Quick Take: Smith PivLock V2 Max w/Photocromic Lenses


Why You Want: You’re looking for a pair of stylish, lightweight, distortion-free riding shades that come with an adjustable nosepiece and three lens options: clear, dark, and photochromic ignitor rose, which automatically adjust to varying light levels.

Pros: Automatic-tint photochromic lens adjusts to most light conditions. Frameless design reduces weight and maximize peripheral vision. Switching lenses is quick and easy. Nose piece can be adjusted between three positions, assuring proper fit for small, medium, wide and even asymmetrical nose bridges. Anti-fog coating increases clarity at low temperatures and fights sweat in the heat.

Cons: Even with three lens options and a nifty carrying case, the $239 price tag is tough to swallow. Photochromic lenses work great in low-light conditions, but don’t darken as much as standard bright-light lenses.

RoadBikeReview Take: There’s no such thing as the perfect pair of riding sunglasses. Frames that fit one face perfectly and never fog up, sit too close to someone else’s eyebrows and become obscured by sweat and perspiration. However, at least with this reviewer’s bone structure, the Smith PivLock V2 Max is one of the most functional and reliable pair of shades we’ve used in a long time.

The arms never interfered with our helmet, and the photochromic lens means you can put them on inside while getting ready, and not trip over the dog because you’re half blind. Once outside, the lenses quickly adjust so your not squinting into the sky. And while these photochromic lenses don’t get as dark as a standard pair of sunny-day shades, if you know it’s going to be bright outside, you can easily swap in the included darker lenses, which do not change tint. Same thing goes for low light situations or night riding. Just swap in the clear non-tint-adjusting lens.

The adjustable nosepiece is also a welcome feature, allowing fit variation based on the shape of your schnoz or your chosen activity: closer to the face for cycling, further away for running when more ventilation is required.

Rating: 4 of 5

Price: $239 (includes three lenses and carrying case)

More Info: smithoptics.com

About the author: Jason Sumner

An avid cyclist, Jason Sumner has been writing about two-wheeled pursuits of all kinds since 1999. He’s covered the Tour de France, the Olympic Games, and dozens of other international cycling events. He also likes to throw himself into the fray, penning first-person accounts of cycling adventures all over the globe. Sumner, who joined the RoadBikeReview.com / Mtbr.com staff in 2013, has also done extensive gear testing and is the author of the cycling guide book "75 Classic Rides: Colorado." When not writing or riding, the native Coloradoan can be found enjoying time with his wife Lisa and daughter Cora.

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