cycling eyewear, but they're quite usable as such.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Lack of top frame.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Didn't hug my face closely enough. Sometimes misted up.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yeah, they were okay.
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? If they were a casual cyclist, or needed less restricted vision while on tri bars
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
They're decent glasses, but Tifosi make others better suited to cycling generally. It depends if that black bar in the top of your vision is a deal breaker.
Age: 42 Height: 1.78m Weight: 65kg
I usually ride: Ridgeback Solo World fixed wheel My best bike is: Planet X Pro Carbon Track (with front brake)
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,