O’Neal has been around the block once or twice, with over 50 years of action sports expertise to call upon. The O’Neal B50 goggles are shared with our two-wheeled cousins in the motocross world. They sit at the top of the O’Neal five model MTB/Moto range which impressively offers something at every price level, with the entry-level Vault goggles costing a quarter of the price of this pair.
I got the opportunity to test the versatile B50 Pro Pack. It has all your lens options covered in one box. With four different lenses to pick from, plus a pack of ten tear-offs and a mudguard (I think it's more of a MX thing) leading me to think this is the complete comprehensive kit. The question is, can these Moto crossover goggles compete with the best mountain bike goggles?
Design and aesthetics
Sixteen magnets make up the lens retention design. Eight in the frame and the opposing eight in the face side of the lens. You only need to get a few inches away from the frame before the lens is sucked out of your fingers and firmly attached to the goggle. The innovative design means that the B50 goggles tipped my scales at 160grams, pitching them at the hefty end of the spectrum.
This frameless design combined with the curve of this goggle gives an impressively huge field of view with no frame clearly visible when looking in any direction. The frame has small foam-covered air vents spanning the top, bottom and either side and a thick triple layer of face foam. Securing the frame to your face is a 4cm wide adjustable strap adorned with three beads of silicone. The B50 is offered in three colorways (all black, black/white or black/neon yellow).
All the lens colors in the Pro Pack boast tear-off posts and O’Neal states they are coated with an anti-scratch and also anti-fog coatings.
Lens swapping couldn't be easier, although I had some initial concerns that the lens could move or worse detach and fall out. Worried that the force of yanking at a tear-off would remove the entire lens right at the worst moment. Fear not, these were quickly quashed. The tiny but mighty magnets in the retention system hold the lens securely in place no matter how rough the trail.
The mixed conditions during the test allowed me to run each of the lens options supplied in the Pro Pack. I would say that the Black Mirror (or gray as I would call it) tint was my go-to, it offering good versatility on my home trails. It sits somewhere between the Radium Blue tint and the clear. The clear and yellow lenses supplied in my Pro Pack had visible marks behind the lens where it attaches to the frame, it might be a one-off manufacturing defect but it is something that I wouldn't expect at this price.
The B50 goggles give good optical clarity and an even greater uninterrupted field of view. Despite the B50 being a huge goggle I had no issues with the frame fitting inside my full-face helmet. With my open face trail lid, I did struggle with the fit around my nose. I put this down to the frame size and weight coupled with thick face foam meant the goggles dropped onto my nose causing me some difficulties – especially when breathing hard on climbs. I found I was continually adjusting them, hunting for that sweet spot.
I did occasionally suffer from the dreaded fogging, especially whilst sitting still and climbing. To combat this I resorted to removing them on extended climbs or whilst waiting for my riding buddies to finish faffing.
I’m not sure how frequently you swap out your lenses especially in the middle of a normal trail ride, but these may be more of a consideration if you're racing between the tapes. All that said, these O’Neal B50 boast a great concept with the easiest lens swap out I have tried. Whilst it grants riders a superb field of view, the trade-off is the additional weight associated with its design.
Unfortunately, this innovative product is let down by the fogging and with the quality of finish, especially at this price point. For the money of the Pro Pack, you could buy two pairs of any other brand’s premium offering and run a different lens in each goggle, which would ultimately negate the smart magnetic lens swap feature.
Tech Specs: O’Neal B50 Pro Pack Force goggle
- Colors: 3
- Price: Pro Pack $N/A / €199.99 (separate goggles $89.99 / €89.99)