With the Crit Fototech, Tifosi Optics brings a host of cool tech to a wallet-friendly price point. They’re super comfortable, don’t move around and clear fog really quickly – however, they feel a little cheap and don’t quite provide enough coverage.
Within the lightweight and tough Grilamid TR-90 frame sit two non-removable Fototech lenses with Tifosi's Glare Guard coating. The lenses are photochromic, meaning they adapt to the light levels as you ride; in bright sunlight, they darken to 76% opaque, and under gloomy skies they clear to just a 27% tint.
A nice touch is that the lenses are vented, aiding airflow and fog clearance. They’re also optically de-centered, which eliminates any weird magnification or distortion of your vision.
Continuing with the scientific properties we come to the adjustable nosepiece and adjustable earpieces – they're hydrophilic, which means they repel water and actually get grippier as you sweat. It works really well, and they don't move around even when your helmet, face and hair are properly sweaty.
The Crits sit comfortably close to the face and as you’re riding, and in the right conditions, they’re almost completely forgettable. At their clearest, there's a slight tint but it's plenty clear enough for dark days. However, if you’re blasting from open skies into the trees, the lenses aren’t the quickest to react, so fast entries into forests can be... interesting.
I would like a bit more coverage from these glasses. At any given point, the top of the frame and bottoms of the lenses sit in the periphery of vision and, when cornering, the ends of the arms invade a bit of vision. It's a potential annoyance rather than an actual problem, however, and for the price it's easily forgiven.
As for fog, these glasses handle it pretty well. They can fog up pretty quickly when wrenching up a climb, even with a slight breeze, but as soon as a draft really gets going they clear quickly. One issue is that the venting doesn’t reach the whole of the lenses, leaving a bar of mist along the top, but this too clears before it becomes a real problem as your speed picks up on descents.
However, on cold, foggy days, I gave up wearing the glasses on climbs as they really struggle to clear at all.
For the money, it’s really tough to knock the Tifosi Optics Crit Crystal Fototechs. They perform really well under most conditions and they’re comfortable enough for all-day wear. There's even a version with removable lenses, if photochromic lenses aren’t your thing.
You might also like: