What: Smith Pivlock V90 and V90 Max
Price: $118.99-$138.99 (Depending on lens options)
Overview: With a slew of exciting, vibrant colors to choose from, the Pivlock V90 is a bargain when you consider most styles come with three sets of lenses. Swapping lenses is a cinch and can be done on the fly. The Pivlocks are also the lightest pair of sunglasses we’ve ever tested.
We love innovation here at Art’s Cyclery. Whenever new products show up at our warehouse, we hover around like bugs attracted to a neon light, dissecting the new features of the product.
When the new styles of Smith’s Pivlock showed up at our warehouse, there was a considerable deal of buzz surrounding these unique shades. Their styling is undeniably European – something you’d expect to see from Gucci if they decided to make cycling-specific sunglasses.
The color options pretty much cover the spectrum, so your chances of finding a pair that will match your kit are high. But as cool as they look, I needed to find out how these shades performed while riding. After five rides, I have to say that the Pivlocks far exceeded my expectations.
Smith claims the Pivlock to be the “lightest performance interchangeable rimless sport style” in the world today. I don’t have the facts to back that up, but I do know that after riding in them for about an hour, I seriously forgot I had them on. I tried out a pair of the Pivlock V90 in Race Green, which perfectly matched my Art’s Cyclery Aussie kit. This particular style came with three sets of lenses for options in every light condition. To my surprise, the Yellow Mirror lens worked exceptionally well in sunny conditions. Most yellow lenses have a high percentage of light transmission, but not these – the optical clarity was perfect and glare was non-existent.
Changing lenses is really easy. The only other sunglasses I’ve tested with a simpler design are the Jawbones from Oakley. But the Pivlocks come with three lenses instead of two and cost significantly less. All you have to do is pivot the arms up and slide the nosepiece out. Once you get the feel of it, you can do the swap in less than 30 seconds.
I felt the coverage on the Pivlock V90 was adequate for my smallish face and I didn’t really need the extra coverage of the Pivlock V90 Max, which fits better on larger faces.These shades come with some other awesome features like the Grilamid TR90 frame, which provides the gold standard for active sunglasses. Hydrophilic Megol pads on the nosepiece and temples grip better when wet, ensuring a comfortable non-slip fit. Smith’s Tapered Lens Technology eliminates optical distortion by progressively tapering the lens from the optical center towards the outer edges. Light waves are thereby delivered straight to your eye resulting in zero distortion and true optical clarity. Put more simply, what you see is what you get. A sweat-seal hydrocoating keeps sweat and other liquids from streaking the lens. Water will bead right off, keeping your field of vision clear.
Final Score: Based on style, functionality and value, I give the Pivlock a 9.5 out of 10. My only concern is that over time, swapping the lenses may become difficult since the arm pieces slot directly into a hole on the lens. One small crack or chip around this hole could potentially ruin the lens. But, all Smith sunglasses come with a Lifetime Warranty, so if this does happen, Smith will replace the shades at no cost to you. We have a limited supply of T-Shirts that will be free with the purchase of any Smith sunglasses.