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Five smart cycling glasses — offering you rear-view mirrors, live performance data and more

Who knew a pair of cycling glasses can do so much?! This week’s five cool things are all specs, from HindSight, TriEye, POC, Koo and Engo

Much like anything in cycling, which apparently is becoming ever more like Formula 1 when it comes to bike tech, cycling glasses are becoming more sophisticated and advanced every day. Nowadays they’re not just there to protect your eyes from debris, wind and other elements, but they offer a lot more - right in front of your eyes.

Huge aero advantages, a rear mirror view and real-time performance data (yes, on your glasses!) are now a thing. That is why this week's Five Cool Things is a look at some of the advanced cycling glasses we are currently testing. 

Like with anything advanced and niche, cycling glasses with built-in tech features is a category where failure is almost as prominent as new innovations, and although that's not to say the products below will fail... there are many others that have

And as usual, remember to check out all the specs we’ve already reviewed in our reviews section… 

HindSight Artemis

2023 HindSight Artemis.jpg

You might think, are these even cycling glasses? They do look very casual, but they are indeed aimed at cyclists. Hindsight started as a Kickstarter campaign, aiming to bring out a pair of cycling glasses that “allow you to stay informed while keeping your eyes on the road”. This pair we've got is the second version of the specs - the first version definitely left some room for improvement so... we'll see if they fare better this time.

So in essence, as you might gather from it offering a rear mirror view, these glasses enable you to see behind without turning your head. It’s only the sides of each lens that allow you to do that as they have the mirror coating, and utilise a True-Mirror technology, meaning objects are exactly as far as they look. 

There’s a range of coloured lenses available and a pair will set you back £199.99. 

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TriEye Sport Revo Max

2023 TriEye View Sport Revo Max.jpg

The TriEye glasses feature a rear-view mirror as well, but only on one side of the glasses (although, there is a version for rowers to see the boats behind them with two mirrors). TriEye TriEye Sport Revo Max’s frame is made from TR90, a thermoplastic material that is durable, flexible, and lightweight, and they have a rubber tip for max comfort.

The scratch-resistant polycarbonate lens has a red lens coating that provides a “soothing tint, perfect clarity, and maximum protection against glare”. And on that lens, there is the TriEye mirror, but unlike the HindSight shades, the mirror is on the lower corner of the lens and quite distinguishable. You can choose for it to be on the left (US/Europe) or right (UK) side, so that you see the road behind you depending on which side you’re riding on. 

These specs are available in two sizes and retail at £91. 

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POC Propel sunglasses

2023 Poc Propel sunglasses.jpg

Let’s leave mirrors behind us, and focus on what is coming up ahead… the wind. POC released the Proper glasses earlier this year and they promise some pretty impressive aero gains. 

They’re shaped to fit close to the face and by doing that, help push air away from the ears. They also feature a trailing edge on each side of the lens for the effective management of airflow over the shoulders – and all of this is a result of CFD (computational fluid dynamics) testing that POC has been doing as part of its aero initiative. 

The lens, simply called ‘Clarity’, claims to ensure the vision is always sharp, and the specs are constructed with a biogrilamid frame. Each pair comes with three nose bridge size options, and the temples are also adjustable for the ultimate snug aero fit. Of course, the Propel is optimised to work best paired with a POC helmet, but that doesn’t mean they would not make a great pair for non-POC helmet wearers, too. 

The Propel shades are available in six frame colours with either silver or gold mirror lens, and retail for £230.

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Koo Demos Sunglasses with Red Mirror Lenses

Koo Demos Sunglasses with Red Mirror Lenses

Koo’s Demos sunglasses don’t really boast some groundbreaking technology, but instead, keep things classic with a single-lens frame paired with an optimised Zeiss lens - perfect for bright spring days.

> Spring cycling clothing guide: how to choose and use the best gear to ride through the most unpredictable season

Koo has added four ventilation holes around the lens to avoid any fogging from happening, and the large Zeiss lens is bound to provide a clear vision and features a Zeiss Anti-Reflective Technology, the lens eliminates reflections from the front and back surfaces of the lens. 

These specs also feature anti-slip MEGOL elastomer temple inserts, and a soft-rubber adjustable nose pad to tailor the fit for different riders' needs.

The Demos come in quite a few different frame and lens colour combos and retail for £125.99.

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Engo Eyewear Engo 2 sport smartglasses

2023 Engo Eyewear Engo 2 sport smartglasses.jpg

If you thought that a built-in rear mirror was cool, just wait until you read more about the Engo 2 glasses. These smart cycling glasses are designed for cyclists, triathletes, runners and the like, and display real-time performance data right on the lens. 

Engo says the Engo 2 is “an entirely new way to train and compete” and that is quite an accurate claim, as this is quite different from any of the technology we see daily on a pair of Oakleys. In essence, the technology that is built into the nose bridge, allows you to wave your hand in front of the lens and swipe through data fields. 

You can see your power, heart rate, speed and distance, and a bunch of other data numbers appear right in front of your eyes with these glasses. You might think that building so much tech into a pair of glasses makes them weigh like a brick, but Engo says they tip the scales at 36 grams, which is quite impressive. 

You should get 12 hours of use out of the battery with a single charge and Engo says you can safely take them out in the rain as they are water-resistant. 

There are two colour options and two sizes available and a set of the Engo 2’s sets you back €329 (about £291). 

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Would you consider investing in some smart cycling glasses? Let us know your thoughts on them in the comments below. 

This article contains links to retailers. Purchases made after clicking on those links may help support by earning us a commission, but all of our reviews are fully independent.

Suvi joined F-At in 2022, first writing for She's since joined the tech hub, and contributes to all of the sites covering tech news, features, reviews and women's cycling content. Lover of long-distance cycling, Suvi is easily convinced to join any rides and events that cover over 100km, and ideally, plenty of cake and coffee stops. 

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jaysa | 1 year ago

Has anyone tried those Engo 2 smart glasses?
If they work as described, might be able to justify them ...

AidanR replied to jaysa | 1 year ago

There a couple of reviews on running sites, which are pretty positive. I think the main issue is the price!

SimoninSpalding replied to AidanR | 1 year ago

That depends on what is driving it. If you can run it from your phone, and have these instead of a computer, for a cyclist the price isn't bad

AidanR replied to SimoninSpalding | 1 year ago

They have an app, but I think that's for configuring the glasses rather than using the phone's GPS etc to provide data. It appears that it's designed to pair with watches, computers etc. for the data, but I could be wrong.

TTX1 replied to AidanR | 1 year ago

Engo will pair with the Activelook iOS or Android app, which also provides setup and firmware updates, but most cyclists will pair with a Garmin device, which adds more sensor data (HR, power, cadence, wheelspeed). 

mark1a replied to jaysa | 1 year ago

They do look interesting. Some years ago, I had the Garmin Varia Vision, it worked brilliantly and was very configurable with data fields, and even recreated the rear view radar dots. I ended up selling it on in the end, it didn't get used as much it should, my mates used to rib me for wearing what looked like a Borg implant, and it was an awkward fit on Oakley Jawbreakers. It doesn't look like Garmin are doing something similar again as support for it has been removed from the Edge 1040.

However something built into the glasses themselves looks to me like it may be worth another go, and it appears the technology that drives it (ActiveLook) is separate from the glasses manufacturer and can be licenced - i.e. if other glasses manufacturers take it up, it will succeed.

RTK replied to jaysa | 1 year ago
1 like

I've been using the ENGO glasses for a few months now.  I bought them for cycling, but discovered that I also love them for running.  It's been great to see my pace and heartrate (especially when straining to hit a BQ marathon time!) 

They paired easily with my Apple Watch (which I don't use too often when training).  Connecting them to my Garmin watch and bike computer was a bit more involved but, once completed, they all play well together. 

One thing I appreciate is that they don't make you look like a cyborg!  People don't seem to notice that I'm wearing a "device" on my face... they're super lightweight and comfortable.

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