We cyclists are a vain bunch, so I’ll just come out and say it — most cycling glasses look dumb in a non-cycling context. That’s just how it is. Those fancy Oakley sunglasses that all the pros wear for their superior optics, sweat-shedding properties and aerodynamic stylings? They look great in the peloton and awful outside of it. Technical wear in a non-technical environment is simply not pro, much less the coveted Euro pro.
That was essentially what motivated my purchase of the Giro Convert sunglasses. I don’t have the money nor the patience to have multiple pairs of sunglasses for different occasions, so I needed something that would work well on and off the bike. Something practical and stylish yet geared towards what cyclists need most — glasses that are designed with cycling needs in mind.
On the cycling side, the optics are fantastic. My vision isn’t at all distorted while wearing these, and I avoid the dreaded headache that comes from wearing sunglasses that slightly morph what your eye is seeing. The glasses fit extremely well, even for a person with a face as wide as mine is. (Go ahead, make jokes.) They don’t squeeze behind the ears, and they offer just enough space around the temples so that they can easily fit around a helmet strap. The only downsides are that the lenses are not replaceable and the relatively snug fit across the front of the face can mean that those of us that sweat profusely (yes, that would be me) sometimes struggle with the lenses fogging up or beads of sweat getting stuck on the bottom inside rim of the lenses.
On the non-cycling side, they look normal. Take these off after a race, wipe ‘em down and put them back on with your street clothes — no one would know that you’re a bad-ass amateur cycling enthusiast. (Hmmm. Doesn’t sound so cool when you say it out loud, does it?) Best yet, they come in a variety of normal colors. No Atomic Orange, no Plum Purple, no Grotesque Yellow — just black, silver, white, grey and brown.
In summary, these are great multi-use cycling glasses. This isn’t to knock good Oakleys, mind you. Teammates Tony and Jonathan swear by the Oakley Radar, and from what I know these things are pretty much as good as it gets in terms of technical wear. (And, I should add, both of them look pretty rad wearing them.) But they’re not your day-to-day sunglasses, at least not for me.
Finally, I think a shout-out is due to teammate Tim B., a faithful adherent of Rudy Project sunglasses. Due to a recent mishap, though, he’s had to go in the opposite direction and wear normal sunglasses on training rides. Instead of choosing something that could pass as cycling wear, he broke out the Jersey girl clubbing glasses. It’s quite the spectacle, but he deserves props for bravely rocking those abominations around us.