Shimano’s S-PHYRE series not only includes the popular RC9 cycling shoes but also a wide range of cycling apparel. In this review, we’ll be taking a look at the Shimano S-PHYRE sunglasses which offer clear optics and pro-level features. The CE-SPHR2 sunglasses we have are the second generation of the S-PHYRE sunglasses and retail for $220. Shimano has incorporated their RIDESCAPE lenses and a clever magnetic attachment system. Pulling up on the magnets on the lens and corresponding frame edges allows you to swap them out for the included clear lenses for low-light conditions. The S-PHYRE sunglasses are oversized cycling sunglasses with a straight upper rim and smooth shaping for improved aerodynamics. To accommodate different face shapes the temple arms are radiused with non-slip material and the nose pads can be flipped.
The Shimano S-PHYRE sunglasses combine a premium design and paint finish with crisp optics from the RIDESCAPE lenses.
|Rating||9.0 / 10|
|Measured weight (in g)||28|
|Likes||+ Clever magnetic lens system which eliminates finger prints|
+ Impressive metallic paint finish
+ Clear and crisp optics from RIDESCAPE lens
|Dislikes||– Premium price|
– Currently has limited replacement lens selection
|Where to Buy (US)||Shimano|
The Shimano S-PHYRE sunglasses come in a simple cardboard box with branding printed directly onto the cardboard. Inside the box you’ll find:
- Shimano S-PHYRE sunglasses
- Additional large nose pad
- Zippered hard case
- Fabric soft case
- Additional RIDESCAPE CL (Cat 0 / 82% VLT) lens + fabric pouch
- Lens information pamphlet
The additional lens has its own storage pouch that attaches to the zippered hard case using velcro on the front. Even though the zippered hard case seems to be a standard size, Shimano was able to fit the sunglasses and spare lens inside it.
FIT & FINISH
The Shimano S-PHYRE sunglasses represent their top-tier offering with high-end materials and quality. These are part of the second-generation CE-SPHR2 versions of the eyewear lineup and feature aerodynamically optimized shaping. Shimano has utilized a straight upper rim and integrated rim and lenses to create a smooth surface for airflow to pass over. This is a semi-rimless or half-rim frame design with no frame on the bottom and sleek profile that looks good on or off the bike. The frame is available in five colors: matte black, matte extra white, metallic red, metallic orange and metallic blue. Branding is limited to only S-PHYRE along the sides for a clean and minimalist look. The frames we have in this review are the metallic red version and are one the nicest finishes we’ve seen. These look more like the paint job you’d see on a high-end car than a pair of sunglasses and have a lot of depth to them in the direct sun.
One of the most notable features of the sunglasses is the magnetically attached lens design. This allows the S-PHYRE sunglasses to have replaceable lenses without the need for inset tabs that require flexing the frame and lens. Instead Shimano has integrated magnets onto the corners of the lenses and the corresponding corners of the frame to allow for quick and easy lens swaps. It’s a slick design that lets you remove the lens without getting fingerprints or damaging the frames. The temples are attached to the lens without any nose bridge and have to be slightly compressed and slide off the lens. This is a more simple approach than the Smith Shift MAG which utilizes toggles in the frame and incorporates the top frame brow into the lens. Note, the downside of this embedded magnet approach is that you do see the edges of the magnets in your peripheral vision.
Replacement lenses on the S-PHYRE sunglasses are a reasonable $60 currently and are offered in a few road specific and trail specific options. The lens on our magnetic red version is the RIDESCAPE RD which Shimano refers to as an all-around road lens and is a Cat. 2 filter category with 21% visible light transmission. Shimano also offers their off-road specific RIDESCAPE OR and gravel-specific RIDESCAPE GR lenses which are both Cat. 2 lenses. What makes each lens different is the base color and color profile which are optimized for certain color ranges more commonly found on gravel routes or forested areas. The included second lens isn’t just a clear lens, it’s the RIDESCAPE CL lens (Cat 0 / 82% light transmission) which is perfect for riding in low visibility conditions.
ON THE ROAD
We were impressed with the clarity and optics of the RIDESCAPE lenses. These are the first Shimano sunglasses we’ve worn but felt as high-quality as the Oakley or POC sunglasses we’ve previously reviewed. The Cat. 2 lenses don’t have a mirrored finish but are comfortable on full-sun days and even forested canyon roads. Despite being only held on by corner magnets, the lenses stay in place securely and don’t come off even if you pull on the lenses while riding. The fit on the large sunglasses was also excellent as the temple arms are angled inward and highly flexible with non-slip tips that eliminate any pressure points. The only negative about the performance of the sunglasses is that the magnets in the lens and frame protrude slightly into the edge of your field of view. It’s a minor issue that breaks the immersive experience oversized lenses offer.
Overall, we found the Shimano S-PHYRE sunglasses to be attractive and well designed. The metallic paint finish and smooth corners of the sunglasses give them a high-end appearance that is worthy of the top-tier S-PHYRE branding. While the styling on the sunglasses is fairly conservative, Shimano has incorporated some clever details such as the magnetic lens attachment system and reversible nose pads. Swapping between the included spare lens is as simple as pulling up on the lens and avoiding the frustration of figuring out how to slide traditional tabs out of a lens. The main downsides of the sunglasses is that Shimano has limited lens replacement options available and that the magnets on the lens are visible at the edge of your vision. That said, if you’re looking for some attractive cycling sunglasses with premium optics and finish the S-PHYRE are a great option.
Disclaimer: The product for this review was provided by Shimano. The views expressed on this website are solely those of the authors and are here to help people make an informed choice before a purchase. The authors or the blog itself does not get any monetary compensation from the product manufacturer or third-party websites/vendor links that are posted here.