Review: Tifosi CritBy Scot Jarchow | Published May 3, 2017
I was living on the rainy side of the Pacific Northwest, when Tifosi presented us the opportunity to test the newest model the Crit, with 8 different lens options, covering 10 different lenses and five different frame colors, we choose the Black & White nylon frames with Light Night Fototec lenses. Fototec lenses are adaptable to the available light in your environment. When it is sunny the Fototec lenses reduces the amount of light getting through to the rider’s eyes to reduce glare and remove the chance of eye strain. While when it cloudier, or cloudy and rainy, the Fototec’s provide more light so riders can find the newly created potholes, fluid hillsides about to be mudslides, or that tree that looks like it will fall over any moment. The Light Night Fototec lenses offered the best tint option for low light conditions, like riders in the Portland area pretty much encounter all winter long; especially the winter of 2016-2017 with nearly 150 days of rain over seven months. On partly sunny to mostly cloudy days, the Light Night Trans 27.7% of the light to reach your eyes during full sun conditions to allowing 75.9% of the light to reach your eyes in low light levels. Honestly I really haven’t had a chance to develop an opinion in sunny conditions since Portland isn’t currently on speaking terms with yellow ball of light in the sky. What that means is, we have thoroughly tested these lenses in the 2nd wettest winter in Portland, since they started keeping records in 1890’s, and the Tifosi Crit rule those gray skies!
Tifosi Fototec Highlights:
- Lenses are made from scratch resistant shatterproof polycarbonate
- Optically decentered, meaning they eliminate distortion and prevent unwanted magnification.
- Tifosi uses a proprietary lens coating to reduce glare to reduce eye strain.
- Offer 100% protection from UVA and UVB light
- Easily change out lenses within a couple seconds
- Frames are made from Grilamid TR-90 material; which exceedingly lightweight, durable nylon that is resistant to chemical reactions and degradation from UV light.
- Frame has adjustable nose piece as well as adjustable ear pieces for a comfortable custom fit.
- Ear pieces are made from a hydrophilic rubber that offers increase their grip the more you sweat.
Great Fit: Right out of the box the aerodynamic lines Tifosi Crit sunglasses, with a two modestly curved 74 mm horizontal lenses, and 12 mm bridge, combined with 128 mm arms, fit our face perfectly. For those who are not so fortunate, the Crit’s have an adjustable nose pieces and adjustable arm pieces to help obtain the custom-comfortable fit. For us, simply put, these were instantly one of the most comfortable pairs of sunglasses that I have reviewed.
Useful Vents: We really appreciated the Tifosi Crit’s vents, since when a rider is stopped at a stop light, when it 35 degrees outside, the humidity is 99%, and your breath sends a stream of condensed air outward for two or three feet, the sunglasses are going to fog up! With two lens vents on each lens and two larger vents on frames, it only takes about 10 to 15 seconds for the lenses to clear up once we took off. Ten to fifteen seconds may seem like a long time, but it is a lot shorter time than one of our older pairs of glasses without vents, which probably takes closer to minute under those circumstances. Unfortunately we haven’t been able to see how well the vented lenses work in hot weather, the warmest it has been riding with the Crit’s has been 55 degrees, and we really didn’t have an issue with sweating under those atmospheric conditions… They passed the hat and head test… Have you have had a pair of sunglasses that you wanted to wear all the time, but the damn thing just kept falling off your head or your hat while you walked around inside? Well we have…The Tifosi Crit’s passed this test with flying colors! I cannot think of one instance where I placed these sunglasses on my head or hat and had them fall off. In contrast the last pair of glasses I reviewed was quite difficult to keep on my head…
We love the durable feel of lenses and frame, and so far the lenses have held up remarkably well. On a recent off road escapade on my cyclocross bike, I callously brushed a couple tree branches while wearing the Crit’s polycarbonate lenses without ever leaving any scratches in the lenses. Even though our frames weighed in at just 29 grams, the Grilamid TR-90 nylon frames feel firm while riding. One afternoon I was little bored, and spent at least 30 minutes, removing and then re-installing the polycarbonate lenses back into the frames. Even after literally removing the lenses a couple hundred times, the frames joints where the frames inserted did not show any wear whatsoever. I can see having these sunglasses last at least a decade if they don’t get lost first!
I currently have about 7 pairs of sports sunglasses at my fingertips, when I am heading out into the great beyond, and the first pair of glasses I grab when it is raining or partly cloudy is the Tifosi Crits with their great fit, durable feel, excellent ventilation, and impressive optics; it is an easy decision to make! Heck they have even held up to punishing hat and head test, well I guess it is not too punishing when the hat stays on the head!
We Didn't Like
Honestly, there is not much not to like about the Tifosi Crit. Ok there were a couple times that I wish the glasses came with working windshield wipers, because it was raining so hard that it was difficult to see out of lenses with lots of rain accumulating on them. We have ridden with another brand’s glasses that claimed to have a hydrophobic lens coating, which produced nearly the same results, so we are not going to hold that against the Crit’s.
The Final Say
For us the Tifosi Crit’s with Light Night Fototec lenses fit great right out of the box, look stylish and allowed us to see/enjoy the great gray and wet outdoors of the Pacific Northwest. For someone who lives where the weather is cloudy and gray a good deal of the time the Tifosi Crits with Light Night Fototec will be the perfect choice at having the near perfect glasses. The only way our Crit’s could have been better is with one more set of lenses, for those occasional cloudless days, for those of us who have light sensitive blue eyes... (Man I would love a cloudless day right now!) If you live in California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, or any other locations that get sun 300+ days a year, might I suggest styling white Tifosi Crit’s with Clarion Blue/ AC Red/ Clear lenses or the Smoked Fototec lenses, but really with 8 lens packages and 5 different frame colors, you can find the Tifosi Crit’s that are perfect for you!
Note: Prices on the various by frame and lens combination for Tifosi Crits. For example Tifosi Crit’s with Matt Black Frames and Smoke/ GT/ EC lenses retails for $69.95, while we our test model retailed for $79.95. The most expensive model of Tifosi Crit retails for $99.95 and comes with Matte Gunmetal frames and Smoke Polarized Fototec lenses.