Who hasn’t had a clump of mud, excessive rain or large flying insects smash into their eyes while riding? Always seemingly at the most crucial point on the fastest part of the trail, headed for a tree, cliff edge or the rear end of your suddenly hard-breaking riding buddy. No one needs that, but short of going full enduro with your favourite goggles mounted on your half lid, or permanently squinting so that nothing can fit between your eyelids, the logical solution to all the hardship is a good, functional pair of glasses. In this instance, I’m not talking your fancy sun shades normally used for heading to the beach or chilling in the beer garden. You can’t guarantee the sun, especially where I live in the North of England and so you need some more advanced tech in your eyewear to justify adding them to the kit list. The Ryders Eyewear 'Seventh' photochromic antiFOG glasses offer eye protection and more in their understated package. First off, the photochromic element to the lens means that they are constantly adapting to the available light, therefore in full sun the lens changes to a dark tint, giving you 100% UV400 protection and a more shaded view on the world. Whereas on a muggy northern morning, with low cloud and a prevailing drizzle, they will stay 100% clear. The photochromic element is permanent too, where a lot of other manufacturers simply dip their lenses, Ryders actually inject them, and so giving them a much longer workable life span.Buy Glasses on
The Seventh fit my head well out of the box, which was a great start but seemed to clash with both of my usual helmets of choice. After a bit of tweaking with the fully adjustable temple tips and nose pads I managed to secure a pretty ideal fit with a generous airflow through the glasses. The pads are also hydrophobic so even on those sweaty rides they did seem to remain secure and comfortable.
The photochromic element was effective and worked at a good speed, I was never left thinking things had got a bit dark even riding in the trees and in and out of shade. The lens treatment doesn’t stop there either, the back of the lens has a military grade anti-fog treatment and the front sports a hydrophobic coating. Both of these are designed to last a long time, allowing the glasses to be properly cleaned but remain entirely functional. They did perform well in wet conditions, but don't be too mis-led by the term hydrophobic, which unfortunately doesn’t mean that the water will literally bead off every time, in serious rain or spray you will still have limited sight. With a bit of speed or a proper wipe they do come clear a lot better than any other untreated equivalent. In the process of finding the limit of the hydrophobic finish, they never once steamed up, so apparently military grade antiFOG is the one.
In the past I have been guilty of the 'squint and bear it' technique when it came to wet and muddy descents. I have owned and tried a number of sets of glasses, none of which have ever entirely ticked all the boxes though. Whilst I am not usually a fan of the half frame design, I do appreciate its functionality both with lens clearance and also weight. However, in terms of styling Ryders have got it right with the Seventh, as slightly deeper cut glass prevents that slightly retro, slim styling often accompanied with a half frame set of glasses and also gives a more comprehensive area of cover from the aforementioned projectiles. The lens technology, front, back and internally, is effective and consistent resulting in the glasses remaining clear despite numerous muddy, sweaty and wet outings. After countless mud splatters scraped from the lens with a dirty jersey, battering through hedgerows face first and being dropped on more than one occasion, they have survived and keep on performing excellently.
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Dan, Joe and Edgar