#bikeschool: Ryders Caliber Photochromic Review and Giveaway


We’ve got Professor @egggman in today with a review of the Caliber Photochromic sunglasses from Ryders Eyewear.  Mike is a year round cyclist and experiences all seasons and conditions over there in Ontario, so he’s sure to provide a full review on their performance.

Enter to WIN: Oh, and we’re giving away a pair of Ryders Caliber Photochromic sunglasses as well. Details below.

Ryders Eyewear CALIBER Photochromic Review

by Mike (@egggman) Osborne

This is my first LovingtheBike post, odd but true. I have been working with Darryl over at #bikeschool for what seems like forever but have not yet written here. I guess it just seems fit to have it be a #bikeschool post I finally write.

This is kind of a funny post in and of itself.  I am the guy at #bikeschool who professed to “hate riding with glasses on!!!”.  By and far I am the last guy who should be reviewing a pair of cycling glasses.  The good people at Ryders Eyewear however were confident they could make me enjoy riding with glasses.  I was up for the challenge.

Preface part 3, I have ridden in the past with many different types of cycling glasses as the idea of protected eyes made sense to me.  I generally have ridden for 5-10 minutes and then jammed them in a camelback/jersey pocket, or tossed them trailside. I can’t stand the way they obstruct my vision, be it fogging or just odd plastic pieces in the way masquerading as trees and slowing me down.

Well enough about me, let’s get to the goods. Like a kid on Christmas day (really about a month and a bit early) I tore into the box that arrived at my door while I was working from home. I was amazed by the awesome hard-shell case the glasses came in. I almost didn’t want to open it.  But then I did. Wow, they look like clear glasses, I thought (I was expecting more of a yellow).  Not thinking much about the concept of the photochromic lens I put them on and looked around. After going out back on the deck I took them off and they had changed to a quite dark lens, neat.  I put them away and went back to work.

My first ride with them was good, I was over-analyzing everything and when they fogged at the lights by the office I instantly threw up the “ha, glasses” feeling until realizing my toque had completely flopped over the top of them blocking air release.  Since then, although they have fogged slightly at stops, I have noticed how quickly the fog clears once the pedals start to turn. One thing that has been amazing is no matter the day or type of riding my eyes aren’t watering.  I have ridden with them in road and trail, in rain/snow/freezing rain/sun/and pre-dawn darkness. They are truly a go to pair of glasses in all conditions.

As far as my issues with other glasses of times past, and plastic pieces in my periphery, there just is none.  I don’t even notice the edge of the lens.  I am amazed that they can shield the wind well and de-fog while moving. Physics would indicate that it is airflow behind the glasses that cause the clearing effect but my eyes remain warm even on the coldest rides. I am almost in goggle season but in past years I would have already made the transition from bare eye to goggles.  The next test will be spring when deciding to/not to wear the glasses for MTB races. I am currently leaning towards wearing them.

P.S. I don’t hate riding with glasses anymore!! At least not these glasses.

Rating them a 4.5 taco’s due to minor fogging at stops once the motor warms up…

Enter to Win

Here’s your chance to win your own pair of Ryders Caliber Photochromic sunglasses and see if they perform just like @egggman has said they do.  Leave your comment below letting us know what you like best about riding with your sunglasses…or how they could perform better while cycling.  Contest closes on Thursday, December 29th at Noon EST.

The contest is now closed.   Congratulations to Chris Baskind who wins a beautiful pair of Ryders Caliber Photochromic sunglasses by Ryders Eyewear.  Thanks to all who entered…thanks to Ryders for being so awesome…and thanks to @egggman for providing a nice review.

Enjoy Your Ride
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55 Responses to “ #bikeschool: Ryders Caliber Photochromic Review and Giveaway ”

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  7. Bobby on December 30, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    Is this the yellow photochromic lens or the light grey?

  8. Shane Beardslee on December 29, 2011 at 10:10 am

    I live in Omaha, Nebraska. You’ll recall that the original name of our beloved Cornhuskers was the “Bug Eaters”! Yeah…well if our little insect issues is bad enough to once hold a mascot’s title…just imagine what they feel like hitting you in the left eye while you’re rollin’ down hill at about 25 MPH. Do the boyz at Ryder have a full face shield in the works anytime soon?

    Keep up the great work!

    Bug dodging in Omaha,

    • Michael Krasnik on January 10, 2012 at 2:08 am

      We are distributor of Ryders in Denmark, and we are using Shamir lenses for RX power. 
      http://www.ocp.dk/admin.php Almost all Ryders styles can be made with RX, but you must ask for Shamir lenses for best result.

      • Michael Krasnik on January 10, 2012 at 2:10 am
        • Darryl is Loving the Bike on January 10, 2012 at 9:32 am

          Thanks for your feedback, Michael.  Ryders is a great company and it’s nice to hear that you’re a distributor in Denmark.  I met with the owner a few weeks ago and am impressed with their direction and outlook for the future.

  9. Donnajharris on December 29, 2011 at 10:09 am

    I wear glasses all the time, not yet brave enough to launch into the world of contact lenses. I do feel exposed at the sides with my normal or sunglasses on and can see how this will be an increasing concern the more I ride. These sound like a good investment and I’ll have to remember to check them out. And if they don’t fit over my regular glasses, I might have finally found the motivation to try contacts… @olivepeople

  10. Calkins William on December 29, 2011 at 10:07 am

    I ride in the winter time and I am just using my eyewear for glasses. One eye tears the whole ride to work. These could help my vision and keep me from avoiding the ice daily up here in Madison, wi

  11. Paul Ashworth on December 28, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    I’ve been riding with Oakleys for years, but honestly, I’m not wild about them. They do provide good coverage in full sun, but are too dark in overcast conditions, rain, or impending darkness. They also don’t stay up on my nose that well either. It sounds like the Ryder’s Calibers may offer significant advantages.

  12. Tammy Jones on December 28, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    I like sunglasses for protection from debris and the sun. I would like o try photo chromatic lenses, because my only complaint is that they are too dark or light at times.

  13. BeholdersEye on December 28, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    I always wear glasses especially sunglasses and these look like a good investment, oh by the way did I mention it’s my BD today. Just saying, a gift would be nice once in a while…

  14. Anthony Lussier on December 28, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    I’ve got to wear some type of glasses.  I hate the way my eyes tear up when the wind is blowing them feeling as if I always have to keep wiping them.  Plus all the debris and dust in the air getting up in your eyes.  It’s just a safer bet to wear them.  #safetyfirst as we learned in the Air Force 🙂

  15. TPMiles on December 28, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    I ride wearing sunglasses or clear-lensed glasses because here in Georgia its not uncommon to run into a bug or swarm of bugs. There’s nothing worse than being taken out by a bug to eye.

  16. Brandon Eason on December 28, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    I like glasses to keep the wind out of my eyes while riding.  I wear clear glasses a lot, especially early in the day, but sometimes carry both clear and dark glasses if it’s a long ride.  Photochromic lenses would be much better than lugging around an extra pair of glasses.

  17. Bob A on December 28, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    I wear glasses all the time when I ride. Have to. They’re prescription.  So my choices right now are a pair of Rx sunglasses (that are too dark on overcast days) or my regular glasses w/ Transitions lenses.  Would love it if the companies, like Ryders, would make Rx-able glasses for people like me to wear.

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on December 28, 2011 at 1:43 pm

      Hi Bob, I’m going to talk to the guys from Ryders about this and will get back to you.  They are off over the Christmas holiday, but I’ll get an answer to you soon.

  18. Erin Elberson Lyon on December 28, 2011 at 11:57 am

    I always ride with glasses because my eyes are stupid sensitive and will water at the slightest amount of wind.  So, it’s all about the interchangable lenses up until this point. Clear for early morning (before the butt crack of dawn) rides, gray for weekend rides, etc.  There’s nothing quite like waking up to go for a very early morning ride, realizing you forgot to change out your lenses, and spend precious minutes changing the lenses before you leave. Ouch! These would be awesomesauce.

  19. Carlos H. on December 28, 2011 at 9:56 am

    I commute to work daily and in the winter use a clear pair of cheap cycling glasses.  I like the protection from the wind  and debris that they provide. I rarely ride without glasses.  Fogging isn’t an issue if I’m moving.   I have thought of a photochromic pair  so I wouldn’t have to change out the lenses for different conditions, but haven’t given it a shot yet.  It would be cool to win a pair.

  20. Anonymous on December 28, 2011 at 9:51 am

    I am the proud (sort of)  owner of a 5 year-old pair of bargain bin sunglasses (seriously bargain bin..like the lenses are one grade up from tinted plastic wrap).  They have been sat on, run over, dropped and at this point they are less than functional  but I still use them.  To say I’m the world’s biggest (and cheapest) procrastinator is probably a spot on description of me. Having a new pair of top of the line shades show up at my doorstep would be like manna from heaven.

  21. rorowe on December 28, 2011 at 1:04 am

    Unfortunately, I gave up wearing contacts well before I started commuting by bicycle again. Now, after riding my commutes for almost 3 years, I’m hating being stuck with my prescription glasses. Glass lenses in an accident could be disastrous, they fog up and stay that way during winter, especially while wearing my balaclava, and I’m always worried about them breaking on a ride, leaving me stranded with less-than-perfect vision. I checked out Ryder’s after listening to your podcast, as a way to get back into wearing contacts, knowing they won’t dry out or bother me while riding. 

  22. Dave Turner on December 27, 2011 at 5:41 pm

    I refuse to ride without some sort of eye protection. After nearly loosing an eye from an infected corneal abrasion, I am paranoid about my peepers.
    Glasses are like helmets for your eyes.

  23. Gorilla Toez on December 27, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    I am constantly afraid of getting “stuff” in my eye and when I do I am like what the hell, why am I not wearing Sunshades to keep the crap out of my eyes….  I have gotten a lot better lately at wearing them but it is good to wear them to protect your vision. After all we only get one set of eyes…  

  24. Terry Bytheway on December 27, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    I like riding with glasses, but currently I only have sun glasses.  With the days being as short as they are I rarely wear them.  The sun is just coming up on my way in and mostly down on my way home.  These would be the perfect addition to my  daily commute.

  25. Andrew Houlne on December 27, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    I insist on wearing glasses while riding. Too many times I have done the old bug in the eye trick, and will not go without again. I prefer using polarized in the summer, and switching to a photochromic pair when leaving early or returning late. I dislike when the glasses distort the view, and simply loath when the bridge will not stay on my nose where it should. With strong preferences like mine, I usually end up paying far too much just to stay sane.

  26. jen on December 27, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    I dislike riding with glasses too but it is summer here and riding at night I find I need glasses as there are lots of bugs around. I don’t have photochromic glasses so unless it’s really bad I don’t wear any, otherwise I use the sunglasses…which is difficult at night!

    There you go!

  27. Dan Polley on December 27, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    My eyes can be sensitive to light, so sunglasses are imperative, even (and often) on overcast days. And, pragmatically, they block my eyes from insects and the like, which I would prefer go in my mouth (hooray for unintended protein sources!).

  28. Joel Phillips on December 27, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    When it comes to places to ride, I feel like I am the luckiest son-of-a-gun on the entire planet.  The foothills of the Rocky Mountains are simply gorgeous and living in a townhouse where out of my back door I can literally throw a snowball over a multi-use recreational trail with access to the entire Denver metro area is, well just plain cool.  The trail I live by offers paved and single-track options, both following a creek.  Bugs, rocks, branches, sand and 300+ sunny days a year make sunglasses a necessity.  I have a large dome and prefer the wraps.  Had to try on many, many pairs before I found ones that fit comfortably.  These bear a similar resemblance to the pair I own.  Mine are not photochromic, but that would be a nice feature as the pair of sunglasses I own are a tad dark.  It would be nice to have these for those night rides and rare cloudy days….

  29. scott rust on December 27, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    Before getting a pair of Polarlens s25’s (http://goo.gl/6WPH1) earlier this year I had difficulty liking any of the sunglasses I had. Not sure what it is about these – they’re cheap, but very lightweight, and 3 sets of interchangeable lenses. I can cycle and run with them very comfortably. If I were going to change anything about ’em, I’d say not having to swap the lenses out depending on weather / light conditions would be it.

  30. Chris Baskind on December 27, 2011 at 11:58 am

    Our roads here are poorly maintained, so commuting without eye protection is asking for trouble.

    The problem is the ride home — it’s dark. So unless I swap my contacts for prescription glasses for the return trip, I’m riding without anything on my face. These photochromic sunglasses look like the answer …

  31. Ron Ng on December 27, 2011 at 11:28 am

    I wear glasses for protection not only against UV rays, but also for wind protection against my contact lenses. When I descend down a hill, lots of times, there are large trees causing dark and bright foregrounds, so being able to adjust to sudden bright and dark patches is important to me.

  32. Andrea MacLean on December 27, 2011 at 11:08 am

    I could really use a great new pair of glasses.  I currently ride with a pair of safety glasses I received on a tour of a hog processing plant when visiting the U.S.  They are a bit scratched up.  I have no plans to visit another processing plant to load up on some more free ones so a new pair would be great!!!

  33. Jennifer Steadman on December 27, 2011 at 10:59 am

    I’d love to win these for my husband–he never rides with sunglasses, but he needs to! How many bugs in the eye does it take to finally get some glasses?!?

  34. Paul on December 27, 2011 at 10:58 am

    I don’t usually ride with sunglasses on but I do have a pair of clear glasses that I ride with all the time.  They are also Ryder glasses and work wonderfully in the trail as well as during a nice sunny day.  Sometimes just having a layer that is not tinted seems to do the trick.  Having tinting ones would be a real treat!  The pair that I use have 3 holes in the top corners.  They defog very rarely fog up and quickly defog when on the move.

    • Paul on December 27, 2011 at 11:00 am

      My last sentence was supposed to say they fog up very rarely and quickly defog when on the move.

  35. Smpkinnison on December 27, 2011 at 10:19 am

    I always ride with glasses – they’re protection for my eyes from debris, sun, rain, and hopefully, in case of an accident.  Photochromic glasses would be excellent, and would take the place of clear glasses and sunglasses, thus lightening the load on the bike. 

  36. Aaronthestrong on December 27, 2011 at 10:16 am

    I LOVE my Ryders! I really need to get a pair with interchangeable lenses though, my only complaint with glasses while riding is when they are a little too dark. I don’t have eyelashes, so glasses are a MUST for me and my Ryders have by far been the best I have tried!

  37. Juliestarling on December 27, 2011 at 10:12 am

    I usually must wear sunglasses or I just can’t see as I have very sensitive to the light, gray-blue eyes. Also, I tend to get specs of debris in my eyes otherwise, which is quite irritating. I’ve been using Tifosi Tyrant Photochrmatics. I’d love a chance to try the Ryder Caliber Photochromatics.

  38. Randy Sanders on December 27, 2011 at 10:06 am

    One thing I hate is having multiple lenses for different conditions….we usually start early in the dark and then get back when the sun is really blasting. Meaning I either carry two sets of glasses (bad) or an extra set of lenses (still bad, but better). My other issue is, well, quite frankly I’m a bit of a clutz, and the more expensive the sunglasses, the shorter the life span.

  39. Anonymous on December 27, 2011 at 9:43 am

    Must wear eye protection because of contacts. Usually go with really light lenses for all day rides to avoid carrying two pair. Photochromic would be way better.

  40. Bikeboy999 on December 27, 2011 at 9:04 am

    I wear glasses all the time, however I have to buy only certain brands. I can not wear contacts and my eyes tear up terribly. So I wear Bolles, always carry two pair, as changing lens weakens the contact. Can Ryder make Rx style for us non contact wearing cyclists?


  41. kalfeekrazed on December 27, 2011 at 8:55 am

    I have been a big fan of the photochromic lens.  Easier on the eyes and rarely need to squint.  Riding , running, coaching, etc I wear them as an all around pair of locs. First pair were the Specialized which I had for 5 years until the cold snapped the frames. Dangit.  I interchanged with the Tifosi’s Fototec version, a good pair to wear. Regardless I stay dedicated to the frames I wear as long as I can.  I’d expect that from these Calibers also. 

  42. Beth R on December 27, 2011 at 8:49 am

    I always wear glasses-  dont like getting hit witht he Georgia bugs in the eyes.

  43. Jon Skertich on December 27, 2011 at 8:32 am

    I wear sunglasses while riding to look cool and to keep the elements out of my eyes. I think I’d look the coolest with these Ryders.

  44. Phil Strons on December 27, 2011 at 8:23 am

    I wear glasses mainly to keep my contact lenses from drying out. Before I started wearing glasses, I actually lost a contact lens because it dried up while I was on a fast downhill.

  45. Jeff on December 27, 2011 at 8:08 am

    I wear glasses to keep the bugs and debris out of my eyes and to help reduce glare and relax my brain.  Sometimes I wear the temples INSIDE my helmet straps, but only if I’m feeling rebellious.  These Ryders look pretty sweet!

  46. Antoine RJ Wright on December 27, 2011 at 8:07 am

    I wear glasses normally so its no big thing to me to ride with them. If there kinds of glasses were able to be done with my prescription then I’d have something like this to ride with. My normal lenses change with lighting conditions and knock off glare so in some respects I’ve got some of the benefits but not the cool look.look.

  47. Stacey Hanna on December 27, 2011 at 7:19 am

    I use sunglasses to keep my contact lenses from drying out too much. I would love to have this in my gear. I have not tried cycling specific glasses.

  48. Royyount on December 27, 2011 at 7:14 am

    I always wear glasses when I ride. Mainly to protect y eyes from wind, road debris, or bugs. One other reason that no one mentioned is that they just make you look cooler and isn’t that part of it? LOL. The pair I have now is Giro and the frame is just in the perfect spot to block my view when checking behind me. Not good. I have to spend more time looking where I have been when checking for cars therefor not watching the road in front of me. It is my birthday on the 30th, so maybe this will just the ticket.

  49. Ryan M. Williams on December 27, 2011 at 6:58 am

    I like wearing sunglasses mostly for stopping bugs and rain, and the cheap pair I have does that well. I’m assuming that the Ryders glasses would perform well, and the photochromic aspect appeals since often I do end up riding early morning/late when I can’t wear my non-photochromic glasses because they’re too dark.

  50. Mark Beaconsfield on December 27, 2011 at 5:36 am

    I usually dont wear glasses while riding for a number of reasons. Some block part of my vision and others are not really comfortable. I also ride a lot at night or early morning so dark glasses are no good. I live in an area where the weather conditions can change very quickly and finding an afforable pair of glasses to cope with that is almost impossible. I think a pair of Ryders glasses are just what I need. If they convince egggman to wear them, then they are good enough for me.


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