“For a second, I thought Elton John was cosplaying as The Fly. Then I realized it was just you in some ugly-ass glasses.”
“Jim Merithew, European Trance DJ!”
“What are those, the newest glasses from the Cee Lo Green Performance Collection?”
These are just a few of the insults hurled in my direction by my fellow cyclists as I wore my Assos Zegho Noire sunglasses on our semi-regular ride through Marin County. I was thoroughly enjoying the comfort and clarity of my pricey shades, so I brushed off the jabs with a smirk. But when we stopped at a coffee shop in San Anselmo, I happened to catch my reflection in the window. My stomach got a little tight — I looked ridiculous, like some sort of cross between a bug and an alien.
Don’t get me wrong, I knew this was coming the moment the Zeghos arrived, preciously swaddled in their own white faux-leather hard case. I was just surprised by how many guffaws they garnered. After all, I’m big middle-aged guy dressed head-to-toe in stretchy bike clothes. The glasses are simply the icing on the cake of ridicule.
And actually, I must admit, the zany looks were a big part of the initial appeal. Checking myself out in the mirror at home, I flashed back to visions of Mario Cipollini — teeth clenched, muscles bulging, barreling six lengths ahead of the peloton in a mass Tour sprint, grandly sporting the most audacious kit and a pair of day-glo Briko Stingers. I imagined my next ride would be one filled with intense sprint repeats, followed by some iced Sambuca and a nice hot tub with molte belle ragazze.
But when you get out onto the road and your friends start ribbing you, it dawns on you that you’re not as cool as Super Mario, nor will you ever be. You just look like a dork.
But who cares? These shades are downright awesome. To develop the Zeghos, Assos partnered with Carl Zeiss Optics to work up a shockingly lightweight, one-piece lens that offers 100 percent UV protection. The tinting features a unique gradient Assos is calling “Tunnel Vision,” where the bottom third of the lenses are clear. There’s zero distortion across the entire lens, even the curviest parts.
The glasses aren’t about fancy tech or fashion, (though Assos says it’s selling tons of these to non-bike-riding ladies) they are about performance on the bike. The first couple rides, I was a little befuddled, as I couldn’t get the glasses to sit correctly on my face. Also, I’ve always been inclined to pull my glasses off near the end of longer climbs, but when the Zeghos are folded up, they’re a little too big to stuff into a jersey pocket.
By about the fourth ride, I finally got the nose grips adjusted correctly, and I tried tucking the temple pieces under my helmet straps. After that, I never wanted to take them off. They literally disappeared onto my face. They never fogged up, they never got streaked with sweat, they never annoyed. Several times, I completely forgot I was wearing them.
That is, of course, right up until we stopped for coffee and the insults started all over again.
“Hey Jim, 1996 called. They want their glasses back.”
WIRED Great optics from Carl Zeiss. Tinting gradient is perfect — it blocks the sun, but you can still read a computer or phone screen and see the road clearly. No sweat. Featherweight construction is supremely comfortable. Impenetrable to UV rays.
TIRED They cost (cough) $470. My wife let me leave the house wearing these?
Article by Jim Merithew (c) Product Reviews - Read full story here.