When it comes to MTB protection, your eyes are usually one of the last places to get covered. Sure, many of us don a pair of goggles for the messier and gnarlier of rides, but what about the everyday trail, the leisurely pootle and even the journey to and from?
Born from the British mud, Mudhugger set themselves on the right trail with their mudguards. Made from stiff quality plastic, they're known for their slim discrete profile and ability to keep your face (relatively) free from crap.
Leading on from the iconic mudguard, the brand has since teamed up with Rad 8 to develop a pair of specs; the Mudhugger / Rad8 MTB Glasses.
Using Rad8's popular 504 model of MTB glasses, Mudhugger has come onboard to collaborate on a stealth black series. Key features include:
- Rad8 photochromic lenses change quickly to adapt to the riding conditions. They start clear and darken in sunlight, great for night riding and all year round riding
- A robust wraparound frame provides a close fit for maximum protection from road and trail debris.
- Lightweight frame and lenses weighing 25g with rubber nose bridge for all-day comfort
- Robust polycarbonate lenses, resist damage and protect your vision
- Durable R8clearview anti-fog coating keeps your vision clear even on slow speed ascents.
- Clear vision and protection in any weather.
As soon as these arrived at my door, I was straight out in them. While I will wear goggles for more hair-raising trails, I find them too much for the everyday ride, the training sessions and general pootle so I was pretty relieved and excited to give these a go.
One thing to immediately catch my attention was how lightweight they feel in the hand, weighing just 25g the matte frame was soft against my nose and ears and the overall aesthetic oozed an elegant simplicity.
Photochromatic lenses mean that they're clear in dull light, then respond to brightness by tinting the lens darker to protect your eyes from the sun. So, imagine riding up a fire road in the blazing sun, the lenses are dark for protection, then when you head into the trees for your rewarding descent, the lenses clear up so you're not having to faff around with changing your glasses or goggles.
So when it came to actually getting out for a pedal in these bad boys, I was pleasantly reassured by the swift responsiveness to the brightness of Mother Nature... without my even being aware of the change. At no point did I find myself squinting from the harsh sun rays, nor wide eye like a bug looking for the trail in the dark.
They performed brilliantly to the subtle changes in light but they also did a great job of not getting steamy when I was really going for it on the climbs. The R8clearview anti-fog coating certainly did well to keep my vision clear, even when I felt so hot, you could have boiled an egg on my face.
If there's to be any criticism, it lies in the fit/sizing of the Mudhugger / Rad8 MTB glasses...
The 504 model is a one-size-fits-all which is usually fine for headwear and eyewear, but when you're hurtling down a trail on your bike, you don't want too much loose movement on your face, it's distracting.
For me, I found the legs to be a good length, but the Teflon-like matte finish caused them to slip through my hair. I would have liked a little more grip on the legs either with a rubber sleeve or plastic nodules designed into the glasses mould.
While the fit may be a little slippery for me, I've been pretty impressed by the Mudhugger / Rad8 MTB Glasses. They're lightweight, responsive to light, they don't fog up and they offer enough protection from rogue bits of trail getting kicked up in your face... what more could you want?
If you need prescription lenses, no problem. When you place an order, contact Rad8 and they'll be happy to help you out.
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