If there is one pair of performance eyewear that has had everyone talking lately, it’s the Ride 100% Speedcraft. With enduro on the rise, riders are wanting a glass that blurs the lines between a goggle and a minimalist pair of glasses. The faster people ride on 160mm bikes, the more they need some extra protection. Offered in the LL(long lens) and SL(short lens), the Speedcraft answers the call of riders looking for less than a goggle but more than the average glass.
Made in Italy – coming in between $175 and $195, the eye catching glass is offered in a host of colors for both frames and lens mirror colors/tints/transmissions. The LL offers an enormous amount of coverage, while the SL(tested) offers a bit less. The lens shape is eye catching(no pun) to say the least and draws mixed reactions with it’s cutting edge look that echo of 80’s style mixed with futuristic aesthetics. When we opened our mirrored Neon Yellow SL’s from their brilliant protective case we were impressed to learn that they ship with a second lens for low light.
When we first put them on, we were a bit concerned over the tight fit of the Speedcraft SL. The arms put quite a bit of pressure on our temples. The construction of the frame was quite stiff and built to last so we were worried as they seemed inflexible. Everyone’s head is different and ours is a bit fat, so we put the glasses atop our helmet and let them stretch out overnight. Problem solved. They opened up to our liking and have fit perfectly ever since.
Editors note : We chatted with Ride 100% briefly about our Speedcraft SL’s snug fit. They informed us that the glasses we received were from the very first batch of glasses. Upon discovering the initial tight fit, they immediately changed it for the second run. They also made modifications to the materials to offer more flexibility, while still maintaining their strength. Lastly Ride 100% also softened up the ear stem pads a little more even though they were already very comfortable.
On the Trail
We’ve used the Speedcraft SL with two different popular helmets : The Troy Lee Designs A1 and the Specialized Ambush. Out back on the TLD, we found that the helmets slightly thicker harness required us to adjust where it cradled us to avoid interfering with the glasses’ arms…The Specialized required no fiddling.
Up front we were surprised at how well the glasses worked with the front of the helmet. For as big as the lenses are we almost expected them to hit the bottom of the helmet by our brow. Nope. Well thought out and tons of protection. The Speedcraft either ventilated well, had a fantastic coating on the inside of the lens or both. In terms of fogging, we experienced zero issues.
The rubberized arms did a great job of staying put without ever irritating us. OK, so they were comfortable. There is something that’s quite critical and often overlooked in performance eyewear : optics. If you’ve ever ridden in cheap or poorly designed glasses that have even the slightest bit of distortion, you’d know how nausceating it can be. This is where spending nearly $200 on premium glass is worth it. The lenses were razor sharp – no distortion and they weren’t too dark, but they did a great job of cutting highlights. Transitions from shade to harsh light weren’t overwhelming to the rider. Additionally, contrast and clarity was among the best we’ve used. On days where we strictly rode in the woods, the low light lens was SO clutch and easy to swap.
In summary, the Speedcraft SL are excellent. They pioneer a great middle ground between goggles and run of the mill glasses. Riders who push the boundaries of riding in a half lid will love them. We had a massive crash where we cracked the nosepiece a couple months back but the the lens, hinges, arms and frame are tough as nails and came out unscathed. When we say massive crash, we split our helmet completely down the middle for the sake of reference. We’re quite confident that most of the glasses we’ve used in the past would have been dusted. In terms of value, these are in line with offerings from Spy and Oakley, but they ship with an extra lens and nosepiece. In our opinion, that gives them the edge. So, if you hate lugging goggles around and don’t think that your current glasses give you enough protection these are worth a try for sure.