Sportstyle 111 Vario isn’t exactly an inspiring name, but in stereotypically German style, Uvex has concentrated on the design and functionality of these glasses, rather than fripperies like an imaginative moniker.
Highs: Sharp, versatile lens, comfort
Lows: Shallow lens shape won’t fit all
Our test pair weighed a minimal 23g, and we found the tough sculpted frame had just the right amount of flex to fit a selection of head sizes – even larger noggins. The curved arms have sturdy screwed hinges, and are largely covered with subtly ridged, soft rubber grippers that prevent slippage, and a downward arc to keep them clear of your helmet. The overall effect is such that it’s easy to forget you’re wearing them at all.
That super-supple rubber also gives the self-adjusting nose bridge a fine fit. It sits behind the lens, making lens cleaning or wiping on the move a far easier affair, as there’s no place for spray and grime to collect.
Uvex’s ‘Variomatic’ photochromic lens has a smoke finish when reacting to light and a clear appearance in dull conditions. Uvex says it tints from clear to dark in 25 seconds, and it lived up to that claim. The change isn’t sudden or perceptible, and often you only realise they’ve darkened when you take them off.
We found they offered great, uninterrupted peripheral vision and a good face fit from the relatively shallow lens (though fit is, of course, subjective), and there’s no obvious distortion anywhere within the field of view.
For a company whose name refers to the exclusion of ultraviolet (UV) light, unsurprisingly the shatterproof, interchangeable lens blocks transmission of 100 per cent of UVA, UVB and UVC rays. It also features a permanent anti-fog coating, assisted by four ventilation slots at the top of the lens and two further vents on each side of the frame between lens and hinge.
For anyone whose riding includes light and shade, even at night, photochromic lenses make a lot of sense and could be the only glasses you need. These are supremely comfortable, robust and they come with a soft bag and a hard case.
This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.