Along with lights, glasses have to be one of the most important accessories that a cyclist can buy. You only have one pair of eyes, and once they’re gone, they’re gone forever so why wouldn’t you protect them in the best fashion possible.
For people with 20/20 vision, the choice of eyewear is pretty bewildering and you can get away with something as simple as a £5 pair of clear safety spectacle right up to a few hundred pounds for the latest, fashionable eyewear prominently worn by the best grand tour riders.
For those that need a prescription lens in their eyewear the choice is a little more limited and generally comes in two types of frames:
- A frame with a fixed lens that is made to the wearers prescription.
- A frame with an interchangeable lens which usually has a prescription insert fitted inside the frame in to which the prescription lens are fitted.
The first type look a little more stylish than the second and are akin to those worn by pro riders, however they can be more expensive to make and you may need two or more pairs to cover different light and weather conditions. Whereas the second type look a little less stylish but are much more versatile, and generally are cheaper to make and thus buy. The pair we are reviewing here from Basto are this type.
Upon opening the box with the glasses in there is a huge amount of bits and bobs to be taken stock off, but this does mean that once you’ve bought these the chances of needing to buy anything else are pretty slim indeed.
Included in the box are:
- Spectacle frame – available in Blue, Black and Silver.
- Prescription insert – clips inside frame and carries prescription lenses.
- Five different lens shields – Clear, Yellow Tint, Blue Tint, Mirrored, and Polarising.
- Elasticated head strap – to keep glasses in place on rough terrain.
- String necklace – so you can hang them round your neck (if you want).
- Carrying Case – big enough to fit everything in.
Many types of prescription insert glasses work by having the prescription insert attached to the nose piece which in turn clips to the outer lens meaning that it’s not possible to change the outer lens without dismantling the entire pair of spectacles. However, these Basto glasses don’t suffer with that problem as the prescription insert and lens each clip in to the frame independently of each other. A by-product of this is that it’s possible to use the glasses with or without the prescription insert.
Dismantling the glasses is a simple matter of holding whichever piece you want to remove, and then giving it a firm but gentle twist and it will pop out. Similarly to re-assemble its just a case of lining up the lens to be inserted, and applying a little pressure for the lens to click in to place.
In use these glasses fit well to the face, and don’t suffer with leakage that can plague some glasses that put the outer lens too far away from the face. In drizzly conditions they also kept out pretty much all of the rain thrown at them, with the only real leakage being a little moisture running from the brow down in to the face.
Testing for these glasses was done in January so it wasn’t possible to test the mirror lens, but the rest all proved to be well up to the task in hand, and all are UV400 (with the exception of the polarising lens) rated meaning you are fully protected against both UVA & UVB radiation.
The frames are readily available from a number of different online sports eyewear retailers. However our test pair were purchased from Boots opticians in the high street for the very reasonable sum of £80, this included glazing the prescription insert with polycarbonate single vision lenses. (You can knock £20 off if you have plastic lenses instead of polycarbonate) This was actually much cheaper than many online retailers were offering the same product for. We think there is a lot to be said from buying something like this from your own optician who will be able to provide a good level of fitting and aftercare that you wouldn’t get with an online retailer.
- Good range of outer lenses
- Easy dismantle and re-assemble
- Excellent value for money
- No sweat absorbing brow pad
- Carry case is very large – not easy to carry
Overall rating – 4.5/5
See our YouTube video review of these glasses at – https://youtu.be/zPsbK3Cs1pg