Bobster Street and Sport II Goggles/Sunglasses
If you head on over to my gear section you’ll notice a few duplicate entries, specifically with hats and sunglasses. In fact, since touring I’ve gone through 5 pairs of sunglasses alone! Not due to the fact that they were poor quality and broke, but due to the fact that I’ve lost them, misplaced them along the way. After the 5th pair I decided enough was enough and started to search out a solution to this problem as riding without sunglasses can cause considerable strain on the eyes, let particles of dirt and dust in, or worse – traveling at high speed down a pass and having an insect fly directly into your eye. In September of 2010 I researched how motorcyclists were handling with similar issues and happened upon the Bobster company based out of California USA. Not wanting to spend too much money in fear of losing sunglasses yet again I was pleasantly surprised to find a couple dozen sunglass offerings for under $50 that fit my need.
I chose the Bobster Street and Sport II sunglasses for a variety of reasons:
- Look: As with everyone, I’ve got a weird face, and sunglasses don’t always fit properly on the bridge of my nose, resulting in a crooked look, too much air passing in behind them, and sliding off my face without warning. The Bobster Street and Sport II glasses offer a close fit to the face wrapping around the eyes and side of head. The arms are adjustable in length by lightly pulling on the ends to fit most shapes of heads. The frames are all black, made of flexible what are they made of that won’t snap when you take them off and on, or even try to put them on overtop of your helmet straps.
- Additional Lenses: The Bobster Street and Sport II glasses come with 3 different lenses –
- Smoke for daily usage in sunny conditions, great for all day riding
- Amber – For days where higher contrast is needed, mostly used on foggy and cloudy days and incredibly helpful when the temperatures drop to the freezing level to be aware of water or ice on the roads
- Clear – Great for Dusk Riding, or general use at any time of the day.
To replace the lenses one simply needs to hold a finger on one side of the frame and push with their thumb on the individual lens frames, until they come lose from their seating. Following the steps in reverse to replace the lenses takes less than 2 seconds for the left and right side. All 3 lenses offer 100% UVA protection to shield from glare, reflections and the bright sun. The lenses have foam padding on the inside to rest upon your face, offering comfort for long periods of usage. Bobster also provides replacement lenses on their website for a very reasonable fee ($6!) and if you wish, can have custom prescriptions fitted into the lenses for you.
- Included Accessories: You can’t get a better deal here. Inside the box of the Bobster Street And Sport II glasses comes a protective case to hold the extra lenses, glasses and other accessories. A small button strap on the case allows you to fasten it to something a bit more stationary to make sure it doesn’t fall out of your bag when searching for other equipment in your bags. The case has a small compartment for the lenses currently attached to your sunglasses frame to protect from scratches. An adjustable strap that connects to both arms of the sunglasses allows you to dangle the glasses around your neck to avoid the inevitable loss later on down the road. A small lens polishing cloth is included in the case as well, much more efficient than using your T-Shirt to clean your lenses.
The real treat included in the case however is an elastic strap meant for conversion of the sunglasses into goggles for situations full eye protection is needed. It’s simple to remove the sunglass arms from the frame by pressing with your thumb on the small circle on the outside of each arm where the arms meet the frame – The goggle straps slide right into the sockets and are ready to be worn after a small amount of adjustment for correct fit around your head.
Findings after long term use
I’ve worn these glasses every day since then while bicycle touring and have nothing but good things to say about the product. There are however a few things to be aware of:
- I found the extra lenses became scratched and dinged when sitting inside the case, likely because I wasn’t being careful in placing the sunglasses back in the case at the end of the day. Things get jostled around while bicycle touring and I’m not surprised in the slightest. I’ve since solved this problem by using an old protective bag to house my extra lenses in another pannier as the frequency of changing the lenses is far less than the constant insertion and removal of the sunglasses in the case.
- After 14 months of usage through snow, wind, dust storms, sun the inner foam on the smoke lenses are starting to separate from the lens frames. Again, this is wear and tear above and beyond what is expected of the glasses, likely due to the fact that they are being carelessly put on over helmets, crushed in between layers of clothing and from rubbing on facial hair. A bit of contact cement has repaired them to a suitable level.
- If the glasses are pressed too close to your face you may find that they fog up unnecessarily. A good Anti Fog cleaning solution will solve this problem, however sometimes this can be difficult to find when touring on the road in remote places. Allowing a bit of air into the glasses solves the problem quick enough.
In 2003 I once purchased a pair of Wiley X Tactical Sunglasses and Goggles for usage when attending the Burning Man Festival – At 3 times the price of the Bobster Goggles, I found that I wasn’t satisfied with my purchase due to a pain from the frame pinching the bridge of my nose, a look I didn’t really care for, and eventually lost them about 4 months into ownership. Knowing this when I purchased the Bobster Street and Sport II glasses I decided to take a chance and have found that all of those issues do not exist with this value priced multifunction glasses/goggles. I’ve been in touch with Bobster regarding replacement lenses and I found that their customer service was quick to respond within hours and stand by their product 100%.
I can’t speak for any of their other models of glasses/goggles, but you can look at their website to see the different types available – I can only assume at this point in time that the build quality will be top notch similar to my own purchase. For those who use Facebook, they also have a Fan Page that they use for announcements of new products, reviews, and contests. If I were to break/lose my glasses I’d be surely lost without my Bobsters, and at the earliest convenience hunt down a replacement pair.