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Eyewear

Specialized Shifty optics

  • Specialized Shifty glasses
  • £79.99
  • Specialized
  • 0208 391 3500

First introduced a year ago, the Specialized range of optics (that’s “eyewear” or simply “glasses” to the rest of us) now extends to eight models, and the Shifty is the first to offer cool street styling while still offering all the features of their previous offerings.

The big feature of the Specialized Optics is their Adaptalite technology. We don’t need to go into detail again, but to recap the unique photochromatic lenses adjust to the current light conditions, going from their darkest to their lightest in about 20 seconds. You probably won’t notice them changing, but you’ll certainly notice that you can go from sunny open trails into the trees and still see where you’re going. The lenses are made from the same stuff used in Apache helicopter screens, which explains why we’ve never managed to damage them.

Misting is always a problem when wearing shades. The thin cut-aways at the sides of the lenses help alleviate the problem, but don’t completely prevent it. There are rubber grippers on the nose piece and on the ends of the arms, and the glasses stay in place on your head very securely. We occasionally got sore spots where the arms touch the sides of the head after long stints wearing them – it might be that they’re a fraction too small for this tester’s head though.

The styling has often led to debates in the car park, but we like them. They’re good looking enough in a non-bikey way that you can wear them off the bike. In fact we’ve been known to wear them continually for entire days at a time.

Positives: Only adjustable lens technology on the market, great styling

Negatives: A little expensive, small for big heads

Verdict: Though expensive, the combination of great looks and great function is hard to beat. These are a pair of shades you can wear all day long on and off the bike.

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