Large shapes have really taken off for all types of cyclists. The benefits are easy to see; with excellent field-of-vision and superb protection leading the way. When Tifosi introduced their new Sledge, we were keen to give them a try.
Tifosi Sledge Sunglasses Features:
- Grilamid TR-90 frame material is light and durable
- Hydrophilic rubber ear and nose pieces
- Adjustable ear and nose pieces
- Vented polycarbonate lenses improve air circulation
- Includes three lenses
- 100% UVA/UVB protection
- Lens width: 135 millimeters
- Weight: 40g
- MSRP: $69.95
Ride the Sledge (hammer)
Big shades have recently been popularized by none other than the great Peter Sagan. His shades are big and bold, but allow him to see clearly as he sprints to another finish line. Tifosi has come to the rescue with an affordable, large pair of shades that check off all the boxes you would ever want for road or mountain biking.
In all honesty, I’m not really a fan of full-frame sunglasses, but with such a huge lens area, I thought the Sledge would be be different. And, all it took was a single ride to realize that this huge lens is actually pretty sweet. My usual gripes are that the lower frame seems to get in the way of clear vision. I mean, when you’re descending down a mountain pass at 45 mph, you don’t want anything blocking your vision and since these are so big, the frames stay out of the way.
With the hydrophilic rubber nose and temples, the Sledge also stays put quite well. On even the roughest gravel and singletrack rides, they don’t move at all. I don’t recall having to re-adjust these much at all. Maybe once per ride is all. They really do stay put well and grip my nose bridge like velcro.
My initial rounds of testing were with the Smoke Mirror lenses installed. They do work okay in low light, but are best in the brightest conditions. Going in and out of the shadows on tree-lined singletrack did make for challenging conditions with such dark lenses. Luckily, switching to the AC Red lenses is easy (see instructional video), so after that change, I have been much more confident in both low light and mixed light conditions. In fact, they are also perfectly for even the brightest days in the saddle and have become my lens of choice.
Again, with such a large frame, some helmet interference is to be expected. When worn with helmets that sit higher, like the Bolle Furo MIPS, I didn’t experience any under helmet clanging or undue pressure on the nose pieces. But, when worn with the Bontrager XXX Wavecel, the brim of the helmet constantly impacted the top of the frame. My suggestion would be to try them on with your chosen helmet, if you have any concerns.
While they do have anti-fog coating and large lens vents, you’ll find that these will fog up on humid days. It’s most prevalent on long, slow climbs. Luckily, the vents come into play once velocity increases and things clear right out. Changing lenses does require that you manhandle things a little, but all my lenses have cleaned right up and avoided even the slightest scratches. l’m not gentle with my sunglasses, so that’s saying a lot.
- Huge field-of-vision
- Frames stay out of the way for great visibility
- Grippy rubber nose/temples
- Stay put on the roughest terrain
- Lenses have proven durable
- Excellent optical clarity
- Still fog up during the most demanding efforts
- Can bonk against underside of some helmets
- Kind of have to manhandle the lenses to change them (but it’s not difficult)
The Bottom Line: Tifosi Sledge Sunglasses
These are huge — and I love that! With three included lenses, it’s easy to pinpoint your preferred lens tint. For me, AC Red is the most versatile, but Smoke Mirror is nice on the brightest of days. With grippy rubber and gigantic lenses, the Tifosi Sledge are a great option for road or mountain biking.
Buy Now: Available at TrekBikes.com