Tested -Tifosi Escalate SFH Sunglasses
Frames for Every Occasion
Glasses are almost as important as helmets in our minds. When it comes to protecting anything on our head, we prefer to go all in and leave as little to chance as possible. Riding glasses are about as personal as it gets when it comes to preference, but if we can find a pair that offers clear optics combined with solid protection, we’re all for it. If we can find a pair that can adapt to differing lighting conditions, then all the better.
Sunglass companies have been offering products with multiple lenses for decades, but Tifosi is now giving riders multiple frame options as well. This new approach means even more versatility for more riders. We brought in the newest glasses from the Georgia-based company to see if they could handle the bright, sunny conditions on our SoCal trails.
Tech Info: The Escalate is built around Tifosi’s Interchangeable Component System (ICS) that uses the same arms to attach to three different types of frames. Riders will have the option for a full frame, half frame or shield that mounts on the same universal arms, all of which are included in the kit.
The arms are adjustable to help dial in the fit, along with the nosepiece. Each pair of frames has vented lenses to allow for proper airflow and uses a UV-protective coating with a glare guard. In addition to the three different frame options and two different lens tints, there is a padded carrying case. This kit is on the more expensive side for Tifosi with a price tag of $150 for the whole setup. Considering everything that is included, however, the price is more than fair.
On the Trail: The Escalate system is pretty simple to use, and it works like having multiple pairs of sunglasses for the price of one. Before you ask, no, you can’t simply build multiple different pairs of glasses from the one kit. The kit only comes with one pair of arms, which must be used no matter which configuration you choose.
Swapping the frames is simple and easy. While we wouldn’t recommend swapping any of the components on the trail, it’s a quick change that can easily be made pre-ride.
Tifosi includes a video and PDF online with complete step-by-step details, but we were able to figure these glasses out before reading the instructions. The arms are designed to pop off when rotated down with a little force. The first swap was a little scary, as we were afraid we might break the arms or frames. With a little pressure, though, the arms came off and transferred over to the other frames quickly and easily. Tifosi has obviously done its homework.
During our testing we tried all three frames. We spent the bulk of our time with the shield and half-shield options. These two allowed for the best ventilation and airflow, although we would have liked a slightly taller shield for a little more protection and coverage. The full frame was good on long shuttle rides that didn’t require as much climbing or pedaling, although it does not ventilate quite as well.
The Tifosi Escalate SFH offers plenty of value for riders who ride in varying conditions. While many riders will choose their favorite frame and lens and run it for most scenarios, it’s nice to have options. Each frame suited a different style of riding, and the multiple lens options helped us dial in our vision for everything from super-bright and sunny days to rainy and cloudy conditions. Heck, they even come with a clear lens that would work for night missions. The Escalate SFH glasses are truly suited to every type of trail ride. www.tifosioptics.com
• Competitive price
• Multiple lenses
• Easy to use
• Would like more coverage from the shield
• Need more ventilation from the full frame
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