- Smart, casual styling with on-bike function
- Crisp, light sensitive lens with anti-fog coating
- A decent price
- Lens sometimes a bit dark for murky British woodlands
- The full-frame design slightly impedes on your field of vision
Julbo might not be the first brand that springs to mind when you think of cycling eyewear, but their Renegade Zebra Light glasses marry a quality photochromic lens to a lightweight frame. They don't offer quite the same field of vision as frameless designs, but you will look a whole lot cooler off the bike in these.
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Thanks to a casual styled squared-off frame, the Renegade glasses have you covered when it comes to looking smart off the bike, but they work impressively well on the bike, though they don't offer quite the same field of vision as more traditionally cycling specific shapes. I found the frame was noticeable in my view when I had my head right down, but generally, they weren't too restrictive at any other point.
The lens is Julbo's light-sensitive and polarised Zebra Light, which can change from a 17% to 75% visible light transmission rate. In practice, they worked well on really bright days, but I found the lower end of the range to be a little bit too dark when hacking about in the depths of the woods where a clearer lens would be preferable. Again, I usually wear clear glasses almost year-round because of where I ride, but if you tend to have more open terrain then these will be spot on for summer.
As with most photochromic lenses, rapid light transitions from bright to dark can leave you struggling to see briefly, but they didn't get too confused the rest of the time and they seemed to change shades about as fast as any other set I've used. They're also crisp and the slight tint did help add contrast.
The fit is non-adjustable but good, with little rubber nose grips and strips on the inner arm that held them in place without obvious movement. Pleasingly, they synced well with a number of different helmets, not generating any uncomfortable hot spots. The anti-fog coating on the lens seemed to do the job well, only getting steamed up in the muggiest or sweatiest of conditions and clearing quickly once up to speed.
All in all, these are really nicely made and stylish glasses that do the job on the bike - or off it. Considering all you're getting, they're a reasonable price too. If you regularly ride in the sort of dimly lit places that resemble Mordor - and there are plenty of those in the UK, even in mid-summer - then you might find the lens a little dark, but apart from that, they're quality glasses with a cool edge.