Rudy Project Cutline Sunglasses: Getting Rolling

Rudy Project Cutline Sunglasses: Getting Rolling – by Guitar Ted

Riding gravel and eyewear should go hand-in-hand. Why? Well, you do remember what parents often say, right? “You only get one pair of eyes in this life!” Truth. You’d better heed those words and take care of those peepers. The Sun, dust, flying insects, and more are waiting out there for you and will mess up those eyes of yours in a heartbeat. Something along the lines of Rudy Project’s new Cutline sunglasses can really help you with the protection part. And they don’t look bad either.

Rudy Project Cutline glasses
Rudy Project Cutline Sunglasses with mirrored lenses.

Now you can get eyewear at ridiculously low prices and pass it off, like those slick info-mercials you see, as being ‘smart’ because- supposedly- you’ll lose those glasses, smash them, or otherwise mess them up anyway. Why pay more? Well, I don’t know about you, but I count myself as being a bit more responsible and furthermore; my eyes are worth being protected by the best eyewear I can afford. If you’ve ever tried high quality optics, you already know there is a difference. It’s well worth the upgrade.

What It Is: So, just what is ‘Rudy Project‘ and why is the Cutline so special? let’s take a closer look. I’d heard about this company before, but I had no idea what the history was here.

In 1985 Rudy Project was founded by former road racing cyclist, Rudy Barbazza in Italy. The company is noted for several innovations in performance eyewear and helmets. Rudy Project is now run by Barbazza’s sons, Simone and Christiano. The company counts many famous professional athletes as users that have won many races using their products. Rudy Project continues to be a provider of many highly regarded and sought after products for cyclists up to this very day. Rudy Project products have been, and are still, proudly made in Italy. This is an impressive company, to be sure.

Rudy Project Cutline with Photochromic lens installed
Here are the same glasses as above with the Photochromic clear to red tint lens installed.

Rudy Project continues to innovate in the cycling eyewear space and their Cutline model is one of their most recent efforts. Suggested for cycling and running sports, the Cutline has two basic ranges- mirrored lens or the Photochromic lens types. Both have various colors and combinations available. Furthermore, the Cutline has three ‘rubber bumpers’- One above the lens and two underneath- which can be mixed or matched to create different looks. These bumpers are easily removed to allow for different configurations of the Cutline. Finally, the lens is easily exchanged for another utilizing Rudy Project’s clever and simple push-button release function.

Features of the Cutline are listed on the Cutline webpage as follows:

  • Interchangeable Lenses
  • Adjustable Anti Slip Nosepads
  • Fully Adjustable Anti Slip Temples
  • Adaptive Temple Tips
  • Interchangeable Lens Bumpers
  • Powerflow Extreme Ventilation
  • Safety Hinges 
The Photochromic lens transitions to a light red tint as shown.
Here you can see how the lens transitions from clear, (image before this) to this light red tint.

The Cutline also is available with an R/X insert as a separate accessory along with other accessory options including extra lenses, a Chromatic Kit, where you can get contrasting bumpers, temple tips, and nose pads, and also an Eyewear Patrol Pack to store the Cutline in with extra lens.

The Cutline has a claimed weight of 34 grams and retails at $184.99 USD for a mirrored lens or at $234.99USD for a Cutline with a Photochromic lens. Riding Gravel received one frame and two lens options- the mirrored and the Photochromic- so we can compare and contrast the two during this review.

First Impressions; As I looked at the Cutline, I was immediately struck by the style. It is a good looking pair of glasses, and the wrap-around, shield style of sunglasses is a favorite of mine for riding. There should be no issues with peripheral vision and blind spots. The unique rubber bumpers are soft and protect the edges of the lens nicely, although you can remove the top, or bottoms, or all, depending upon your preferences. The adjustable temple tips and nose piece were easy to bend to fit my anatomy and the Cutline feels very natural on the head.

Guitar Ted models the Rudy Project Cutline
Guitar Ted with the Cutline glasses: This is about as dark as the Photochromic lens gets.

Our Cutlines came with the mirrored lens installed, but my curiosity regarding the Photochromic lens had me swapping out lenses almost immediately. The push button release mechanism couldn’t be easier and felt secure when I switched lenses. The bumpers were a bit of a tussle to get off initially, but I figured it out and made the swap.

Both lenses are noticeably very clear and distortion-free in terms of optics. I’ll have more to say about this as I get riding time in. The transition time of the Photochromic lens is rather fast. You can almost watch it turn a light reddish-brown in hue when you are holding them. On your face, it is not apparent that the lens has changed at all. Initial riding exhibited no noticeable times that were too dark or not dark enough as I moved from tree cover to bright sunshine and back again. The transition time must be pretty quick.

So Far….. Rudy Project talks up the ‘Power Flow Extreme Ventilation’ on their Cutline model, claiming an anti-fogging benefit and cooler feeling air around the eyes. There is something to this. I’ll delve into that more in my next update. But so far the Cutline has been very impressive. These are to be considered on par with other high end eyewear choices both in style and in optics. The Photochromic lens feature is intriguing, and I will be looking further into this as the test goes on.

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.


Author: Guitar Ted

Guitar Ted hails from Iowa. Home of over 70,000 miles of gravel and back roads. An inaugural member of the Gravel Cycling Hall of Fame and Co-creator of Trans Iowa in late 2004- Guitar Ted has been at the forefront of the growth of gravel events and riding since then. Creator of Gravel Grinder News in 2008, he produced the premier calendar of gravel and back road events. GT joined forces with Riding Gravel in late 2014.

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1 thought on “Rudy Project Cutline Sunglasses: Getting Rolling

  1. I have been a big fan of Rudy Project now for years.
    I have a pair of Rydon’s and love them. Probably getting close to 10 years now with them.
    Great glasses. Little $$$$$ but very good glasses.

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