You can count on Decathlon to offer a vast range of products catering to almost every sport on earth. Its kit is very rarely expensive and, as a general rule, the balance between cost and performance is well addressed.
When the Rockrider XC Race glasses landed on my desk I was impressed with their appearance (they look almost similar to Oakley’s Jawbreakers), the packaging and supplied accessories, the promises of performance and protection, and, most importantly, their price.
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Rockrider XC Race mountain bike sunglasses specification and details
They have a half-wrap frame, made up by the arms, the brow section and the nosepiece. Attached to the removable lens is the lower half of the frame that isn’t user-removable and forms a part of the lens’s construction.
The nosepiece and the ends of the arms are made from a flexible, rubberised material that’s easily manipulated but provides resistance to extreme forces. The opening and closing movement of the arms is spring-loaded.
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The lens is attached via two pivoting clips on either side of the glasses’ frame. A small tongue and groove clip above the nosepiece centralises the lens on the frame and keeps it in place. Just beneath the tongue and groove clip is a small magnet that helps with lens positioning, too.
The clear lens is coated with an anti-fog chemical that, Decathlon claims “absorbs condensation like a sponge”. There are two lenses supplied with the glasses; the clear lens is 80 to 100 per cent transparent and the slightly mirrored, tinted lens is 8 to 18 per cent transparent.
The glasses are supplied with a carry case and a soft bag.
Rockrider XC Race mountain bike sunglasses performance
Out on the trail, the Rockrider’s ability to resist lens-fog impressed me. Riding in some of the wettest, warmest and least goggle and glasses friendly conditions possible, the clear lens refused to steam up when on the move, whether that was going slow or fast.
Once stopped, it took much longer than I was expecting for them to begin to mist up and this soon cleared when I was riding again.
I also found them to be exceptionally comfortable and light to wear. The soft nose bridge and malleable arms didn’t dig into my nose or the sides of my head above my ears. Because the arms are soft and quite thin, they comfortably slip behind or over plastic helmet cradles without causing any of the discomfort sometimes associated with chunkier or tighter glasses.
The field of vision is fantastic, and I never thought that the frame got in the way, even at the peripheries. Neither the dark nor clear lenses distorted what I was seeing and I found their optics to be exceptional.
The lens is quick to change but you will need to touch it to make the process easy. To remove the lens, the clips need to be opened and the lens angled outwards away from the frame to release the tongue and grove fitment. Re-attaching the lens is the same but in reverse and takes no longer than 30 seconds.
Unfortunately, the pivoting clips don’t lock into place very firmly and on the rare occasion I did need to readjust the glasses on my face while riding, the lens fastening clips popped open and were impossible to relocate without stopping.
This means there’s a reasonable chance the lens could break free from the frame, with the sharp corners of the frame and lens getting close to your eyes and the softer parts of your face.
Because the force required to get the lens to break away from the frame is much lower than I expected – happening in circumstances I wouldn’t expect – I asked Decathlon for a second set of glasses to check if this was a one-off issue. The problem remained however on the second set, however, highlighting a potential design flaw.
Rockrider XC Race mountain bike sunglasses bottom line
The Rockrider XC Race glasses tick most of the boxes required to propel them into the realms of Oakley performance: they look good, they don’t steam up easily, the optics didn’t distort my vision, they’re lightweight and comfortable to wear.
Their rather unfortunate stumbling block – sufficient to significantly reduce what would have been an almost perfect score – is the insecure lens-fastening mechanism that caused the frame and lens to separate way too easily.
Both the frame and lens have sharp edges that, when separated, are in very close proximity to your face, and for this reason, I can’t recommend these riding glasses.
|Price||EUR €40.00GBP £34.99|
|Features||2 inter-changeable polycarbonate lenses Category 0 lens with 80 – 100 per cent light transmission Category 3 lens with 8 to 18 per cent light transmission Polyamide frames Polyamide arms and arm tips Anti-fog treatment on clear lens Carry case and soft toggle-cord bag|