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Rudy Project Sportmask Performance

Rudy Project Sportmask Performance from £79.99

Rudy Project was started in 1985 by Rudy Barbazza in Italy and has grown to be one of the largest producers of quality eye wear in the world today…

From the original “Performance” glasses worn by greats such as Bernard Hinault and Maurizio Fondriest right up to today’s cycling superstars such as multiple world title winner Oscar Freire, using the Rydon, Rudy Project have been at the leading edge of design and manufacture.

A recent trip to their smart headquarters in Treviso showed us some of the new designs they are working on and just how an original design of sunglass, better described as “Eye Protection,” evolves from its first pencil sketches through computer aided design (CAD) and then onto hand carved models before ending up as the final product we find in our kit bags…The visit also showed Rudy’s incredible attention to detail and quality control. It was revealed during our factory tour that every single pair of glasses is individually hand picked and inspected before being carefully wrapped, packed with relevant accessory and passed as ready for shipping!

The most recent model in an overwhelming line up is the Sportmask Performance. This new glass was developed from rider feedback on the original model launched in 2006 and now features a revised lens profile… Its distinctive wraparound shape borrows more than a little from designs seen on catwalks around the world and popular designs on the high street. With the Sportmask Performance we are treated to a super lightweight set of shades which give excellent protection and all round visibility. Fashion meets functionality…

Breaking away from rather more conventional design cues the Sportmask Performance uses a one piece lens giving a really nice airy feel to the glasses. Initially I felt they were a bit flimsy, such is the method of their construction, but once on the face they feel fine…

A wire nosepiece encapsulated in clear, soft gel rubber is adjustable for individual fit and keep things secure allowing the glasses to sit very lightly on the face. It is easy to forget you are wearing them such is their comfort, and an indication of how well the lens wraps around the face leaving your peripheral vision virtually unaffected.

My only small criticism is with the arm design which would benefit from a rubberised coating to keep things even more firmly planted, especially when the road surface deteriorates, rumour has it a silicon rubber retro fit modification to this area is on the cards to address this, price TBA

Overall though I must say I am impressed. Having used the Rudy Rydon since its introduction I was loath to change but given this new model’s superb comfort, lightweight and excellent lens quality it looks like the Sportmask Performance should gain converts quickly…

The model shown here was tested during the Pinarello Granfondo earlier this summer and was worn for over 9 hours in baking temperatures of up to 38 deg with no noticeable fogging whilst climbing to report…The Blue laser finished lens provides an excellent balance of protection from glare whilst allowing good visibility with the exception perhaps of the darkest, dankest tunnels passed through during my evaluation where a quick nudge to the end of one’s nose was all you needed to do ‘till you emerged into the bright Italian sunshine once more…

Currently available in three lens and arm colour combinations, prices start from £79.99 for the laser black and racing red models, with the multilaser blue model shown selling for £94.99 All include a hard case and soft pouch which doubles up as a microfibre lens cleaning cloth…

Spare lenses are available individually including an additional transparent version and custom colour kits with arm detail and brow pad are available separately to personalise your own glasses…

Verdict

Not all sunglasses are created equal


goodSuper comfy with quality optics

badShould come with silicone gripper option as standard

performance 9

value 9

overall 9

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