Speed Date: Bolle’s Sixth Sense eye shields

November 10, 2014

They may look funky from the outside- but what about from within?

6th Sense
by Marc B for Eight months


Self-adjusting rose tint
Self-adjusting rose tint

Aesthetically out of place in an age of moto-style helmets and hipster-style eyewear, it’s difficult to argue with the ability of roadie-style eye shields to keep sun, rain, and muck out of the eyes – and once accustomed to a virtually uninterrupted field of vision it’s difficult to go back to more fashionable frames.

With the lens providing the majority of these Italian-made glasses’ structure, Bolle’s 6th Sense bears a striking resemblance to Smith’s Pivlock V2 models, though with several key differences.  Where the Smiths use a lightweight composite construction for the arms and nosepiece, Bolle have added metal cores to each.  Not a new trick, formable cores allow the patient rider to adjust the glasses’ contact points to suit their anatomy, especially useful for those with lumpy noses and uneven ears.

While it took a few rides to find the right balance between a grip and stability, once sorted the 26g 6th Senses sit lightly on the face.  One has to strain to notice the temples and bridge and the edge of the lens never makes itself known.

The beauty of adjustable contact points
The beauty of adjustable contact points

Rather than offering multiple interchangeable lenses, our Bolles’ fixed photochromic lenses adapt to varying conditions without rider input.  The lens makers seem to have photochromic tech sorted at this point, these Modulator Rose Gun lenses have a nice high-contrast reddish-brown tint that adjusts well to everything but the brightest days, providing a good but not overwhelming level of contrast when when moving in and out of tree cover.  (Fixed-tint variations are also available at a discount.)  For anything short of desert of night riding, they are just about ideal.

Vents at the temples do a good job at keeping fogging at bay- and those in need of greater airflow can adjust the nosepieces such that the lenses sit further from the face.  Where many modern glasses’ arms can interfere with helmet retention systems, the ability to turn the Bolles’ arms down makes them compatible with everything we’ve tried.

Overall:  Out of the box, there are more stable and grippier glasses than the Bolle’s 6th Senses.  With a bit of patience, however, they can be made to fit funky faces and (at least from the rider’s perspective) all but disappear.  And what’s better than glasses that don’t make themselves known?  They’re not cheap- but then little Italian-made eyewear is.

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