Carerra R&B X-Lite sunglasses – review

No summer clothing round-up would be complete without eyewear.

The first of our entrants is from Austrian-founded, Italian owned, Carrera, one of the dominant brands on the high street, but which has struggled to overcome the hegemony of the big ‘O’ in the peloton.

The R&B X-Lite is available with a choice of five colourways for the frames: the light blue with white tips we have on test, as well as grey, white with black tips, and red with white tips.

Each comes with two lenses: the first to match the frame (blue in our case, grey in others) and an alternate salmon pink lens.

The lens is, naturally, the most important feature of the glasses, and, happily for Carrera, the best feature of the R&B X-Lite. Its anti-fog treatment worked a treat. The short stop required by early arrival at the meeting point for a riding buddy has left us misted in other (admittedly cheaper) alternatives. The R&B X-Lite remained blissfully clear.

Our test began in the extremely bright conditions of late July. The blue lens dealt with the glare admirably, removing any necessity to squint and consequently afforded a full view of the road ahead and (on urban areas of the ride) its manifest obstacles.

The deep lens (4.5cm) offered complete coverage, with the lower plane resting on the cheekbones and the upper edge covering the brow, providing a useful shield against bugs and other airborne debris. Side coverage was also good, with the frame picking up the slight slack left at the temple by the not-quite-wrap-around lens.

Two rubber covers slide over the metal-framed nose piece, which could be adjusted vertically on short plane. We pushed it to its uppermost position to lower the lens and place its greater proportion over the eye rather than the brow.

The frame is made from a grade of plastic known to Carrera as Grilamid, which felt tough and survived a fall to a concrete floor without damage; more, sadly, than can be said for the ‘impact and scratch resistant lens’ which suffered a few tiny indents.

Swapping the lens was billed in the instruction manual as a simple matter of pushing the existing unit from the plastic frame, but the reality proved more difficult than the blithe single paragraph and accompanying diagram promised, and left the lens covered in fingerprints.

Carrera claim a weight of 31 grams for the aptly named R&B X-Lite. Our scales showed 39 grams; quite a discrepancy. That said, we didn’t feel encumbered, and rather enjoyed riding in such stylish accouterments.

The Carrera R&B X-Lite costs £89.99.

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