That right pair of sunglasses can be quite elusive. Admittedly, I’m quite picky with my cycling eyewear but Rudy Project has been a safe bet over the years and the new Fotonyk sunglasses are great for both mountain and road biking.
Rudy Project Fotonyk Sunglasses Features:
- Adjustable nose piece for personalized fit
- Lens bumpers for protection and style
- Flexible Grilamid® frame material
- Interchangeable lenses
- Available with ImpactX photochromic (tested) or a variety of other lenses
- Vent Controller™ lens venting system
- Weight: .97 oz
- Made in Italy
- MSRP: $199.99 (as tested)
In search of the ultimate shades
For road or mountain biking, you’re able to ride as well as you can see. Potholes, turns, wet roads and more are only visible with the proper sunglasses. Rudy Project is no stranger to cycling gear and cycling glasses in particular. Their shades are worn by several WordTour teams and amateur cyclists alike. Last year, I tested the Tralyx and this year I’ve had the Fotonyk. Both are excellent choices for cycling with a slight variation on the execution between the two.
Made popular by the Oakley Jawbone, the Fotonyk’s feature lens bumpers to cover the lower edge of the lenses. Being Italian, the primary purpose is aesthetics, but the bumpers do serve a couple of functions. Firstly, they help protect the exposed edge of the lenses from damage. As careful as we all are with $200 sunglasses, they will drop and having that edge protected is great. The second function are the ventilation ports that help direct airflow behind the lenses.
I can vouch for the lens protection as drops haven’t done any lens damage at all — nice work there. But, the ventilation ports may or may not be doing their jobs. On humid mornings in particular, I’m fogging these up quite a bit. I tend to be a bit of a sweat hog and have Brillo pads for eyebrows, so I do generate quite a micro-climate behind the lenses. But, these are middle-of-the-road for preventing fogging. The good news is a couple of pedal strokes downhill and things tend to clear up in a jiffy. Just know that on the ascent you may fog these up a little.
I’m certainly not a slave to fashion and always prefer function over form, so the lens bumpers give me a little grief while on the road. It’s critical to be able to quickly glance over your shoulder to see oncoming traffic and the lens bumpers always seem to be right in my line-of-sight. I have to deliberately turn my head just a few degrees further than usual so I can get a clear view of oncoming traffic. The aforementioned benefits are almost outweighed by this unfortunate blind spot. Yes, the bumpers can be removed, so keep that in mind.
Rudy’s ImpactX photochromic lenses are a thing of beauty. They offer crystal-clear vision with no distortion and the ability to wear them all day long. Early in the morning, I’m grateful for the near-clear lenses and welcome the change in VLT as the sun rises. I have a variety of sunglasses at my disposal and the only ones I consistently grab are photochromic. So, for that fact alone, the Fotonyk’s have remained in my helmet for almost daily use.
The fit is nice as well with adjustable nose pieces to suit a wide variety of nose shapes and Grilamid temples that flex with your head. These don’t feature rubber at the temple tips, but I didn’t have any issues keeping them in place for road biking, mountain biking or trail running. Helmet compatibility is great with a slight bump out for the forward helmet strap to pass underneath. I did notice a touch of pressure behind the ears after a long day of use — but nothing terrible.
- Rudy Project knows how to make cycling glasses
- Lens bumpers to protect the lenses well
- ImpactX photochromic lenses are on point
- Fit well and stay put — even on rough terrain
- Work well with a variety of helmets
- Fogging will happen
- Lens bumpers get in the way when looking over your shoulder
The Bottom Line: Rudy Project Fotonyk
Cycling glasses must be light, comfortable and versatile. With the new Rudy Project Fotonyk, you get all of those things and an extra dose of style. You’ll find they will work well with any helmet and I’d suggest spending a little extra to get the ImpactX photochromic lenses for all-day protection. The lens bumpers do get in the way when looking over your shoulder, but they can be removed if needed.
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