The B’Twin Cycling 900 sunglasses might look a little ‘no frills’ compared to some of the bigger eyewear brands’ offerings. B’Twin doesn’t go out of its way to give its technologies exciting-sounding names, or to overly market its products. But to dismiss the Cycling 900 is doing it a disservice.
For less than thirty quid the Cycling 900 comes with four lenses: mirrored, rose, yellow and clear. These cover all light conditions and have sun protection ratings from 0 (night time/full cloud) to three (bright sunshine). All lenses have a full UV filter to protect your eyes from harmful rays. The sunglasses, spare lenses and cleaning cloth come packaged in a large hardcase, complete with specific frame slots.
Where B’Twin has excelled in comparison to other brands is in the lens retention mechanism. Two darker tabs of material, situated at the temple, lever downwards to release the lens tabs. Then it’s just a case of lifting the lens off. A little magnet located at the nose bridge helps hold the lens in place. A simple, two-second job, without feeling like you are going to break hundreds of pounds worth of sunglasses or leave lenses covered in fingerprints.
But all this tech is no good if the glasses don’t perform. Here again the Cycling 900 surprise. Put the glasses on and the first thing you (don’t!) notice is how comfortable they are. The arms cradle the head sufficiently to prevent slippage but without pressing too tightly and the nosepiece rests softly without needing adjustment. Sadly, the nosepiece is non-adjustable so you might want to try the B’Twin Cycling 900 on first, but this is the only issue I can see with the fit.
Rose tinted lenses
The frame and lens shapes work really well together to provide a large area of protection for medium to large face shapes (I have a slightly narrow face shape and I still think they work well). Styling is on the side of ‘performance’ eyewear with a larger, single lens. The other good news is I found no compatibility issues with larger helmets. For general trail riding I have been opting to use the rose tinted (ha!) lens as it seems to work the best when transitioning between forest trails and open heathland. It keeps an even light pattern and doesn’t prevent the spotting of obstacles on darker pine forest runs. Optical clarity is excellent for the money and the half-frame design rarely encroached on my field of vision.
It’s all gone foggy
The B’Twin Cycling 900 are not perfect though. The lenses are ventilated but steaming up can still be an issue on damper days. It can take a noticeably longer time to de-mist in comparison with something like an Oakley Jawbreaker with its specific hydrophilic coating. The other issue that you notice is that the frame lacks a groove across the brow, to locate the lens in. This can delay the swapping process as the lens can pop out of position. Also there can be a noticeable rattle from the lens but thankfully this goes when the glasses are being worn.
The B'Twin 900 fulfil all of a rider's requirements from eyewear – light, comfortable and with a range of easily swappable lenses that cover the whole gamut of conditions.