Shimano S-Phyre Ridescape GR Sunglasses: Getting Rolling – by Guitar Ted
A couple of months ago we had Shimano in the news here for the redesign of their S-Phyre sunglasses range. (You can read that post here) We mentioned in that article that we were hoping to receive a pair for test and review. Well, a nice box hit the RG headquarters recently and wouldn’t you know? A pair of Shimano S-Phyre Ridescape GR glasses were inside of it. So, let’s take a closer look at these.
What It Is: The S-Phyre range sits at the top of Shimano’s eyewear range and has the most options. There is a more affordable range of eyewear that Shimano offers which falls under the Aerolite name. Within the S-Phyre range Shimano offers the Ridescape lens which was designed to help riders discern nuances in terrain in varying light and terrain conditions. The lens designated for gravel riders is the “GR” lens, which is what we have received to test.
Listed below are all the options within the S-Phrye range for context:
Frames: Matte Black, Matte Extra White, Metallic Red, Metallic Orange, and Metallic Blue
– Weight: 29.3g
– Lenses: RIDESCAPE ES, RD, OR, and GR
– Spare Lens: RIDESCAPE CL
– Magnetic Lens System
– MSRP: $220 USD
The Ridescape GR is the version of the lens that is said to contrast the differences between gravel, dirt, and asphalt best for the rider. A perfect all-arounder. We also have the clear lens which we can swap out for low-light, cloudy days, or night time rides. The swapping of lenses is made easy by Shimano’s use of neodymium magnets embedded into the frame and which protrude from the upper corners of the lens. The magnets attraction “sucks” the peg-like shaped magnet on the lens into the ‘hole’ where the other magnet is embedded into the frame, giving the entire structure security and stability.
Beyond that outstanding feature the frames seem to have a cam-like feature which keeps the bows either in the collapsed position for stowing into the provided soft-case or open for wearing. This will aid in on-the-fly helmet stowage by keeping the bows from wanting to ‘fold in’ when you are trying to stick the bows into a helmet vent.
The nose piece and inner bows are a soft, ‘TPE’ material with the nose pieces being reversible for a customized fit. There is also a spare nose piece pad set in our test kit, which may not be the case with a consumer purchased Ridescape lens. The lens is “an ultra-clear and lightweight polyamide (PA) substrate with a low refractive index, high Abbe value and superior light transmittance for laser sharp optics.“, as stated on Shimano’s tech page for the lens.
Here is a feature list from the webpage for the Ridescape eyewear:
- Great-fitting eyewear designed specifically for on or off-road riding, providing lightweight all-day comfort
- Tuned Optics: RIDESCAPE lens feature varied light transmission percentages and emphasize scene specific colors and highlighting objects and surfaces in varied cycling scenes and conditions
- Enhanced Protection: A single lens with wide field-of-view protects eyes, while minimalist frame narrows gap between face and lens, reducing wind and dust intrusion
- Fit and Function: Soft curved template grippers keep eyewear in place. Magnetic lens system makes lens cleaning and swaps easy
- Sun Guard: Full UV-400 protection shields eyes from sun’s harmful rays
The Shimano S-Phyre Ridescape GR glasses are $220.00 USD.
First Impressions: Out of the box I was impressed by the size of the single Ridescape GR lens. I worry a bit whenever I receive eyewear to test because I have a rather big head and ‘normal’ sized eyewear can look somewhat comical on my noggin. So, I was relieved to see that the single, curved ‘blade-like’ lens was going to look okay on me. That said, smaller faced humans may find these to be somewhat goofy looking on their heads. They are approximately 155mm in width across by approximately 50mm in height as I measured the lens.
The lens is this inky, deep bluish hue and we have the flat black frames on our test model. Surprisingly, the bows are only about 125mm in length, which should accommodate rounder headed folks well.
Now how about those ‘magnetic lenses’? Well, they do pop off the frames with a bit of effort, and reattach with a reassuring pop. I was a bit concerned that a slight deformation of the frames might be enough to dislodge the lens unintentionally, but you can twist the frames a fair amount before a corner pops off. I would think you’d have to be making a pretty ham-fisted maneuver to knock the lens off, although it is possible. Something to consider here.
On my face the Ridescape GR felt fine. I thought the nose piece sat the glasses a bit higher on my nose than I’d like at first, but a bit of forming settled that issue, and I think that these will sit well on my head for long periods of time. The ‘fatigue’ issue will be explored as we get on with things here though, so stay tuned for that.
So Far… The S-Phyre Ridescape GR glasses promise good eye protection not only from light, but from flying debris, insects, and dust intrusion. All important things for the gravel rider. The magnetic lens retention system is novel and it will be interesting to see how this plays out in day-to-day usage. The fit and comfort on long rides will be something I will report on in my next update, which should happen in a few weeks. But for now, they feel rather nice on my narrowish, longer, egg-shaped head and I don’t feel any tightness or discomfort while wearing them for brief periods of time.
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.