Tifosi Rail Sunglasses: At The Finish

Tifosi Rail Sunglasses: At The Finish – by Guitar Ted

Close up of the Tifosi Rail model sunglasses.
The Tifosi Rail model sunglasses

NOTE: The Tifosi Rail model sunglasses were provided at no charge for test and review. I was not paid, nor bribed for this review and I always strive to give my honest thoughts and opinions throughout. I am not affiliated with Tifosi in any way and I do not receive any monetary reward for posting this review.

These sunglasses from Tifosi were mentioned on these digital pages back in June. You can check that out for a bit more context regarding how I felt about these glasses initially.

This review will be a little more in-depth now that I have used these regularly over the course of nearly two months now. I used these on rides, of course, but I also used them casually as well whenever I was out and about in the Sun. I also compared these to other eyewear I have such as Oakley, Spy, and Rudy Project to see how Tifosi measures up to these giants in the category of eyewear. 

Guitar Ted modeling the Tifosi Rail sunglasses.
Guitar Ted modeling the Tifosi Rail sunglasses.

The Rail model comes in several configurations. I received the Smoke lens, the Red AC lens, and a clear lens to try out. Obviously a clear lens needs no description, so I will leave that out here. However; I did use both the Red AC and Smoke lenses extensively over the past weeks. 

The Red AC lenses are for low light conditions or cloudy days and are supposed to help you discern contrasts better. The Smoke lens has a higher level of light blockage and is recommended for bright, Sunny conditions. I tried using the Red AC in bright Sun and on cloudier days and I did find that this lens was somewhat effective at bringing out contrasts. However; on bright, Sunny days the way that lens muted the colors of flowers, the sky, and whatever you were looking at was not appealing to me. 

This muting of color was subtle, but in comparison to the Spy Optic glasses I have with their “Happy Lens” technology, the Tifosi’s seemed dull and lifeless in comparison in regards to what you are looking at and its effects on your brain. If you enjoy bright, vibrant colors, the Red AC lens should be relegated to those lower light conditions days, in my opinion anyway. And to be sure, these are my eyes, not yours, and you may see things differently. Both literally and figuratively. 

The Smoke lens, on the other hand, did not have a similar effect on colors as the Red AC lens. Colors were not enhanced and saturated, as with the Spy glasses, but they were reproduced accurately, in my opinion, and so I could easily live with that. As far as clarity and distortion, the Tifosi glasses were very clear and distortion free. I had no issues with that at all. 

GT modeling the Tifosi Rail sunglasses.
The Tifosi Rail sunglasses did not cause GT any fatigue or sore spots after wearing them for long periods of time.

When looking at comfort, I look at how sunglasses feel on the head during cycling. Do these feel good? Do they stay where you put them with no creeping down the nose or movement? Do you get “fatigue”, the feeling that these start to hurt at pressure points or do they cause any discomfort at all after wearing them a while? 

On all counts the Tifosi Rail was great for me. They were pretty much forgotten as I rode. I would occasionally poke at them out of habit, because my go-to pair of Rudy Project glasses do creep down my face and I have to occasionally poke them back into their place. But the Rails weren’t moving much if at all. So, I give them a pass in this category. I imagine that given enough time my habitual poking at the glasses would cease. 

The blade style lens does a great job at protection from light, dust, wind, and insects. The lenses are easily exchanged once you learn the technique for swapping out the lenses. So, you are covered for most conditions as well.

The bows are not overly long, but they are not short, so smaller, rounder heads may see an issue there. The blade style lens is big. I have a pretty big head, so you can see that the Rail does a good job of covering my eyes and that they look “right-sized” for me. Smaller faced people might look a bit silly behind these spectacles. 

The Rail model does come in a configuration that includes a progressive lens technology, but GT did not have that option.

The lenses are easily cleaned with the provided pouch and I had no issues with any signs of scratching or marring of the lens. In this I felt that the Tifosi’s were on par with the nicer sunglasses company’s offerings. In fact, these compete quite well with high-end glasses such as the ones mentioned above. For what you pay for a Rail, ($79.99 for this example), you get a lot of bang for the buck. A lot. 

What don’t I like about the Rail glasses? They do not have a progressive light blocking lens, although Tifosi does offer this in another configuration for the Rail. I really like progressive light blocking lenses and this is why I have worn the Rudy Project glasses I have almost exclusively since getting those for a review a couple of years ago. I have a hard time finding anything else to complain about with the Rails beyond that though. They fit me great, they show my world correctly without distortion or any haziness. They fit well, and they wear well for long rides.

At The Finish:

Yeah, it is hard not to like the Tifosi stuff for the value, but value wears thin if the product does not hold up and perform well. I like these Rail glasses and I do feel confident that they will hold up over the long haul for me. I can see well with them on bright, Sunny days, and with those Red AC lenses, I think Fall riding or Winter riding on cloudy days will be enhanced by these, but I’ll have to wait and see on that. So, yes. These are pretty good.

Note: For more on the Tifosi Rail model, see their webpage here. Thanks to Tifosi for providing the Rail glasses for review. 


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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