Optics company Dragon Alliance might not be that well known in the cycling world — at least, not yet — but it's big in the snowsports and moto world, known for producing cool-looking performance goggles and glasses. The Enduro X glasses are its outdoor activity offering, designed for mountain biking and trail running.
There are four versions of the Enduro X glasses to choose from: the black framed version with yellow tinted transition lenses that I've been testing; a black frame with copper and clear lenses; black frame with grey and clear lenses; and white frame with red ion and clear lenses. All of which feature a half-frame design.
I've tackled everything from steady road rides to downhill tracks wearing these and they've performed admirably, staying securely and comfortably in place and providing ample protection against the elements.
Reactive lenses for changing conditions
Optical clarity is excellent with only a very slight and subtle distortion at the periphery of the field of view.
The transition lenses reacted impressively quickly to brightening conditions, swiftly changing tint from the contrast-boosting yellow to a dark shade. Transitioning the other way was slightly slower, resulting in a temporary need to use 'the Force' to navigate after entering a dark wooded section after bright sunlight, but the optical clarity was such that it will still possible to make out the terrain for the few seconds it took for the lens to adjust.
I have, dear reader, also tested the resilience of these glasses just for you by dropping and (accidentally) stepping on them as well as crashing in them. The glasses came out intact, but with just some slight scratching on the lens after being stepped on - so it's probably best if you avoid doing that where possible - but completely unscathed after the crashes. I'm impressed with their robustness.
The lenses are interchangeable and the other glasses in the range mentioned above come with two lens options so you can swap between clear and shaded options. I found the transition lenses excellent, with the yellow tint upping the contrast in dark woodland and flat light, but switching to protectively dark in bright sunshine without any change to clarity or visibility.
Vents at the top help to prevent fogging. In fact, these glasses performed exceptionally well in humid or cool conditions, conditions where I've suffered a lot with lens fogging from other brands. They will steam up a little when you stop, but clear almost as soon as you start moving again.
Adjustable, secure fit
The full length of the arms have a grippy rubber coating and combined with a raised pattern towards the ends this means that the glasses stay very firmly in place, but without squeezing the temples — a problem I’ve encountered with other glasses.
The arms are also bendable along their length, so you can manipulate them into a shape that suits your head. While I wouldn’t want to go wild pushing the limits of how far you can bend them, there’s more than enough flexibility to set them to a comfortable position.
The nose pad is also made from a flexible soft rubber compound and is replaceable.
Overall, I've been very impressed with the Enduro X glasses. They're comfortable, perform well and you almost don't notice you're wearing them when you're riding, which is exactly what I want from glasses.
- Price: £135.90 / $220 / AUS$300