Adidas doesn’t update it’s cycling eyewear designs very often. But when it does, it seems to be with a lot of research into what riders want. The Evil Eye model is almost 15 years old, with Adidas introducing the Half-Rim design option in 2011. Then a few months back, the Evo was launched.
Intended more for Enduro or Trail riding than XC/marathon racing, the Evo has a full rim with oversized lenses, which Adidas claims offers as big a field of vision as partial rim eyewear. The intention is to offer goggle-like protection without the goggle-like ‘smother’.
It’s also got an altered design of ClimaCool™, the Adidas ventilation system, which is claimed to improve air circulation and minimise fogging. And the larger lens offers a greater curve, which adds more space between the lens and the face, apparently allowing more air to circulate and reduce fogging.
Both the large lens and the fact that it has a full frame had us a little tentative initially. But then once we actually rode with them, we understood the thinking behind the design.
Full rims with narrow lenses can be distracting as the rim sits awkwardly in your up-down peripheral vision. However the Evo’s large lenses means the rim is high and low enough to not be distracting. It’s there, in your peripheral vision, but not constantly; and when it is, not enough to interfere with your scanning of the trail and approaching trail obstacles. There is a range of different lenses, with varying UV-protective tints and light filters which, thanks to the Lens Lock System™ are easy to swap. Apparently a photochromic lens will be introduced in 2016.
From a ventilation perspective, they did fog up (in our experience, all eyewear does), but not that much – and they seemed to clear quickly. The lenses also have a hydrophobic coating, which means water drops have a hard time sticking to the lens. We never got to ride with them in wet conditions, but did some specific garden sprinkler testing and found them to repel water drops very effectively.
We really like how the Evos fit. You can get two sizes, which makes a lot of sense and each comes with adjustable arms (three angles) and nosebridge (two positions). We also like how the arms become increasingly flexbile towards the ends. This makes it easy to slip them into Trail/Enduro style helmets, which have more side-head protection than regular XC/Marathon helmets. The Traction Grip™ material on the inside of the arms ensures the eyewear stays firmly in place, even on drop-offs, which is where we’ve noticed most eyewear movement in the past.
The Pro version comes with a sweat-strip, while the standard version doesn’t. We did like the sweat-strip and feel that it does help prevent sweat from affecting vision. However, very heavy sweaters will probably need to manage head sweat with a bandanda or skull cap too.
As with Adidas’s other models, a performance insert option is available (for those with compromised eyesight) as well as having prescription lenses inserted into the frames (obviously an additional cost).
FRAME COLOURS: There are five to choose from in both the Pro and standard models.
LENS TYPES: Various, depending on frame/lens combo. Additional lenses can be purchased.
PRICE: PRO version – R2800; Standard version – R2500; addition lenses – R680 per set.
CONTACT: www.adidas.com/eyewear; 011 483 8001
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*Originally published in TREAD Issue 35, 2015 – All rights reserved