There's no missing the Speedcraft Sport sunglasses with their goggle like protection.
I’ll start by saying the 100% Speedcraft Sport are not sunglasses for the shy and retiring type. The style looks like it was dreamt up by someone with a penchant for eighties MTV and WWF wrestler Macho Man Randy Savage – but they certainly make a refreshing change from the norm.
100% is no naive newcomer to the eye protection game, however. The Californian company has many fans of its goggle range and it is easy to see the same design cues in the Speedcraft. Primarily, the sheer size of the lens provides the Speedcraft with a protective sphere that beats most other sunglasses; and this is just with the standard ‘short’ lens. The ‘long’ version extends the coverage further and endows the Speedcraft with goggle-like levels of facial coverage.
What also gives the Speedcraft its unique look is the raised TOPVIEW area of the lens. This increases vision when riding in a head down position and limits the frame’s encroachment into your peripheral vision.
The lenses themselves are made in France and are not only available in a wide range of coloured tints, all of which allow a different amount of light to be transmitted. Our set came with the multilayer Mirror Red lens (transmitting just 14% of light) for use in sunshine and a Low Light Grey (47%) for overcast and darker conditions. Both lenses eliminate UV transmission and feature an anti-glare coating on the inside (which is a good thing for such a big lens). The clarity is superb for both lenses tested and it’s safe to say that they are amongst the best for coverage and protection that I have ever used. For most conditions I opted to use the low light lens as my eyes needed less time to adjust going from sunshine to dark pine cover.
Ventilation is also excellent, with 1 lens a little further from the face than most other glasses. This helps reduce the effects of fogging, and the better air flow helps clear the lens rapidly.
Lenses aside, the frame of the Speedcraft fitted comfortably on my medium sized head without digging in. For such a large pair of glasses I was also pleasantly surprised by the compatibility with a range of helmets. It was only on one or two where the length of the arms interfered with the helmet retention devices. So as per normal, take along your helmet when trying these on.
I was a little disappointed by the finish of the frame, though. There’s no easy way to put this – they just feel a little cheap. When you consider that in this version they cost nearly the same as some dropper posts, this is somewhat annoying. The crystal versions look much better in my opinion.
Swapping lenses is a familiar process for anyone used to this style of eyewear. The lenses feature small nubbins to situate themselves into the frame. Compared to some glasses where the process is helped by either a very flexible frame or large lens protrusions, the 100% Speedcraft Sport lenses can be a little fiddly. A few times I thought it was in place only to notice that one side of the lens would be out of its proper location. After the test period I was aware of some stretching and fading of the paint where the frame had been flexed in this process – so be aware, and be careful in order to prolong the life of the frame.
Without a doubt the 100% Speedcraft Sport provides eye protection a step above most other sunglasses. The lens shape and clarity is superb but I can't help but feel a little let down by the frame finish.