Optilabs Max sunglasses review£90.00

Something different fighting for a place on your face

BikeRadar score3/5

Optilabs is a specialist sports optician that’s been making prescription glasses for 50 years. Now it’s started selecting and importing its own range of glasses that you can get as a standard set of shades as here or fitted with a subsidiary prescription lens (£170+).

The Max is its maximum coverage wraparound lens. It’s not as deep as some lenses so the occasional fleck of mud gets under the lower edge but peripheral protection is good. The small vent slots in each lens are far enough outboard that they don’t leak wind in on fast descents and the nose bridge is adjustable so you can set ‘ride height’ easily. While they’re not ‘poseable’, the soft rubber ends to the arms give very good grip so you’re not going to be peering over the top or trying to stop them falling off halfway down a rocky descent. The hinges can be tightened via metal screws if they get loose.

The lenses are photochromic and react fast enough to cope well with changing woodland conditions. Their lightest level is only vaguely tinted so they work well for typical UK riding and even at night at a push. Our lenses have scratched faster than we’d expect (and faster than competitors) so use the free case and bag rather than letting them rattle round in pockets/ride bags/Camelbaks.

This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine.

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 45
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster than the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK

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