Rudy Project Cutline Sunglasses: Checkpoint – by Guitar Ted
Recently I introduced the Rudy Project Cutline sunglasses which are still under review here. After a good month or so of rides, I am back to give you my thoughts on how they are performing for me. Just as a quick reminder, we have two lenses- the Photochromic and the standard mirrored lenses. The Cutline also has the ability to be worn in various configurations by removing or adding the rubber “lens bumpers” which I also have experimented with.
The Cutline glasses are the first I’ve tried with a Sun induced tint feature. I was pretty excited to try this out and so those lenses were the first to be worn on several rides. My typical gravel rides do not see a lot of shade-to-Sun situations, so I judged this feature of the Cutline on my commute. On that route I have a section where I come out of a full Sun right into a heavily canopied recreational trail. Getting clear vision in this section used to require my taking off my sunglasses and clenching one of the bows in my teeth as my eyes refocused in the darker atmosphere.
With the Cutline glasses on with the Photochromic lens installed, I had no issues with seeing and I could leave the glasses on the entire stretch. So, in my experience, they did change tint fast enough that I did not have to wonder about not seeing an oncoming pedestrian, or cyclist, as an example. Now, if you are a mountain biker and are going at high rates of speed on single track? Hmm…. My opinion is that these glasses do change tint pretty quickly, but maybe not that quickly. However; I am not reviewing these for mountain biking. As a road/gravel/back road set of glasses? They are perfectly fine in this role of coming in and out of shaded areas.
My next thing to test was how the Power Flow Extreme Ventilation worked by removing or adding the lens bumpers. I wanted to see how this affected air flow and wearability. I started with no bumpers and the mirrored lens. I then added the top bumper and had no bottom side bumpers. Then, of course, I ran the full set of bumpers. In my opinion, adding the top bumper had the biggest effect on added airflow around the eyebrow area. Without that there it wasn’t as cool to wear in terms of heat build-up, which may seem counter-intuitive to some. However; those little vents in that bumper really do direct a noticeable amount of air around the eyebrow area, which I found comfortable on 80-90° day rides.
I didn’t notice that the lower bumpers did much for me other than obscure my vision on the lower parts of my periphery vision. I really liked not having them there, as this made it seem as though nothing was there. Plus it made the glasses weigh slightly less, which I liked also. This is a good option, being able to decide on the bumpers. This allows for anyone buying the Cutline to decide for themselves what works best.
I had a reader ask about wearing fatigue- the sometimes painful, always annoying soreness you sometimes get where the bows go over the ears and around the nose-piece area. I am happy to report that the ‘tweak-ability’ of the bow ends and of the nose piece allowed me to fine tune out any of this fatigue from wearing the glasses for several hours at a crack. Furthermore; I was able to make the glasses stay put due to this feature. Bonus- no poking up the glasses during riding.
Rudy Project also makes claims that their lenses and glasses designs for the Cutline are anti-fogging due to the aforementioned Power Flow Extreme Ventilation. I went with my “Riding Gravel Radio Ranch” co-host, Andy, on an early morning ride on a humid day which had a fair amount of fog going on in the hollows. I noted that if I stopped moving the Cutline would fog over very quickly, but as soon as any movement forward was initiated, the Cutline cleared just as quickly. The air movement around the glasses is quite good, and keeping the lens clear only required that I just keep moving forward.
On that same ride I started out in darkness wearing the Photochromic lens and with a typical LED bicycle light I did not have any issues seeing. The transition from darkness to daylight was handled supremely well by the Photochromic lens. No problems at all.
So Far… The Rudy Project Cutline glasses have a lot going for them. They have very customizable bow tips and a nose piece which allows for the perfect fit. If you pop for the Photochromic lens you get a very versatile lens capable of handling changing light conditions quite well. Well enough for most any gravel rider. The mirrored lens and the Photochromic lens are really on par with the best optics around. My only issue wearing the Cutline came at around sundown when light was filtered through trees in an almost mirror ball flashing situation which, probably regardless of the eyewear used, was a very difficult situation to see in. Otherwise I’ve been very impressed with these glasses.
I’ve got a little more time to test these glasses out and will have a final verdict once I have tried the Cutlines out in cooler, wetter weather. Stay tuned for that in a few weeks.
Note: Rudy Project sent over the Cutline with two lenses to Riding Gravel for test and review at no charge. We are not being paid nor bribed for this review and we strive to always give our honest thoughts and opinions throughout.