Salice is one of the leading cycling brands in its Italian homeland. The company isn’t as well known outside Italy, but that’s changing, and we’ve been impressed with the products we have seen, in terms of quality and price.
The 011 has a slender frame, built from Grilamid TR90. This is highly flexible, tough, yet very lightweight. In fact the overall weight of just 23g (including lens and nose-piece) makes it one of the lightest around. A price tag of around half that of leading brands such as Oakley and Rudy Project is another compelling reason to take note.
The frame is deeply curved and the flexible arms have ‘Megol’ rubber inserts, which do a good job of holding them firmly in place on your head. The lens has a deep curve too, with angled edges that sit perfectly on the cheekbones, shielding you extremely well.
The glasses are supplied with both a Radium lens and low-light orange lens. Both are vented where they meet the frame, and this keeps the inside fog-free, even on high-effort, low-speed climbs when less competent glasses would start to mist. It’s impressively designed stuff: the vents really work, allowing air in but not to pass into your eyeline when you’re moving faster.
The spare orange tint lens is ideal for early mornings and twilight riding, offering high contrast and decent definition. The Radium isn’t a lens we’ve tried before; its attractive semi-reflective surface is hydrophobically treated, which means rainwater beads and rolls off rather than making your view murky in wet conditions.
Unlike some high-sun lenses the Radium isn’t dark – it’s almost as light as the orange – and though it does an excellent job of reducing glare, it retains a very high contrast so you can see plenty of surface detail, something that other glasses can lack.
Included in the price along with the two lenses is a hard case and cleaning cloth. Ideally we’d prefer a cleaning bag as opposed to just a cloth, but that’s a minor niggle.
US and Canadian readers please note: Salice products are not available in North America.