Sepia photos from the Tour de France show riders guzzling down bottles of wine looted from roadside cafes, smoking tabs and wearing goggles to keep the dust out of their eyes from the unpaved roads.
When road conditions improved, riders ditched their eyewear. Fans loved it. They could see the suffering in their eyes (and the inebriation). Cycling fans are a twisted bunch.
But then things changed. The peloton started wearing sunglasses again, but this time to protect from the sun’s harmful rays. Or maybe it was tactical. Maybe it was to prevent rivals from seeing what the fans fed off. The suffering. Either way, sunglasses are as much a part of cycling kit today as a pair of bib shorts.
Shimano isn’t exactly renowned for eyewear. What it’s best known for is producing high quality products – group sets, wheels, shoes (the list goes on). It’s Shimano. It’s reliable. It’ll work. Pro cyclists love Shimano, as they should, it’s their feedback that the engineers gather to perfect its produce. It was LottoNL – Jumbo that helped Shimano develop its latest offering. Sunnies.
The S-Phyre R sunglasses – the same name as Shimano’s cycling shoes – has a rimless design that weighs just 25.6g (shown here in black). The other model is the S-Phyre X (shown in blue). The X has a detachable frame. The top part holds the lens and the bottom is removable. This was an idea the riders proposed. Some like a full frame. Some didn’t. So Shimano gave us the option.
Each design comes with either an anti-scratch photochromatic lens that adapt to changing weather conditions or a polarized lens. Each style comes with a low light lens and changeable nose pads.