Ryder Hesjedal’s Tour de France Cop Shades: Will They Work For You?
After winning the 2012 Giro d’Italia, Garmin-Sharp’s Ryder Hesjedal had great aspirations for the 2013 Giro and Tour de France. But crashes, illness and other maladies laid waste to his hopes. However, the Canadian still made a tremendous impact in France with his choice of eyewear.
Fly Like Ponch
Known for its helmets, goggles, protective pads and soft goods, POC has also dove into the road cycling eyewear market. At this year’s Tour de France, Hesjedal trumpeted POC’s arrival with his striking POC DID shades that stood out from all others in the peloton. With their aviator-esque lines and white frames, Hesjedal’s shades simultaneously evoked CHiPs star Eric Estrada’s Frank Poncherello character and snowboarding/mountain biking/motocross legend Shaun Palmer.
The Tour didn’t go well for Hesjedal, but his new shades certainly piqued the curiosity of many a cyclist. And that of my girlfriend. Any time Hesjedal popped up during Tour coverage, she’d notice and I’d hear some variation of, “Wow, look at his normal sunglasses. They actually look cool, not like those alien goggles you insist on wearing everywhere. You could actually wear those when you’re off your bike instead of the Darth Vader eye shield you wear everywhere and then you wouldn’t look like a Cosplay hero or some guy who is trying to imitate a military contractor.”
As light as performance shades with fighter jet technology and fighter pilot looks, the POC DID offers an alternative to robo-shades.
Your Face, But More Like a Fighter Jet
The DID shades look is clean and simple, and at $160, they’re on par with most sports performance shades and cheaper than many fashion shades. Hesjedal wore the white DID at the Tour. They’re also available in gold, brown, red and black.
The black, white, gold and red frames all come with a grey lens for a neutral tint that POC claims helps to relax your eyes when wearing the shades for long periods of time. The brown frame comes with a brown tint that POC says enhances contrast. POC uses NXT material for the lenses, a lightweight, impact and scratch-resistant material used in fighter jet cockpits.
In my hands and on my face, the POC DID feels like it has the same heft as my other performance eyewear, and the scale confirmed that. The POC DID weighs 27.5 grams, 3.5 grams less than the shades I usually ride in.
On my face, the DID felt great and stayed in place just fine for wearing around town. When I sweated though, they started to slide to the tip of my nose. Unless I invested in a pair of croakies, they just wouldn’t work for me on the bike. Unlike Hesjedal, I don’t have the nose structure to keep these sunglasses in place because the DID doesn’t have any grippy material on the nose bridge.
This small nose had a hard time holding up these glasses in the absence of a rubberized nosepiece.
I had other riders with larger noses give the DID a try, and they didn’t have the same problem I had. The DID stayed in place.
This larger nose securely held the DIDs on the bike while riding.
They also reported that they found the grey tint to be good for most riding conditions but that on very bright rides longer than three hours, they’d prefer a darker tint.
If you have the right nose and prefer a lighter tint, the DID could be a great solution for you on the bike and off in lieu of traditional wrap-around cycling shades. If you have a smaller nose, you will find the DID brings high performance and strong style to your off-the-bike life but could be a few beads of sweat from a slide down a slippery slope on the bike.
More info: www.pocsports.com
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