Two bike oriented models with unique style
Bolle is one of the most well-known sunglasses brands in the world. The French company that got started in the 19th (!!) century with the production of combs and various products from wood started to produce protective glasses and goggles from the 1950s and started from the 60s to produce goggles and sunglasses for the use of athletes.
The company that is located on the French-Swiss border is thought of today as one of the leading technologies in the field, certainly in winter sports but also in other sports.
Bolle 5th Element
The glasses landed in my hands in the middle of a Wednesday training on a blue singletrack at my local trail center. “A,” whose full name we will withhold here, gave them to me and gave me no choice but to favor them as an alternative and throw my own sunglasses in the car as if I were the fourth Jamaican runner in a 100X4 relay race in Rio de Janeiro. Inside the carton box is a protective bag with a zipper and opening it glasses with a photochromic lens made from one piece are revealed. In taking out the glasses it’s possible to see that there are compartments to keep other lenses.
Fitting to your face: The glasses are a little wide and thus fit a round face. They are very light and also were very stable on my nose (you don’t need to have a round nose). The nose pads of the glasses are made of silicon and are the same color as the arms. The traction of the glasses is very good and, in contrast to glasses that I have tried in the past, the 5th Element glasses of Bolle don’t create any pressure on the temples even after five hours of long distance riding in July and August, which we know in Israel are the ones in which the weather most “treats” us riders.
Ventilation and drainage of sweat: This aspect is another advantage and adds to the comfort we spoke about. This is a critical condition for the completion of the package since glasses do not rest on comfort alone. I didn’t notice any buildup of sweat or fog no matter what time of the day I started riding. On summer days I often wash the sunglasses slightly with tap water to take off the sweat salts that build up especially after the back-breaking training for the next Epic race that is coming up for me in September.
Lens: The trial glasses came as mentioned with photochromic glasses that darken. For most of the ride the darkened glasses are of great quality and the filter level is comfortable and doesn’t damage your ability to differentiate between the significant details on the ground (cracks, folds in the ground and other goodies). The lens is built with Bmax technology that offers a very wide viewing field. Because of this, at the edges of the lens there is a light “ghost” effect in which you can see street lights and other such things in double. But our smart eyes get used to this with time. The lens is comprised of a hydrophobic layer that repels water drops and a second anti-fogging layer. These coats are important but make it slightly difficult to clean the lens since in the inside of the lens there is a slight textured feeling when cleaning with a high-quality, anti-static cloth.
Styling: My wife said that they look good. I tend to listen to her so they look good. This is not a comparison review so for this reason we will relate to them in this way: The glasses look good and come in a variety of colors so that the fashion-conscious rider can choose and coordinate his glasses to his socks in the summer and to his leg warmers in the winter.
More: Price, lens, comfort, color choice
Less: A certain difficulty in cleaning the inside of the lens after washing with hand soap and water.
B-Rock represents the retro wave in the sport line of this superior French manufacturer. We won’t get into an argument about who got us into this wave but not a few riders on the trails and the road look like they were taken out of a peloton at the beginning of the 1990s. This “new” wave is characterized by gigantic glasses, most of them made of one wide lens, which cover a large part of the face and it’s best to include a thin moustache to complete the look. It may appear that we are talking about awkward glasses with absolutely no ventilation but that is no more than an optical illusion. At least in the instance of the B-Rock we are talking about glasses with the most advanced technology, a great evaporation capability, amazing ergonomics and weight and of course the right look. The B-Rock is the first Bolle model that was planned for mountain bike riders. Beyond the physical size, it offers a full frame, full coverage and strong characteristics and top-quality protection against dust. The sunglasses that were accepted for a review had a red frame with black graphics from the world of dirt and one dark frame that could not be switched and with a medium-level of filtration. The sunglasses are of course equipped with all the most advanced technologies of Bolle that are supposed to ensure excellent optic quality and also protection from dust and of the rider’s eyes in case of impact to the lens.
Fitting to the face:
The sunglasses are very light and can be fit with the adjustment of the nose pad to the nose of the rider and the adjustment of the arms. The arms are flexible and are equipped with a silicon layer that is comfortable and has good grip. The upper and lower arches of the glasses include a rubber strip whose purpose is to protect against dust coming in but this necessitates the glasses being close to the face. In our view the B-Rock will fit mostly those with medium or wide faces. The large and wide lenses cover a relatively large part of the face. We found them to be very comfortable without any pressure points even during long rides and quickly they became our favorite.
Ventilation and sweat drainage:
Despite the afore-mentioned large frame, the B-Rock really surprises us in this department and offers one of the most aerated pair of sunglasses that we have tried. The sunglasses were tried from the end of winter to the height of summer. The large vent spaces between the lens and the frame and the possibility of distancing the lenses from the cheeks with the help of the adjustable nose pad apparently do their jobs and mostly the glasses stayed dry. The large lens does collect fog more than a small lens when you sweat while standing still but as soon as you start moving the air flow immediately dries the lens.
The TNS Gun Oleo AF of Bolle offers amazing optic quality. The level of filtration of the lens is moderate, as we mentioned, but we found that it is good for all our rides, whether in forested or open areas. The lens has a hydrophobic layer and a layer to repel dust. The subject of dust is a bit hard to check at the end of July in Israel (when we have so much dust) but the hydrophobic qualities are really felt when you don’t use the glasses’ wiping cloth but instead are satisfied with a moist riding shirt to wipe the lenses.
As mentioned, the styling of B-Rock has real significance. They are definitely not in the consensus of technical sport glasses and they apparently won’t fit the personality of everyone. To be honest they are a sort of declaration of principles and you need to be a bit daring to go around with them on the trails. If you do possess this willingness, you will gain a special look without a doubt. We find it hard to believe that they can be used as casual glasses after riding unless you have a moustache and hangout with the most fashionable types. But, for riding glasses, they are full of style.
More: Comfort, optic quality, ventilation
Less: Very specific styling
Our superiors spoke in the past about brand names and building a name and in Israel there are many strong competitors to Bolle. A serious matter in choosing a sunglasses company (and actually every item in our lives) is based on the hype that we have around us, in our worlds, in broadcasts of races, equipment reviews and video clips in which the top riders of the world do a Tsukahara jump over the Mont Blanc. Both of these Bolle models in this review give the up-to-date rider all of the package – look, light weight, superior comfort and top technology.