The Havik is the most bike-specific model in the Giro's four-model eyewear lineup. It certainly offers a compelling mix of draws: an interchangeable shield-type single lens bolstered by the well-respected Carl Zeiss stamp of approval; a multitude of useful tints; a hydrophobic Dura Clean hard coating and what Giro calls a Super Fit nylon frame that is specifically designed to integrate seamlessly with helmets.
The Super Fit frame does indeed mesh perfectly with almost every helmet we tried. The relatively short and slightly downwardly curved earstems lock on (almost too) securely without running into any helmet retention system hardware.
The well-shaped, medium-sized lens delivers good coverage while remaining fog-free in most situations. We have yet to find something that never fogs up, though.
The Zeiss-certified lens is an impressive bit of polycarbonate with superb clarity and lack of distortion that easily trounces the vast majority of single-lens competitors. Giro’s True Sight lens geometry almost seems to rival Oakley’s long-standing XYZ Optics which is duly impressive considering this is Giro’s first stretch out of the gate.
The only drawback we had, and one that depends on your head shape, is that the frame sits close to your brow, which tends to catch sweat. This can happen on all glasses but it’s harder to avoid on the Haviks.
Air ﬂow is channelled behind the lenses, using what Giro calls ‘wind tunnel technology’, to stop them steaming up – this also dries up sweat.
About the only realm where Giro does fall slightly short, however, is the range of Havik options. There are six frame colors and seven lens tints but only one lens shape for now and no fit adjustments to accommodate wider or flatter faces.
This may change, though, according to Giro senior brand manager Eric Richter, who told us, “As our eyewear program grows and we get the chance to work with a wider range of pro riders (Slipstream, Bissell and BMC riders) and consumers, the Havik - along with the rest of our line - will evolve to include more options for more riders.”
Even so, the Giro Havik represents a very viable alternative to the big ‘O’ and the substantially lower price makes it extremely attractive. Performance-seeking riders that can live with the very slight limitations will likely be as happy as Homer Simpson with an endless supply of donuts.
For those that place a high priority on style and personalization, though, the king is still king but the bourgeoisie revolution is quickly gaining ground. Cake, anyone?
- Pros: Super Fit frame fits perfectly with helmets, superb lens optics, good range of lens tints, attainable price tag
- Cons: Tight fit for wider heads, no fit variations for wider/flatter faces, range of lens tints and frame colors not quite on par with industry leader