Julbo Quickshift MTB Goggles | 2 Modes, 1 Pair of Goggles

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James tries out the Julbo Quickshift MTB Goggles – will he be glad of the protection they give his eyes?

Ever since I was about 7 or 8, I’ve worn glasses (-5.75 in both eyes on my last test, thanks genetics) and when I’m riding I wear contact lenses. Pretty much always have done, simply because I hate things covering my eyes when they don’t have to. It makes a nice change to have unrestricted vision, to not peer grimly at the world through smudged lenses, and riding in the Lake District I rarely have much need to keep flying mud out of my eyes. Thus, until Ross handed me these Julbo Quickshift MTB Goggles, I’ve generally eschewed the use of any eyewear when mountain biking, let alone goggles. So without further ado let’s strap these fine French fancies to my face and see how I get on… 

Julbo Quickshift MTB Goggles
Julbo QuickShift MTB Goggles with Cat S2 Lenses

Lens see what we’ve got here

The Quickshift MTB goggles are the first mountain biking specific goggles from French eyewear manufacturer Julbo, and their USP is the quick release, removable magnetic sections on the underside of the goggles, otherwise known as the Switch Air System. This is designed to improve ventilation and prevent the goggles from fogging up. The Quickshift goggles come with two sets of lenses – a medium category S2 lens for all round use, and a clear category 0 lens for darker conditions. As is pretty much the norm these days, both polycarbonate lenses are double layer and are super easy to switch out. Keeping the googles strapped to my face, is a nice fat pinkish red (or is it reddish pink?) elasticated strap with a rubberised strip to stop things from sliding about.

Julbo Quickshift MTB Goggles
Switch Air System in place

Looking good so far

Julbo Quickshift MTB Goggles James Vincent
The goggles play nicely with a range of helmets. Lens flare optional

With the Switch Air System in place, the goggles fit incredibly well, play nicely with a wide range of helmets and are supremely comfortable. Both lenses are optically very good indeed and have resisted scratching, although the outside of the darker S2 lens attracts dirty fingerprints like a crime scene. They’ve also resisted fogging up regardless of the conditions, which brings me neatly to the pros and cons of the Switch Air System. Removing the magnetic plugs of the Switch Air System really does open up the goggles and increases ventilation massively, but at the expense of comfort. By removing a large section of the goggles under the eyes, there is a marked increase in pressure on the bridge of my nose which congests my breathing, and seeing as I never suffered from the goggles steaming up in even the hottest conditions, I tended to ride with the Switch Air System in place all the time.

If I started a ride with the Switch Air pieces removed, then the increased pressure wasn’t such an issue and I could sort of get used to it, but taking the Switch Air pieces out mid ride made the difference in comfort even more noticeable. And once you’ve removed them, getting the fiddly little magnetic pieces back in securely is something of an art too, and is sadly one that I’ve yet to master. There’s also the issue of losing them – I had one tumble while testing the goggles and during my little excursion from my bike, one of the magnetic sections removed itself from the goggles and nearly disappeared into the undergrowth. If this happened in a race situation, you’d either lose valuable time scrabbling around in the dirt for the missing piece, or be bummed that you’d lost part of your goggles.

Julbo Quickshift MTB Goggles
Switch Air System removed

Conclusion

Now, I’m fortunate in that I don’t sweat too much, nor do I ride in a hot and humid climate, so it could be that steamy goggles aren’t a problem I’m ever going to suffer with, but conversely there are riders out there who have been crying out for a solution to steamy goggles. If you fall into the latter camp and the bridge of your nose is a touch more svelte than mine, then quite frankly, you’re going to love these; the optics are fantastic, they look great and the price is reasonable. If however, you won’t make use of the Switch Air System, then the price stops being quite so reasonable and personally I’d rather just have a simpler pair of Julbo goggles but without the Switch Air System and save a chunk of change.Add block


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Review Info

Brand: Julbo
Product: Quickshift MTB Goggles
From: Lyon Outdoor
Price: £139.99
Tested: by James Vincent for

Having ridden bikes for as long as he can remember, James takes a certain twisted pleasure in carrying his bike to the most inaccessible locations he can find, before attempting to ride back down again, preferably with both feet on the pedals. After seeing the light on a recent road trip to Austria, James walked away from the stresses of running a design agency, picked up a camera and is several years deep into a mid life crisis that shows no sign of abating. As a photographer, he enjoys nothing more than climbing trees and asking others to follow his sketchy lines while expecting them to make it look as natural and stylish as possible. He has come to realise this is infinitely more fun than being tied to a desk, and is in no hurry to go back.

More posts from James

Comments (3)

    Julbo makes a much better goggle for this purpose, the Superflow.
    The entire lens pops away from the frame, creating airflow all around. No pieces to loose, no discomfort, and easy to switch between modes for climbing and descending.

    My O’Neil b50’s look identical to these and have the same magnetic lens,

    Note,my lens are magnetic not 2 inserts

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