SunGod Velans review: Endless customisation options and sharp performance in changing conditions from INEOS Grenadiers’ glasses of choice…
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SunGod Velans (w/ 8KO Iris HV Blue Photochromatic Lens)
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$232 / £192, sungod.co
- Reacts to light levels
- Adaptable frame
- Custom colours galore
- Pointed nose rubber
- Straight arms
For me, the stand-out feature of the SunGods is the option-stuffed ordering process and free custom colour combos. The photochromatic lens worked seamlessly, reacting to changing light conditions and helping me to stay in the flow.
SunGod Velans features
I opted for SunGod’s cycling-specific Velans frame, which gave great coverage. (Those with a bigger bonce may prefer the Vulcans with their supersized lens.) I ordered a custom colour combo of frosted white frame, white arm socks and gold logo. With the blue/pink 8KO Iris HV Blue Photochromatic lens, my design looked pretty sick!
I also opted to get the top and full frame, which comes with a conversion kit so you can swap between full-frame and ‘half jacket’ style sunglasses – ideal for increased peripheral vision and looking over your shoulder on the road. It’s relatively simple to pop the lower frame out but I wouldn’t recommend doing so mid-ride due to inevitable finger smears on the lens.
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The 8KO Iris lens lets in between 34% and 79% of light, while blocking 100% of UV. The other option was the Smoke Iris lens that lets in between 16% and 43% of light. After agonising over which to pick, I eventually choosing the 8KO Iris – figuring that on bright days I would probably go with other sunglasses (unless I was wearing an MTB helmet with a shading visor).
I was a bit concerned about the straight arms but they fitted my head fine and stayed put on every ride. I’d recommend choosing a lens size to suit your face, because the arms aren’t adjustable.
SunGod Velans performance
Overall, the Velans came close to a fit-and-forget, wear-all-day sunglasses, due to the rapid transition of the lens from light to dark. They immediately became my go-to glasses for changeable conditions and cloudy days, and I could switch between half-jacket on road and full-frame when riding on trails, because off-road is hard on all my gear.
The only niggle was that the narrow, slightly pointed rubber nose-grips felt a bit weird in the soft skin below my eyes – a design tweak there would be appreciated, but it wasn’t a biggie.
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The clarity of the lens was great but couldn’t quite compete with some of the high-contrast competition. The light-reactive tech is the clear focus with this lens. Having to faff about with gear really kills my flow, so I appreciated how the lens did the adjustment for me, in changing conditions. If that’s a big thing for you too, then the SunGod Velans are an obvious choice.