Sea Otter: Looking good with Bolle

April 29, 2014

Iconic French brand back in the cycling eye…

Frameless and lightweight
Frameless and lightweight

It’s been a while since we really had a look at Bolle eyewear.  While they’ve never really gone away, it seems that the French brand had taken its focus off cycling for a time.  Once the fog smog marine layer burned off each day, Sea Otter’s bright sun and blowing dust had us thinking about eye protection – and Bolle had a nice-looking range on display.

Shown at top, the 6th Sense is a frameless design very similar in weight and shape to Smith’s Pivlock V2.  Weighing in at an impressive 25g, the 6th Sense features an adjustable nosepiece (hooray!) and grippy hydrophilic contact points.  The lenses shed oil and water to remain clear and fogging (marine layering?) is kept in check by a combination of anti-fog treatment and corner vents.  The high-contrast rose tint shown here seems ideal for days spent in and out of tree cover.  Pricing for the Italian-made glasses varies with configuration, but seems to hover around $190/£120 as shown.  Clip-on side shields are included for a full Euro-roadie look.

Argyle on the inside
Argyle on the inside

On the far end of the style spectrum is the Jude.  Available in various color/lens combinations, the green, white, and orange ‘argyle on the inside’ models were arguably the coolest of the bunch.  Not quite as ride-friendly as other models due to the lack of gripping pads, the Judes work well with the ‘baggies and trail lid’ look- and miles better driving to and from the trailhead.  Polarised models run to $120/£90, non-polarised $90/£65.

Overall, Bolle’s lenses seemed clear, their tints well considered, and their features (and pricing) on par with other premium brands’.  The range includes a number of choices in the 6th Sense’s lightweight, cycling-specific vein and more with interchangeable or photochromic Modulator lenses.  Taken together, there seems little reason that we shouldn’t see more from the company.

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