The human brain processes a whole lot of information as you hurtle down your favourite mountain bike trail, and it does the vast majority of it through your eyes. Crap eye sight means you’ll go slower, lazer eye sight means you’ll go faster, safer and have more fun. Obviously. So, if (like me) you suffer from crap eye sight you can improve your riding instantly by upgrading to some quality optics.
RXSport are online only but ordering was simple. I paid for an up to date prescription from my local optician and chose the frames and lenses that I wanted from the RX website. I punched in my prescription and pupil-width (worked out using this website) and my new eye-sight enhancers turned up a week later. Easy.
Oakley frames, RX glass
The Oakley Crosslink Sweep is a cross-over between an ‘everyday’ and ‘sports’ frame. They’re light-weight, fit securely and offer enough coverage to ride in very happily whilst being great for wearing day to day … though you will look like a graphic designer from Shoreditch. It’s up to you whether you care about that or not.
The package came from RXSport, fitted with their own anti-fog sports lens. Not official ‘Oakley’ glass but cheaper, crystal clear and seemingly very resistant to scratches.
Comfy to wear?
Comfort is important. The ‘Unobtanium’ (Oakley’s high friction rubbery material) clad legs grip firmly without being uncomfortable and teamed up with a grippy nose-piece stay locked in place in all conditions. The lenses aren’t the largest in Oakley’s range but cover all but the furthest limits of your peripheral vision and wrap around your face enough to provide protection from eye-sight threatening muck. The ‘big but not bug-eye big’ lens size helps make them suitable for the office as well as the trails.
Sturdy optics for fragile eyes
I’ve been particularly impressed with how tough the Crosslinks have been. Despite my clumsy, ham-fisted nature they’ve remained undamaged and the lenses have withstood all manner of hot, cold , wet and dry conditions and come out scratch free. Spending money on glasses and then scratching the lenses sucks, so this is a huge boost for me to reinvest in them again next time round.
Equally, the legs have remained rock-solid and haven’t developed any wobbles or looseness as you might see on other glasses – thanks in part to the simple metal hinges. There’s no tiny, annoying screws to keep tight here as you might get on your NHS specs. As an added bonus there’s a spare pair of legs supplied with every pair just in case the worst happens. Spare legs come in a different colour scheme, allowing you mix up the style and replace any damaged parts without waiting for spares to turn up. For added security, Oakley supply a sturdy, solid case to keep your optics in meaning you can chuck them in your kit bag or on the dashboard of the van without any worries.
I opted for RX’s “Sport anti Fog” lens. That’s their top spec clear lens which is anti-fog and anti-shatter. The anti-scratch is very good as I’ve said. The anti-fog comes in the form of a small cloth that you wipe anti-fog juice onto your lenses. You can probably buy those online for any glasses. I’ve not tested the anti-shatter so far, thankfully!
A word of caution. The lenses on the Crosslink feature a significant curve which can feel disorientating initially. I was slightly put off by the strange fish-eye effect but on the advice of RX and my optician I soldiered on with them and the symptoms quickly passed. In short, your eye is curved. If your glasses don’t match the gentle curve of your eye your brain will feel disorientated. Thankfully, your brain is really, really clever and will overcome this feeling quickly. Now, I wear the Crosslinks day in day out and for all of my riding, driving, TV watching, XBox time-wasting and yep, even trips to the pub and they feel completely normal. A few days away from wearing them doesn’t seem to cause the sensation to return.
What do we think?
Top marks. RX have supplied a great looking, great performing package at a really impressive price. With the anti-fog, anti-scratch lens the Crosslinks cost around £200 and are delivered straight to your door with zero hassle. The benefits over my old prescription specs, the convenience and the boost to my vision on the trails are massive making these possibly the best value-for-money upgrade I’m ever likely to make. It’s rare that a product has such a massive benefit on my riding and at the same time becomes a staple of my day to day activities … so … top marks.