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The French sunglass and goggle manufacturers Bollé and Cébé are part of the monstrous Bushnell Outdoor Products, and although both companies have been around for around 100 years, this is Cébé’s first foray into the US market. Cébé’ has some great sunglasses with excellent price points, that have enough features, good lenses and styles.
Jim Katz from Bolle shows us some highlights of the new cycling eyewear from Bolle and Cebe. Shown are the Bolle Bolt, Tempest and Vortex and the Cebe Eyemax, Cinetik and Wild.
Cébé’s initial U.S. assortment consists of seventeen unique models divided among the three collections, the Sportech, Sport Active and Junior series. The Sportech is technical sunglasses with many distinctive features engineered to deliver peak optical clarity, complete protection and comfort in even the most extreme conditions. Frame and lens materials are optimized for specific activities, including: Nordic skiing, cycling, trekking and triathlon. ICE 8000 and Base Camp models are available with Cébé 4000 Mineral lenses, which are engineered for use at high altitudes.
The ICE 8000 had some interesting features, including sideshields for sun and wind protection, which can be folded inside the arm when not being used, and the arms twist so that they fold inwards for compact storage, and supple and ventilated nose and arm pads.
Cinetik, Wild and Eyemax feature ultra-light (5.8 gram) frames and interchangeable lenses with three lens sets (tinted, yellow and clear). The Cinetik, Wild and Eyemax range in price from $49.99 to $69.99, the ICE 8000 from $79.99 to $109.99 and the Base Camp from $99.99 to $109.99.
Note: I forgot to take pictures of the rest of the lineup at the show. Oops!
The Sport Active is versatile, lightweight sports eyewear crafted for performance and style. All models, S’Kiss, S’Teem and S’Sential, feature SymbioTech – a v-shaped temple to follow the natural shape of the head, distributing pressure evenly for a more comfortable fit. S’Teem and S’Sential have ultra-wrap lenses for protection and improved peripheral vision.
The SymbioTech feature is pretty innovative, and I tried on a pair at the show, and they felt comfortable and adhere well, without any pinching or pressure point issue. The area on the temple tips which comes into contact with the head is increased by 40% with this design, which helps fit more head shapes and sizes, with greater comfort, stability and security. The great part of the new S’Teem and S’Sential are the excellent $39.99 price point for the non-polarized models. The Sport Tech models range from $39.99 to $79.99.
Their biking oriented product lineup includes the Alpine and Competitor series. The Alpine series includes the Cervin, Rainier, Ouray and Diablo models. These sunglasses use Bolle’s bClear lenses, with self-rejuvenating anti-fog technology, which is oleo and hydro-phobic coatings to repel dirt and water. In addition, the frames have vented temples to keep the lenses fog free, and the arms use their Thermogrip technology to provide a lightweight and secure fit. Bushnell has military contracts that require sunglasses to have anti-fog properties, and these lenses meet those criteria.
The Competitor series is slightly more road specific, although I actually prefer a floating or suspended lens, without the encumbrance of the lower frame in my vision, as it offers more spaciousness and a panoramic viewpoint. The major models in the lineup are the Tempest, Vortex, Bolt and Draft. They include interchangeable bClear lenses (only one included), adjustable nose pads and vented temples with Thermogrip’s secure fit. The bClear lenses are made with the Trivex lens material, which offers glass like optical qualities, with incredible clarity and clear vision, and they have dual-sided hydrophobic/oleophobic coatings for sweating and fogging issues.
Abbe numbers are used to classify glass and other optically transparent materials, and range from around 20-85. Abbe numbers are only a useful measure of dispersion for visible light, and for other wavelengths, or for higher precision work, the group velocity dispersion is used. The abbe value of crown glass is 60, and the widely used CR-39 plastic is 58, while the Trivex monomer is 45 and polycarbonate is 30. Although CR-39 has a high abbe number, it doesn’t have the high impact and scratch resistance and inherent UV capabilities of Trivex and polycarbonate, so it’s not as useful for action sports.
Factoid: This system was named after the German physicist Ernst Abbe, who was eventually hired by Carl Zeiss. The Carl-Zeiss-Stiftung (Carl Zeiss Foundation), located in Heidenheim an der Brenz and Jena, Germany, is the sole shareholder of the two companies Carl Zeiss AG and Schott AG. It was founded by Ernst Abbe and named after his long-term partner Carl Zeiss.
I wore the Vortex briefly at the show, and the optical qualities were distinct, and the Thermogrip offered security and comfort, and the wide lens was very spacious.
All the bike lineup models utilize their Carbo Glas coating, which offers armor like shell for eye and scratch protection. They use BB8 nylon frames and arms, which are lightweight, durable and flexible, and they have hypoallergenic and durable adjustable node pads for a tailored and custom fit. The Thermogrip technology keeps your glasses on your face with comfort, hydrophilic nose pads and temple tips that absorb moisture and keep your sunglasses in place.