What are the best goggles for mountain biking? We brought together five pairs from 100%, Dragon Alliance, Julbo POC, Scott, and put them in the hands of our goggle aficionado and all-round jumpy rider, Rob Mitchell, to see which ones we’d recommend for UK mountain bikers. Over to Rob for the full review!
Although we’re used to seeing the punchy 100% logo on the side of racers’ helmets and goggles on both the Enduro and DH World Series, the American brand also makes kit for motocross and road cycling, as well as casual wear and accessories. Here though, we’re taking a look at the Racecraft goggle.
100% make six different models of goggles spanning the disciplines, and for the Racecraft, it offers a ludicrous 20 colour variations. With a MTB sponsor list with names such as Sam Hill, Katy Winton and Loic Bruni, 100% clearly doesn’t mess about when it comes to top level kit.
Spec Talk for the 100% Racecraft Goggles
The 100% goggle range covers both MX and MTB, with features and attributes to suit both disciplines. On initial inspection, the design of these goggles is a lot more aggressive than others in the test, with the angular frame and detachable nose piece.
Finished in Attack Yellow, these goggles certainly do stand out. The lens we’ve got here is a mirrored red, Anti-fog coated Lexen lens, which can be found as an option on all models of the Racecraft. The 9-pin lens retention system means 100% can claim this is the most secure lens in the industry.
We’ve also got triple-layer foam to keep comfort in tip-top order, along with a patent-pending frame design that channels air into the foam to aid moisture management.
Along with the red mirror lens, you also get a spare clear lens in the box, as well as a stack of standard tear-offs and a neat microfibre bag. If you buy the clear lens alternative, you unfortunately don’t get an extra lens in the box. These loud goggles weigh in at 144g.
On The Trail
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First impressions on the Racecrafts was simply the size. Even though the lens isn’t as big as some of the other goggles in the test, the larger frame does make them feel pretty hefty.
Although there haven’t been too many issues with compatibility with helmets, the width of these goggles is noticeable when they’re on your face. The frame feels large and enters your vision on all sides.
With the frame on this specific colour way of the Racecrafts also being bright yellow, I found that it can actually interfere with your vision. Riding on sunny days, the frame catches the rays and lights up that loud frame.
When in place, the frame is visible within your field of view. With the aggressive styling of these goggles, the nosepiece does sit quite proud too, meaning there is a feeling of intrusion riding up into your vision.
The large pins on either side of the lens may keep it nice and secure, but the pins amplify the colour of the frame, and when that passes through it leaves a nice yellow spot in the corners of your eyes. On sunnier days, this does become a bit irritating.
The shallower nose-top of frame height also feels restricted in direct comparison with other goggles in the test.
On the ups and if I’d been sat between runs at my local trails, I did start to get quite a bit of steaming and fogging up across the top of the lens. The lower half and around the sides stayed clear, but my sweaty forehead was maybe a bit too much for the Racecraft’s moisture management system to deal with. When on the move though, the lens begins to clear up and is pretty quick at doing so.
Comfort and Compatibility
As with all the helmets in the group test, I’ve been running each pair with three different helmets – and the Racecrafts have dealt with that change well. Yes, they are pretty big, but as long as you have a helmet that is designed to accommodate goggles, even these large framed examples do work without much fighting back.
The strap on these goggles has been secure and the fit has been comfortable throughout testing, even with the thick triple-layer foam. Similar to some of the other larger goggles, I’ve run the Racecrafts for about 35-40minutes before they have become a touch uncomfortable, pushing down on the cheeks.
For an every-day riding pair of goggles, the Racecrafts wouldn’t be my first pick. The field of vision compared with other goggles in the test isn’t massive, and the interference by the frame (especially in this colour way) was distracting on sunnier days.
However, as far as race-day goggles go, the Racecrafts will tick many a box. The lens itself has performed well across a range of trails and in differing weather conditions, and having a clear lens in the box is also a great addition for any low light or deep wooded trails. They do have a top quality finish, and you’d struggle to find a colour you didn’t like given the vast array of options to choose from.
|Tested:||by Rob Mitchell for 3 Months|