Here is a first look review of the NEW Rad8 506's
from Hampy Performance MTB UK . the weather at this time of year is a challenge for any MTB glasses but the Rad8 506's were up to the job....
We've been a fan of Rad8's MTB riding glasses since we first came across them almost 2 years ago. Based in God's own county the West Midlands 😉 The Rad8 teams sole goal has been to design, test and produce the best MTB specific eyewear on the market.
We've had the pleasure of being able to meet Steve who's the driving force behind the company and a thoroughly nice MTBer he is too 👍
We own and ride in their 504 and 502 ranges fitted with the photochromic lens which lighten or darken quickly with the ever changing light conditions. My personal favourite go to glasses are the 504 Mudhugger edition in matt black 😎 They are comfortable, give excellent vision, have never fogged up and provide great mud splatter coverage. They are also pretty sturdy as they have survived a few falls from my clumsy hands and falling off the top of my helmet 😞
Rad8 have been very busy putting the finishing touches to a couple of new models to their range and last week we were lucky enough to get our hands on a pair of their new 506's 🤘
The 506's are a half frame design in black with an orange rubber grip on the arms to add that bit of colour. They are built from TR90 plastic that is very tactile, flexible and strong. They have added a sweat band at the top to help keep the sweat away from eyes which is a nice touch and doesn't detract from the sporty looks of the frames. The rubber nose bridge is a good size and offers plenty of adjustment, so fit shouldn't be a problem.
The frames came fitted with photochromic lens and the clarity is excellent. The lens are a good size and offer a great field of vision.
So what are they like out in the real world?
We were lucky enough to have 3 days riding planned last week and the conditions turned out to be perfect for testing out these new 506's.
Ride #1 was in the Peak District in bright, sunny but very chilly and windy conditions. The ride consisted of flowing trails through woodland with changing dappled lighting, steep rocky, rooty, suspension testing descents and open vista climb with beautiful panoramas 😁
The 506s were comfy from the off and I pretty much forgot I was wearing them. In the very mixed lighting of the woodland the photochromic lens adapted to the conditions seamlessly and most importantly quickly allowing me the opportunity to push harder and more swiftly along the trail.
When the terrain started to point down and the surface became rock strewn n rooty I had no issues letting go of the brakes and pinning it as the 506's didn't bounce or budge on my face. I wore the 506's both over and under my helmet straps and either way they stayed put. Out in the brihht open Peak District vistas the lens darkened perfectly and did a great job of letting me carve my way across this awesome scenery. Ride #1 = 👍
Ride #2 couldn't have been more different as we headed out to Oneplanet Adventure to ride the fast and flowing Llandegla trails on a damp, chilly, misty, drizzly day 😱
Most of you may know Degla and it's infamous first grind aka 2.5 mile climb to the start of the trails proper. This gave me the perfect opportunity to test out the anti fogging properties as putting in some hard efforts mixed with moist, misty, drizzly conditions was perfect breeding ground for creating that all important body misting / steaming i.e. getting a sweat on, that can be the bane of these types of rides 😖 I'm stoked to report that I got zero, yep honestly zero misting or fogging of the lens which I think is pretty impressive 👊 I've had the odd issue with the 502 half frame model as conditions like these have been able to overcome the anti fog coating, especially when you stop in more sheltered areas with little to no breeze. I didn't experience this with the 506's (I don't experience it with my full frame 502's either) it may be they gave a better anti fog coating and they seem to sit a tad further off the face too 🤔 The sweat band worked a treat too as I didn't suffer with stinging eyes 😀 As for staying put Degla has some proper swooping trails where your suspension gets sucked right down before you are fired out, up and over / off a drop or small jump. At no point did the 506's feel that they would decide to bail on me and again no bounce or movement over the roughest of terrain. The trails though damp and wet weren't as bad as expected and I managed to avoid most of the proper wet bits. That said 18 miles of fun, sketchy riding over damp trails did throw up it's fair amount of muck towards ones facial area. I use the Mudhugger FR on the front of my bikes and this really helps limit the amount of splatter I get. What muck made it past the FR didn't get past the 506's so mud protection seemed good too 🤜🤛
Ride #3 was a steady social ride on and off piste through my local forest. Conditions started off drizzly but warm and changed to bright n mild (I ended up riding in a T shirt n shorts 🤩) those the trails were filthy 🙈 This really gave the 506's (as well as the Mudhugger FR) mud protection a thorough testing. Bike, body and 506's got a proper paisting with all types of muck being thrown about. This mainly happened because I was tail end Charlie for the group so got what the rest of the group decided to throw my way off their back wheels, the FR and 506's didn't stand much of a chance 🤓 The protection offered is pretty impressive as I got away with almost no muck getting into my eyes which is very important as I ride wearing contact lens! They only time I suffered was when stuff hit my face and splashed upwards, it was a very rare occurrence and mainly happened when we were barreling through deep puddles sending lots of spray everywhere. One of the reasons I think the protection was so good is that the sweat band adds to the splatter protection too...very clever 👍
So 3 different rides in 3 very different types of riding conditions and one pair of Rad8 MTB Glasses 506's. They performed exceptionally well and handled everything that was literally thrown at them without any fuss. On returning home from each ride I rinsed them in warm water to remove the grime and then polished them up with the included soft cloth case.
If you only ever need to purchase one set of riding glasses then I know you really can't go wrong with these. The 506's are now my go to riding glasses every time 🤜🚴♀️🤛