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Tifosi Optics Podium Sunglasses

Review: Tifosi Optics Podium Sunglasses

Elaine Bothe's picture

We Liked

Scott our fearless leader handed me a neat black case which I zipped open promptly. Out popped a sporty looking and lightweight Podium sunglasses in Metalic Silver with red lenses from Tifosi Optics, all set up and ready to wear. Tucked into the front of the case were two other lenses, in clear and smoke, each it its own protective sleeve. "Cool!" I said, shoving them onto my face.

I love the lenses -- there are three shatterproof polycarbonate lenses included, though I am not a fan of the installed red ones however I may change my opinion when the dark days and rains move in. I love that all three lenses, including the clear, are 100 percent protection from UVA and UVB rays.

After playing with the Podium glasses carefully for a minute and fearful that I'd break something, I checked out the Tifosi Optics website to find information on how to change out the lenses, since there was no included information. The website has a helpful video that you only need to view once before you get the hang of it.

I swapped out the red lenses for the smoke, which is perfect for bright sunny days on the road or trail. They are too dark for deeply forested singletrack, but in a race with a light canopy of trees, grassy fields and gravel roads and lots and lots of sand, the the smoke colored lenses were perfect.

The clear is great at night and low-light conditions, which I got to test thoroughly at Cross Vegas this year. Whoo hoo! No glare, my eyes were protected from flying pieces of grass and bugs and drool and who knows what.

I love that there is no distortion at the edges. Not at the top, bottom or sides. I also love that the Tifosi website has many more lens options and replacements for you to purchase, most of them hugely affordable at just under $15 each. You can also buy extra ear and nose pieces.

I like how my eyes are well protected from wind at high speeds, at least up to around 40 on the road so far. It's still nice weather, so I have not determined if the Podiums will fog up in cooler or wet weather. Stay tuned...

And I sure like the aggressive and athletic look of the Tifosi Optics Podium Sunglasses with a bicycle helmet, though they are a little bulky looking to wear by themselves.

You can even add prescription lenses, with a snap-on RX Adapter, as per the website.

And I love the value. At $69.95 for the Tifosi Optics Podium Sunglasses with three lenses and a nice case, the quality is quite good. Especially if you consider the option to replace the parts, not the whole thing.

We Didn't Like

I'm not totally in love with the fit for me. Tifosi offers a women's version of the Podium that might suit me better. My head is on the small side and my face is narrow, so there is a bit of space below the lenses where a lot of glare gets through on bright sunny days on the road. But the fit and glare isn't bad enough for me to reach for my old glasses.

I am also not convinced that the nose pieces are as adjustable as claimed. I pinched and played but it didn't seem to change much, if at all. But I was only checking, the nose piece seem comfortable enough on me. The ear pieces seem more adjustable, and after four or five days of wear, the ear pieces seemed to automatically move to fit my ear and helmet.

Lastly I wish there was an option for a clear lens with a very slight tint, maybe 5-8 percent or less, and a bit of a mirror finish to look more athletic than a pair of laboratory safety glasses. This would make the Tifosi Optics Podium handy in forested singletrack as well as well lit night races like Cross Vegas. It's just more badass when your competition can't see the whites of your eyes, even at night! I do, however, like the clear as an option for nighttime commuting and training on very dark roads.

The Final Say

If you're like me you hate spending a bunch of money on sunglasses that are easy to lose, destroy or get scratched up. I also hate poor optics and lousy fit. Fortunately Tifosi Optics has you covered. The versatile Podium Sunglasses balance value and quality in a very functional, attractive and sporty package. You can replace the lenses inexpensively as they get scratched, and you can even buy new nose and ear pieces.

Try them on. If the Podiums from Tifosi Optics fit, you will enjoy the savings and the quality. They will likely be your go-to sunglasses for your riding.

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