Smith Shift MAG: Biking Vogue Hits Peak Efficiency


Bear in mind the Nineteen Eighties? I do. [sigh.] They had been a time of, effectively, it’s laborious to summarize a complete decade of human existence, however is there a greater single object which does so than eyewear? Earlier than the 80s, just about all glasses had two lenses of various measurement, one for every eye. By the tip of the 80s… there was only one.

Greg Lemond At Start Line

Photograph by David Madison/Getty Photographs

Significantly, the ski goggle type popularized by the La Vie Claire group again in 1985 was a bolt of style lightning, for cyclists and followers. Positive, they principally simply took some huge scissors to a pair of ski goggles, however no matter. I actually ran out and acquired a pair with what amounted to a two week provide of lunch and dinner funds (these had been school years) to get me my first pair and full my connection to Greg LeMond, minus the expertise or different biking attributes. I used to be thus far forward of my classmates’ style senses that they checked out me quizzically from behind their tortoise shells. However earlier than lengthy, the idea caught on as a press release on cool, quasi-modern, sleek-lined 80s style, the right accent to your white cotton go well with and thin tie. After which the practicality of the unilens acquired seen. By the 90s full measurement wraps had been simply as more likely to be a success along with your grandparents as your pals. Not all of this was excellent news, however that’s the way it goes with style I suppose.

Wraps hit sports activities huge time, however acquired slimmer and slimmer till, say, monitor stars appeared extra like DEVO followers. Within the biking world, the massive wraps by no means stopped making excellent sense, however they’d their limitations too. Manufactured from plastic, my 1985 model fell aside fairly rapidly, and the ski-style strip of froth on the higher edge misplaced its will to stay after one sweaty New England summer season. It didn’t assist that they fell off often. They had been nonetheless very cool, however earlier than lengthy they positively wanted changing.

Quite a few biking eyewear merchandise have since flooded the market, single lens variations included, addressing issues like sturdiness, consolation and flexibility, altering shapes and designs in an effort to get seen. I’ve had a number of through the years, and had loads of good experiences. However there was at all times room to develop. Now, having acquired a set of Smith’s Shift MAGs, I’m questioning if that room has now crammed up.

Smith Sports activities Optics is an Idaho firm which pioneered the concept of lenses over breathable foam inserts to permit skiers the chance to see the place they had been getting in all situations, freed from fog. They’ve stored innovating with completely different kinds and applied sciences, eco-friendly supply supplies, and even shifting into the world of helmets, to pair with their famend goggles. Snowboarding tech way back overlapped into biking tech, and the corporate has stored on rising. However the Shift MAG is its largest biking innovation shortly, and it’s fairly a press release.

I’ve been using these shades since March, and by using I imply on my cross bike, street bike, mountain bike and skis. I’ve subjected them to street grit, mud, snow glare, fog, rain and now summer season’s path mud. They’ve handed each take a look at to the purpose that I often neglect there’s a take a look at taking place in any respect.

The entire Shift MAG set

Professional’s for Professionals

Some issues I like, that appear like essential adjustments from different eyewear:

  • The massive wrap type has at all times been a good suggestion for biking, IMO. Possibly you will get by on a pleasant clear strip of tarmac with narrower glasses, extra energy to you. However if you happen to combine in any gravel or grime, then you definitely want all of the safety towards mud that you could get. Oh, and my sneaky favourite use of biking eyewear, downhill snowboarding, for certain advantages from the complete measurement defend towards the solar reflecting on snow. Uncomfortable gentle rays aren’t any extra more likely to sneak in across the margins than path mud.
  • They keep put. Like, shake your head vigorously and nothing occurs. The rubbery coating over the arms retains them comfortable in your temples. They’re designed to replenish the house under the brim of your helmet, which they comfortably do. They’re in all probability the one glasses I’ve ever owned which have but to fall off.
  • They keep clear. Alongside the highest edge there are two slim slits via which air can go as you progress. Not sufficient to really feel something, however sufficient to stop fogging. Clearly that’s an enormous drawback when it occurs, extra possible in chilly, damp climate. I examined them within the Seattle winter and on ski days, after we had been required to put on face coverings, about as certain a setup for lens fogging as you will get. And as soon as I acquired shifting, they had been crystal clear.


Issues I didn’t like? The match over the bridge of my nostril isn’t tremendous comfortable. They relaxation there comfortably, and on a typical nostril, you may modify the nostril piece into both of the 2 fittings merely sufficient. For me and my Roman proboscis, nevertheless, it is a common problem with glasses, and Smith hasn’t reimagined all its merchandise for guys like me. I’d choose having the ability to bend them out at will as an alternative of the 2 listed positions? Nonetheless, that’s barely a criticism; due to the ear items the Shift MAG stays the place it belongs regardless.

Oh, and if you’re using within the woods, in all probability don’t go together with the totally darkened lens; the gray or crimson tint will in all probability work higher. Given the variable gentle situations we, ahem, get pleasure from within the Northwest, I ought to in all probability order a contented medium lens to finish my choices.

Lens swapping is simple!

Finest Characteristic: Swappability

The rationale you must take into consideration footing the $259 retail is that the flexibility to alter lenses actually does make them two full units of eyewear. Every Shift MAG set comes with a transparent lens, together with whichever one you select — black, gray or crimson mirror tinted — so you may have swappability. Like each eyewear set since eternally, proper? Positive… besides the swappability is like nothing I’m used to. It’s each easier and much safer than lenses of the previous. No twisting and coming out lenses; you simply click on the button over every nook and gently take away the lens. The “MAG” a part of the title refers to the usage of a magnet within the joint that you simply launch to take away the lens — however that’s in any other case magnetically inclined to remain shut tight. What you get then is proven above: the lens with the highest half of the body separated from the remainder of the body.

Gone are the times of ruining my body’s form making an attempt to power the lenses again into place. So too are the dangers to the lenses themselves — scratches, fingerprints, and many others. The Shift MAG lens pops out and in so simply that even a gear simpleton like me can handle it with out ever hurting the lens or body. The result’s that I truly use each lenses, relatively than shying away from switching them for worry of messing up and/or fingerprinting the lenses within the course of. So sure, this actually is like having two units of eyewear.

Smith Shift MAG with clear lens, and cobbles

Last Phrase: Vogue

This half is completely subjective, however as a baby of the 80s wave of innovation, I can’t assist however love the complete lens look, albeit a bit flatter and squared off in comparison with the unique designs. They arrive in white, crimson and matte or shiny black frames, plus the array of lens choices. They don’t shrink down and attempt to fake that their perform isn’t to really defend your face whereas using. Carrying them, you appear like a bicycle owner, however hardly in an exaggerated means. The white rim is a pleasant clear search for winter or summer season, although I might have simply been swayed towards the crimson possibility.

Anyway, it is a particular advice from me! They’ve handed each take a look at and are positively my go-to lenses lately.

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