Any roadies out there will recognize Rapha's Pro Team Full Frame Glasses as they've been plucked from their road line-up and added to the brand's off-road range. However, don't let their road-based motive fool you as they're a very valid choice for off-road riding, providing excellent coverage and comfort. However, venting and build quality needs a little work.
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Yep, you've read me right; the Pro Team Full Frame glasses already exist in Rapha's road line-up. However, the new trail range comes in a few different colours, but they're exactly the same for all intents and purposes.
The Pro Team Full Frame glasses are made with injection moulded Grilamid for their combination of strength and flexibility. Then, there's a pair of Megol arm grippers that are meant to stay grippy when wet, and there's a couple of Snaplock hinges. The wrap-around lens gets a hydrophobic coating, anti-fog treatment, and anti-scratch coating.
In the box, with the glasses, you’ll find one clear lens, the mirrored dimmed lens, two different sized nose pieces, and a microfiber bag, which can be home to both a spare lens and the glasses themselves. The box itself is covered in a velvet-like material.
Swapping the Pro Team Full Frame glasses’ lenses is impressively easy. Thanks to the Grilamid construction, the frame is plenty bendy enough, and a lens can be removed with just two movements. Installing a lens requires a little more finesse, mostly in sending the bottom of the lens home properly but give it a bit of practice, and it takes mere seconds to get the job done. You will have to have a wipe at the ready though, it’s tough not to get fingerprints everywhere when changing lenses.
Pop them on and what's immediately impressive is the glasses' coverage. There's only a smidge above the cheek that's not covered, and for a pair of glasses designed to suit lots of faces, it's easily forgiven. It's also totally invisible once you've got your head down, charging along.
As I've said, the glasses come with two different sized nose pieces, and I've found the smaller one to fit me really well. Although to start with, I found that it was quite intrusive to my vision, more so than on other glasses. However, it's easily forgotten.
On the whole, the Pro Team Full Frame glasses are perfectly comfortable and ideal for long days in the saddle, perhaps a nod to their road intentions. However, I've found that they can be pretty keen to fog once stood still or at slow speeds.
This is possibly due to their road-focused design, where roadies are on the move more often and generally, quicker on average (sorry to say). As we know all too well, mountain biking is a little more stop/start, and we go uphill a little slower. Not moving fast enough to encourage airflow while getting nice and sweaty is a big cause of fog, and that's very clear with Rapha's offering here. They're also prone to fog when stood still.
The black mirrored lens that we've got on our test glasses has proven to be super versatile and ideal for in-and-out of forest riding. They're not so protected that you can't see when under tree cover. It's pretty clear, too, while looking mighty cool.
While grippy, the megol arm grippers have started to peel off after a few months of riding. Unless you're happy to get handy with some super glue, this is disappointing of a pair of glasses at this price.
At £120, the Rapha Pro Team Full Frame glasses are thrust right into a pool of very decent competition. I'm a big fan of the Melon Optics Alleycat glasses, which come in at the same price. However, I reckon that the Alleycats trump Rapha's offering in the anti-fog department, and they're entirely customizable. However, the Alleycats don't come with a fully clear lens, but more of a warm tinted one, and the Alleycat's coverage isn't quite as expansive as the Rapha Pro Team Full Frame.
Saving you a tenner is the Smith Optics Flywheel. This pair doesn't come with interchangeable lenses, but it benefits from Smith's super clear ChromoPop tech. They're seriously comfy, too, while offering very useful coverage. Ticking nearly all of the boxes for a great pair of off-road specs.
If you're after coverage and a versatile lens above all else, the Rapha Pro Team Full Frame glasses will do you very well. Just watch out for any potential peeling from the grippers and prepare yourself for some fog.