Aug 31, 2023
Madison Crypto Sunglasses 3
Top-performing riding glasses, without the top-tier price tag This competition is now closed By Tom Marvin Published: August 29, 2023 at 9:00 am UK brand Madison’s large-lens, full-frame Crypto
Top-performing riding glasses, without the top-tier price tag
This competition is now closed
By Tom Marvin
Published: August 29, 2023 at 9:00 am
UK brand Madison’s large-lens, full-frame Crypto sunglasses have proved excellent in testing, with great optical clarity, coverage, security and comfort.
I tested the set that comes with a bronze Mirror lens, along with amber and clear varieties.
Although the brand’s marketing materials signal that these are road-focused cycling sunglasses, I’ve tested them extensively on my enduro bike and gravel bike.
The bronze/amber/clear combo is one of three on offer, with a Smoke Mirror (grey) and a Fire Mirror (red) tint also available as the primary lens, along with the amber and clear lenses.
The large lenses can be swapped in and out of the full-wrap frame. The frame is built from a pliable plastic that bends easily in the hand.
The arms are moderately long, and have a pronounced bend towards the end, to hook around the ears.
The second half of the arms are constructed from an even more pliable plastic. They don’t have a rubberised finish, but are textured to add grip.
The rubber sections of the nose piece are moulded around a wire inner, offering ample adjustability.
The polycarbonate lenses incorporate UV-A and UV-B protection
The package includes three lenses, a soft case, which doubles as a cleaning cloth, and a hard case.
I’ve been incredibly impressed by the Crypto glasses during testing. Despite having a number of premium glasses from the likes of Oakley and Smith, I decided to take these on a week-long riding holiday to the Alps.
The lenses offered impressive optical clarity, with no noticeable distortion, and they didn’t lead to tired eyes on long rides.
Coverage is excellent, and thanks to the highly adjustable nose piece I was able to get the frame to sit close to my cheeks for a close fit, or further away on days when fogging may have been an issue, for improved ventilation.
Set close to the face, there’s little intrusion of the frame into your eyesight.
The three lenses cover a wide range of light conditions. I’ve mostly used the amber lens here in the UK.
It prevents enough light getting through that I was able to use it on brighter days without needing to strain my eyes. When I dropped into the woods, there waas still enough enhancement of the trail to help see where I wanted to go.
The bronze lens is fairly dark, and best suited to bright days with minimal tree cover. I found the bronze lens marked up with fingerprints pretty easily.
Swapping the lenses is relatively easy, thanks to the flexible frame.
Over rough ground, the glasses stay on your face securely. The nose piece helps here, as do the curved arms, which hook around the ears and prevent the glasses moving down your nose.
The arms don’t bow out away from the side of your head, which means they don’t interfere with the inside edge of your helmet. This can result in some glasses not sitting straight or comfortably.
They also don’t rattle on the brow of your helmet, in my experience.
My only complaint about the Crypto glasses is the curved arms make fitting and removing them a touch trickier when you have a helmet on, because you need to push the end of the arms up and over the top of your ears.
These are some of the best cycling sunglasses I’ve ridden in, with a price tag that’s only a third or a quarter that of the most premium glasses.
Such is the balance of performance and cost, that these are the go-to glasses of a number of my colleagues and bike industry friends. They’re highly recommended.
These sunglasses were tested as part of a group test of long-standing and new models from established and lesser-known brands.
Senior technical editor
Tom Marvin is a technical editor at BikeRadar.com and MBUK magazine. He has a particular focus on mountain bikes, but spends plenty of time on gravel bikes, too. Tom has written for BikeRadar, MBUK and Cycling Plus, and was previously technical editor of What Mountain Bike magazine. He is also a regular presenter on BikeRadar’s YouTube channel and the BikeRadar podcast. With more than twenty years of mountain biking experience, and nearly a decade of testing mountain and gravel bikes, Tom has ridden and tested thousands of bikes and products, from super-light XC race bikes through to the most powerful brakes on the market. Outside of testing bikes, Tom competes in a wide range of mountain bike races, from multi-day enduros through to 24-hour races in the depths of the Scottish winter – pushing bikes, components and his legs to their limits. He’s also worked out that shaving your legs saves 8 watts, while testing aerodynamics in a wind tunnel. When not riding he can be found at the climbing wall, in his garden or cooking up culinary delights.❚