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100% Speedcraft SL: high-end sunnies with a premium price tag

As used by Peter Sagan, do these somewhat road-orientated 100% Speedcraft sunglasses translate well to trail use?

100% Speedcraft SL glasses
(Image: © Rich Owen)

Our Verdict

An ultra-wide, unencumbered field of vision with a featherweight feel and extras that include a clear lens, means that this premium priced piece of eyewear justifies its hefty price tag

For

  • - Fantastic field of vision
  • - Superb light feel
  • - Surprisingly resilient lens
  • - Clear lens included

Against

  • - Pricey
  • - Frames prone to staining

We’re definitely spoiled for choice when it comes to 100%’s eyewear. There are 14 different lines within the Sport Performance range – that’s even before you start to consider the spread of goggles or more fashion-orientated specs. Then, as well as the Speedcraft SLs we’ve been testing, there’s also the standard Speedcraft range, Speedcraft XS models for smaller faces and the Speedcraft Air which includes tech that allows wearers to control their level of nasal dilation. Oh, and they all come in a ton of different frame and lens combinations.

With loads of other brands around, it's not just 100% that give you an overwhelming number of options when it comes to choosing new eyewear, but handily we've done some of the hard work for you with our guide to the best mountain bike sunglasses. We recommend having a look at that once you've read through our 100% Speedcraft SL review.

100% Speedcraft SL glasses

The 100% Speedcrafts give an excellent view of the trail ahead that reduces glare and improves contrast (Image credit: Rich Owen)

Design

There’s not much to choose between the original Speedcraft glasses and the SL versions tested here. However, the SL models are designed with a shorter lens and a more compact nose bridge to better suit smaller faces such as mine.

The package comes in a robust hardcase that zips open and closed. Inside are stowage slots for the Speedcraft frames with their red mirrored lens (HiPER Red Multilayer Mirror Lens+ to be more precise) and the included clear lens, plus a softcase and spare rubber nose grip.

The shape of the flat-edged (which presumably give aero micro-gains for our roadie chums) Speedcraft frame is continuously curved and has a slightly rubberized finish with soft black arm tips for additional comfort and grip. The finish of the half-framed lens is mirrored but not completely opaque and gives off cool looking red-orange reflections.

100% Speedcraft SL glasses with the included extras

The Speedcrafts come with everything you need as standard (Image credit: Rich Owen)

Performance

The Speedcraft SLs feel very light on your face and, despite feeling super-secure, there’s no noticeable tension behind the ears from the soft rubber-tipped arms. With their half-frames and large lens, you get a fantastic and almost completely uninterrupted field of vision – even the nose piece is almost invisible.

The clarity of the mirrored orange/red lens tested (loads of other tints are available) is excellent and gives a completely consistent view across your full range of vision. A hydrophobic and oleophobic finish means that water or oily fingerprints shouldn’t stick to the lens. In practice, this means that larger water drops rapidly run off, leaving only a trail of tiny droplets that are invisible to the wearer. Finger marks do occur on the lens, but they are relatively easy to wipe away. 

The mirrored lens tint is relatively light and does a great job of removing glare and improving contrast rather than giving a darker field of vision. Colors are more muted than on comparable Oakley mirrored lenses, though they are still a touch on the heavy side for riding in heavily wooded trails or low light conditions.

I’ve worn the Speedcrafts in temperatures around zero to just into double figures and, like any glasses, they can occasionally mist up when you’re working hard. Due to the open design of the bottom of the lens and amount of air between lens and face they clear up in moments though.

Despite the slightly fragile appearance of the half-frames, the Speedcraft SLs have proved themselves to be surprisingly robust. Despite several crashes in them on woody trails, the lens itself is still scratch free after months of riding. Perhaps white frames are not the wisest choice for off-road use though as my test pair now have a slightly brown hue in places due to various mud splats and handling them with dirty riding gloves. Fortunately, the Speedcraft frames come in several other colors, though we’d definitely recommend black.

100% Speedcraft SL glasses

Avoid the lighter colored frames as they will get stained over time (Image credit: Rich Owen)

Verdict

The 100% Speedcraft SL is a premium piece of eyewear and also one of the best riding glasses we’ve ever tested. The overall package is a comprehensive one and helps make these top-end glasses a worthy investment. 

The lens is a not ideal for low light but, then again, these are sunglasses and they come with a clear lens. Our only real concern relates more to the mucky nature of mountain biking rather than the Speedcrafts themselves, but if you choose white or lightly colored frames they will inevitably become dirt stained over time. 

Tech Specs: 100% Speedcraft SL sunglasses

  • Lens types: HiPER Multilayer Mirror, Smoke, Flash Gold
  • UV Protection: 100% UV-A, -B & -C
  • Weight: 34g
  • Price: £185 / £189.99

A seasoned journalist with over 20 years experience, Rich heads up the Bike Perfect team having previous been editor of What Mountain Bike magazine and written for MBUK, Bikeradar, Cycling Plus as well as many other magazines and websites. He’s been riding mountain bikes since the mid-nineties and mostly likes hitting flowy yet technical trails that point downhill. A jack of many trades, Rich has competed in cross-country, enduro and long distance events, not to mention also now adding  gravel to his riding repertoire. Rich resides in North Devon and can mostly be found pedaling furiously around his local trails, or slightly further afield in the Quantocks, the Mendips or Exmoor. 


Rides: YT Jeffsy Uncaged 6, Mondraker Foxy Carbon XR, Vitus Substance VR

Height: 175cm

Weight: 70kg