Smith PivLock V2 Max sunglasses review£120.00

Frameless riding glasses with three interchangeable lenses

BikeRadar score4/5

The Smith PivLock V2 Max sunglasses are excellent for riding and especially for racing, the tall, frameless lenses offering excellent optics and zero obstruction to your vision when you have your head down and are looking up the road.

The V2 is the latest version in the PivLock range, adding an adjustable nosepiece to the three-lens package. The Max model, which we tested, features a slightly larger lens than the standard PivLock V2.

The sunglasses come in 14 frame colors, from a few shades of black to a screaming yellow, with three lenses – clear, 'Ignitor' (a rose color), and a mirror in black, gray, platinum, or yellow. As the name implies, the lenses switch out with a simple pivoting motion of the arms.

The nosepiece also pops out easily when you're swapping between lenses, but stays securely anchored otherwise. Each wing of the nosepiece has three settings, to move the lens closer to or further from your face. While you can push the nosepiece flat while riding, moving the lens so it's nearly against your eyebrows, adjusting it in the other direction means taking the glasses off.

Each pair of smith pivlock v2 max glasses come with three lenses: clear, ignitor (the rose lens shown in the frame) and another color, such as this reflective silver: each pair of smith pivlock v2 max glasses come with three lenses: clear, ignitor (the rose lens shown in the frame) and another color, such as this reflective silver
Each pair of smith pivlock v2 max glasses come with three lenses: clear, ignitor (the rose lens shown in the frame) and another color, such as this reflective silver: each pair of smith pivlock v2 max glasses come with three lenses: clear, ignitor (the rose lens shown in the frame) and another color, such as this reflective silver

The Smith PivLock V2 Max glasses come with three lenses that are easily swapped

The clarity of the optics is outstanding. There's zero distortion, and the Ignitor lens in particular handles a wide variety of light conditions with aplomb. We did a few rides that started in the dark and ended in bright sunlight using that lens option.

The lens shape is excellent for cycling, too, rising high above the eyes for full wind cover in even the most aggressive road or time trial positions. The absence of a frame is a boon for riding, especially if you often find yourself on the drops with your head down. 

With your head tilted down and eyes looking up the road, there's nothing to obscure your vision. Well, almost nothing. Smith has placed its logo on its lenses for a few years now, and while the current iteration is quite small, in the top-left corner as you're wearing the glasses, it's still very much on the lens. Using the glasses during two time trials, it was mildly annoying to see a small smudge at the top of our vision.

The Smith PivLock V2 Max sunglasses are the same height as Oakley's Radar XLs, but the latter have an upper frame that you can see when riding low and aero.

The smith pivlock v2 max is great in that there is no upper frame to interfere with your vision. however, there is a small logo on the upper-left of the lens that is mildly annoying: the smith pivlock v2 max is great in that there is no upper frame to interfere with your vision. however, there is a small logo on the upper-left of the lens that is mildly annoying
The smith pivlock v2 max is great in that there is no upper frame to interfere with your vision. however, there is a small logo on the upper-left of the lens that is mildly annoying: the smith pivlock v2 max is great in that there is no upper frame to interfere with your vision. however, there is a small logo on the upper-left of the lens that is mildly annoying

The absence of an upper frame makes for nearly uninterrupted vision

Another small annoyance is how the new, taller arms make contact with certain helmets on certain riders. Compared to the original PivLock Max glasses (which had three lenses but not the adjustable nosepiece), the V2 Max glasses have arms that sit about 1cm higher. This means riding-related jiggles can make the glasses touch your helmet, occasionally pushing them down your nose slightly.

All told, though, the PivLock V2 Max sunglasses are great performers and good value. Oakley's Radar line, with two interchangeable lenses, is about 30 percent more expensive.

Ben Delaney

US Editor-in-Chief
Ben has been writing about bikes since 2000, covering everything from the Tour de France to Asian manufacturing to kids' bikes. The former editor-in-chief of VeloNews, he began racing in college while getting a journalism degree at the University of New Mexico. Based in the cycling-crazed city of Boulder, Colorado, with his wife and two kids, Ben enjoys riding most every day.
  • Age: 39
  • Height: 183cm / 6'
  • Weight: 84kg / 185lb
  • Waist: 84cm / 33in
  • Chest: 99cm / 39in
  • Discipline: Road (paved or otherwise), cyclocross and sometimes mountain. His tri-curious phase seems to have passed, thankfully
  • Preferred Terrain: Quiet mountain roads leading to places unknown
  • Current Bikes: Scott Foil Team, Trek Boone 5, Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL4, Marinoni fixed gear, Santa Cruz Roadster TT bike
  • Dream Bike: A BMC Teammachine SLR01 with disc brakes and clearance for 30mm tires (doesn't yet exist)
  • Beer of Choice: Saison Dupont
  • Location: Boulder, CO, USA

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