Shimano S-Phyre Ridescape GR Sunglasses: At The Finish

Shimano S-Phyre Ridescape GR Sunglasses: At The Finish – by Guitar Ted

The Shimano S-Phyre Ridescape GR Sunglasses have been used on several gravel rides and in an event recently. With this amount of time with them I have come to a pretty solidly formed opinion of them which might be a bit surprising.

Guitar Ted wearing the S-Phyre Ridescape GR Sunglasses in a rural setting
Guitar Ted wearing the S-Phyre Ridescape GR Sunglasses

The S-Phyre range represents Shimano’s top-tier range in eyewear and the “GR” refers to a lens which Shimano claimed was good at helping with contrasts in road and gravel surfaces so riders could better navigate roads at speed. With as dark a tint as the Ridesacpe GR lenses have, I was not thinking these would be great on overcast days, and true to form, they weren’t, so my comments are limited to bright light conditions.

As for the fit and long-wear comfort, the S-Phyre glasses were really good. I ended up wearing these for at least six hours straight during an event which saw no irritation or soreness issues. I was a bit annoyed by the glasses slipping down my nose, but this could be my anatomy, and not something to blame the nose-piece for causing. That said, I don’t see this issue as consistently with other eyewear I use.

The S-Phyre Ridescape GR glasses on a helmet in a rural setting.
The yellowy-greenish cast seen when looking through the lens of the Ridescape GR lens was not appealing.

I was dismayed by an issue with the Ridescape GR lenses that at first was baffling me. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it at first. The lens seemed to make my vision clouded very slightly. It was almost as though there was a thin film of something over the entire lens. Cleaning did not fix the issue. Finally, after I decided to “A-B” the S-Phyre Ridescape GR with an old pair of Oakleys and a pair of Spy sunglasses with their “Happy Lens” I was able to figure out the problem. The S-Phyre lenses were causing a slight amount of glare!

It was instantly obvious when I tried looking at different subjects with all three lenses. This was astounding, since Shimano claims that the Ridescape GR was made to cut down glare and raise contrasts, when in fact I experienced the opposite. Furthermore; the blue lenses made everything I looked at through them have a yellowy-green cast which was a bit tiring to my eyes to look through for long periods.

Sideview of the S-Phyre Ridescape GR Sunglasses on a table.

At The Finish: Due to the poor performance of the Ridescape GR lens, I have come to the conclusion that, when compared to other eyewear in this class, the Shimano effort falls far short of the mark in terms of optics. The style, fit, and function of the design overall is on a quite high level, but the lens spoils the user experience with poor glare control and less contrast in road surface, the exact opposite of the claimed benefits of these sunglasses.

For more on the S-Phyre Ridescape GR glasses see Shimano’s webpage.

Note: Shimano sent over the S-Phyre Ridescape GR sunglasses for test and review at Riding Gravel for no charge. We are not being paid, nor bribed, for this review and we will always strive to give our honest thoughts and views 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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