May 28, 2023

Tifosi Sledge Lite sunglasses review

Well-priced light-reactive shield shades

This competition is now closed

By Warren Rossiter

Published: July 29, 2023 at 9:00 am

The Tifosi Sledge Lite sunglasses feature photochromic lenses and a fully adjustable fit, theoretically widening the conditions and head sizes they can accommodate.

The Sledge Lite is a lightened half-frame version of the popular Tifosi Sledge.

In testing, the sunglasses performed well, although they are best suited to road applications.

The Grilamid TR 90 polymer used in the frame is renowned for its long life and elasticity – it’s designed to bend but not break.

The frame flows across the top of the one-piece swept lens.

This is de-centred, meaning its curvature is designed to maintain a constant magnification (the depth of material is constant), which is said to reduce distortion throughout the field of vision.

The polycarbonate lens is claimed to be scratch-resistant and shatter-proof.

In this ‘Fototec’ guise, it has a graduated tint, with photochromic properties that shift the lens from Category 1 (limited protection, off-clear) through to Category 3 (high protection against sun glare).

This makes the lens ideal for very changeable conditions.

At 35.6g, the Sledge glasses are light enough, and they come complete with a soft cleaning bag and a zippered hard case.

The lens dimensions, 135mm wide and 58mm deep, are well sized for smaller faces.

The single-spar frame has sticky temple tips and a fully adjustable nosepiece that helps the glasses feel secure on the road.

The arms also have metal cores, so they can be bent to better fit your head.

That said, the light tension of the frame (and some flex where the lens meets it) means they can bounce a little if you venture off-road.

I found altering the nosepiece and bending the arms inward helped make them secure enough for gravel riding duties.

The lens shape results in no distortion, glare or aberrations thanks to its close sweep and the vertical curvature.

The clarity is excellent, though it lacks the pop of contrast you get from top-grade lenses such as those used in Oakley sunglasses (with the brand’s Prizm technology) or by Rudy Project.

I was impressed by the rapid darkening of the lens, though it takes a little longer to lighten when the daylight dims.

The lens vents across the brow to help keep the air flowing and reduce fogging, but I experienced a little condensation creeping in around the nosepiece.

Tifosi’s Sledge Lites are good cycling sunglasses, especially for the road. The Fototec lens is fast to react to bright light and resists fogging well.

The fully adjustable fit is a bonus, as is the inclusion of a proper hard case.

However, the slight flex in the frames and lack of high contrast means there are better options for off-road and trail conditions.

Senior technical editor

Warren Rossiter is BikeRadar and Cycling Plus magazine’s senior technical editor for road and gravel. Having been testing bikes for more than 20 years, Warren has an encyclopedic knowledge of road cycling and has been the mastermind behind our Road Bike of the Year test for more than a decade. He’s also a regular presenter on the BikeRadar Podcast and on BikeRadar’s YouTube channel. In his time as a cycling journalist, Warren has written for Mountain Biking UK, What Mountain Bike, Urban Cyclist, Procycling, Cyclingnews, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike and T3. Over the years, Warren has written about thousands of bikes and tested more than 2,500 – from budget road bikes to five-figure superbikes. He has covered all the major innovations in cycling this century, and reported from launches, trade shows and industry events in Europe, Asia, Australia, North American and Africa. While Warren loves fast road bikes and the latest gravel bikes, he also believes electric bikes are the future of transport. You’ll regularly find him commuting on an ebike and he longs for the day when everyone else follows suit. You will find snaps of Warren’s daily rides on the Instagram account of our sister publication, Cycling Plus (@cyclingplus).