The Flywheel from Smith Optics is a retro/modern-looking pair of sunglasses featuring their own tinted ChromaPop lenses. They’re light, comfy and give excellent coverage for riding. Although downsides are few, the lens isn’t interchangeable, meaning they're only really useful for spring and summer.
These semi-framed glasses are made from a very flexy thermoplastic (TR90) and feature auto-lock hinges and adjustable two-position nose pads. The pads are hydrophilic, by which Smith mean they stay grippy instead of getting slippery as the sweat starts flowing.
The lens uses Smith's ChromaPop technology, which filters two wavelengths of light the company claims 'cause colour confusion.' The aim is to boost your ability to see clearly, and the darkened lens gets a hydroleophobic coating to further help things.
The word hydroleophobic appears to be have been made up by Smith Optics, and is a blend of hydro (water), oleo (oil) and phobic (to mean repellent). Basically, they bead water and resist the build up of greases that blur vision... not that we're saying you've got a greasy face. We couldn't possibly comment.
Unfortunately, the lens isn’t interchangeable for clear, so these shades are best kept for the sunnier months.
Thanks in part to the adjustable nosepiece and the general build of the Flywheel, the fit is absolutely spot on, as is the coverage from the lens. This combination makes the Flywheel very natural-feeling, and comfortable enough to keep on all day. They’re lightweight too, making them relatively unnoticeable.
All of that lens tech definitely helps. ChromaPop keeps everything clear and sharp, while the hydroleophobic coating makes them easy to clean. It's pretty durable too: after wiping mud, sweat and rain away with whatever I’m wearing – and dropping the things a few times – they remain unscratched and immaculate.
The nosepiece holds the glasses away from your face, aiding airflow to keep the lens from fogging. It does a great job. However, they’re not totally immune to fog when you're stationary or grinding up a slow climb, though they clear super quickly once a breeze gets under them.
The Smith Optics Flywheel glasses are almost faultless. They’re comfortable, clear, durable and give excellent coverage. It’s just disappointing they're not year-round useful due to their fixed, tinted lens.
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