Bolle’ Volt Glasses & ECO React MIPS Helmet: At The Finish – by Grannygear
Editor’s Note: The introduction to this Bolle’ review can be seen HERE
I have been in the Bolle’ Icarus Volt glasses for many, many miles now and I have enjoyed using them very much with only one or two caveats. First of all, the lens clarity is exceptional, at least it’s better than anything I have used of late and maybe ever, but then I do not typically buy high end sunglasses.
The ability to see with good depth perception and to discern the details of the road surface allowed me to relax and reduced eye strain. It’s funny how that straining to see details is something you just get used to and when it is lessened, it’s quite apparent. It’s like when you get used to the harsh vibrations of a certain bike, then that is muted. It’s like, “Ohhhh!!” I really noticed that when swapping back to other glasses I had used for years.
The only thing that was a slight negative was that the darkness of the tint is not very deep, so for those like myself with light sensitive eyes, sometimes a bright day and a reflective road surface combined to make me squint a bit.
Overall comfort is very good and the frame/lens size covers well for wind and wear and tear on the bike. The only thing I found was the arms were much more suited to being worn outside the helmet straps than inside due to the outwards bow to them. Otherwise the helmet straps pressed the arms into my head and annoyed.
I am pretty sure that this violates the rule that says “always wear your glasses under the helmet straps or you will be banished from the peloton”. I am expecting a warning soon from the local gravel ‘Capo’. Seriously though, one thing about having the arms outside the helmet straps is that you better take your glasses off before you remove your helmet or you will be ejecting your pricey Volt glasses into the evil clutches of gravity.
I wonder if this is related to the ability to tuck the glasses into the helmet shell like all the cool cyclists do? Maybe so. I have not obtained the skills necessary to ride one handed and nestle my glasses into my helmet. Maybe some day.
I like these very much although some day I know I will toss them to the ground when I forget the straps deal. Until then, they are my number one pick for a long day’s ride.
ECO React Helmet:
This was a bit hard to review as the fit for me, based on the sizing, should have been right but was too small. It actually did fit me as far as the head went, but the chin strap was so close to the end of the strap length that it would pull out of the buckle too easily. And no one that I knew well enough to test it could get it to fit either…too big or too small.
It also has a bit of a commuter/casual vibe to it so that does limit the audience a bit. But that all said, it seems to be very well made. All the fit and finish, as I said before, is quite good and the woven visor option is nice for someone who might otherwise think about wearing a hat or visor under the helmet. The helmet sections not covered by the shell show bits of what looks like cork in the matrix, and whether it is or not, it does give the impression of chopped up bits of discarded materials other wise headed for the landfill.
I am betting that this would have a lot of appeal to the ‘basket on my bike’ crowd as they e-bike to the local farmers market.
I liked the look better sans visor, so that is the way I used it and the helmet looked more like a serious piece of gear.
Which it is, being MIPS and all. I actually enjoyed wearing it but the strap length issue was too much for me to risk. It also just was not ‘pro’ enough for me to wear. Yeah, call me a snob, but the look is intended to be casual and commuter and such and that just does not fit my hard earned aura of a wizened and flinty cyclist. I jest, sort of, but you get the point.
The use of recycled materials in the helmet is likely to ring true to the key user groups that will see the Bolle’ Echo React MIPS helmet as a sweet piece of kit. And I am not opposed to that process of manufacture at all. If there were two helmets in my target group and one was kinder to the environment then the other, I would likely be swayed, but only if it was first and foremost the better or equal helmet.
Good construction, a casual but classy look, that feeling of being environmentally responsible in your purchasing decisions, and MIPS for a bit of brain coddling in the event of a crash or impact.
You could do a lot worse then the Bolle’ Echo React MIPS. Just watch that chin strap length.
For more on Bolle’ products see their website here: https://www.bolle.com/us/
Note: Bolle’ sent over the Icarus/Volt sunglasses and the ECO React Helmet for test and review by Riding Gravel at no charge. We were not paid, nor bribed for this post, and we always strive to give our honest thoughts and views throughout. Images used in this post courtesy of Bolle’