The Aethon is Tifosi Optics' update on the well-received Alliant. It features a taller lens and a grippy, removable brow bar. The vision is clear and the semi-rimless design is perfectly comfy, but the lens could be even taller – and the brow bar is redundant.
In the nicely stitched hard case, you get the frame and two spare lenses. There’s an amber all-conditions lens, and a clear one for simply keeping your eyes safe from wheel-flung filth. You also get a microfibre pouch for storage and lens cleaning.
The semi-rimless design is made up of two plastic arms with that removable brow bar and a strike shield that clips to the bottom of the lens. Because of this design, they’re fairly lightweight and nicely comfortable.
This design also lends itself well to easy lens swaps. It’s simply a case of removing all of the clip-on parts from the lens and snapping them onto your new one. While it's super easy, it does leave some scratching on the lens, most notably at the brow bar (more on that later).
Altough very comfy, I found the fit a little weird. With the nosepiece in the standard position there's an awful lot of the lower strike guard in view. When you’re getting the power down (or if you ride a road bike, which puts you in a more head down position), this isn’t as much of an issue, but during regular off-road riding it’s absolutely obscuring.
To combat this I lifted the adjustable nosepiece, which helped, but the strike guard still feels a little fatter than necessary. It could do with slimming down, or doing away with completely – at the cost of protection. Also, with the nosepiece adjusted high, the brow bar can become a problem for fit. Thankfully it’s removable, and once I took it off it never found its way back on.
The Aethon deals with fog well, but it’s even better without that brow bar and there’s a decent coverage benefit if you ditch it. However, if you do, do it soon. Even popping the bar on and off for pictures has scratched the lens, and as the lens could still do with being taller – I can just about see over it when I’m hard on the pedals – that area is important.
Pitfalls aside, the Tifosi Aethon glasses clear fog well (while hardly fogging at all), they’re comfortable, and have a clear, sharp lens. Horizontal coverage is very nearly bang on, too. If you can work around the fit issues the Aethon performs very well, and is a good option for the cash.
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