When we met with Salice at the Cycle Show in Birmingham last year, I was actually in the market for a new pair of sunglasses but I really only had my eyes on some Oakley Jawbreakers at the time and hadn’t considered other brands. Given that every man and his mate wear Oakleys, Salice easily encouraged me to try on the new Salice 016 sunnies with Photochromic lenses that were due to launch shortly after the show. I was sceptical as I’d always been an Oakley fan but was quickly surprised, and pleasantly so. The Oakley Jawbreakers I had coveted don’t really need any introduction due to their partnerships with the likes of Mark Cavendish, Peter Sagan and other stars in the Pro Peloton, but in many ways I wanted something different, less mainstream.
When the package arrived, it came complete with the sleek looking Italian striped Salice Carry Case, which sits in your bottle cage and stores anything from keys to spare inner tubes and even the sunnies themselves.
The Salice 016 sunglasses now come in a snazzy new case that also house the 3 lenses inside. I chose the Photochromic version (which they sometimes refer to as Chromolex), so they also included the multi-layer mirrored and clear polycarbonate lense. You can also get the Salice 016 in their Italian Edition with the Italian stripes on the top part of the frame.
They are built with the innovative and simple switch system so that you can personalise as you see fit. I’d decided on the completely black model with the extra white rim or nosepiece if I wanted them to stand out a bit more.
In testing the Photochromic lenses I wanted to see how they adapted to our early evening British rides where we often go from tree-lined streets which can appear extremely dark when you are underneath them, but quickly open up into bright open spaces with sunshine directly in your eyes. The key issue being how fast they adapt to the change in light? I found the change to be fast and hardly noticeable in that the clarity remained more than adequate throughout the rides. Another issue for me previously was selecting the lense at the start or end of the season when I know I’d be starting my club ride in the bright or sunny evening, but returning in darkness. The Salice 016 Photochromic lenses handled this extremely well, so much so that I nearly forgot I was wearing them, even in darkness, having earlier in my ride experienced good protection from the sun.
The only downside I’d say is the process of clipping in the lenses. It took me a number of weeks to realise that the lenses actually clipped in securely (as demonstrated in the video below). Once you’ve worked this out, you start to feel like you’re getting a lot of sunglasses for your money, with the current reduced price at £79.99 GBP (approx $95 USD) they really are a bargain for the cyclist looking for flexibility but not wanting to pay absolute premium bucks. And with a price lower than half that of the Oakleys yet performance and looks to match, you’d be a fool not to give them a look.
This video demonstrates how simple it is to take apart and put back together the Salice 016 model.