01 March 2008

Gear Review: Rudy Project Horus Cycling Eyeglasses

My old cycling glasses (a cheapo pair of perscription sunglasses) died after a decade of abuse. I have been doing more and more cycling lately, including some interesting night rides. Because I have had several incidents over the years in which things have pinged off of my eyeglasses as I have been riding, and because ${employer} was chipping in in terms of employee benefits, I decided to buy something that would last a long time.

The thing that complicated this purchase is that I wear perscription lenses. I do not wear contacts, and I am not interested in Lasik. In fact, I like wearing glasses.

Again, my constraints were: (1) must be bombproof, (2) must be perscription-friendly, and (3) would be really nice if I could use these in wildly varying light conditions (bright sun to glare/fog to complete darkness).

It turns out that a product that satisfies all of these constraints is difficult to find. I definitely couldn't find anything locally.

Eventually, I ended up at a website called www DOT bicyclerx DOT com . I talked to a sales guy there on the phone and eventually I ordered a set of Rudy Project Horus cycling eyeglasses. I ordered these with two sets of detachable lenses, one clear and one tinted. The tinted lenses are polycarbonate, which is an upgrade. How much? Are you sitting down? $342. This is waaaay more than I wanted to spend, but again, my ${employer} paid for most of this. I also rationalized this by thinking that these would last a long time.

So, what is my review? These glasses are nice, but certainly not $342 nice. These glasses have one almost fatal flaw -- the lenses sometimes pop out.

I sometimes ride in cold weather, and when I do I wear a hat. There is something about the added resistance of wearing a hat on your head that occasionally doesn't interact well with the motion of putting these glasses on your head. I have been in the following situation twice: in complete darkness, with my bicycle, looking for one of my clear lenses with only the light from my bicycle light to help me. This sucks. In both cases I was able to find my lens, but this was a bad situation to be in.

I emailed Bicyclerx and Rudy Project telling them of my experiences. The salesman from Bicyclerx offered to swap frames in hopes that this would help, but I declined -- I'm just certain that this wouldn't help. I even suggested in my email how they might make the lens mounting mechanism more reliable but this generated no response. Whoever answers email at info@rudyproject.com didn't think that my email deserved a reply.

I am happy that I have my new glasses. Eye protection is very important on the bike. I just don't think that
these glasses are worth $342, not with the flaw that I have mentioned.

I have probably made these glasses quite a bit more reliable with the following trivial modification: I placed a tiny strip of clear package sealing tape on the bottom edge of the glasses. I haven't had any problems with these glasses since I made this modification.

Oh well. That's my review.