Smith crafted their sports glasses reputation on replaceable lenses. Remember Smith Sliders? These Pivlock V90 glasses are a natural evolution, though they use an entirely different system. The one piece lens has specialized slots where the temple/hinge inserts, then pivots into a locked position. The nose piece also snaps in with little effort. The Pivlock system is at once easy, quick, and secure. And since they're designed for high energy activities, the grippy Megol rubber on the ends of the temple and on the nose piece are a welcome addition to help hold the frames in place, even with your forehead on the stem chasing a breakaway.Smith Optics is known for just that, their optics. So it comes as no surprise that they've figured out how to build sunglasses with such a sweeping, curvaceous lens, yet retain the clarity at the periphery you need for high speed sports. The lens on the Pivlock V90 series is what Smith calls their Carbonic TLT. The TLT stands for Tapered Lens Technology, and this means that the thickness of the lens tapers from the optical center, towards the edges. This thinning allows for less refraction and therefore less distortion for the light waves passing through the lens. The Carbonic lens is also highly resistant to impacts. This is a great thing to know when you think about the myriad objects that could threaten your eyes on a bike ride -- gravel from car tires, tree limbs, birds (seriously, we know from experience). The Grilamid TR90 frame provides you with maximum comfort, maximum flexibility, maximum toughness, and maximum resistance to sweat and sunscreen. And the hydrophilic Megol nose and temple pads keep them locked in place on your face. They won't slip. They won't slide. They won't fall off.The Smith Pivlock V90 is available in Black w/platinum, Matte Smoke w/red mirror, and Smoke Crystal w/platinum. You'll get two extra lenses. The Ignitor lens is great for overcast days as it increases definition and depth perception in low light. The Clear Mirror lens is best for very low light conditions. The lenses are interchangeable with the larger profile lens on the Pivlock V90 Max as well. The Pivlock V90 offers medium coverage, and Smith considers them a small-medium fit in terms of sizing.
Strengths: Light weight
easy to change lenses
adjustable nose piece
protective case for the lenses while not in use and will hold the glasses also.
Weaknesses: I have no complaints with anything.
The pivlock is a great set of lenses. The glasses are light weight and comfortable. The nose piece adjusts to fit any nose. You can also set it on the narrow setting to keep the glasses off of your face and allow more air movement to reduce fogging of the glasses. The pivlock system is very easy to use and change lenses. In the early morning, late night or other times the orange lens gives protection to your eyes and allows you to still see well in the low light. On bright days the mirrored lens provides protection from the UV rays and comfortable in the bright light. I have sensitive eyes and there is plenty of protection from the sun. I have not used the clear lens, but it would be great for a night ride. The case it comes with provides protection to the lenses and a great place to keep the ones you are not using. I bought some of the smith cleaning clothes and they are fantastic for cleaning the lenses and not scratching them. This is my six pair of smith sun glasses and by far my favorite. Smith make great products.
Strengths: Light, Huge field of view without obstruction
Weaknesses: Price - If I had paid retail
I got these for $50...case included, all 3 lenses as well.
For $50 it was definitely worth it. Now, they are the Chris Carmichael editions in cheesy yellow color, but man are they easy to manipulate for changing lenses.
With the price I paid and the performance of the different lenses in different light conditions....can't be beat. I can say I'd never pay $185 or whatever MSRP is.
a Weekend Warrior
from Houston,TX, USA
Date Reviewed: May 3, 2010
Strengths: Rimless, wide coverage, good clarity, nice carrying case, nosepiece sticks like glue, easy of use, customer service, 3 lens
Weaknesses: a bit pricey, nothing to keep sweat out of lens, cant buy nosepieces retail
I really like these glasses. I think the pivloc system works well and is a good step towards making lens replacement less of a hassle. I hate anything in my field of vision and these glasses provide plenty of coverage without the dreaded "rim lines." The trade off is a they can fog up a bit when you stop riding. I'm no lens expert but these do just fine...providing good, crisp vision when clean. Removing the nosepiece can be a bit tricky, but so far that thing sticks where you set it on your nose and does not move. I use a halo (which I like) to keep forehead sweat from dripping on lens.
I had an issue with one lens and Smith replaced it without a hassle. This is the most I have paid for glasses and would be bummed if I lost them (as opposed to my $29 pair)...but perform very well. I think 4 stars is enough, especially since I want to see how they hold up over the longhaul. But I would currently recommend without reservation and lean overall towards 5.