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The Koo Billy sunglasses mount is a neat way to attach your glasses to your bike mid-ride, when they're not in use. It's very light, unobtrusive, and makes easy work of the task. It's the ideal alternative to stowing glasses in your helmet, though it is a bit pricey for what it is.
Disclaimer: I'm not a pop-your-sunglasses-in-your-helmet-as-you-ride kind of guy. I don't know what it is; maybe I'm clumsy, worried about breaking my glasses, or I just haven't tried hard enough, but it's definitely not for me. Luckily, Koo – whose cycling sunnies we've reviewed on road.cc – has come up with this neat little mount that fits to your handlebar and allows you to conveniently snap your frames into place as you ride.
Unlike when you place your glasses in your helmet – because you can see the mount in front of you, you know it's actually locking into place. So, no fretting about dropping your £200 sunnies any more.
The mount itself is pretty basic – there's the plastic clasp which the glasses snap into, a rubber spacer that goes underneath, and a variety of rubber o-rings to attach it. I found the o-rings slightly on the small side, so even using the larger of the two included in the box meant it was a really tight fit, but that's probably a good thing as it keeps the mount nice and secure.
The whole thing weighs just 4g, so there's no reason not to keep it attached at all times. It might not be aero, but unless you're racing, who cares?
The Billy is designed to be fitted to your stem or your bar – you choose. I preferred mounting it to the stem as it seemed slightly safer than the handlebar, simply because I don't like the idea of exerting pressure on the bar while riding at speed. You can get it to work even if you have a computer or light mounted to your stem or bars.
Attaching your sunglasses to the mount while you're riding does take a bit of getting used to. The plastic tabs where the glasses attach are quite stiff, so you need to apply a bit of pressure to get your frame to snap into place – I found that you have to hold your glasses by the nose bridge rather than the sides, to be able to apply enough force. After a few attempts it does become easier.
Once attached, the glasses are held in place very securely and there's no rattling or any worrying movement over bumpy surfaces. The only thing I would suggest to Koo with the next iteration is adding a small strip of grippy rubber inside the clasp, as my sweat-drenched sunglasses tended to slip inside the mount just slightly off-centre when I was climbing out of the saddle. That's me being a bit OCD, though.
When you want to remove your sunglasses from the mount, you just pull up on them and they detach easily.
Koo says the Billy works with all types of framed sunglasses, and I had no trouble attaching non-Koo glasses; if you own sunglasses without a frame at the top, such as the Oakley Flight Jacket or Rapha's Pro Team Frameless Glasses, it won't work as there's not enough for the mount to bite into (and I guess you might scratch the lens trying).
I can see why some might see the Koo Billy as a bit niche – more so if you already have a good method of putting your glasses to one side while you ride – but to my mind it's a great addition. It's not cheap for what is essentially plastic and silicone, but I'd say it's a worthwhile investment, especially if you have a pricey pair of sunglasses.
A useful, if expensive, accessory for mounting your sunglasses while you ride
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Koo Billy sunglasses mount
Size tested: Compatible with all framed sunglasses
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?
Koo says: "The BILLY is a sport performance eyewear mount for your bicycle, that offer a practical and secure place for your sunglasses when unused; the BILLY makes accessing your eyewear easy, and you no longer have to fumble around trying to find your sunglasses stowed on your helmet, or in a pocket. The BILLY does not interfere with the other devices installed on the bicycle, such as a power meter or computer. The BILLY is compatible with full-framed sport performance sunglasses. The BILLY is a great eyewear accessory to utilize when going uphill and at low speeds and you can pedal without having to protect your eyes from foreign objects, foul weather, or sweat droplets. The BILLY is suitable for Road and Triathlon use."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Koo lists these features:
- Compatible with all framed sunglasses
- Practical and secure
- Quick to install and remove
- Suitable for Road and Triathlon use
Some rubber on the inside of the clasp would stop sweat-covered glasses from slipping off centre when you're climbing out of the saddle.
Only time will tell how long the plastic clasp will last over repeated use.
Not cheap for a bit of plastic and silicone, but no rivals to compare.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The Koo Billy worked very well. Attaching sunglasses takes a bit of getting used to, and there's definitely a bit of a technique required, but detaching them is very easy. Glasses remain securely in place, even over rough stuff.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Being able to take your glasses on and off and store them within easy reach.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
That your sunglasses can slip slightly off centre when you're sprinting aggressively, or climbing out of the saddle.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Nothing to compare these to as we've never reviewed anything like it. But it's not cheap for what it is, any way. you look at it.
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
If you like having your sunglasses within easy reach and you want them securely stored, the Billy mount is ideal. It's a bit pricey for what it is, but I now consider it essential; more so if you have pricey sunglasses you don't want to get damaged.
About the tester
I usually ride: Steel audax bike My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, sportives,