Madison Crypto Glasses 3-Pack review

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The Madison Crypto are a new(ish) set of riding glasses from long established makers-of-all things-UK-cycling, Madison.

  • Brand: Madison
  • Product: Crypto Glasses 3 Pack
  • Price: £59.99
  • From: Freewheel
  • Review by: Ross for 2 months

While it’s not unusual these days for riding glasses to cost £150 plus, one of the first things to draw me to the Madison Crypto glasses – apart from the big, modern-retro looks – was the price tag. For £59.99, you get not one, but three interchangeable lenses to suit differing light conditions.  

Available in three different frame/lens combos, we got the Smoke Mirror/Amber/Clear lens combo on test that comes with a ‘Crystal Smoke’ frame. The frame itself is made from TR90 plastic which is designed to be lightweight, durable and flexible and allows the frames to bend and return to their original shape without breaking.

The arm tips on the Crypto are a slightly softer material for added comfort and grip as well as being adjustable to adapt to different head shapes. The nose piece is made from a softer rubber and is also adjustable for getting the fit just right, and can be used to sit the glasses further off the face for added air flow.

The lenses are made from polycarbonate and are heavily curved to follow the shape of the face. Our test set features a smoke mirror lens for bright conditions, an amber lens for medium-light conditions and a clear lens for low light conditions. Madison says their lenses meet ISO 12312 for protection, so on top of offering optical clarity, they also provide both UV-A and UV-B protection. The polycarbonate lens is also designed to be both impact and scratch resistant for durability.

The Crypto glasses come in a hard shell case for keeping them safe when travelling, which has individual slots for the spare lenses, and also soft cloth pouch for when out riding to both clean and protect your glasses.

Fit

The Crypto glasses offer plenty of coverage with the frames measuring 140mm wide and 63mm tall at their highest point, giving loads of protection from undergrowth, foliage and flying trail debris. They do a good job covering my face, and with the good proportions, there’s not loads of frame in view, and the curved shape wraps nicely round the face.

The arms are well shaped towards the tips to hug your head and have plenty of adjustment and shape-a-bility to get them sitting comfortably and when you adjust the bend of the arm tips they stay in shape. 

I’ve mainly used the Madison Crypto glasses with a Smith Engage MIPS helmet and a Giro Merit Spherical. They’ve fitted well with both helmets, with no clashing with the shell despite their decent size, and they’ve worked well with both retention systems without creating any hotspots.

I’ve tended to run the nosepiece in the widest position as this is what I’ve found the most comfortable and fitted the best, but by pinching it in slightly it is possible to get the glasses to sit further off for increased air flow. 

Performance

The big, curved lens on the Madison Crypto offers loads of coverage and does a good job of keeping wind out of your eyes when speeds pick up. The three lenses that come in the box offer a great selection of tints for different trail and light conditions, and while Madison doesn’t claim any sort of trail-feature-enhancing-tech, the glasses have worked well across a variety of different situations. 

The smoke mirror lens is the darkest of the three and works well in bright conditions, but I found it can be a little dark once dropping into the woods. It’s not super dark though, and on bright autumn or winter days, without the leaf canopy causing a lot of shade and shadow, it would certainly be manageable. Out inthe open, on the moors it does a good job of shading bright light without being overly dark and dulling texture and detail.

The clear lens is pretty much that and does exactly what it says on the tin, offering the same protection but with a nice clear field of vision for properly dark, or night riding. While I’ve not used the clear lens a huge amount given that it’s been summer, it’ll start to get more use as the weather and the clocks change.

The lens that’s seen the most use though is the amber, medium light lens. Slide that lens on and it gives even the greyest day hints of rose-tinted-mid-summer. I’ve used the lens for rides that have covered everything from open hills and moorland, to deep dark woods and they’ve been spot on for pretty much everything. It properly brightens things up, and while it doesn’t claim to enhance a particular colour range, or increase texture, it does a great job of highlighting things on the trail by turning up the brightness, letting you clearly see the trail and pick things out.

There are times when I have found them to start feeling a little ‘dark’ but this has only really been in fading light or on really dark days in dense woodland with a full canopy, when  you’d really want a full clear lens. Other than that they’ve been great and have become my go-to glasses/lens combo.

Durability has been good so far, with just a few scratches on the lens from knocking the glasses off my helmet with a branch on a high speed trail when I’d forgotten to out them on. Other than that there are a couple of odd scratches from cleaning them but nothing worse than I’d expect.

Overall

The Madison Crypto tick pretty much every box. They offer great coverage, come with a variety of usable lenses, and cost less than half (more like a third of some) of a lot of competition. I really can’t find anything to complain about, and if you’re looking for some new riding glasses that will have you covered for all seasons and light conditions, then you should give the Crypto a go.

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Review Info

Brand: Madison
Product: Crypto Glasses
From: Freewheel
Price: £59.99
Tested: by Ross for 2 months
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