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Smith PivLock V90 Review

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating


Smith PivLock V90 Review

Smith PivLock V90 sunglasses.

©Smith Optics

I’m going to start out this review by saying I don’t like wearing sunglasses when I mountain bike. Maybe it’s because I ride in heavily-wooded areas where the sun infrequently penetrates the canopy above me. Maybe it’s because I feel like glasses obstruct my peripheral vision. Or maybe it’s because I never owned a decent pair until recently. Whatever excuse I may give, I didn’t have to use it once I got my hands on a pair of Smith PivLock V90 sunglasses.

Because I wore them. On the bike and off the bike. On the trail and off of it. In the woods and out. In short, I made excuses to wear them. Complete. About. Face.

Lighter Than Air

These sleek shades are lighter than air. Hardly noticeable after you put them on, this was one of the reasons they stayed on my face. Other, bulkier sunglasses I’ve owned have always felt heavy and made my face sweat. The V90’s are described as the “lightest performance interchangeable sport style in the world today.” I find it hard to disagree. I’ve never once felt the need to stash these glasses in my hydration pack in a claustrophobic frenzy. That's because the feather light shades offer excellent ventilation. To be honest, I hardly remember I put them on until I make a move to take off my helmet after a ride.

A Fine Protector

The PivLock V90s did a fine job of keeping both trail and road debris out of my eyes, in addition to reducing brightness and glare, and preventing my eyes from drying out on long descents or when screaming through singletrack. Helping me to see in both sunny and low-light conditions, the V90s actually enhanced my mountain bike rides (much to my initial chagrin).

The rimless lenses didn’t obstruct my peripheral vision as previously expected, and the easily-removable temples and nose piece made swapping out lenses easier than ever. The V90s come with two additional lenses: ignitor and clear.

Scratch-Free & Secure

I’m admittedly hard on my gear. All the better to give you a tried-and-true review of products that have been used and, on occasion, abused, I say. If we're being truthful (and we are), I did not once put the V90s back into the case they came in. It’s enormous. That said, if the case wasn't the size of my face, I likely would have lost it by now. Instead, the V90s float naked from the trail to the car to my nightstand. That part about me being hard on my gear? Yeah.

In addition, I know I've dropped these sunglasses more than a handful of times, but so far I don’t see any scratches on the Carbonic TLT Lenses, Evolve Frame Material or Hydroleophobic Lens Coating. If my track record is any indication, I'm sure it's only a matter of time before my butter fingers cause me to see blurry out of one eye. But for now, I'm impressed.

The PivLock V90 lens silhouette is smaller than the PivLock V90 Max, fitting and covering my smallish face beautifully. Thanks to "hydrophilic-megol" at the nose and temple tips, I never had to adjust my glasses to keep them in place, even when rolling over the roughest New England terrain.

The Future is Now

I don't like talking about a product's aesthetics too much, because style is subjective. However, I feel the need to share that wearing these sunglasses makes me feel a little like I'm from the future, riding a hoverbike instead of the 21st century set-up I'm actually pedaling. That said, I've received nothing but compliments on my "racy shades."

Lifetime warranty. MSRP: $139

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