What is it
Ryders has taken a host of innovative sports optics advancements and packed them into one lens — Fyre, which is available in a number of different models. The project was a partnership with leading lens manufacturer Essilor. The goals were quality optics, fast and wide-range photochromics, vibrant color boosting, and the same anti-fog tech that Ryders is already known for. Mtbr tested the Roam ($240), a medium fit offering with a black/grey frame, adjustable nose pads and temple tips, and a light grey-grey lens that’s billed as an all-purpose tint with neutral color shift and a 77%-17% visible light transmission range.
The Roam also comes equipped with Ryders’ new removable Invert frame, allowing it to be converted from a rimless shield to a more robust semi-rim that’s on the bottom of the lens. They position these two options as being for road and MTB respectively, and assert that since hot air rises, having no frame structure at the top of the lens helps alleviate fogging. Ryders also contends that while in other sports users are typically looking down through the bottom of their lenses because so many things happen at our hands or feet (think ball sports), cyclists are more likely to look through the upper half of the lens because we’re in a body position that has our heads angled down. Thus removing the top of the frame expands field of vision when moving fast over terrain where you need to look ahead.
So why not just ditch the frame all together? Ryders answer is because there’s another hazard associated with moving fast over terrain — crashing. When compared to a frame, the edge of a lens is far more likely to cut your face. By running the frame along the bottom of the lens, protection is increased along with the overall strength of the eyewear. Weight with the Invert frame installed is 32 grams. That number drops to 29 grams when you run them in frameless shield mode.
- Fast and broad photochromic range
- Effective anti-fog treatment
- Sharp and clear optics
- Wide field of vision
- Adjustable nose pads
- Adjustable temple tips
- Fits a wide range of face shapes
- Impact resistant
- Don’t scratch easily
- Secure nose grip
- UV protection
- Applicable for MTB or road use
- Removable Invert frame
- Would like darker lens on brightest days
- Invert frame can catch sweat
- Not all will like Invert look
- Most will not wear when off bike
Unless you spend all your time riding in the shadeless landscapes of Moab, Fruita, or Sedona, you’re likely already a fan of photochromic sunglasses, whose tint adjusts based on available light. The best of this bunch lightens when you’re deep in the forest, then quickly darken when you pop into a sunny clearing. Except many actually don’t make this change very well, and are either too dark or more often too light.
Not the Ryders Roam with Fyre lens. They quickly adjust, delivering a broad 77%-17% visible light transmission range that works in nearly all conditions, save for riding at night in total darkness.
The Roams also have exceptionally sharp and clear optics, a wide field of vision, and adjustable nose pads and temple tips, allowing them to snugly — and comfortably — fit a diverse range of face shapes. And despite dropping them numerous times, and occasionally using a dirty, sweat soaked jersey to wipe off moisture and gunk, they’ve yet to scratch.
Because I ride primarily in semi-arid Colorado, fogging isn’t often an issue. But on the rare occasion the Roam shades did fog up, a quick wipe with a cloth (or shirt tail) cleared things up.
My only real niggle, besides the upper echelon price, is the look of the Invert frame. The first time I put them on, my wife asked if I was going skeet shooting or to cut wood. Yes, she was exaggerating, and with helmet on they look fine. But I often skip the Invert frame attachment and just run them in shield mode for MTB and road. After all the NXT lenses are made from the same impact resistant polymer that was originally engineered for fighter jet canopies and military helicopter windshields.
Fashion considerations aside, the Ryders Roam with Fyre lens is a truly premium pair of riding-specific sunglasses (with the associated premium price). But if quality optics, adjustability, durability, and superb anti-fog and photochromic capabilities matter, then they’re definitely worth a long look in the mirror.
Rating: 4 out of 5
More Info: www.ryderseyewear.com