What makes a good pair of cycling shades? Is it the fit? The quality of the lens? The aesthetic? Or is the value proposition? While some brands tick one or two of these boxes, there’s not a whole lot of variety on the market that ticks all four.
BBB have been producing high quality cycling eyewear for a number of years now, right back since their inception in fact. While some would argue that up until a year or so ago, the eyewear was ‘dated,’ the same can no longer be said.
Until earlier this year, BBB’s ‘Avenger’ was at the top of the tier in the company’s extensive eyewear range. I have personally been rocking the Avengers for close to a year now having first spotted them at the Tour Down Under in 2017. I’ve reviewed them before and those that remember that review will remember how much I raved about them.
I first got my hands on BBB’s range topping ‘Commander’s’ back in October last year, just in time for my KOM Challenge in Taiwan. Though ‘just sunglasses,’ I’m always skeptical of testing out new equipment on any of my major challenges as any unknown, generates stress that I could do without (Will they fit? Will they fog? How will the lenses perform under bright mountain conditions? Etc. etc.) I’d been lucky enough to visit BBB’s headquarters in Holland mid last year and spoken at length with the eyewear designer about the Commander Range. The extensive research and development that had gone into getting the shades ‘just right,’ helped to put my mind at ease.
Available in 6 colour/lens variations including a Photochromic lens option for early mornings/dusk, the Commander range not only has an aesthetic that will match your latest kit, I can also comfortably back them as being packed full of tech.
In the sunglass game, particularly that of cycling, Oakley is often seen as a benchmark. Having been lucky enough to have used a range of different eyewear prior to BBB, I know what works for me and what doesn’t. I like glasses that don’t slide forward and off my nose when I jump into the drops and out of the saddle, but in saying that, the lens itself has to be far enough away from my eyelashes that they’re not constantly caked full of sweat. In addition to the fit, the lens’s themselves have to be of a high quality. In a world that’s now full of ‘fake internet knock off’s’ it’s easy to find glasses online that ‘look good’, but are the lenses actually protecting your eyes? That is, after all, why we wear sunglasses right? The lenses provided with the Commander range offer 100% UV protection and are treated with a hydrophobic coating that enables water to bead off when the weather turns nasty.
Finally, whilst were on the topic of tech and fit, it’s worth noting the three step temple length adjustment system. Because no two riders heads are the same shape (introduce helmets too and it’s a minefield) it’s important that the ‘sunglass arms’ themselves fit. In the past I’ve likened to tucking the arms of my glasses in underneath the helmet retention system at the rear of my head, however I know other riders hate the feeling of this! The beauty of the Commanders is that there is the option of a tailored fit for everyone.
At just $159.99AUD and with the inclusion of three lenses (both the yellow and clear are provided free of charge) I can comfortably stand behind BBB’s Commander range. Not only do the glasses look good, they’re packed full of tech and won’t break the bank.